Dr. Supovitz conducts research on how education organizations use different forms of evidence to inquire about the quality and effect of their systems to support the improvement of teaching and learning in schools. Dr. Supovitz also leads the evidence-based leadership strand of Penn’s mid-career leadership program and teaches courses on how current and future leaders can develop an inquiry frame of thinking about continuous improvement and the skills necessary to compile, analyze, and act upon various forms of evidence.
While studying policy analysis at Duke University, Dr. Supovitz first focused on education leadership and policy. Before earning his doctorate at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, he gained middle and high school teaching experience in Queretaro, Mexico, and Boston, Massachusetts. His dissertation at Harvard focused on the classroom and accountability uses of portfolio assessment in an urban school district. Upon completing his degree, Dr. Supovitz worked as a research associate at Horizon Research in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he directed the evaluation of the New Jersey Statewide Systemic Initiative and evaluated the effectiveness of electronic “netcourses” for teacher enhancement. He joined the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) in 1997 as a senior researcher and the faculty at Penn GSE in 2005.
Dr. Supovitz is an accomplished mixed-method researcher and evaluator, employing both quantitative and qualitative techniques. He has published findings from a number of educational studies, including multiple studies of programmatic effectiveness; examinations of the relationship between teacher professional development, teaching practice, and student achievement; studies of educational leadership; research on efforts to develop communities of instructional practice in schools; an examination of the equitability of different forms of student assessment; and the use of technology for evaluative data collection. His current work focuses on how districts develop a coherent vision of instructional improvement and devise systems to support instructional focus in schools, and how organizations build a culture of inquiry that supports sustained organizational learning and improvement.