Joshua L. Glazer

Joshua L. Glazer
Associate Professor, Education Policy
(202) 994-8724

Dr. Glazer’s research and teaching examine multiple approaches to improving under-performing schools in high-poverty, urban environments. He is currently directing two multi-year studies into school turnaround. The first examines the Tennessee Achievement School District, in which the state removes underperforming schools from local control and then authorizes charter schools to develop and implement designs for improvement. The second study, also in Tennessee, investigates the efforts of Shelby County Schools, which includes Memphis, to devise and direct its own improvement initiative by using the resources and capacity of the district to improve over twenty schools that rank near the bottom of the state in academic performance. In addition, Dr. Glazer is the principal investigator for program of research looking at research-practice partnerships in Baltimore and New York City.

Dr. Glazer has published on a wide range of topics, including the replication of effective school improvement models, the role of external interveners in large-scale reform, the challenges confronting charter management organizations that operate neighborhood schools, and the dynamics of race and class in state takeover of schools, among others. He is a co-­author of Improvement by Design, which examines three prominent comprehensive school reform programs in the U.S., and co-editor of Choosing Charters: Better Schools or More Segregation? His work has been featured in op-ed pieces, newspaper articles, and blogs.

Prior to joining the faculty of the George Washington University, Dr. Glazer worked for five years at the Rothschild Foundation in Jerusalem, Israel as a program officer and program director in the education division. Dr. Glazer holds a B.A. in European history from Brandeis University and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

EdFix Podcast - Episode 7: The Charter School Debate In the United States, approximately 5% of children attend charter schools. So why are these schools such a hot topic among educators, advocates, policy makers, politicians, and parents? Dr. Iris Rotberg and Dr. Joshua Glazer, editors of the book Choosing Charters - Better Schools or More Segregation?, discuss the goals, challenges, and outcomes of the charter movement from different perspectives based on their research in the field on Episode 7 of the EdFix podcast. 
Ph.D., University of Michigan
B.A., Brandeis University


Glazer, Joshua L.; Massell, Diane; Winchell Lenhoff, Sarah; Larbi-Cherif, Adrian; Egan, Cori; Taylor, James E.; Ison, Ashley; Deleveaux, Joelle; and Millington, Zachary. (2020). District-led School Turnaround: Aiming for Ambitious and Equitable Instruction in Shelby County’s iZone. CPRE Research Reports.

Glazer, J. L., Massell, D., & Malone, M. (2019). Charter Schools in Turnaround: Competing Institutional Logics in the Tennessee Achievement School District. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 41(1), 5–33.

Glazer, J. L., Groth, L., and Beuche, B. (2019). Opportunities and challenges for NGOs amid competing institutional logics. Journal of Educational Administration,

Glazer, J. L. and Egan, C. (2018). The ties that bind: building civic capacity for the Tennessee Achievement School District. American Educational Research Journal, 55(5), 928-964.

Glazer, J. L. and Peurach, D.J. (2015). Occupational governance in education: the logic and leverage of epistemic communities. Harvard Educational Review, (85).

Massell, D., Glazer, J. L., & Malone, M. (2016). “This is the big leagues” Charter-led turnaround in a non-charter world. Tennessee Consortium on Research, Evaluation & Development. Vanderbilt Peabody College. Retrieved from

Glazer, J. L., & Egan, C. (2016). Research into Tennessee’s achievement school district: Race, history, and the dilemma of public engagement. Tennessee Consortium on Research, Evaluation & Development. Vanderbilt Peabody College. Retrieved from

Glazer, J. L., Massell, D., & Malone, M. (2015). Research into Tennessee’s achievement school district: Autonomy, incentives, and guidance for providers. Tennessee Consortium on Research, Evaluation & Development. Vanderbilt Peabody College. Retrieved from

In the News

Dr. Joshua Glazer was quoted in the Chalkbeat article entitled "By getting testing wrong again, Tennessee could undo what it may be getting right."

Dr. Joshua Glazer was quoted in Chalkbeat's article Tennessee’s two big school turnaround experiments are yielding big lessons, researchers say.

Dr. Joshua Glazer was quoted in Education Week's blog Difficult Conversations: Learning from Tennessee's Turnaround Efforts. This post is from the practitioner's perspective, written by Nate Schwartz, Chief Research and Strategy Officer for the Tennessee Department of Education.

Dr. Joshua Glazer's research with with Tennessee's Achievement School District (ASD) and Innovation Zone (iZone) was highlighted in Education Week's What 5 Years of Research Say About School Turnaround Efforts in Tennessee. The Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA) is releasing a series of research briefs on school turnaround efforts in the state. This first installment includes summaries of research led by Dr. Glazer, Dr. Gary Henry of Vanderbilt University, Dr. Ron Zimmer of the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Joshua Glazer's report "This is the Big Leagues" Charter-Led Turnaround in a Non-Charter World was highlighted in Chalkbeat's Report: Why the work is hard for Tennessee's turnaround district and its charter schools.