Job Candidate Justin Doromal

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Justin B. Doromal is a PhD student in Education Policy at the University of Virginia and a 2020-21 AERA Minority Dissertation Fellow. He specializes in early childhood education policy, focusing on policy and programmatic factors that promote continuity—or exacerbate disruption—in children’s early educational experiences. His research examines organizational issues that policymakers and practitioners face in their efforts to improve early childhood education access and quality. He is especially interested in these issues given the current policy landscape where many early childhood programs, including private child care providers, are expected to meet federal and state-defined indicators for access and quality, despite profound disparities in compensation, support, and training.

Justin’s dissertation work focuses on the high levels of volatility in early childhood education—and specifically, the high rates of closure among child care programs and the high levels of turnover among the low-income early educators who teach and provide care for young children in these settings. His current research investigates the role of working conditions—administrative support, work climate, and wage and compensation—in supporting early educators. Justin is an active presenter and attendee at conferences hosted by AERA, APPAM, SRCD, NRCEC, and AEFP.

Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of South Florida, and a Master of Education and Master of Public Policy from the University of Virginia. Prior to graduate school, Justin was assistant teacher (and later, assistant director) at a franchised, after-school math and reading enrichment program for young children. He was also a research specialist intermediate at the Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) at the University of Virginia.

Faculty Advisor: Daphna Bassok


  • Weixler, L., Valant, J., Bassok, D., Doromal, J. B., & Gerry, A. (2020). Helping parents navigate the early childhood education enrollment process: Experimental evidence from New Orleans. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

  • Doromal, J. B., Cottone, E. A., & Kim, H. (2019). Preliminary validation of the teacher-rated DESSA in a low-income, kindergarten sample. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 37(1), 40-54.

  • Meyer, J. P., Doromal, J. B., Wei, X., & Zhu, S. (2017). A criterion-referenced approach to student ratings of instruction. Research in Higher Education, 58(5), 545-567.

Working Papers:

Research in Progress:

  • "Experimental impacts of financial incentives on early childhood teachers’ employment outcomes: Results from two cluster RCTs” (with Daphna Bassok, Molly Michie, and Vivian Wong).

  • “Following the Leader: Child care teachers' perceptions of leadership, intentions to stay, and nine-month retention” (with Anna J. Markowitz)

  • “Describing system-wide quality improvement in early childhood education under high program instability” (with Daphna Bassok, Scott Latham, and Thomas Dee)

Reports and Briefs from Research-Practice Partnerships:

  • Bassok, D., Doromal, J.B., Holland, A., & Michie, M. (2020). Who Teaches Virginia’s Youngest Children? Sector Differences in the Racial/Ethnic Composition of Early Educators.

  • Bassok, D., Doromal, J.B., Michie, M., & Weisner, K. (2020). Family Day Homes in Virginia’s Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initiative: Baseline Survey Findings.

Awards and Honors:

  • 2020-21 AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research Award recipient, American Educational Research Association
  • Equity & Inclusion Student Fellowship 2020 recipient, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
  • Walter Eugene Campbell Scholarship recipient, University of Virginia
  • Education Policy Academy invited participant, American Enterprise Institute
  • Virginia Education Science Training Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Institute of Education Sciences (2016-2020)


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