Cassandra Hart (PhD11) Wins Dissertation Honorable Mention

Cassandra Hart (PhD11) Wins Dissertation Honorable Mention

Cassandra Hart
Cassandra Hart (PhD11), who earned her doctorate in human development and social policy, was awarded the honorable mention for the Dissertation Award of the Association for Public Policy and Analysis (APPAM). She is the fourth HDSP student to earn honorable mention, joining Katherine Magnuson (PhD03), Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal (PhD05), and Rebecca London (PhD96).

The title of Hart’s dissertation is “Voucher Policies and the Responses of Three Actors: Parents, Private Schools, and Public Schools.” It examines the responses to the introduction of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, a means-tested voucher program in Florida.

One of the findings of Hart’s research with professor David Figlio is that Competition from private-school vouchers may lead to academic gains in surrounding public schools. The researchers also found that the Florida students using vouchers differed little in academic performance compared with students in public schools.

“An increasing number of states are experimenting with voucher programs. This dissertation adds important evidence on the factors associate with students’ participation in voucher programs, and on how both public schools and private schools respond to new voucher programs.”

Hart is now assistant professor of education policy at the University of California-Davis. She was also a winner of a 2010-11 Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship.

APPAM is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving public policy and management by fostering excellence in research, analysis and education.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 11/10/11