I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. My research focuses on the relationship between schools, the law, and education policy. In particular, I’m interested in the historical development, modern use, and on-going effects of the metrics we use to describe and evaluate our schools. Whether it’s student grades, standardized test scores, or measures of effective teaching metrics are embedded everywhere in our school system. My work asks: where did these numbers come from? How did they become central to the operation of schools? And what effects have they had for how we think about what schools can and should do?


Excited to have a chance to bring a historical perspective to the issue of quantifying and ranking the work of schools for the Washington Post. If you’re interested in an extended (and more academic) take on these issues, you might enjoy some of my earlier work on these issues.

Check out my recent co-edited volume Absent from School: Understanding and Addressing Student Absenteeism (Harvard Education Press, 2019).  At a time when a majority of states are trying to figure out how to implement ‘chronic absenteeism’ as a new school accountability measure, this book provides a useful overview of key measurement issues, policy questions, and intervention strategies.

Contact information

Email: ehutt@unc.edu
Twitter: @ehutt1
Mailing Address: Peabody Hall, Suite 201, Chapel Hill, NC 27599