Julia H. Kaufman

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Senior Policy Researcher
Pittsburgh Office


B.A. in English literature, University of Pittsburgh; M.A. in teaching, University of Pittsburgh; Ph.D. in international education, New York University

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Julia Kaufman is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on how states and school systems can support high-quality instruction and student learning, as well as methods for measuring educator perceptions and instruction. She is currently leading or co-leading several projects focused on curriculum and instruction, including the American Instructional Resources Survey (AIRS) study and a study of how coherent instructional systems are connected to English language arts achievement among Latinx, Black and low-income students. She previously led investigations of how Louisiana state policies are implemented and connected to educational improvement; how the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are understood and implemented in schools; and the costs associated with strong school principal pipelines. Kaufman has also served as a researcher for projects intended to support school administrators and teachers to learn from data and continuously improve, and she has led projects to develop innovative measures of instructional practice in areas of mathematics instruction and student-centered learning. Prior to coming to RAND, Kaufman's research focused on the main factors that support teachers' use of inquiry-based mathematics curricula and the extent to which survey measures can accurately capture teachers' instruction. She holds a Ph.D. in international education from New York University and an M.A. in teaching from the University of Pittsburgh.

Recent Projects

  • Evaluating new and improved pipelines for preparing, selecting and hiring first-year teachers
  • Developing measures of student-centered learning in classrooms and schools
  • An investigation of Louisiana Department of Education strategies and outcomes
  • The American Instructional Resources Survey (AIRS)
  • Characteristics of coherent instructional systems and their relationship to outcomes for Black, Latinx, low-income and English-learner designated students

Selected Publications

Coburn, CE; Russell, JL; Kaufman, JH & Stein, MK, "How teacher social capital shapes the implementation of innovative standards-based mathematics curricula," American Journal of Education, 119(1), 2012

Stein, MK & Kaufman, JH, "Selecting and supporting the use of mathematics curricula at scale," American Educational Research Journal, 47(3), 2010

Kaufman, JH & Stein, MK, "Teacher learning in a shifting policy environment for instruction," Educational Policy, 24(4), 2010

Kaufman, JH, "The interplay between social and cultural determinants of school effort and success," Social Science Quarterly, 85(5), 2004

Kaufman, J.H., Stein, M.K. & Junker, B.J., "Factors associated with alignment between teacher survey reports and classroom observation ratings of mathematics instruction," Elementary School Journal (forthcoming)

Ryan, S., Kaufman, J.H., Greenhouse, J.B., She, R. and Shi, J., "The effectiveness of blended online learning courses at the community college level," Community College Journal of Research and Practice (forthcoming)

Kaufman, J.H., Engberg, J., Hamilton, L., Yuan, K. and Hill, H., "Validity evidence supporting use of anchoring vignettes to measure teaching practice," Educational Assessment, 2019

Honors & Awards

  • 2018 RAND Bronze Medal Award
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award, New York University