William Bickel
Emeritus Faculty

Bill Bickel, is a Senior Scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), and a Professor of Administrative Policy Studies in the School of Education, University of Pittsburgh. At LRDC he co-directs the Evaluation for Learning Project (EFL). The EFL works with local and national institutions on the design, documentation, evaluation, and strategic assessment of a wide variety of educational programs and reform efforts in K-16 settings. An overarching theme in the EFL work is using evaluative inquiry to support improved decision-making by educational leaders, practitioners, and policy shapers. His research interests include evaluation methodology, research on evaluation utilization in various organizational and policy contexts, and research and evaluation on urban education reform policy and program implementations. His work related to educational reform has focused on documenting of the implementation and effects of programs and practices designed to improve school and teacher effectiveness through various school restructuring and professional development initiatives. He has written extensively on the implications of the research on “effective schools” for improving educational practice. These lines of reform research grow out of earlier research summarized in his book written with William Cooley entitled “Decision-oriented Educational Research” based upon a seven year series of case studies of educational reform in Pittsburgh. Documentation research projects over the years have been funded by a number of foundations (e.g., the Ford, Kellogg, NSF, R. K. Mellon, and Grable Foundations, and the Lilly Endowment). He recently led the EFL documentation of the “Equity: Getting to All,” district-wide strategic planning process designed to enhance equity in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. This work was supported by the Heinz Endowments. Over the past five years he has been Co-PI on a number of studies related to the Pittsburgh Promise Initiative, a place-based scholarship program designed to increase access to higher education for graduates of Pittsburgh schools.

School Affiliations

Recent Grants

Pittsburgh Promise Annual Data Support and Retention/Degree Attainment Analyses

2014 - 2015

Research & Development Proposal: Evidenced-based Guidance for High School Students” Postsecondary Selection, Enrollment, and Persistence.

2014 - 2015

Evaluation of Equity Initiatives and Associated Strategic Planning

Jul 2012 - Jun 2013

Summer Dreamer’s Academy Evaluation

2013 - Jun 2013

Organizational and Implementation Factors for Going to Scale

Jun 2012 - 2013

Promise Scholarship Retention Study

Oct 2011 - Nov 2012

Recent Publications

Bickel, W.E., Iriti, J.E. (March 2014). Literature Brief on Parental Involvement in School Reform: Parent Advocacy for Positive School Climate. Pittsburgh, PA: A Plus Schools.
Iriti, J.E., Bickel, W.E., Evaluation of the Summer Dreamers Academy, Non-Academic Outcomes. Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Iriti, J.E., Bickel, W.E., with Julia Kaufmann and Elaine Wang. (August 2013). The Pittsburgh Promise: Potential Annual Indicators 2013. Pittsburgh PA: Pittsburgh Promise.
Bickel, W.E., Childs, J., Iriti, JE. (Summer 2013). Documentation of the Pittsburgh Public Schools' Equity Planning and Implementation: Phase II. Pittsburgh, PA: Heinz Endowments.
Bickel, W. E., Childs, J., & Iriti, J.E Documentation of the Pittsburgh Public Schools' (PPS) Equity Planning and Implementation: Phase I. Pittsburgh, PA: EFL, LRDC, University of Pittsburgh.
Iriti, J. E., & Bickel, W. E., & Julia Kaufmann. (Public Report, September 27, 1012). Realizing the Promise: Scholar Retention & Persistence in Post Secondary Education. Pittsburgh, PA: EFL, LRDC, University of Pittsburgh. http://pittsburghpromise.org/assets/documents/RealizingPromise_FinalReport.pdf
William Bickel


University of Pittsburgh
5602 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260