Skip to main content

Welcome, you are visiting SMTI

Member Profile

Charles Thompson



  • Higher Ed: Education, Researcher 


Charles L. Thompson (Ed.D., Learning Environments, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 1982) is the Lora Wilson King Distinguished Professor in Education at East Carolina University. Thompson's current research interests are in the roles of state and school district leadership and policy in improving overall student performance and closing ethnic and socioeconomic gaps in achievement. Recent projects have included the North Carolina High School Resource Allocation Study commissioned by Governor Mike Easley, the legislatively-mandated evaluation of the NC Disadvantaged Student Supplemental Fund, and Hewlett Foundation-funded case study of the Onslow County (NC) Public Schools. Before moving to ECU, Thompson was Director of the NC Education Research Council, which provided research and data to inform decision making by the NC Education Cabinet (Governor, Chair of the State Board of Education, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Presidents of The University of North Carolina, the North Carolina Community College System, and the NC Association of Independent Colleges and Universities). Earlier in his career, Thompson served as Associate Dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University; Co-Director of the Education Technology Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education; Vice President of Education Development Center in Newton, MA; Study Manager for the Study of Dissemination Efforts Supporting School Improvement, based at The NETWORK in Andover, MA; and Project Officer, Institutional Monitor, and Team Leader in Educational Policy and Organization at the National Institute of Education. 


Impact of (a) state and district education policy and (b) teacher education routes and programs upon student outcomes.  


Thompson, Charles L. Gary T. Henry, Adrienne Sgammato, and Rebecca A. Zulli, The Effects of Leadership on Student Performance in Disadvantaged Student Supplemental Fund Middle Schools, Carolina Institute for Public Policy, May, 2009.

Thompson, Charles L., Kathleen Brown, Elizabeth Cunningham, and Bianca Montrosse, Leadership, Organizational Characteristics, and Performance in North Carolina High Schools, Carolina Institute for Public Policy, March, 2008.

Thompson, Charles L., Elizabeth K. Cunningham, and Christopher Moxley, Steady Work: Sustained Improvement in the Onslow County Schools, Case Study Presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, April 12, 2007, Chicago.

Thompson, Charles L., Gary Sykes, and Linda Skrla, Instructionally Effective School Districts: A Review of Research, Paper Presented at the 2004 Annual Meeting of NCARE, April 2, 2004, Chapel Hill, NC. AERA State Distinguished Paper Award, thus also presented at the 2005 Meeting of AERA, Montreal.