At this moment, my research is in an exploratory and somewhat opportunistic phase, in part because I managed to "clear the plate" during my time at UC Merced, when I had zero time for my own schorlarship. Upon returning to active scholarship, I collaborated with a team of researchers organized by EdSource to analyze a dataset of California elementary school characteristics and their correlation to English Learner student achievement scores. I also am collaborating with a team of researchers organized by the Strategic Research Education Partnership (SERP) who are working with leaders in the San Francisco Unified School District to help address science, math and literacy in the middle schools. For one year beginning in March, 2008, I will be on sabbatical leave from Stanford, and spending a good part of my time at SFUSD working on supporting the language issues related to the SERP project, thanks to a fellowship grant from the Council of Great City Schools.
I would characterize my own research style as a "grazer". A less generous term for this would be a dilettante. I envy those researchers who can keep digging away at a well-defined set of problems or can place a bet on a particular theory and build on it over a long period of time. While I envy more specialized scholars, I am a happily opportunistic soul. I am an empiricist, mostly using methods from experimental psychology or more generally the quantitative social sciences. Over the course of my career, I have chosen to look increasingly for problems that have the potential to influence education policy. If there are low-hanging fruit, I'm ready!
Over the course of my career, I have looked at:
On most days of my life, I wake up amazed that I get paid to do what I do.