Kerstin Carlson Le Floch
Kerstin Carlson Le Floch is a managing researcher at AIR, specializing in school improvement, state accountability policies, and Title I implementation. She has conducted studies of Title I policy and accountability systems throughout her two decades at AIR. At present, Dr. Le Floch is the principal investigator on two studies of ESSA accountability, both funded by the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Le Floch directed the Study of School Turnaround for IES, a large-scale case study investigation of the implementation of the School Improvement Grants under ARRA. This study produced six IES publications, including a rigorous case study report on the first year of SIG implementation. From 2003-2008, Dr. Le Floch directed the Study of State Implementation of Accountability and Teacher Quality under NCLB for the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Le Floch also acted as the deputy project director on the partner study, the National Longitudinal Study of No Child Left Behind. Together, these two studies constituted the primary data sources for the Congressionally-mandated National Assessment of Title I. For these studies, Dr. Le Floch was a lead or primary author on six reports on key components of NCLB. In addition to her work studying NCLB implementation, Dr. Le Floch directed a mixed-method evaluation of Michigan’s statewide system of support for high priority schools, and has conducted research on the California state system of accountability, through AIR’s study of the Immediate Intervention/ Underperforming Schools Program.
Complementing her federal and state evaluation work, Dr. Le Floch was principal investigator on an evaluation of the five-year district transformation of Battle Creek Public Schools, in Michigan. Through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek Public Schools sought to implement comprehensive reforms to improve instruction, school climate, organizational culture, student attendance, and student outcomes. The first phase of this work concluded in 2022, but the Kellogg Foundation has extended another 5-year grant to district, for which AIR will again engage as an evaluation partner.
Other significant studies in Dr. Le Floch’s portfolio include the federal evaluation of Title III implementation and a study of the implementation of the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, both for IES. Dr. Le Floch also directed a Gates Foundation-funded study of state supports for low-performing high schools. In 2015, Dr. Le Floch was the research director for a project on behalf of New York City Public Schools, for which AIR staff conducted needs assessments of the 100 lowest-performing schools in the city.
Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Le Floch worked with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), collecting data on state assessment and accountability policies under the Improving America’s Schools Act. Dr. Le Floch presents regularly at national and international conferences, provides expert testimony, and has published technical reports, book chapters, and journal articles on issues related to accountability and school improvement.
Ph.D., Education Organization and Policy Studies and M.A., Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; B.A., Political Science and French, Middlebury College