david s. knight

David Knight

Assistant Professor of Education

Research Areas

School Finance

Educator Labor Markets

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Scholar Snapshot

Professor Knight’s research lies at the intersection of economics and education policy with a focus on understanding and addressing policies that create inequitable education systems. He applies the tools of economics to examine how states and school districts spend their money and explore ways schools can distribute resources more equitably and efficiently. Specifically, his research probes three lines of inquiry:

  • Examining state school finance systems, school district resource allocation and school budgeting
  • Analyzing educator labor markets to understand how policies that impact teacher hiring, career transitions, turnover and dismissal contribute to inequitable access to qualified educators
  • Applying cost-effectiveness analysis to assess the efficiency of resource allocation and to address disparities in educational opportunities among students

Professor Knight is principal investigator on two projects funded by the National Science Foundation to investigate labor market pipelines for science and math teachers. He also serves as co-principal investigator for Spencer Foundation-funded project exploring how different dual credit delivery contexts influence the educational pathways of students from diverse demographic backgrounds.

His recent publications include “A Missing Element in Analyses of Teacher Quality Gaps” in Educational Researcher, “Cost-effectiveness of early childhood interventions to enhance preschool: Evidence from a randomized experiment in Head Start centers enrolling historically underserved populations” in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and “Are school districts allocating resources equitably? The Every Student Succeeds Act, teacher experience gaps, and equitable resource allocation” in Educational Policy.

In Depth

Read Professor Knight’s recent study evaluating the cost-effectiveness of early childhood interventions.