Matthew P. Steinberg

Assistant Professor

Education Policy Division
Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-898-9336


Professional Biography

Dr. Steinberg is an Assistant Professor of Education, with appointments in the Education Policy and Teaching, Learning and Leadership Divisions. He is the Faculty Methodologist for the University of Pennsylvania IES Pre-Doctoral Training Program, as well as a Faculty Fellow with the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Urban Research and an Affiliated Researcher with the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research. Dr. Steinberg received his Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Chicago in 2012. During the 2011-12 academic year, he was a lecturer in public policy at the City University of New York (CUNY)-Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs. 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 Consortium on Chicago 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, where he taught 5th grade in a low-income New York City community.


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

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

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

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

Research Interests and Current Projects

Professor Steinberg’s work explores questions of educational significance related to school reform and accountability, school climate and safety, and teacher evaluation and human capital, with a focus on urban school populations. His current work explores the impact of school reform in Philadelphia schools, including school closures, charter school expansion, school discipline policy and how Philadelphia public school principals employ new decision-making authority following the district’s decentralization of autonomy to the local school level. He also is examining the impact of a teacher evaluation policy in Chicago Public Schools on student achievement and teacher turnover. As a Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Early Career Grantee, he is examining 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 a variety of 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 Analysis, Education Finance and Policy and The Review of Higher Education, and has been presented at a variety of academic and professional conferences.

Selected Publications

Steinberg, M. & Sartain, L.. Does teacher evaluation improve school performance? Experimental evidence from Chicago’s Excellence in Teaching Project. Forthcoming in Education Finance and Policy

Steinberg, M. Does greater autonomy improve school performance? Evidence from a regression discontinuity analysis in Chicago. Forthcoming in Education Finance and Policy.

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.