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Ron Zimmer, Profile
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Dr. Ron Zimmer is a Professor and Director of the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky. Prior to coming to the University of Kentucky, Dr. Zimmer was a faculty member at Vanderbilt University and spent a number of years at the RAND Corporation. Dr. Zimmer has been coeditor or associate editor for Journal Policy Analysis & Management, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Economics of Education Review. He is currently a board member of all three journals. Dr. Zimmer's research focuses on school choice and school finance which has led to a number of scholarly articles, book chapters, and monographs. Much of this research has been funded by an array of foundations, state governments, and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The findings from some of this research have been highlighted in major media outlets including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Education Week, ABC News, U.S. News and World Report, and CNN. Currently, Dr. Zimmer is co-leading two studies funded by the Walton Family Foundation and Tennessee Score to evaluate Kentucky’s Workforce-Aligned Scholarship Program and the relative performance of Tennessee's Charter School during and after the pandemic. 

Media Mentions

Texas has taken over the Houston school district. Educational outcomes have not always improved in other states that have done so.

NBC News

Texas officials will take over the state’s biggest school district, raising questions about who controls America’s classrooms


School Stats: Do charter schools in Washington actually serve students with disabilities?

Seattle Times

Austin school district enrollment tumbles by 1,600 students, as adjacent districts grow

Austin American-Statesman

Past school takeovers yield mixed results


How Tennessee districts are honing in on strategies to address struggling schools

The Tennessean

Deal’s school-takeover bid fails basic logic test

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

As charters grow, public schools see sharp enrollment drop

Boston Globe

Charter School Graduates More Likely to Stay in College, Earn Higher Salaries

Education Week

Study: Florida's Charter School Grads Earn More

U.S. News and World Report

Broward could make history with ‘charter conversion’

Miami Herald

New Study: Data Say Charters Aren't 'Pushing Out' Students

Education Week

California Charter Schools Rated as Equal to Public Ones in Study

New York Times

School Vouchers Aren't Working, But Choice Is

New York Times

Charter Schools Keep Pace, Study Says

Los Angeles Times

The Conflicting Charter-School Numbers

Wall Street Journal

KIPP students show major improvement, study finds

Philadelphia Inquirer

KIPP Schools Boost Academic Performance, Study Finds

Education Week

Taking a Deeper Look at Charters' Discipline Policies

Education Week

The Source: Education in America

Texas Public Radio

D.C.'s Education in School Reform

Politico Magazine

Fulton Recognizes Parent Demand for Choice and Plans to Offer More. Good Idea?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Another Voucher Bill – for Students with Special Needs – Advancing in Legislature


Working Papers

General Equilibrium Effects of Recruiting High-Performing Teachers for School Turnaround: Evidence from Tennessee

Push or Pull: School-Level Factors That Influence Teacher Mobility in Turnaround Schools

Evaluating the Gifted Program of an Urban School District using a Modified Regression Discontinuity Design

Charter Schools: A Survey of Research on Their Characteristics and Effectiveness

Estimation of Causal Effects in Experiments with Multiple Sources of Noncompliance

How Does Grade Configuration Impact Student Achievement? Evaluating the Effectiveness of K-8 Schools.

Charter High Schools’ Effects on Long-Term Attainment and Earnings (Issue Brief) (Working Paper)

Can broad inferences be drawn from lottery analyses of school choice programs? An exploration of appropriate sensitivity analyses

Choice in a World of New School Types

Is There Empirical Evidence Consistent with the Claim that Charter Schools "Push Out" Low-Performing Students?

Charter School Authorizers and Student Achievement