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Jennifer Steele

Associate Professor

Professional headshot of AU MEd Faculty Jennifer Steele


Dr. Jennifer L. Steele is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at American University, and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Public Administration and Policy. Her research, which emphasizes quantitative methods that support causal inference, focuses on urban education policy at the K-12 and postsecondary levels. She recently led a five-year federally-funded evaluation of an urban school leader preparation program, and she currently co-leads a study funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to examine achievement effects of a statewide scale-up of dual-language immersion education in Utah. The latter work builds on a randomized study of dual-language immersion benefits and costs that she led in Portland, Oregon, also with IES funding. Her other work, which has been funded by entities such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the American Council on Education, and the Lumina Foundation, has examined the distribution of teacher effectiveness in urban districts; teachers’ responsiveness to financial incentives for working in low-performing schools; implementation of the Post-9/11 GI Bill; and effects of competency-based education in five states. She previously worked as a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, as a teacher at the elementary and secondary levels, and as a manager of teacher recruitment and training for a private education company. She received her doctorate in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University.