Jim Kemple
Executive Director


  • Academic performance
  • Accountability
  • Achievement gap
  • Federal policy
  • Graduation rate
  • High schools
  • Research and methodology
  • School choice
  • School reform
  • Small schools
  • Teacher recruitment and retention

James Kemple is the executive director of the Research Alliance for New York City Schools and research professor at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. Kemple is particularly well known for his work examining high school reform efforts, assessing performance trends in New York City’s educational landscape, and designing rigorous impact evaluations. Prior to joining the Research Alliance, Kemple spent more than 18 years at MDRC. He served as the director of MDRC’s K-12 education policy area and specialized in the design and management of rigorous evaluations of education and employment and training programs. Kemple began his career as a high school math teacher. He also managed the Higher Achievement program, which serves disadvantaged youth in Washington, D.C. He holds a doctorate and master’s degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, with a concentration in administration, planning, and social policy for community and urban education, as well as a bachelor’s in mathematics from the College of the Holy Cross.