Texas Tech University

Jacob Kirksey, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor; Associate Director, Center for Innovative Research in Change, Leadership, and Education
Educational Psychology, Leadership, & Counseling

Email: Jacob.Kirksey@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-8473

Office: Education 312

Dr. Kirksey's scholarship is broadly focused on issues at the nexus of education and other areas of public policy with a specific focus on student well-being, college and career trajectories, and teacher labor markets. His work stresses a holistic approach to policymaking by drawing attention to knowledge gaps in how changes made in and outside of schools interact with dynamic educational contexts. The goal of his research is to foster data-driven decision making in local, state, and federal policy to forge win-win public policies that bolster educational and economic outcomes for historically marginalized populations. To evaluate programs and policies, Dr. Kirksey employs quasi-experimental approaches using large datasets from school districts, government agencies, and nationally representative surveys. He has published extensively on topics related to student absenteeism and truancy, inclusion and special education, the ripple effects of immigration enforcement, and teacher preparation and effectiveness. Dr. Kirksey has received over $3 million in external funding as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator to support his research. His research has been highlighted in several popular media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Politico, Education Week, The Hechinger Report, Dallas Morning News, andthe Austin-American Statesman. You can learn more about Dr. Kirksey and his work by visiting his website www.jjacobkirksey.com.


Jacob Kirksey


  • PhD (2020), Education, University of California- Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
  • MA (2016), Education, University of California- Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
  • BA (2015), Economics and Education, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO

Areas of Expertise

  • K-12 Education Policy
  • Economics of Education
  • Causal Inference
  • Program Evaluation

Selected Publications

Kirksey, J. J., & Sattin-Bajaj, C. (In Press). Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids the pillar of a community: Student achievement, absenteeism, and mobility following a large worksite enforcement operation in north Texas. American Behavioral Scientist.

Kirksey, J. J., Mansell, K. E., & Lansford, T. M. (In Press). Literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills of adults with disabilities in STEM fields. Policy Futures in Education.

Kirksey, J. J., & *Elefante, J. (In Press). Familiar faces in high school: How having the same peers from year-to-year links to student absenteeism. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR).

Kirksey, J. J. (2023). From court to classroom: Deportation proceedings and reading and math achievement for elementary students from 1998 to 2016. American Journal of Education, 129(3), 325-354.

Freeman, J. A., & Kirksey, J. J. (2023). Linking IEP status to parental involvement for high school students of first-generation and native-born families. Exceptional Children, 89(2), 197-215.

Kirksey, J. J. (2022). Preparedness and experiences of novice teachers in the sociopolitical context of heightened immigration enforcement: Evidence from a survey of California teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 73(1), 37-51.

Kirksey, J. J., & Lloydhauser, M. (2022). Dual certification in special and elementary education and associated benefits for students with disabilities and their teachers. AERA Open, 8(1), 1-11.

Kirksey, J. J., Gottfried, M. A., & *Freeman, J. A. (2022). Does parental involvement change after schools assign a student an IEP? Peabody Journal of Education, 97(1), 18-31.

Kirksey, J. J., & Sattin-Bajaj, C. (2021). Immigration arrests and educational impacts: Linking ICE arrests to declines in achievement, attendance, and school climate and safety in California. AERA Open, 7(1), 1-17.

Kirksey, J. J., & Gottfried, M. A. (2021). Is there a Catholic school effect on kindergarteners' absenteeism? Journal for Research on Educational Effectiveness, 14(3), 570-597.

Kirksey, J. J., & Gottfried, M. A. (2021). The effect of serving ‘Breakfast After-the-Bell' meals on school absenteeism: Comparing results from regression discontinuity designs. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 43(2), 305-328.

Kirksey, J. J., Sattin-Bajaj, C., Gottfried, M. A., ^Freeman, J. A., & Ozuna, C. S. (2020). Deportations near the schoolyard: Examining immigration enforcement and racial/ethnic gaps in educational outcomes. AERA Open, 6(1), 1-18.

Kirksey, J. J. (2019). Academic harms of missing high school and the accuracy of current policy thresholds: Analysis of preregistered administrative data from a California school district. AERA Open, 5(3), 1-13.

Selected External Funding

Kirksey, J. J. (Principal Investigator), Gottlieb, J. J. (Co-Principal Investigator), Higgins, R. (Co-Principal Investigator), Johnson, L. (Co-Principal Investigator), Spott, J. (Co-Principal Investigator), "Investigating Pre-College Predictors and Post-Secondary Effects of Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences in Texas," Sponsored by National Science Foundation, Federal, $499,999. (June 2022 – May 2025).

Kirksey, J. J. (Principal Investigator), Wiseman, A. (Co-Principal Investigator), Gottlieb, J. J. (Co-Principal Investigator), "Bold Action for a Prosperous Future: Evaluation of Texas House Bill 5 and Academic and Career Trajectories of Texas Public High School Graduates," Sponsored by Philanthropy Advocates, Foundation, $99,579. (January 2022 - August 2022).

Wiseman, A. W. (Principal Investigator), Gottlieb, J. J. (Co-Principal Investigator), & Kirksey, J. J. (Co-Principal Investigator), “REAL Partnership with Ector County ISD,” Contracted by Ector County Independent School District, $270,000. (August 2021 – July 2024).

Gottlieb, J. J. (Principal Investigator), McNaughtan, J. (Co-Principal Investigator), & Kirksey, J. J. (Co-Principal Investigator), "Community College Finance Research Project," Subaward from Texas A&M University (Principal Investigator: Lori Taylor), $42,260.00. Prime award sponsored by The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, State, $480,000. (May 2022 - October 2022).