Matthew P. Steinberg

Assistant Professor

Education Policy Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-898-9336


Professional Biography

Dr. Matthew P. Steinberg is an Assistant Professor of Education in the Education Policy Division at Penn GSE. He is the Faculty Methodologist for the Penn IES Pre-Doctoral Training Program, a Faculty Fellow with the Penn Institute for Urban Research, a Faculty Affiliate with the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative, a Senior Researcher at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, an Affiliated Researcher with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, and an Academic Affiliate with the Educator Impact Laboratory at Mathematica Policy Research. Dr. Steinberg is a recipient of the 2016 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship. He received his Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Chicago in 2012. During his tenure as a doctoral student, Dr. Steinberg was an Institute of Education Sciences Pre-Doctoral Fellow with the University of Chicago Committee on Education, a researcher at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research and a Mathematica Policy Research 2008 Summer Fellow. Prior to graduate school, he was an investment banker and a New York City Teaching Fellow.


Ph.D. (Public Policy) University of Chicago, 2012.

M.P.A. (Public Policy Analysis) University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007.

M.S.Ed. (Childhood Education) The City College of New York, 2004.

B.A. (Economics and Sociology) University of Virginia, 2000.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Steinberg’s work explores questions of educational significance related to teacher evaluation and human capital, urban school reform, school climate and safety and school finance.  His work aims to inform the local and national policy discussions on the role of education policy and school reform in improving the schooling outcomes for students, particularly the most disadvantaged students in urban school settings. His current work explores the impact of school reform in Philadelphia schools, including school closures and school discipline policy.  He is examining the impact of a teacher evaluation reform in Chicago Public Schools on teacher effectiveness, student achievement and teacher turnover. He is also examining the impact of school finance reform in Pennsylvania on local district tax effort, school spending and student achievement. As a Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Early Career Grantee, he examined the role of observed teacher instructional practice on student academic achievement. Dr. Steinberg’s dissertation, “Essays on Urban School Organization: Evidence from Chicago Public Schools,” explored the impact of federal and district education policy on policy-relevant schooling outcomes in Chicago, including educational choice decisions, school climate, student and teacher safety, and the academic achievement of students in local public schools. One chapter from this work, which explored the decentralization of decision-making authority in Chicago Public Schools, received the first-place award at the 2011 Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) Fall Research Conference poster session.

His research is grounded in rigorous empirical and econometric methods while simultaneously focused on informing education policymakers and practitioners on the role of school organization in shaping a variety of policy-relevant schooling outcomes. Dr. Steinberg’s work takes a cross-disciplinary perspective and benefits from collaboration with education researchers, policymakers and practitioners. As a former elementary school teacher, his research, both in scope and its intended audience, is informed by his classroom experience in New York City. Dr. Steinberg’s previous work has explored the free tutoring provision of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation, the manner in which adolescents allocate their out-of-school time and issues of access in higher education. Dr. Steinberg’s work has been published in such scholarly journals as Educational Evaluation and Policy AnalysisEducation Finance and Policy, Educational Researcher, Journal of Education Finance, Journal of Human Resources, National Tax Journal and The Review of Higher Education, and has been presented at a variety of academic and professional conferences.

Selected Publications

Lacoe, J., & Steinberg, M. (In Press). Do suspensions affect student outcomes? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. 

Shores, K. & Steinberg, M. (2017). The impact of the Great Recession on student achievement: Evidence from population data. Available at SSRN:   

Steinberg, M. & Kraft, M. (2017). The sensitivity of teacher performance ratings to the design of teacher evaluation systems. Educational Researcher, 46(7), 378-396.

Steinberg, M. & Quinn, R. (2017). Education reform in the post-NCLB era: Lessons learned for transforming urban public education. Cityscape.

Steinberg, M. & Lacoe, J. (2017). What do we know about school discipline reform? Assessing the alternatives to suspensions and expulsions. Education Next.

Steinberg, M. & Cox, A. (2017). School autonomy and district support: How principals respond to a tiered autonomy initiative in Philadelphia public schools. Leadership and Policy in Schools.

Steinberg, M., Quinn, R., Kreisman, D., & Anglum, C. (2016). Heterogeneous district response to statewide school finance reform: Did Pennsylvania’s Act 61 increase education spending or provide tax relief? National Tax Journal.

Steinberg, M. & Garrett, R. (2016). Classroom composition and measured teacher performance: What do teacher observation scores really measure? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 38(2), 293-317.

Steinberg, M. & Donaldson, M. (2016). The new educational accountability: Understanding the landscape of teacher evaluation in the post-NCLB era. Education Finance and Policy, 11(3).

Sartain, L., & Steinberg, M. (2016). Teachers’ labor market responses to performance evaluation reform: Experimental evidence from Chicago public schools. Journal of Human Resources, 51(3).

Steinberg, M., & Sartain, L. (2015). Does teacher evaluation improve school performance? Experimental evidence from Chicago’s Excellence in Teaching Project. Education Finance and Policy, 10(4), 535- 572.

Garrett, R., & Steinberg, M. (2015). Examining teacher effectiveness using classroom observation scores: Evidence from the randomization of teachers to students. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 37(2), 224-242.

Steinberg, M. & Quinn, R. (2015). A tale of two decades: New evidence on adequacy and equity in Pennsylvania. Journal of Education Finance,40(3), 273-299.

Steinberg, M. & Sartain, L. (2015). Does better observation make better teachers? Education Next, 15(1), 70-76. 

Steinberg, M. (2014). Does greater autonomy improve school performance? Evidence from a regression discontinuity analysis in Chicago. Education Finance and Policy, 9(1), 1-35.

Steinberg, M. (2011). Educational Choice & Student Participation: The Case of the Supplemental Educational Services Provision in Chicago Public Schools. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 33(2): 159-182.

Steinberg, M., Allensworth, E., & Johnson, D. (2011). Student and Teacher Safety in Chicago Public Schools: The Roles of Community Context and School Social Organization. Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Steinberg, M., Piraino, P., & Haveman, R. (2009). Access to Higher Education: Exploring the Variation among U.S. Colleges and Universities in the Prevalence of Pell Grant Recipients. The Review of Higher Education, 32(2), 235-270.

Burch, P., Steinberg, M., & Donovan, J. (2007). Supplemental Educational Services and NCLB: Policy Assumptions, Market Practices, Emerging Issues. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 29(2), 115-133.

Steinberg, M. (2006). Private educational services: Whom does the market leave behind? PolicyMatters, 4(1), 17–22.

Burch, P., Donovan, J., & Steinberg, M. (2006). The new landscape of educational privatization in the era of NCLB. Phi Delta Kappan, 88(2), 129–135.