Matthew M. Chingos

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    Author Bio:
    Matthew M. Chingos is a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, where he studies a wide range of education-related topics at both the K–12 and postsecondary levels. Chingos’s areas of expertise include class-size reduction, standardized testing, teacher quality, student loan debt, and college graduation rates. Prior to joining Urban, Chingos was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Chingos’s first book, Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities, coauthored with William Bowen and Michael McPherson, was published by Princeton University Press in 2009. His work has also been published in academic journals including the Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Education Finance and Policy, and has received support from the United States government and several philanthropic foundations. Chingos’s current research examines time to degree, the potential of information to change the market for higher education, and the effects of state policy on student achievement. He received a B.A. in Government and Economics and a Ph.D. in Government, both from Harvard University.



Lessons on how from four pioneering districts

WINTER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 1

The Impact of School Vouchers on College Enrollment

African Americans benefited the most

SUMMER 2013 / VOL. 13, NO. 3

Online Learning in Higher Education

Study finds that students enrolled in a large “hybrid” course learned as much as students in a traditional course, at substantial cost savings

Spring 2013 / Vol. 13, No. 2

Questioning the Quality of Virtual Schools

NEPC report uses flawed measures

SPRING 2013 / VOL. 13, NO. 2

Grading Schools

Can citizens tell a good school when they see one?

Fall 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 4

For-Profit and Nonprofit Management in Philadelphia Schools

What kind of management does better than the district-run schools?

Spring 2009 / Vol. 9, No. 2

Blog Posts/Multimedia

How Do States Really Stack Up on the 2015 NAEP?

The declines in NAEP scores from 2013 to 2015 are unlikely to be explained by shifts in student demographics.


Evaluating the DC School Voucher Program

More high-quality evidence on the nation’s most prominent voucher program has the potential to inform education policymaking in the capital and across the country


Who Opts Out of State Tests?

District-level data from New York suggest that relatively affluent districts tend to have higher opt-out rates, and that districts with lower test scores have higher opt-out rates after taking socioeconomic status into account


Opt-Out Movement Likely Inconsequential for Teacher Evaluations

In the majority of classrooms, where opt-out appears likely to remain at low levels, the data strongly suggest that students sitting out of standardized testing will have only a trivial impact on the ratings received by their teachers.


Why Annual Statewide Testing Is Critical to Judging School Quality

Accountability based on grade-span testing judges schools based on the students they serve, not how well they serve them.


Testing Costs a Drop in the Bucket

The cost of standardized tests, long assailed by testing critics as too high, has resurfaced in the debate over reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act currently underway in Congress.


School Vouchers Help Low-Income Minority Students Earn a College Degree

For the first time, we are able to show that vouchers may have a long-term positive impact on college graduation rates.


Big Data Wins the War on Christmas

A social scientist analyzes whether Christmas affects test scores


Mixed Results for Arizona’s Charter Schools

Charter schools vary more in their impact on student performance on state tests than traditional public schools; there are more charters with very large positive or very large negative test-score impacts than there are traditional public schools with such extreme outcomes.


Ending Teacher Tenure Would Have Little Impact on its Own

Data from North Carolina suggest that principals are not using the four-year period before teachers qualify for tenure to identify and remove their lowest performers.


Classroom Observations Offer Biggest Room for Improvement in Teacher Evaluations

Addressing the design flaws we have identified in teacher evaluation systems will bring districts closer to achieving the primary goal of meaningful teacher evaluation: assuring greater equity in students’ access to good teachers.


Who Profits from the Master’s Degree Pay Bump for Teachers?

The fact that teachers with master’s degrees are no more effective in the classroom, on average, than their colleagues without advanced degrees is one of the most consistent findings in education research.


Do Public Pensions Provide Equal Pay for Equal Work?

Women are more likely to spend time out of the workforce than men, and defined-benefit pension plans tend to punish teachers who fail to meet specific targets, such as 30 years of service.


Ending Summer Vacation is Long Overdue—Here’s How to Pay for It

There’s clearly a slam-dunk case for eliminating—or at least dramatically shortening—summer vacation, which fits into a broader push to lengthen the school year beyond the 180 days that is typical in the U.S.


The Need for Good Research on Pension Reform

Rhode Island is among the few states that have enacted sweeping pension reforms. Accurate information about the effects of those changes is vital both locally and to other states deciding which changes to make to their own retirement systems.


Does Expanding School Choice Increase Segregation?

The findings reported here indicate that it is unlikely that charter schools—a prominent effort to increase school choice, especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds—are making the problem worse.


U.S. Institute of Education Sciences Weighs In on Voucher Impacts on College Enrollment

The What Works Clearinghouse declared the voucher study to be “a well-implemented randomized controlled trial.”


Accepting Class Size Increases in Order to Sustain Wiser Investments

Are smaller classes worth the cost, relative to the alternative of a salary increase?


Critique of Study of Voucher Impact on College Enrollment Misguided

Several of the issues raised by Goldrick-Rab have no merit and none undermine the primary conclusion of our study.


Choosing Blindly

How can we tolerate ignorance on something that is as critical to student learning as instructional materials?


Reviewing the Evidence on Class Size

There is little doubt that reducing class size can boost student achievement in some circumstances. What is much less certain is how much of a difference class-size policies can make, and whether the impacts are large enough to justify the costs of hiring additional teachers and building new classrooms.

Sponsored Results

The Hoover Institution at Stanford University - Ideas Defining a Free Society

Harvard Kennedy School Program on Educational Policy and Governance

Thomas Fordham Institute - Advancing Educational Excellence and Education Reform