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Morgan Polikoff

USC Rossier School of Education


Dr. Morgan Polikoff is an Associate Professor of Education at the USC Rossier School of Education. He researches curriculum, standards, accountability, and assessment policy; public opinion on education; and the impact of COVID-19 on American families.

In 2021, he published his first book, Beyond Standards: The Fragmentation of Education Governance and the Promise of Curriculum Reform (Harvard Education Press). Recent work has investigated the adoption and use of curriculum materials to align with state standards and critiqued the design of standards-based policy systems. With Anna Saavedra, he co-directs the education portion of the nationally representative longitudinal Understanding America Study, which is tracking the impact of COVID-19 on American families’ educational experiences and attitudes. He has published over 55 peer-reviewed journal articles and received (as PI or co-PI) more than $16 million in grants from federal and foundation sources. For his research achievements he received the AERA Early Career Award in 2017 and the AERA Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award in 2020. For his work with graduate students and postdocs he also received outstanding mentoring awards from USC Rossier and USC in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Dr. Polikoff received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education in 2010 with a focus on Education Policy and his Bachelors in Mathematics (minor in Secondary Education) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006.


Morgan Polikoff

  • Research Reports    

Teachers and tutors together: Reimagining literacy instruction in Oakland

Ashley Jochim, Eupha Jeanne Daramola, Morgan Polikoff

High-quality tutoring has become a critical tool for addressing pandemic learning gaps and accelerating student learning, but access to tutoring programs remains an issue.

  • Research Reports    

Beyond test scores: Broader academic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on American students

Morgan Polikoff, Daniel Silver, Isabel Clay

Recent state and national achievement exam results, as well as academic progress reports, have underscored how the Covid-19 pandemic and related school closures had a large, negative impact on students’ reading and math development.

  • Research Reports    

Lessons for Improving Curriculum from the COVID–19 Pandemic

Morgan Polikoff

There have been countless challenges faced by American families with school-aged children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the many challenges specifically relating to education has been ensuring children had access to a challenging academic curriculum.

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