Jason A. Grissom

Vanderbilt University
Leadership, Policy, and Organizations

PMB 414
230 Appleton Place
Nashville, TN
jason.grissom@vanderbilt.edu |  Visit Personal Website

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My current research focuses on education policy and management, with an emphasis on the intersection of the two. My interests center on understanding the specific ways in which decision-makers at the district and school levels affect outcomes at multiple levels of the schooling organization, using large-scale administrative and survey data sets.

Grissom, Jason A., Samantha Viano, and Jennifer L. Selin. 2016. “Understanding Employee Turnover in the Public Sector: Insights from Research on Teacher Mobility.” Public Administration Review 76(2): 241-251.
Abstract: Employee turnover is a key area for public administration research, but it is one about which there is much still to be learned. We suggest that insights from an extensive body of research on employee turnover in a specific area of the public sector—public education—can contribute to our understanding of employee mobility in public organizations more generally. We argue for a conceptual framework for understanding employee turnover grounded in economic theories of labor supply and demand, which have formed the foundation of many studies of teacher turnover. We then document the main findings of this body of work, pointing out connections to the literature on public employee turnover, lessons that can be drawn, and potential new areas for empirical inquiry for scholars of turnover in the public sector.
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/puar.12435/full
Grissom, Jason A., and Susanna Loeb. n.d. “Assessing Principals’ Assessments: Subjective Evaluations of Teacher Effectiveness in Low- and High Stakes-Environments.” In press, Education Finance and Policy.
Abstract: Teacher effectiveness varies substantially, yet principals’ evaluations of teachers often fail to differentiate performance among teachers. We offer new evidence on principals’ subjective evaluations of their teachers’ effectiveness using two sources of data from a large, urban district: principals’ high-stakes personnel evaluations of teachers, and their low-stakes assessments of a subsample of those teachers provided to the researchers. We find that principals’ evaluations of teachers are quite positive whether the stakes are high or low, but the low-stakes evaluations show substantially more use of lower rating categories, and many teachers rated ineffective on the low-stakes assessment receive “effective” or “highly effective” high-stakes ratings. Teacher characteristics, such as experience, partially explain the discrepancy between the two scores. Also, despite the fact that principals overwhelmingly assign teachers to the two highest rating categories on the high-stakes evaluation, their high- and low-stakes ratings show similar correlations with teacher value-added measures.
Grissom, Jason A. and Christopher Redding. 2016. “Discretion and Disproportionality: Explaining the Underrepresentation of High-Achieving Students of Color in Gifted Programs.” AERA Open 2(1): 1-25.
Abstract: Students of color are underrepresented in gifted programs relative to White students, but the reasons for this underrepresentation are poorly understood. We investigate the predictors of gifted assignment using nationally representative, longitudinal data on elementary students. We document that even among students with high standardized test scores, Black students are less likely to be assigned to gifted services in both math and reading, a pattern that persists when controlling for other background factors, such as health and socioeconomic status, and characteristics of classrooms and schools. We then investigate the role of teacher discretion, leveraging research from political science suggesting that clients of government services from traditionally underrepresented groups benefit from diversity in the providers of those services, including teachers. Even after conditioning on test scores and other factors, Black students indeed are referred to gifted programs, particularly in reading, at significantly lower rates when taught by non-Black teachers, a concerning result given the relatively low incidence of assignment to own-race teachers among Black students.
URL: http://ero.sagepub.com/content/2/1/2332858415622175

Substantive Focus:
Education Policy PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Analysis and Evaluation PRIMARY