Alison Wellington

Alison Wellington

Principal Researcher
  • Education projects
Focus Areas
  • Education
  • Effective Data Use
  • Strengthening and Disseminating Research
  • Teacher and Principal Effectiveness
  • Labor: Strengthening and Disseminating Research
  • Human Services
About Alison

Alison Wellington has expertise in rigorous evaluations of large-scale education projects.

Currently, she plays a key role in two national random assignment evaluations sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Wellington is the project director for an evaluation on the impact of departmentalized instruction in elementary schools and the deputy project director for an evaluation on the impact of providing feedback to teachers based on videos of classroom instruction. These evaluations focus on strategies to improve teacher effectiveness and thereby improve student achievement.

In the past, Wellington was the project director for national evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund and deputy project director on an evaluation of the impact of data driven instruction. These evaluations assessed the impact of teacher and principal pay-for-performance bonuses on educator effectiveness and student achievement, and the impact of data driven instruction on student achievement, respectively. Wellington also led major efforts for the What Works Clearinghouse, a large-scale project to promote informed education decision making, and was a key member on a national evaluation to evaluate the impact of teachers from Teach For America and Teaching Fellows programs on secondary student math achievement.

Prior to joining Mathematica in 2007, Wellington had a 17-year career as an economics professor focusing on labor and health economics. She has published in the Journal of Human Resources, the American Sociological Review, Contemporary Economic Policy, Labour Economics, and Research in Labor Economics. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.

Key Projects
  • Pay-for-Performance: Evaluating the Teacher Incentive Fund

    This study is evaluating these performance-based compensation systems to examine issues like the impact of pay-for-performance on student achievement and educator effectiveness, and helping to answer pressing policy questions about how the programs are designed, communicated, and implemented.

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