Douglas N. Harris is one of the nation’s most influential scholars of education policy. In addition to three books and nearly 100 academic articles, his research examines many of the most pressing education topics facing the country, from charter schools and school accountability to free college and loan forgiveness. His work has been featured in almost every major media outlet and by commentators such as David Brooks, Ross Douthat, Malcolm Gladwell, and Nicholas Kristoff, as well as Bill Gates.
His most recent book is, Charter School City: What the End of Traditional Public Schools in New Orleans Means for American Education (University of Chicago Press, 2020). The book chronicles the unprecedented, charter-based school reforms in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. No city had ever completely eliminated traditional public schools. His book not only tells the story of how these reforms came about, but examines how effective they were, the reasons behind their successes, the failures that arose, and lessons for the country as we grapple with the future of public education.
Harris wears many hats. He is Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics, the Schlieder Foundation Chair in Public Education, Director of both the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans (ERA-New Orleans) and Director of the National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice (REACH), all at Tulane University. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and has advised governors in eight states, testified in the U.S. Senate, and advised the U.S. Department of Education, the Obama White House, and Biden transition team on multiple education policies.