Associate Professor of Education
Effective Schools & School Systems
Teacher & Principal Labor Market
Professor Sun investigates the policies and practices that drive improvements in teacher and school effectiveness. In close partnership with practitioners and policymakers, her work seeks to provide meaningful, innovative and rigorous analysis of data to address pressing educational issues at federal, state and local levels.
Professor Sun uses social network analysis and computer-assisted text analysis to examine detailed “process” data on teacher professional networks, school improvement actions/tasks and classroom instructional practices on a large scale. She then uses econometric models to connect these quantitative measures of school and instructional processes with outcome measures on teacher labor market dynamics and students’ success, both short-term (e.g., test scores, attendance) and long-term (e.g. graduation, post-secondary education and employment).
These approaches allow Professor Sun to ask unique questions that not only examine policy and program effects, but also explain the specific mechanisms driving improvement, including:
How do policies related to teacher preparation, beginning teacher induction, teacher evaluation and compensation affect teacher effectiveness and its equitable distribution?
How do we build teacher and leadership teams in schools to maximize student learning outcomes in the aggregate?
What effective school improvement practices move the needle in advancing student outcomes?
Professor Sun is Principal Investigator of the Education Policy Analytics Lab and her contributions to the field have been recognized as a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award.
Learn more about Professor Sun and the Education Policy Analytics Lab at the UW.