Andy Porter

Professor Emeritus of Education

Human Development and Quantitative Methods Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-573-9683


Professional Biography

Dr. Porter served as dean of the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education from 2007-2014. He began his academic career on the faculty at Michigan State University (1967-1988), where he co-directed the Institute for Research on Teaching and served as associate dean for Research and Graduate Study. During this time, he also took three years’ leave from MSU to serve as a visiting scholar at the National Institute of Education, where he created and was first chief of the Methodology and Measurement Division and later associate director in charge of the Basic Skills Group.

From 1988 to 2003, he served as Anderson-Bascon professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he directed the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. In 2003, he joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University, where he was the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations in the Peabody College of Education and Human Development and served as director of the university’s Learning Sciences Institute.

Dr. Porter is a former president of the American Educational Research Association (2001) and was elected a member of the National Academy of Education in 1994, where he has been vice president since 2005. He is a Lifetime National Associate of the National Academies.

He is a present or past member of a dozen scholarly editorial and advisory boards, including American Educational Researcher, Educational Researcher, Teachers College Record and Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness. He is the author or co-author of 42 book chapters, 70 scholarly articles, dozens of technical reports, and one book.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Porter has published widely on psychometrics, student assessment, education indicators, and research on teaching. One line of work centers on teachers’ decisions about what to teach, which includes curriculum policies and their effects on students’ opportunity to learn. Currently, his research is supported by the National Science Foundation: he is senior researcher, How Does Induction and Continuing Professional Development Affect Middle School Mathematics Teachers’ Instruction and Student Achievement? Teacher Professional Continuum (TPC), principal investigator on a U.S. Department of Education Institute for Education Sciences (IES) grant to investigate the psychometric properties of the VAL-ED assessment of K-12 school leadership, an instrument he built with Wallace Foundation support (learn more at, co-PI on an IES-funded national research center on cognition and science instruction, co-PI on an IES national R&D center applying cognitive science principles in middle school science curricula, and co-PI on an IES postdoctoral program.

To read more about Dr. Porter and his work, visit his website at

Selected Publications

Porter, A. C., Polikoff, M. S., Zeidner, T., & Smithson J.: The quality of content analyses of state student achievement tests and content standards. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice 27(4): 2-14, 2008.

Porter, A.C.: Lessons learned from standards-based reform: Implications for the reauthorization of NCLB. Standards-based Reform and the Poverty Gap: Lessons for “No Child Left Behind” A. Gamoran (eds.). Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. 2007.

Porter, A. C.: Making connections between research and practice. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education 20(3): 281-283, 2007.

Murphy, J., Elliott, S. N., Goldring, E. & Porter, A. C.: Leadership for learning: A research-based model and taxonomy of behaviors. School Leadership and Management 27(2): 179-201, 2007.

Porter, A. C., Smithson, J. L., Blank, R. & Zeidner, T.: Alignment as a teacher variable. Applied Measurement in Education 20(1): 27-51, 2007.