Faculty & Staff Directory

David Steiner Portrait

David Steiner, PhD

Professor, Executive Director of the Institute for Education Policy

O: (410) 516-7896

David Steiner is Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy and Professor of Education at Johns Hopkins University. In 2020, he finished serving as a member of the Maryland State Board of Education and the Maryland Commission for Innovation and Excellence in Education. He currently serves on the boards of Core Knowledge Foundation, and Relay Graduate School of Education. Most recently, he was appointed to the Practitioner Council at the Hoover Institute, Stanford University. He previously served on the board of Urban Teachers as well. He also served as Commissioner of Education for New York State, as the Klara and Larry Silverstein Dean at the Hunter College School of Education, and as Director of Education at the National Endowment

As NYS Commissioner, Dr. Steiner took a lead role in the State’s successful $700 million Race to the Top application to support the redesign of state standards, assessments, and teacher certification requirements. His insistence on including major funding for curricula in that grant led to the launch of EngageNY, the nation’s most consulted on-line curriculum resource. Dr. Steiner consults regularly with the federal government, state education leaders, educational reform organizations, and universities. He has addressed audiences on both side of the Atlantic, and authored books, book chapters, and more than fifty articles. He holds degrees from Balliol College, Oxford University (B.A. and M.A.), and Harvard University (Ph.D. in political science). Contact David at d.steiner@jhu.edu.


2015-present – Executive Director, Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy; Professor of Education, School of Education, Johns Hopkins University

2012-2015 – Founding Director, CUNY Institute for Education Policy, Roosevelt House, New York City.

Klara & Larry Silverstein Dean, School of Education, Hunter College, City University of New York.

2009-2011 – New York State Commissioner of Education, President of the University of the State of New York, Albany NY.

2005-2009 – Klara & Larry Silverstein Dean and Professor, School of Education, Hunter College, City University of New York.

2004-2005 – Director for Arts Education, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC.

2002-2004 – Chairman, Department of Administration, Training, and Policy Studies (ATPS), School of Education, Boston University. (Previously, tenured in ATPS and the Department of Curriculum and Teaching.)



Ph.D., Political Science, Harvard University
M.A., PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics), Oxford University
B.A., PPE, Balliol College, Oxford University


2017 Steiner, D. Curriculum Research: What We Know and Where We Need to Go (for StandardsWork, available online at https://standardswork.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sw-curriculum-research-report-fnl.pdf).

2017 Steiner, D. “On Teaching Controversy” a review of Jonathan Zimmerman and Emily Robertson, The Case for Contention in Education Next, vol.17, no. 3 (Summer 2017).

2017 Keynote Address delivered at the TNTP Instructional Materials Adoption Summit, Jacksonville, FL, March 9.


2017-present Maryland State Board of Education (Baltimore, MD).

2016-present State Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, State of Maryland (Annapolis, MD).

2016-present Relay Graduate School of Education (New York, NY).

2016-present Urban Teachers (Baltimore, MD).

2013-present Advisory Board, Bard College Early High School (New York, NY).

2013-present Board of Trustees, Core Knowledge (Charlottesville, VA).


2016 Office of Legislative Affairs, Executive Branch, Maryland State Government (Annapolis).

2016 Chiefs for Change (Washington D.C.).

2016 Baltimore City Public Schools

2015 Deans for Impact (Dallas, TX).

2015 – present Council of Chief State School Officers (Washington, D.C.), Association of College and University Educators (New York City).

2012 – 2015 US Department of Education (Office of the Secretary) (Washington DC), EducationCounsel (Washington, D.C.), Council of Chief State School Officers (Washington, DC), New Jersey Department of Education (Trenton, NJ).

2012 SONY (in collaboration with CUNY) (New York City).

2011 Scholastic, Inc. (New York City).


2017 Steiner, D. Retreat From Judgment: The Limits of Educational Reform (in progress; submission date: spring 2018).

2004 Steiner, D. & Olson, A. (eds). The Quest for Paideia in an Age of Uncertainty (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004).

2001 SteinerD.  Educational Achievement & Reform Strategies in the United States of America (Monograph) (Gütersloh, Germany: Bertelsmann Foundation Publishers, 2001).

1999 Steiner, D. (ed). Philosophy of Education: The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, Vol. 3 (Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University, 1999).

1994 Steiner, D. Rethinking Democratic Education (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1994).


2019 Steiner, D. with Kane, T. “Don’t Give Up on Curriculum Reform Just Yet,” in Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2019/04/02/dont-give-up-on-curriculum-reform-just.html

2019 Steiner, D. with Finn, C. “The Hidden Logic of American Underachievement,” in Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2019/02/27/the-hidden-logic-of-american-underachievement.html

2019 Steiner, D. “Knowledge is power: Why our students need less of Franklin’s wit and more of Madison’s wisdom,” in The Education Gadfly Weekly. https://fordhaminstitute.org/national/commentary/knowledge-power-why-our-students-need-less-franklins-wit-and-more-madisons

2018 Steiner, D. “The Ethics of Education Policies,” in The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy,” Oxford and New York.

2017 Steiner, D. “Curriculum Research: What We Know and Where We Need to Go,” in StandardsWork. https://standardswork.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sw-curriculum-research-report-fnl.pdf

2015 Steiner, D. “The Common Core: Let the Light Sing” in PMLA, (Publications of the Modern Language Association of America) Volume 130, Number 3.

2013 Steiner, D. “Education Reform: It’s Not Complicated, but It’s Seriously Difficult,” in Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-m-steiner/the-smartest-kids-in-the-world_b_4151188.html

2013 Steiner, D. “Trusting Our Judgment: Measurement and Accountability for Educational Outcomes,” in Teachers College Record, vol. 115, no. 9 (September 2013) (available online at http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentId=17114).

2013 Steiner, D. “Painful but Necessary Process,” editorial in The New York Post (August 8, 2013) (available online at http://nypost.com/2013/08/08/painful-but-necessary-process/).

2013 Steiner, D. “Test Scores in New York: It’s on All of Us,” in Education Next online (August 7, 2013) (available online at http://educationnext.org/test-scores-in-nys-it’s-on-all-of-us/).

2013 Steiner, D. “Please: Anything but Good News,” in Education Next online (April 3, 2013) (available online at http://educationnext.org/please-anything-but-good-news/).



2019 Steiner, D. Curriculum Literacy and Schools of Education (for the Schusterman Foundation).

2019 Steiner, D., Jensen, B., and Magee, J. High-Quality Curriculum and System Improvement (for Learning First)

2019 Steiner, D., Jensen, B., and Magee, J. The Problem with Finding the Main Idea (for Learning First)

2018-2019 Steiner, D., Plasman, J., and Bjorklund-Young, A. Gap Closure in Mathematics: Evidence from six states (for the Gates Foundation)

2018 Steiner, D., Jensen, B., and Magee, J. Curriculum Literacy in Schools of Education? The Hole at the Center of American Teacher Preparation (for Learning First)

2018 Steiner, D., Jensen B., and Magee, J. What we Teach Matters: How quality curriculum improves student outcomes (for Learning First)

2017 Steiner, D., Education Reform in Maryland: A Road Map (for the Officer of the Governor, Annapolis, Maryland).

2012 Steiner, D. with Noell, G. Teacher Preparation in New Jersey: Review and Recommendations (for the New Jersey Department of Education).

2012 Steiner, D. Teacher Certification across the United States: Disparities, Innovations, and Trends (for the Council of Chief State School Officers).

2011 Council of Chief State School Officers’ Commission on Next-Generation Accountability Systems (Steiner, D., co-chair). Roadmap for Next-Generation Accountability Systems (available online at http://www.ccsso.org/documents/Roadmap.pdf).


2018 Steiner, D. “A Contemplative Approach to Education Policy” a review of Harry Brighouse, Helen F. Ladd, Susanna Loeb, and Adam Swift, Educational Goods: Values, Evidence, and Decision-Making in EducationNext, vol.18, no.4 (Fall 2018).

2018 Steiner, D. “On Teaching Controversy” a review of Jonathan Zimmerman and Emily Robertson, The Case for Contention in EducationNext, vol. 17, no. 3 (Summer 2017).

2017 Steiner, D. “A Judicious Overview of the Charter Movement” a review of Chester E. Finn Jr., Bruno V. Manno, and Brandon L. Wright, Charter Schools at the Crossroads: Predicaments, Paradoxes, Possibilities in Education Next, vol.17, no. 2 (Spring 2016).

2016 Steiner, D. “One Hundred Miles and a World Apart” a review of Ed Boland, The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School and Anonymous, The Secret Lives of Teachers in Education Next, vol.16, no. 2 (Fall 2016).

2016 Steiner, D. “In Newark, a Gift Wasted?” a review of Dale Russakoff, The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools? in Education Next, vol.16, no. 2 (Spring 2016).

2015 Steiner, D. “NYC’s Former Schools Chancellor Recounts Struggles and Successes,” a review of Joel Klein, Lessons of Hope in Education Next, vol.15, no.3 (Summer 2015).

2014 Steiner, D. “Cracking the Code of Effective Teaching,” a review of Elizabeth Green, Building a Better Teacher in Education Next, vol.14, no.5 (Winter, 2014).

2014 Steiner, D. “Reporting Opinion, Shaping an Agenda,” a review of Paul E. Peterson, Michael Henderson and Martin R. West, Teachers Verses the Public in Education Next, vol. 14, no.4 (Fall 2014).

2013 Steiner, D. “The Quest for Rationalization,” review of Jal Mehta, The Allure of Order, in Education Next, vol. 13, no. 4 (Fall 2013).

2013 Steiner, D. “It Can Be Done,” review of Deborah Kenney, Born to Rise, and Eva Moskowitz & Arin Lavinia, Mission Possible, in Education Next, vol. 13, no. 2 (Spring 2013).



2019 “Keynote Address: Materials Matter,” delivered at the TNTP Impact Florida Education Summit, Orlando, FL, February 28.

2019 Lead “Educator Preparation Session” at Council of Chief State School Officers Instructional Materials and Professional Development Network. Washington, D.C., February 13.

2018 Keynote presentations to State Chiefs and District Superintendents in Nashville, TN; Jackson, MI; Boston, MA; Albuquerque, NM; Providence, RI; Council of Chief State School Officers/Gates Foundation Multi-State Curriculum Initiative, Washington DC.

2017 “The Legacy and Impact of the Coleman Report on African-American Students & Revisit the Ronald Edmonds Rebuttal to the Coleman Report,” Panel at The Coleman Report: A Symposium to Revisit 50 Years Later, Baltimore, November 16.

2017 “Keynote Address,” delivered at the TNTP Instructional Materials Adoption Summit, Jacksonville, FL, March 9.

2017 “The Adolescent Literacy Crisis in America,” Panel Moderator at the Leading Minds Conference, Baltimore Curriculum Project, Baltimore, February 17.

2017 “Can we put a Price on Student Achievement?: Financial Returns for Academic Success,” Hunter College and Johns Hopkins University, Panelist with Eric Hanushek and Henry Levin, New York, February 15.

2017 “The Legacy and Impact of the Coleman Report on African-American Students & Revisit the Ronald Edmonds Rebuttal to the Coleman Report,” Panel at The Coleman Report: A Symposium to Revisit 50 Years Later, Baltimore, November 16.

2016 “The Future of Charter Schools on their 25th Anniversary,” Hunter College and Johns Hopkins University, Panel Moderator at Roosevelt House, New York, November 2.

2016 “Toward Equality of Educational Opportunity:  Lessons of the Coleman Report at 50,” Purdue University, Keynote Panel, West Lafayette, IN, October 19.

2016 “Challenging the Structures,” Johns Hopkins University, Panel Moderator at James Coleman’s Report at 50: Johns Hopkins’ Conference on Closing the Achievement Gap, Baltimore, October 5.

2016 “High-Quality Curricula and Student Success,” Hunter College and Johns Hopkins University, Panel at Roosevelt House, New York, September 14.

2016 “Why the Excellence Gap Matters for Civil Rights,” Johns Hopkins University, Panel with Jonathan A. Plucker, James L. Moore, III, Mike Petrilli, and Ariel Bowers, Baltimore, September 7.

2016 “From Sea to Shining Sea: The Future of American Education in a post-federalist era,” delivered at University of Cambridge’s Educational Leadership, Policy, Evaluation and Change (ELPEC) Academic Group series, Cambridge, June 6.

2016 “Disproportionality in Special Education: Federal Policy & Monitoring,” Panel Moderator for Intersections of Race and Class in Special Education Policy: Colloquium Summary Recommendations, Roosevelt House, New York, May 17.

2016 “Can Educational Technology Narrow the Achievement Gap?” Hunter College and Johns Hopkins University, Panel Moderator at Roosevelt House, New York, May 3.

2016 “Review of Education Reform and Teacher Preparation.” Testimony delivered to the Ways and Means Committee, Maryland State Legislature Annapolis, MD, January 28th.

2016 “Contemporary Issues in Secondary & Higher Education:  Is The University Still Possible?” Panel at UCLA’s conference Liberal Arts Education and the Commercial Republic, Los Angeles, April 29.

2016 “Urban Interventions: Innovating to Lift Student Achievement,” Johns Hopkins University, Panel Moderator for Chris Cerf, Jamie Woodson, and Richard Tao, Baltimore, April 11.

2016 “Prospects for the Role of Evidence to Inform State Implementation of ESSA,” Discussant at The SREE Spring 2016 Conference: Lost in Translation: Building Pathways from Knowledge to Action with Mitchell D. Chester, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Washington DC, March 5.

2017 “Alternative Models in Urban Education: Curriculum, Choice, and Early College,” Johns Hopkins University, Panel Moderator for Francesa Gamber, Sara Leven, and Patrick Wolf, Baltimore, January 26.

2016 “Intersecting Inequalities: Focus on East Harlem,” Hunter College and Johns Hopkins University, Panel Moderator at Roosevelt House, New York, January 12.

2015 “Science Education.” Testimony delivered to the Presidential Commission For the Study of Bioethical Issues, Washington DC, November 17th.



2017 “Maryland governor taps new members of state education board” The Washington Post, June 22. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/maryland-governor-taps-new-members-of-state-education board/2017/06/22/5fde71f8-576c-11e7-b38e-35fd8e0c288f_story.html?utm_term=.2f65319583dc

2017 “New Studies Suggest Choice of Curriculum and Textbooks Can Make a Big Difference for Students” The 74, May 1. https://www.the74million.org/article/new-studies-suggest-choice-of-curriculum-and-textbooks-can-make-a big-difference-for-students

2017 “Curriculum becomes a reform strategy” The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, April 5. https://edexcellence.net/articles/curriculum-becomes-a-reform-strategy