Previously, Prof. Schmidt 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, Journal of Educational Statistics, EEPA, Science, Educational Researcher and the Journal of Educational Measurement. He has co-authored ten books including Why Schools Matter, Teacher Education Matters, and Inequality for All. His current writing and research concerns issues of academic content in K-12 schooling including the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, assessment theory and 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 2009 he was elected in the first group of Fellows in the American Educational Research Association. Dr. Schmidt served on the Steering Committee for Review of the Evaluation Data on the Effectiveness of NSF-Supported Mathematics Curriculum Materials. He received his A.B. in mathematics from Concordia College in River Forrest, IL and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in psychometrics and applied statistics. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Concordia University in 1997.
Although the effect of tracking on educational inequality has long been the subject of education research (see Schmidt & Burroughs 2012 for a summary), until recently most of that work has relied on fairly blunt measures of curricular inequality (e.g. earliest age of tracking) and emphasized between-school differences. Recent research making use of student-level indicators of opportunity to learn (OTL) suggests widespread within-school inequality that is systematically related to student socioeconomic status (Schmidt et al. 2015). Schmidt et al. found that roughly a third of the relationship between SES and student mathematics scores on the 2012 PISA was due to the association of SES to OTL. In all countries there was a statistically significant relationship between OTL and student socioeconomic status. Further, the study uncovered considerable variation in which inequalities in SES-based inequalities in OTL were attributable to between or within school differences.