Kathryn McDermott

University of Massachusetts School of Public Policy (SPP) faculty Kathryn McDermott
Education/School of Public Policy


N130 Furcolo Hall


(413) 545-3562

Kathryn McDermott conducts research on how federal, state, and local education policy affects educational equity. In 2015, she co-edited a special issue of the Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, on the fifty-year history of how the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act has changed U.S. public education. Her work on state policy has focused on the connections among accountability, standardized testing, and equity. It has been published in multiple journals and in the 2011 book High Stakes Reform: The Politics of Educational Accountability. With funding from the Spencer Foundation, she has researched the ways in which local politics often lead to school choice policies that do not make equity a priority. This research has been published in the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Policy, and Education Policy Analysis Archives. She was awarded a Spencer Foundation Midcareer Grant in 2016.

Research interests: 

state and federal education policy; educational equity; policy implementation


Ph.D. in Political Science: Yale University, 1997

Courses taught: 

PUBP&ADM 601: Politcs of the Policy Process; PUBP&ADM 610: Capstone; PUBP&ADM 622: Ethics&Public Policy; PUBP&ADM 697Q: U.S. Education Policy


Educational equity; politics of education policy