Faculty

These are the faculty members who will teach the required, core courses that provide the foundation for the focus and rigor of the Urban Education Policy program.

Core Faculty from the Education Department


Kenneth Wong

Professor of Education Kenneth K. Wong holds the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Chair for Education Policy and serves as the Program Director for the Urban Education Policy (UEP) program. Professor Wong, one of the nation’s experts on the politics of public education, also teaches Urban Politics and School Governance, a core course in the UEP program.

John Tyler

John Tyler, Professor of Education, Economics, and Public Policy, is a labor economist who focuses on economics of education related topics. Professor Tyler, an experienced researcher with large data sets, teaches Economics of Education, a core course in the UEP program.

John Papay

Assistant Professor of Education John Papay uses an economic perspective to evaluate K-12 educational practices, including teacher evaluation programs, compensation, and professional growth. He’s interested in exploring how those policies, in turn, affect students. Professor Papay will teach course Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation for Education in the spring. 

Matthew Kraft

Assistant Professor of Education Matthew Kraft studies human capital policies in education with a focus on teacher effectiveness and organizational change in K-12 urban public schools. His research and teaching interests include the economics of education, education policy analysis, and applied quantitative methods for causal inference. Professor Kraft teaches Quantitative Research Methods and Data Analysis in the fall.

Core Faculty from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR)


Jaime Del Razo

Jaime L. Del Razo is a Principle Associate in the Research and Policy area of the Institute. His work at the institute includes (1) Indicators framework development and implementation that leverages time for school equity and social justice; (2) Research on the academic achievement of black and brown males; and (3) Research on the intersection of immigration and education. Jaime is also an adjunct assistant professor for the Department of Education at Brown University. His research interests include the education of undocumented students, demilitarization of schools, critical race theory, and education issues of access and equity especially in communities of poverty.  He co-teaches the course Introduction to Education Research: Design and Methods.

Joanna Geller

Senior Research Associate Joanna Geller is a member of AISR’s Research andPolicy team, and conducts applied research and evaluation regarding how students, families, community members, and teachers engage in improving public education. From 2013 to 2015, she led AISR's evaluation of We Are a Village, a U.S. Department of Education–funded grant that supported family engagement in early childhood in nearby Central Falls, RI. As a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University prior to joining AISR, Joanna provided research and technical support to various educational initiatives, including the Nashville Promise Neighborhood and the Tennessee Center for Safe and Supportive Schools. Her dissertation focused on how schools establish trust between parents and teachers. Before graduate school, she worked at Common Cents, a non-profit that operates a service-learning program in New York City public schools. She holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in community research and action from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education. She has several publications on a range of topics related to educational equity, including community engagement in place-based reform initiatives, youth civic engagement, and school/family/community partnerships.  She co-teaches the course on Structures and Systems in Urban Education.

Michael Grady

Michael Grady leads the Annenberg Institute for School Reform's day-to-day operations, facilitates AISR's leadership cabinet, and serves as liaison to the Brown University administration. Michael is also an assistant professor of practice in the Department of Education and faculty member in the Urban Education Policy program. With Jaime Del Razo, Michael teaches Introduction to Education Research: Design and Methods, is a member of the UEP Admissions Committee and leads a spring workshop on education grantmaking.  His current research interests include college and career readiness, school-university partnerships, and research design. Michael is a member of the steering committee of the Rhode Island Afterschool-Plus Alliance (United Way) and the Providence Education Research Collaborative (PERC) of the Providence Public Schools. Prior to Brown, Michael worked as a program officer at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore and, before that, as director of research and evaluation for the Prince George's County Public Schools (Maryland). For five years after college, Michael taught high school history in the U.S. and overseas. He holds EdM and EdD degrees in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University and a BA in political science and education from Washington University in St. Louis.

Warren Simmons

Warren Simmons is a Senior Fellow and the former Executive Director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, a position he held for 18 years.  Dr. Simmons earned his Ph.D. in psychology from Cornell University. He serves on the boards and advisory groups of numerous education-reform organizations, including the Family Health Initiative (FHI 360); the Broader Bolder Approach Advisory Board; the Blue Ribbon Committee of the New York State Board of Regents’ Workgroup to Improve Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color; and the Advisory Board of Education Resource Strategy’s School System 20/20 initiative. Dr. Simmons also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. He co-teaches the course on Structures and Systems in Urban Education.

Other Faculty Contributors to the UEP Program

In addition to the core faculty of the UEP program, other Brown University faculty members contribute to the program either through student advising, providing research and internship opportunities for UEP students, or as instructors of approved UEP elective courses. These additional faculty include but are not limited to the following:

  • Jin Li, Associate Professor of Education
  • Marion Orr, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy
  • Tracy Steffes Assistant Professor of Education and History