Texas Tech University

Jacob Kirksey, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Educational Psychology & Leadership

Email: Jacob.Kirksey@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-8473

Dr. Kirksey's scholarship is broadly focused on issues at the nexus of education and other areas of public policy, including immigration policy, child and family policy, and health policy. 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 reduce inequity in schools. To evaluate programs and policies, Dr. Kirksey employs quasi-experimental techniques using datasets from school districts, government agencies, and large-scale surveys. He has published extensively on topics related to student absenteeism and truancy, inclusion and special education, the ripple effects of immigration enforcement, and teachers and teacher education. Dr. Kirksey's research has been highlighted in several popular media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Politico, Education Week, The Hechinger Report, and Chalkbeat. 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., 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.

Roberts, S., Kirksey, J. J., & Gottfried, M. A. (2020). Practices More Likely to Occur in Kindergarten Mathematics Teachers' Instruction when English Learners are Present. Learning and Instruction, 67.

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 Open5(3), 1-13.

Gottfried, M. A., & Kirksey, J. J. (2019). General Education Teachers' Math Instructional Practices in Kindergarten Classrooms with and without Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities. Teaching and Teacher Education77, 309-320.

Sattin-Bajaj, C. S. & Kirksey, J. J. (2019). Is School a Sanctuary: Absenteeism among Immigrant Students. In Gottfried, M. A. & Hutt, E. L. (Eds.), Absent From School: Understanding and Addressing Absenteeism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Kirksey, J. J., & Gottfried, M. A. (2018). Familiar Faces: Can Having Similar Classmates from Last Year Link to Better School Attendance This Year? The Elementary School Journal119(2), 223-243.

Gottfried, M. A., & Kirksey, J. J. (2017). “When” Students Miss School: The Role of Timing of Absenteeism on Students' Test Performance. Educational Researcher, 46(3), 119-130.

Gottfried, M. A., Egalite, A., & Kirksey, J. J. (2016). Does the Presence of a Classmate with Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities Link to Other Students' Absences in Kindergarten? Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 36, 506-520.