Bruce D.

Profile: Bruce D. Baker


My primary areas of research are education finance and the economics of education, including studies of teacher and administrator labor markets and preparation pipelines, as well as recent work on evolving legal issues in teacher and principal evaluation systems. I have written extensively on issues concern educational equity and adequacy and have testified as an expert witness on issues surrounding school funding equity in state and federal courts in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and currently engaged in Connecticut and New York. My current interest in research is in making research accessible to policy makers.

I teach courses in data analysis at the doctoral level, in school finance at the masters and doctoral level and education law at the masters level. I believe in engaging students through project based group work, actively analyzing and presenting data and writing policy briefs, as well as engaging in mock trials & case presentations in the school law course. 

I maintain two blogs - my primary personal blog and a collaborative blog of New Jersey Education Policy Scholars at I was recently ranked among the most influential scholars nationally in education policy by Education Next. (

Professional Affiliations:

American Education Finance Association
American Educational Research Association


Ed.D. Teachers College, Columbia University 1997
M.A. University of Connecticut, 1989
A.B. Lafayette College, 1987

Expertise & Research Interest

Education Administration and Supervision (K-20)
Educational Policy
Race & Equity Education
Teacher Quality
Economics of Education
School Finance

Research Work With Students

Current research initiatives include ongoing development of indicators for evaluation state school finance systems, which can be found at, and in related work in collaboration with Educational Testing Service, advancing public understanding the role and measurement of poverty in educational research and policy. The national report on school funding fairness recently won the American Educational Research Association Division L (policy) award for Outstanding Policy Report. I am also a fellow of the National Education Policy Center, for which I have produced several sponsored policy reports ( I am also currently engaged in research for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Education at a Glance indicators series, working on developing refined indicators for understanding school funding systems in OECD countries.  

Recent & Selected Publications

Journal Publications 2011-2013

Baker, B.D., Taylor, L., Chambers, J., Levin, J., Blankenship, C. (in press) Adjusted Poverty Measures and the Distribution of Title I Aid: Does Title I Really Make the Rich States Richer? Education Finance and Policy

Baker, B.D., Green, P.C., Oluwole, J. The legal consequences of mandating high stakes decisions based on low quality information: Teacher Evaluation in the Race-to-the-Top Era. Education Policy Analysis Archives

Baker, B.D., Welner, K.G. (2012) Evidence and Rigor: Scrutinizing the Rhetorical Embrace of Evidence-based Decision-making. Educational Researcher 41 (3) 98-101
Green, P.C., Baker, B.D., Oluwole, J. (2012) Legal implications of dismissing teachers on the basis of value-added measures based on student test scores. BYU Education and Law Journal 2012 (1)

Baker, B.D. (2012) Re-arranging deck chairs in Dallas: Contextual constraints on within district resource allocation in large urban Texas school districts. Journal of Education Finance 37 (3) 287-315

Baker, B.D. (2011) Exploring the Sensitivity of Education Costs to Racial Composition of Missouri School Districts. Peabody Journal of Education (special issue)

Baker, B.D., Welner, K. (2011) School Finance and Courts: Does Reform Matter, and How Can We Tell? Teachers College Record 113 (11) p. –

Fuller, E., Young, M.D., Baker, B.D. (2011) Do Principal Preparation Programs Influence Student Achievement through the Building of Teacher Team Qualifications by the Principal? An Exploratory Analysis. Educational Administration Quarterly 46 (5)

Major Policy Reports 2011-2013

Coley, R., Baker, B.D., (2013) Poverty and Education: Finding the Way Forward. Educational Testing Service

Baker, B.D., Corcoran, S.P.(2012) The Stealth Inequalities of School Funding: How Local Tax Systems and State Aid Formulas Undermine Equality. Washington, DC. Center for American Progress.

Baker, B.D., Sciarra, D., Farrie, D. (2012) Is School Funding Fair? Second Edition, June 2012.

Baker, B.D., Libby, K., & Wiley, K. (2012). Spending by the Major Charter Management Organizations: Comparing charter school and local public district financial resources in New York, Ohio, and Texas. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date] from

Clifford, M., Condon, C., Greenberg, A., Williams, R., Gerdeman, R.D., Fetters, J., and Baker, B. (2012). A descriptive analysis of the principal workforce in Wisconsin (Issues & Answers Report, REL 2012–No. 135). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest. Retrieved from

Baker, B.D. (2012) Revisiting the Age Old Question: Does Money Matter in Education. Shanker Institute. Baker, B.D.,

Welner, K.G. (2011) Productivity Research, the U.S. Department of Education, and High-Quality Evidence. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date] from

Baker, B.D. & Ferris, R. (2011). Adding Up the Spending: Fiscal Disparities and Philanthropy among New York City Charter Schools. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date] from