Jessica Drescher

Jessica Boyle Drescher

Jessica ( is a doctoral candidate in Education Policy at Stanford University. She is a recipient of the IES Fellowship and Karr Fellowship at Stanford’s Center for Education Policy Analysis, where she is also a member of the Educational Opportunity Project. In addition, Jessica is a Health Policy Research Scholar with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

As a scholar, Jessica is interested in education as a lever of social mobility and approaches test scores as the primary mechanism by which opportunity is distributed in the United States. In this spirit, much of her research analyzes national test scores: how they vary geographically, how social policies influence them, and the differential higher education outcomes that result from them. Informed by her experiences as an unaccompanied homeless youth and first-generation college student, Jessica’s research aims to fundamentally improve the opportunity structure around low-income children and children of color in the United States.

Methodologically, Jessica employs both quantitative and qualitative methods in her work: her dissertation relies on descriptive and quasi-experimental quantitative methods using large national datasets and administrative data, and another strand of research utilizes semi-structured interviews to produce in-depth case studies in ongoing, iterative partnerships with communities of practice (including superintendents, local government officials, and heads of health and human services).

Faculty advisors: 

sean reardon, Ben Domingue, Keith Humphreys

Research interests: 
Inequality, Education, Social Policy, Opportunity, Higher Education, Early Childhood, Child Wellbeing

Ph.D., Education Policy, Stanford University - 2023 (Expected)
M.A., Education Policy & Management, Harvard University - 2016
B.A., Sociology, Colby College – 2012