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Faculty & Research

Jon Fullerton

Lecturer on Education
Executive Director, Center for Education Policy Research

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Degree:  Ph.D., Harvard University
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Phone:  617.496.0636
Office:  50 Church Street 4th Floor
Faculty Assistant:  Sheila Griffin

Profile

Jon Fullerton is the executive director of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University. Fullerton has extensive experience working with policymakers and executives in designing and implementing organizational change and improvements. Before coming to Harvard, Fullerton served as the Board of Education's Director of Budget and Financial Policy for the Los Angeles Unified School District. In this capacity, he provided independent evaluations of district reforms and helped to ensure that the district's budget was aligned with board priorities. From 2002 to 2005 he was Vice-President of Strategy, Evaluation, Research, and Policy at the Urban Education Partnership in Los Angeles, where he worked with policymakers to ensure that they focused on high impact educational strategies. Fullerton also worked for six years at McKinsey & Company as a strategy consultant and Senior Practice Expert in Education. He has a Ph.D. in government and an AB in social studies, both from Harvard.

Click here to see a full list of Jon Fullerton's courses.

Sponsored Projects

SDP Phase III (2015-2017)
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Our plan remains committed to the three core strategies that define our current services. They are: 1. Strengthen Analytic Capacity: Place and support data strategists in partner organizations who will influence policy at the local, state, and national levels (Fellowship Program, Institute for Leadership in Analytics) 2. Uncover New Insights through Applied Research: Create policy- and management-relevant analyses for districts and states (Diagnostic & Custom Research) 3. Supporting Network Growth and Improved Decision-Making: Transform the way data is used in the education sector through broad dissemination of analytic tools, methods, and best practices. (Technical Guides, Practitioner Handbooks, Case Studies)

General Operating Support (2015-2017)
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Strategic Data Project (SDP)’s mission is to transform the use of data in education to improve student achievement. Part of the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard University, SDP partners with school districts, charter school networks, state education agencies, and nonprofit organizations to bring high-quality research methods and data analysis to bear on strategic management and policy decisions. This new investment gives CEPR the needed support to expand an already successful model. The investment funds support a scope of work to drive both expansion and cohesion in SDP’s operations. Each of SDP’s three core operating strategies benefit from additional operating financial support, bolstering the overall model through place-based and “R&D” investments to address key opportunities and challenges over the coming three years. The priority investment areas, addressed in more detail below, are intended to be complementary in nature, each driving toward a cohesive overall service that augments SDP’s overall effect on the US education sector. 1. Strengthen Analytic Capacity: Place and support data strategists in partner organizations who influence policy at the local, state, and national levels (Fellowship Program, Institute for Leadership in Analytics) 2. Uncover New Insights through Applied Research: Create policy- and management-relevant analyses for districts and states (Diagnostic & Custom Research) 3. Supporting Network Growth and Improved Decision-Making: Transform the way data is used in the education sector through broad dissemination of analytic tools, methods, and best practices. (Technical Guides, Practitioner Handbooks, Case Studies)

Putting a Message in a Bottle For the Summer of 2015 (2014-2015)
Bloomberg Philanthropies

During the summer of 2015, parents and teachers around the country will be receiving bad news. Millions of children, previously believed to be proficient in math and English, will fail to meet the new Common Core standards. Recriminations will be directed at state departments of education for not providing sufficient curriculum materials, at district leaders for not preparing students and teachers adequately, at testing contractors for logistical snafus and at federal bureaucrats for interfering with state standard-setting. Here’s a plan to put a hopeful message in a bottle for the summer of 2015: America Achieves and the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) would work with the America Achieves to design a teacher survey asking about the Common Core implementation identified treatments and other strategies (e.g., instructional coaching using digital video captured by coached teachers, a specific textbook or curriculum, supplemental programs for students, etc.) their school is using, and a principal survey asking about similar topics. Student-level analysis file with the teacher survey responses regarding the implementation strategies. Along with the “Message in a Bottle” project proposed above, CEPR can provide support and coaching to state fellows on the organizational capacity and data infrastructure needed to allow evidence to drive policy and support districts and schools.

Best Foot Forward Project (2013-2016)
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Findings from the Measures of Effective Teaching project have shown that classroom observations are valid predictors of teacher effectiveness. However, implementing classroom observations with rigor and at scale is challenging for even the most resourceful schools and district leaders. The Best Foot Forward Project aims to learn whether school districts could use video technology to make the observation process easier to implement, less costly, more acceptable to teachers, and more valid and reliable. The Best Foot Forward project measures the impact of using digital video for classroom observations and for promoting teacher growth. In the 2013-2014 school year, with 200 teachers (in 50 schools) in the treatment group and an equal number in a control group participating, we examine whether digital video technology can improve teaching practice and student outcomes in treatment classrooms; whether it is preferred by both teachers and principals to in-person observations; and whether it presents a cost-effective, scalable alternative to in-person observations.

Measuring Access to Rigorous Work Worth Doing (2013-2015)
The College Board

The Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) is working with the College Board to measure students’ access to “rigorous work worth doing." In high school, that means that the students with general preparation in mathematics and literacy are taking rigorous coursework, such as advanced science or mathematics required by colleges, AP courses or IB programs. In senior year of high school, that means that qualified students are applying to college. In the transition from high school to college, that means that students are enrolling in colleges which are at least at their level of academic preparation (or higher). Key areas of investigation include: 1. Working with the College Board to develop a measurement strategy (that is, identifying specific ways to measure students' exposure to “rigorous work worth doing” and describing ways in which the data could be acquired and assembled)and 2. Working with the College Board to pilot-test interventions which increase student exposure to rigorous work. The focus is particularly on improving outcomes for the most disadvantaged students in the US.

Project SCOPE: Summer College Outreach for improving Postsecondary Enrollment (2012-2013)
Heckscher Foundation for Children

The Strategic Data Project (2012-2014)
City of Springfield

The Strategic Data Project (2012-2015)
Colorado Legacy Foundation

The Strategic Data Project (2012-2013)
Baltimore County Public Schools

The Center for Education Policy Research agrees to support two Fellows (one Data Fellow and one Agency Fellows) from the Board of Education Baltimore County. (Board) in the Strategic Data Project Fellowship (SDPF). As currently designed and as anticipated by this Agreement, the SDPF is a two-year Fellowship, and the professional development and support services CEPR will provide Fellows spans from January 2012 through December 2013. The Board's Fellows will join a cohort of other Fellows from states, school systems, districts, and charter management organizations across the nation. Harvard agrees that the number of Fellows in this cohort will not exceed 40 and that it will provide to the Board's fellows support and technical expertise as described below. The SDP Fellowship The SDP Fellowship is a two-year, full-time program that places and develops talented analytic leaders in school districts, charter management organizations, and state education agencies where they can have an immediate impact on policy decisions that affect student outcomes. Fellows are highly skilled quantitative analysts with an entrepreneurial passion for using data to drive decision making. The program is comprised of two kinds of fellows-Data Fellows and Agency Fellows. Harvard agrees that Data Fellows will be recruited by SDP via a nationwide search and matched to an SDP partner agency where they serve as full-time, paid, school system employees, subject to appropriate Board approval and a successful sex offender background check required of all Board employees. (Board approval and background check will be performed by the Board, completed in a reasonable time frame and any costs associated with this review will be borne by the Fellow). Fellows report to senior managers, ensuring access to key decision makers and strategic planning work. The Board of Education will have no obligation to retain in any employment capacity a Data Fellow following the completion of the fellowship term specified in this Agreement, nor shall the Board have any obligation to continue in employment any Data Fellow following a termination for convenience or for non-appropriation of funds. Agency Fellows are current partner agency employees who are competitively selected by SDP and their agency to participate in the Fellows Program for the same two-year period. Collectively, each group of partners and their corresponding Fellows are referred to as "cohorts". The BCPS Fellows will join SDP's Cohort 3.

The Strategic Data Project (2012-2013)
Fulton County School System

The Center for Education Policy Research will support one Fellow from Fulton County Schools (FCS) in the Strategic Data Project Fellowship. It is a two-year Fellowship, and the professional development and support services CEPR will provide the Fellow spans from January 2012 through December 2013. The FCS Fellow will join a cohort of other Fellows from states, districts, and charter management organizations across the nation. The number of Fellows in this coh011will not exceed 40. T

The Strategic Data Project (2011-2013)
Elizabeth Public Schools of New Jersey

Proposal to the Rodel Charitable Foundation of Delaware (2011-2013)
Rodel Foundation of Delaware

The Strategic Data Project (SDP), housed at the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University, partners with school districts, school networks, and state agencies to bring high-quality research methods and data analysis to bear on strategic management and policy decisions. The proposal detailed below creates the opportunity for such a partnership with the state of Delaware by working with the Delaware Department of Education and the Rodel Foundation. We initiate this partnership with Delaware – our first partnership with a state – with the belief that increasing analytic capacity at the state level can improve the quality of information and analytics states use and provide for districts, having much broader impact than working on a district-by-district basis. There is a desire among many education leaders for state departments of education to shift from being almost solely focused on compliance matters to supporting districts in understanding and shaping performance more actively. We believe the work of the Strategic Data Project is integral to this shift. The Strategic Data Project will deliver the following to the Delaware Department of Education: 1. Complete diagnostic analyses about teacher effectiveness across the state and a high school-by-high school analysis of college-going success. A three-person research team from the Center for Education Policy Research will conduct the analyses, in partnership with the Delaware SDP Fellows and other key staff at the DDOE, using a standard approach and methodology developed over the last two years and implemented in five districts thus far. We will execute these analyses in every SDP partner agency, providing a rich body of findings for agency leaders to use for benchmarking and identifying best practices. 2. Selection and placement of one Data Fellow. SDP will present up to four candidates to the Department that we have vetted from a national pool. We will work with DDOE, Rodel, and Longwood stakeholders to ensure a Fellow who is well-regarded and well-matched for the position is placed 3. Two years of extensive professional development for three Fellows. DDOE will hire one Data Fellow and will identify an Agency Fellow; SDP will help place the second Data Fellow. SDP will provide this team of three Fellows extensive professional development over the course of the two-year Fellowship.

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