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Gail L. Sunderman, Ph.D.

Research Associate, Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles

Gail Sunderman

Gail L. Sunderman is a research associate with the Civil Rights Project. Her research focuses on educational policy and politics, school reform, and the impact of policy on the educational opportunities for at-risk students. She was co-founder and director of the Maryland Equity Project at the University of Maryland, a research and policy center focused on issues of educational opportunity in Maryland. Prior to joining University of Maryland, she directed the Mid-Atlantic Equity Center at The George Washington University where she spearheaded the development of the Equity Planning Tool, a research-based tool designed to assist districts and schools utilize an equity lens to increase access to learning opportunities. At the Harvard Civil Rights Project, she was lead researcher on a five-year study examining the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and how this legislation influenced educational change in states and local school districts. 

Her books include Charting Reform, Achieving Equity in a Diverse Nation, Information Age Publishing (2013); Holding NCLB Accountable: Achieving Accountability, Equity, & School Reform, Corwin Press (2008); and NCLB Meets School Realities: Lessons from the Field (with James S. Kim and Gary Orfield), Corwin Press (2005). 

Her work has appeared in Review of Research in Education, Harvard Educational Review, Teacher’s College Record, and Educational Researcher, among other journals, including practitioner publications. In addition to her scholarly work, Sunderman has served as expert consultant on educational disparities for the U.S. Department of Justice and other organizations. She was a Fulbright scholar to Afghanistan and received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago.

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