education policy, educator diversity, teacher effectiveness, teaching, professional development, economics of education, causal inference

David Blazar is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland College Park in the Education Policy program. He also is the Faculty Director of the Maryland Equity Project, an Affiliate at the School of Public Policy, and an Affiliate at the Maryland Population Research Center. Substantively, his research examines resources that best support student outcomes and alleviate inequality, with a particular focus on teacher and teaching quality. His current research projects focus largely on questions related to educator diversity, including: Why is it that educator diversity matters for students and for schools? What are the policies and programs that are effective at diversifying the educator workforce? How can school systems ensure that educators of color have successful experiences once they enter schools and classrooms? Methodologically, he primarily examines and employs research designs that aim to support causal conclusions. His research has been published in American Education Research Journal, Economics of Education Review, Educational Researcher, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Review of Educational Research, among other publications; as well as covered in national press outlets including The Atlantic, ChalkBeat, Education Week, The Hechinger Report, and U.S. News and World Report. Dr. Blazar received the Excellence in Scholarship (Pre-Tenure) award from the University of Maryland College of Education, and the Jean Flanigan Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Association for Education Finance and Policy. He received his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in quantitative policy analysis in education with a disciplinary focus in economics. He also holds an Ed.M. in policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in history and literature from Harvard College. Prior to graduate school, he taught high-school English Language Arts in New York City.

  • Outstanding Reviewer:
    • AERA Open (2019, 2020, 2021)
    • Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (2019)
    • Educational Researcher (2017, 2021)
  • Excellence in Scholarship, Pre-Tenure Faculty, College of Education, University of Maryland (2021)
  • Jean Flanigan Dissertation Award, Association for Education Finance and Policy (2017)
  • Emerging Education Policy Scholar, Thomas B. Fordham Institute (2015)

Working Papers

  • Blazar, D. Teaching, the multitask performance problem, and students’ human capital development over time.

  • Blazar, D. Teachers of color, culturally responsive teaching, and student outcomes: Experimental evidence from the random assignment of teachers to classes. Link

  • Blazar, D., Adnot, M., & Zhong, X. Incentives, task difficulty, and race: Differential responses to teacher evaluation.

  • Blazar, D., & Lagos, F. Professional staff diversity and student outcomes: Extending our understanding of race/ethnicity-matching effects in education. Link to presentation

  • Blazar, D., McNamara, D., & Blue, G. Instructional coaching personnel and program scalability. Link

  • Blazar, D., & Pollard, C. Challenges and tradeoffs of “good” teaching: The pursuit of multiple educational outcomes. Link

  • Blazar, D., & Schueler, B. Why do school districts matter? An interdisciplinary framework and empirical review. Link

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Blazar, D. & Archer, C. (2020). Teaching to support students with diverse academic needs. Educational Researcher, 49(5), 297-311. Link

  • Blazar, D., Heller, B., Kane, T. J., Polikoff, M., & Staiger, D. O, with Carrell, S., Goldhaber, D., Harris, D., Hitch, R., Holden, K. L., & Kurlaender, M. (2020). Curriculum reform and the Common Core: Evaluating elementary math textbooks across six U.S. states. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 39(4), 966-1019. Link

  • Blazar, D, & Archer, C. (2020). Teaching to support students with diverse academic needs. Educational Researcher, 49(5), 297-311. Link

  • Kane, T. J., Blazar, D., Gehlbach, H., Greenberg, M., Quinn, D., & Thal, D. (Online 2019). Substituting teacher-collected video for formal classroom observations: An experimental evaluation. Education Finance and Policy. Link

  • Blazar, D., & Kraft, M. A. (2019). Balancing rigor, replication, and relevance: A case for multiple-cohort, longitudinal experiments. AERA Open, 5(3). 1-18. Link

  • Blazar, D. (2018). Validating teacher effects on students’ attitudes and behaviors: Evidence from random assignment of teachers to students. Education Finance and Policy, 13(3), 281-309.
  • Blazar, D., Gilbert, B., Herlihy, C., Gogolen, C. (2018). Exploring the potential for video-based classroom observations. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology, 6(2), 122-135.
  • Kraft, M. A., Blazar, D., & Hogan, D. (2018). The effect of teacher coaching on instruction and achievement: A meta-analysis of the causal evidence. Review of Educational Research.

    **Most-read in Review of Educational Research, and second most-read in all AERA journals in 2018

  • Blazar, D. & Pollard, C. (2017). Does test preparation mean low-quality instruction? Educational Researcher, 46(8), 420-433.
  • Blazar, D., Braslow, D., Charalambous, C. Y., & Hill, H. C. (2017). Attending to general and mathematics-specific dimensions of teaching: Exploring factors across two observation instruments. Educational Assessment, 22(2), 71-94. 
  • Blazar, D. & Kraft, M. A. (2017). Teacher and teaching effects on students’ attitudes and behaviors. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 39(1), 146-170.
  • Kraft, M. A., & Blazar, D. (2017). Improving teachers’ practice across grades and subjects: Experimental evidence on individualized teacher coaching. Educational Policy, 31(7), 1033 - 1068.
  • Lynch, K., Chin, M., & Blazar, D. (2017). Relationship between observations of elementary teacher mathematics instruction and student achievement: Exploring variability across districts. American Journal of Education, 123(4), 615-646.
  • Blazar, D., Litke, E., & Barmore, J. (2016). What does it mean to be ranked a “high” or “low” value-added teacher? Observing differences in instructional quality across districts. American Educational Research Journal, 53(2), 324-359.
  • Blazar, D. (2015). Effective teaching in elementary mathematics: Identifying classroom practices that support student achievement. Economics of Education Review, 48, 16-29. 
  • Blazar, D. (2015). Grade assignments and the teacher pipeline: A low-cost lever to improve student achievement? Educational Researcher, 44(4), 213-227. 
  • Blazar, D., & Kraft, M. A. (2015). Exploring mechanisms of effective teacher coaching: A tale of two cohorts from a randomized experiment. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 37(4), 542-566.
  • Hill, H. C., Blazar, D., & Lynch, K. (2015). Resources for teaching: Examining personal and institutional predictors of high-quality instruction. AERA Open, 1(4), 1-23. Link
  • Hill, H. C., Charalambous, C. Y., Blazar, D., McGinn, D., Beisiegel, M., Humez, A., Kraft, M., Litke, E., & Lynch, K. (2012). Validating arguments for observational instruments: Attending to multiple sources of variation. Educational Assessment, 17(2-3), 88-106. 
  • Blazar, D. (2011). Using theatre to engage cultural identity: Implications for students and teachers. English Education, 43(3), 294-304.
  • Blazar, D. (2009). Self-discovery through character connections: Opening up to gayness in Angels in America. English Journal, 98(4), 77-84.

Other Articles

  • Kraft, M., & Blazar, D. (2018). Taking teacher coaching to scale: Can personalized training become standard practice? Education Next, 18(4)Link

  • Blazar, D. (2017). Should noncognitive measures be used for teacher accountability? Brookings Brown Center Chalkboard. Link
  • Blazar, D., & Kraft, M. A. (2016). Social and emotional skills in school: Pivoting from accountability to development. Albert Shanker Institute BlogLink

Funding from Federal Agencies and Foundations

  • Co-Principal Investigator (2022-2026). “Sustaining literacy practices over time: Codifying knowledge through micro-credentialing,” Institute of Education Sciences #R305A210031 with Principal Investigator Suzanne Donovan.

  • Principal Investigator (2021-24). “Examining recruitment programs and pathways to diversify the teacher workforce,” Institute of Education Sciences #R305A210031 with Co-Principal Investigators Ramon Goings and Seth Gershenson.

  • Co-Principal Investigator (2021-23). “Education and experience: Do teacher qualifications in career-focused STEM courses make a difference?”, National Science Foundation #2101163 with Principal Investigator Michael Gottfried and Co-Principal Investigator Jay Plasman.

  • External Evaluator (2021-23). “UMB CURE Connections: an integral link in a Baltimore minority STEM education pipeline,” National Institutes of Health #5R25GM129875-03 with Principal Investigator Elizabeth Parker.

  • Principal Investigator (2019-24). “Disparities in investments in children and youth in the United States,” Spencer Foundation with Co-Principal Investigators Michel Boudreaux, Claudia Galindo, Steven Klees, Jennifer Rice, and Marvin Titus.
  • Principal Investigator (2019-21). "Long-term effect of teachers on students’ academic and non-academic skill formation: Evidence from longitudinal education and workforce data in Maryland,” American Educational Research Association.
  • Co-Principal Investigator (2019-21). “SERP-DCPS partnership to promote early literacy success,” Institute of Education Sciences with Principal Investigator Suzanne Donovan.
  • Co-Principal Investigator (2018-20). "Maryland Longitudinal Data Systems Center: Research branch,” State of Maryland, with Principal Investigator Tracy Sweet and Co-Principal Investigator Nolan Pope.
  • Co-Principal Investigator (2016-18). "Never Judge a Book by its Cover,” Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation #2016-5038, with Principal Investigator Thomas Kane and Co-Principal investigator Morgan Polikoff.
  • Principal Investigator (2016-18). "Validating Teacher Effects on Non-Tested Outcomes,” Smith Richardson Foundation #2015-1018.

Internal University Grants

  • Principal Investigator (2020). “The relationship between racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity and long-term economic opportunity,” University of Maryland, Faculty-Student Research Award program.
  • Principal Investigator (2019-21). “Research Development Grant: Expanding the Capacity of Statewide STEM Workforce Development Data,” University of Maryland, Office of the Vice President for Research.
  • Principal Investigator (2018). “Do Coaches Differ in their Effectiveness? Opportunities and Challenges for Scaling up Teacher Coaching Programs,” University of Maryland Support Program for Advancing Research and Collaboration.
  • TLPL 670: Economics of Education
  • TLPL 766: Impact Evaluation for Education and Public Policy
  • TLPL 788D: Data Management for Social Science Research
  • TLPL 788I: Research Apprenticeship in the Maryland Longitudinal Data System
  • TLPL 788Z: Education Policy Research, Writing, and Presentation Seminar