Educational Leadership and Policy Professors Awarded $1 Million Grant

Associate Professor Jennifer Holme and Assistant Professor Huriya Jabbar of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy in the College of Education were recently awarded a $1 million grant from The Spencer Foundation. Beginning Spring 2019, the grant will support a five-year research project focused on the effects of teacher turnover on school improvement efforts while also funding graduate student research assistantships.

Holme’s research focuses on the politics and implementation of educational policy, with a focus on the relationship among school reform, equity, and diversity in schools. Jabbar currently studies school choice policy and school leaders’ behavioral responses to competition; choice and decision-making in higher education; and teacher job choices, recruitment, and retention. 

“We are so excited to begin this important work, with the generous support of the Spencer Foundation,” said Jabbar. “Instability and high turnover at all levels is increasingly a feature of urban school districts across the country. We hope that our work will not only shed light on and build theory about some of the social consequences of turnover for schools and districts, but also identify ways to develop school structures that can help to strengthen relationships and protect schools against the harm that is created through teacher departures in the long term,” said Jabbar.

Said Educational Leadership and Policy Department Chair Victor Saenz, “Spencer grants are among the most competitive to earn, which makes this accomplishment all the more impressive. More importantly, a large proportion of these grant resources will go to support our students in the form of graduate research assistantships.”

The Spencer Foundation’s mission is to investigate ways in which education, broadly conceived, can be improved around the world. The foundation is thus committed to supporting high-quality investigation of education through its research programs and to strengthening and renewing the educational research community through its fellowship and training programs and related activities.