Kathleen Lynch

Hill, H., Blazar, D. & Lynch, K., 2015. Resources for Teaching: Examining Personal and Institutional Predictors of High-Quality Instruction. AERA Open , 1 (4).Abstract
Policymakers and researchers have for many years advocated disparate approaches to ensuring teachers deliver high-quality instruction, including requiring that teachers complete specific training requirements, possess a minimum level of content knowledge, and use curriculum materials and professional development resources available from schools and districts. In this paper, we investigate the extent to which these factors, which we conceptualize as resources for teaching, predict instructional quality in upper elementary mathematics classrooms. Results show that teachers’ mathematical knowledge and their district context explained a moderate share of the variation in mathematics-specific teaching dimensions; other factors, such as teacher experience, preparation, non-instructional work hours, and measures of the school environment, explained very little variation in any dimension.
Lynch, K., Chin, M. & Blazer, D., 2017. Relationships between observations of elementary mathematics instruction and student achievement: Exploring variability across districts. American Journal of Education , 123 (4) , pp. 615-646.Abstract
Much debate surrounding teacher quality has focused on students’ standardized test scores, but recent federal and state initiatives have emphasized the use of multiple measures to evaluate teacher quality, including classroom observations. In this study, we explore differences acrossschool districts in the relationship between student achievement outcomes and the observed quality of teachers’ instruction. Using data from 298 elementary mathematics teachers in five urban US districts, we examine relationships between teachers’ performance on the Mathematical Quality of Instruction observation instrument and their students’ scores on both state standardized and researcher-developed tests. We find that these relationships differ across school districts. We explore the extent to which differences in skills and expectations for students across tests may explain this variability. An improved understanding of the relationship between classroom observations and student tests may help districts to better support teachers in developing their instructional effectiveness. 
Lynch, K. & Kim, J.S., 2016. Effects of a Summer Mathematics Intervention for Low-Income Children: A Randomized Experiment. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.Abstract

Prior research suggests that summer learning loss among low-income children contributes to income-based gaps in achievement and educational attainment. We present results from a randomized experiment of a summer mathematics program conducted in a large, high-poverty urban public school district. Children in the third to ninth grade (N = 263) were randomly assigned to an offer of an online summer mathematics program, the same program plus a free laptop computer, or the control group. Being randomly assigned to the program plus laptop condition caused children to experience significantly higher reported levels of summer home mathematics engagement relative to their peers in the control group. Treatment and control children performed similarly on distal measures of academic achievement. We discuss implications for future research.

Kathleen Lynch

Kathleen Lynch

Doctoral Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Kathleen Lynch studies education policy and strategies to reduce educational inequality, particularly in mathematics. Kathleen is a doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Doctoral Fellow in Inequality & Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She holds an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she was a FLAS and Pforzheimer Fellow. Kathleen graduated with high honors from Harvard College.... Read more about Kathleen Lynch