University of California, Riverside

Faculty Profile System

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith

Dean, Professor

Graduate School of Education
1207 Sproul Hall

Research Areas


  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Economics (Summa Cum Laude)
  • M.A., Columbia University, Economics
  • M.A., Catholic University of America, Sociology
  • Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, Educational Theory and Policy


Dr. Thomas M. Smith is the Dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside. Previously he was a professor  and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Smith is also Executive Director of the National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools (NCSU), a national research and development center funded by the Institute for Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. NCSU is a collaboration between  5 universities, 2 large urban districts, and a developer of educational tools and programs (EDC) formed to enhance the capacity of school districts to identify effective practices, design and test innovations that capture the core components of those practices, and then implement the innovations in ways that improve the learning opportunities for students from traditionally low performing groups (see ).  In addition, since 2006, Dr. Smith has also co-directed, with Professor Paul Cobb at Vanderbilt, the MIST project—an NSF funded collaboration with four large urban districts to investigate, test, and refine a set of conjectures regarding the organizational arrangements, social relations, and material resources needed to enhance the impact of professional development on mathematics teachers' instructional practices

Prior to coming to Vanderbilt in 2001, Dr. Smith conducted and managed statistical research activities at the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

Tom Smith holds a B.A. in economics from UCLA, a M.A. in economics from Columbia University, a M.A. in sociology from Catholic University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Policy from Pennsylvania State University.


Journal Articles Under Review

  • Smith, T. M., Neergaard, L., Hochberg, E., & Desimone, L. D. (under review). Do Organizational Supports for Math Instruction Improve the Quality of Beginning Teachers’ Instruction? American Education Research Journal.
  • Smith, T. M., Cannata, M., & Taylor Haynes, K. (revise and resubmit). Advantages and Challenges of Using Mixed Methods to Identify and Scale Up Effective High School Practices. Teachers College Record.
  • Smith, T. M., Preston, C. Taylor Haynes, K, & Neergaard, L. (revise and resubmit). Differences in Instructional Quality between High and Low Value Added Schools in a Large Urban District. Teachers College Record.
  • Smith, T. M., Cobb, P., Farran, D., Cordray, D. , & Munter, C. 2013. Evaluating Math Recovery: Assessing the Causal Impact of a Diagnostic Tutoring Program on Student Achievement. American Education Research Journal, 50(2) 397-428.

Published Journal Articles

  • Desimone, L. M., Phillips, K. J., & Smith, T. M. 2013. Linking Student Achievement Growth to Professional Development Participation and Changes in Instruction: A Longitudinal Study of Elementary Students and Teachers in Title I Schools. Teachers College Record 115(5).
  • Stuit, D. & Smith, T. 2012. Explaining the gap in charter and traditional public school teacher turnover rates. Economics of Education Review, 31(2) 268-279.
  • Phillips, K. J. R., Desimone, L. M., & Smith, T. M. 2011. Teacher participation in contentfocused professional development & the role of state policy. Teachers College Record,113(11) 2586-2630.
  • Kearns, D. M., Fuchs, D., McMaster, K. L, Saenz, L, Fuchs, L.S., Yen, L., Meyers, C. V., Stein, M.L., Compton, D., Berends, M., Smith, T. M. 2010. Factors Contributing to Teachers’ Sustained Use of Kindergarten Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 3(4), 315 - 342.
  • Desimone, L. M., Smith, T. M., & Frisvold, D. 2010. Survey Measures of Classroom Instruction: Comparing Student and Teacher Reports. Educational Policy, 21(2), 267-329.
  • Dallaire, D. H., Cole, D. A., Smith, T. M., Ciesla, J. A., LaGrange, B., Jacquez, F. M., Pineda, A. Q., Truss, A. E., & Folmer, A. S. 2008. Predicting Children’s Depressive Symptoms from Community and Individual Risk Factors. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 37(7), pp. 830-846.
  • Smith, T., Desimone, L., Zeidner, T, L, Dunn, A. C., Bhatt, M., Rumyantseva, N. L. 2007. “Inquiry-oriented instruction in science: Who teaches that way?” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 29 (3), pp. 169-199.
  • Cohen-Vogel, L. & Smith, T. M. 2007. “Qualifications and Assignments of Alternatively Certified Teachers: Testing Core Assumptions.” American Educational Research Journal, 44 (3), pp. 732 – 753.
  • Smith, T. M. 2007. “How Do State-Level Induction and Standards-Based Reform Policies Affect Induction Experiences and Turnover Among New Teachers?” American Journal of Education 113 (February), pp. 273-309.
  • Desimone, L. M., Smith, T. M. & Phillips, K. J. 2007. “Does Policy Influence Mathematics and Science Teachers’ Participation in Professional Development?” Teachers College Record 109 (5), pp. 1086-1122.
  • Desimone, L. M., Smith, T. M. & Ueno, K. 2006. “Are Teachers’ Who Need Sustained, Content-focused Professional Development Getting It? An Administrator’s Dilemma” Education Administration Quarterly 42(2), pp. 179-215.
  • Smith, T. M., Desimone, L. M. & Ueno, K. 2005. “Highly Qualified to Do What? The Relationship between NCLB Teacher Quality Mandates and the Use of Reform-oriented Instructional Strategies in Middle School Math” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 27(1), pp. 75-109.
  • Desimone, L. M., Smith, T. M., Ueno, K. & Baker, D. P. 2005. “Assessing Barriers to the Reform of United States Mathematics Instruction from an International Perspective.” American Educational Research Journal 42(3), pp. 501-35.
  • Smith, T. M. & Rowley, K. J. 2005. “Enhancing Commitment or Tightening Control: The Function of Teacher Professional Development in an Era of Accountability.” Educational Policy 19(1), pp. 126-154.
  • Vieno, A., Perkins, D. D., Smith, T. M., & Santinello, M. 2005. “Democratic School Climate and Sense of Community in School: A Multilevel Analysis.” American Journal of Community Psychology 36(3/4), pp. 327-341.
  • Desimone, L. M., Smith, T. M., Hayes, S. A., & Frisvold, D. 2005. “Beyond Accountability and Average Test Scores: Relating Attributes of State Education Policies to Cognitive Domains in Mathematics Achievement” Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice 24(4), pp. 5-18.
  • Smith, T. M.& Ingersoll, R. M. 2004. “What Are the Effects of Induction and Mentoring on Beginning Teacher Turnover?” American Educational Research Journal 41(3), pp. 681- 714.
  • Smith, T. M. 2004. “Curricular reform in mathematics and science since A Nation at Risk.” Peabody Journal of Education 79(1), pp. 105-129.
  • Smith, T. M. 2003. “Who values the GED? An examination of the paradox underlying the demand for the General Educational Development credential.” Teachers College Record Volume 105, Number 3, April, pp. 375-415.
  • Smith, T. M. & Baker, D. P. 2002. “World-wide Growth and Institutionalization of Statistical Indicators for Education Policy-making.” Peabody Journal of Education 76(3&4), pp. 141-152.
  • Hendriks, M. & Smith, T. M. 2002. “Cross National Indicators of Teachers and the Conditions of Teaching.” International Journal of Educational Policy, Research and Practice, Vol. 3. No. 2, Summer, pp. 63-92.
  • Wagner, A., Smith, T. M., & Healy, T. 2000. “Tertiary Education: new patterns of learning and earnings”. European Journal of Education, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 45-59.
  • Baker, D. P & Smith, T. M. 1997. “Three Trends in the Condition of Education in the United States”. Teacher’s College Record, Volume 99, Number 1, Fall, pp. 12-61.
  • Willms, J. D., Smith, T. M, Zhang, Y., & Tramonte, L. 2006. “Raising and Leveling the Learning Bar in Central and Eastern Europe.” Prospects 36(4), pp. 411-418.
  • Bankov, K., Mikova, D. & Smith, T. M. 2006. “Assessing Between-School Variation in Educational Resources and Mathematics and Science Achievement in Bulgaria.” Prospects 36(4), pp. 447-473.
  • Istrate, O., Noveanu, G., & Smith, T. M. 2006. “Exploring Sources of Variation in Romanian Science Achievement”. Prospects 36(4), pp. 475-496.
  • Mere, K., Reiska, P., & Smith, T. M. 2006. “Impact of SES on Estonian Students’ Science Achievement across Different Cognitive Domains.” Prospects 36(4), pp. 497-516.
  • Ingersoll, R. M. & Smith, T. M. 2004. “Do teacher induction and mentorship matter?” NASSP Bulletin Vol. 87, No. 638, March, pp. 28-40.
  • Ingersoll, R. M. & Smith, T. M. 2003. “The wrong solution to the teacher shortage.” Educational Leadership, Volume 60, Number 8, May, pp. 30-33.
  • Smith, T. M. & Desimone, L. M. 2003. “Do Changes in Patterns of Participation in Teachers’ Professional Development Reflect the Goals of Standards-based Reform?” Educational Horizons Volume 81, Number 3, Spring, pp. 119-129.


  • Smith, T. M., Desimone, L. M., & Porter, A. C. (Eds.). 2012. Organization and Effectiveness of Induction Programs for New Teachers. National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE) Yearbook. New York: Teachers’ College Record.

Book Chapters

  • Cobb, P., Jackson, K, Smith, T. M., Sorum, M, Henrick, E. (Accepted). Design Research within Educational Systems: Investigating and Supporting Improvements in the Quality of Mathematics Teaching and Learning at Scale? In Penuel, W., Fishman, B., & Cheng, B. H. In press. Design-Based Implementation Research. National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE) Yearbook.
  • Smith, T. M., Desimone, L. M., & Porter, A. C., McGraner, K. 2012. Learning to Teach: An agenda for research on the induction and mentoring of beginning teachers. In Smith, T. M., Desimone, L. M., & Porter, A. C. (Eds.). 2012. Organization and Effectiveness of Induction Programs for New Teachers. National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE) Yearbook.
  • Smith, T.M. & Finch, M. 2010. Influence of Teacher Induction on Teacher Retention. In J. Wang, S. J. Odell, and R. Clift (Eds.), Past, Present, and Future Research on Teacher Induction: An Anthology For Researchers, Policy Makers, And Practitioners. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education, pp. 109-124.
  • Cobb, P., & Smith, T. 2008. The challenge of scale: Designing schools and districts as learning organizations for instructional improvement in mathematics. In T. Wood, B. Jaworski, K. Krainer, P. Sullivan, & D. Tirosh (Eds.), International handbook of mathematics teacher education. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.
  • Desimone, L. M., Smith, T. M., & Frisvold, D. 2007. Has NCLB Improved Teacher and Teaching Quality for Disadvantaged Students? in Standards-Based Reform and the Poverty Gap: Lessons for “No Child Left Behind, Gamoran, A. ed., Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.
  • Smith, T. M. & Motivans, A. 2007. " Teacher Quality and Education for All in Sub-Saharan Africa" in Education for All: Global Promises, National Challenges, Baker, D. P., & Wiseman, A. W., eds., Volume 8 in the International Perspectives on Education and Society Series, Oxford: Elsevier Science Ltd. pp. 363-394.
  • Smith, T. M. 2004. “Education” in Public Opinion and Polling around the World, John G. Geer, ed., Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. pp. 212-220.
  • Smith, T. M. & Baker, D. P. 2003. “International Education Statistics: The Use of Indicators to Evaluate the Condition of Education Systems” in Encyclopedia of Education, Second Edition, James Guthrie, ed., NY: Macmillan. pp. 1291-1296.
  • Smith, T. M. 2002. “Educational achievement and attainment of women in the United States” in Education and Sociology: An Encyclopedia, David Levinson, Peter Cookson, Jr. and Alan Sadovnik, eds., NY: RoutledgeFalmer. pp. 181-189.
  • Smith, T. M. 2002. “Access to higher education by minorities in the United States” in Education and Sociology: An Encyclopedia, David L. Levinson, Peter W. Cookson, Jr. and Alan R. Sadovnik, eds., NY: RoutledgeFalmer. pp. 343-351.
  • Rollefson, M. R. & Smith, T. M. 1997. “Do Low Salaries Really Draw the Least Able into the Teaching Profession?” in Research on the Education of our Nation’s Teachers: Teacher Education Yearbook V, David M. Byrd and D. John McIntyre, eds. Corwin Press Inc., pp. 43-58.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Graduate School of Education
1207 Sproul Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5234
Fax: (951) 827-3942


Last Modified: 12/20/16