William Schmidt

William Schmidt

Bio and Research Interest

William H. Schmidt is a University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University and director of the Center for the Study of Curriculum Policy. He holds faculty appointments in Statistics and Education. Previously he served as National Research Coordinator and Executive Director of the US National Center which oversaw participation of the United States in the IEA sponsored Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).  He has published in numerous journals including the Journal of the American Statistical Association, Education Researcher, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, American Affairs Journal, Journal of Educational Statistics, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Journal of Curriculum Studies, and the Journal of Educational Measurement. He has co-authored ten books including Why Schools Matter, Inequality for All, and Schooling Across the Globe: What We Have Learned from Sixty Years of Mathematics and Science International Assessments

His current research interests focus on the effects of curriculum on academic achievement. He is also concerned with educational policy related to mathematics, science and testing in general. Dr. Schmidt received the 1998 Willard Jacobson Lectureship from The New York Academy of Sciences and is a member of the National Academy of Education. In 2019 he was elected as Fellow of the International Academy of Education. Dr. Schmidt was also selected as one of the first to receive the Thomas J. Alexander fellowship for work on PISA 2012.  In 2009 he was elected in the first group of Fellows in the American Educational Research Association. He also was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Concordia University in 1997.


University of Chicago, 1969

Honors and Awards

University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University 

National Academy of Education Member

OECD Thomas J. Alexander Fellows 

American Education Research Association Fellow

American Education Research Association Grants Board Member

Director, Center for the Study of Curriculum Policy, Michigan State University


Schmidt, W. H., Houang, R. T., Cogan, L. S., & Solorio, M. L. (2018). Schooling across the globe: What we have learned from 60 years of mathematics and science international assessments. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


Schmidt, W. H., Burroughs, N. A., Houang, R. T., & Cogan, L. S. (2018). The role of content knowledge in mathematics teacher preparation: A study of traditional and alternative teacher preparation in Texas. Journal of Teacher Education.


Schmidt, W. H. (2017, Winter). Excellence and equality in mathematics education. American Affairs, 1(4): 32–33.


Schmidt, W. H., Burroughs, N. A., Cogan, L. S., & Houang, R. T. (2016). The role of subject-matter content in teacher preparation: An international perspective for mathematics. Journal of Curriculum Studies, Doi: 10.1080/00220272.2016.1153153


Schmidt, W. H., & Burroughs, N. A. (2016). The trade-off between excellence and equality: What international assessments tell us. Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, 17(1), 103–109. Doi: 10.1353/gia.2016.0011


Schmidt, W. H., Burroughs, N. A., Zoido, P., & Houang, R. T. (2015). The role of schooling in perpetuating educational inequality: An international perspective. Educational Researcher, 44(7), 371–386. Doi: 10.3102/0013189X15603982


Schmidt, W. H., & Burroughs, N. A. (2015). Puzzling out PISA: What can international comparisons tell us about American education? American Educator, Spring, 24–31.

Contact Information

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