Matthew A. Kraft, associate professor of education & economics at Brown University, will serve as research director at Upbeat 

New York, NY, November 7, 2019 – Upbeat, an innovative organization dedicated to improving staff and teacher retention in K-12 districts, today announced the addition of Matthew A. Kraft as research director. Kraft’s research on the teaching profession has been frequently cited by news outlets including The Economist, The New York Times, and Education Week. 

Dr. Matt Kraft

Dr. Matt Kraft

“As a former teacher, I know firsthand the challenges teachers face in schools that contribute to high turnover rates. I’m excited to be part of a team that is working to help districts to identify the causes of and solutions to teacher turnover,” said Kraft. Started by former educators and administrators, Upbeat enables K-12 districts across the country to administer a research-grounded predictive analytics survey to measure employee engagement and reduce staff turnover. 

Kraft began his career as a middle and high school teacher in the Oakland Unified School District and Berkeley Unified School District before pursuing a doctorate in Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He now teaches at Brown University and is the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. His research has focused on a range of teacher issues, including coaching, professional growth, satisfaction, and retention. 

Kraft joins a team of former educators and district leaders at Upbeat. Founder and CEO Henry Wellington is a former middle school special education teacher in New York City. Chris Spence, head of technology, is a former high school science teacher, and Upbeat’s head of leadership, Dr. Brenda Tanner, is the former superintendent of Madison County Public Schools and Orange County Public Schools in Virginia.  

“Matthew brings unparalleled expertise on the research-based strategies needed to keep teachers in the profession,” said Wellington, founder and CEO of Upbeat. “We are eager to give our partners the opportunity to leverage his rigorous research on teacher turnover to guide their districtwide strategies to improve teacher retention.”


About Upbeat

Upbeat works with K-12 districts across the country to administer a research-grounded survey to elevate teacher engagement and retention by fostering strong school environments. Founded and led by former educators, we bring together data scientists, technologists, and experienced former school leaders to deliver a research-backed solution. Our surveys, paired with tailored toolkits and intervention strategies, surface real-time insights so that principals and district leaders are able to better understand and uncover the conditions affecting employee morale and establish actionable plans to improve teacher and staff retention. 

More information can be found at  


Media Contact for Upbeat
Jenna Talbot, (202) 851-3607,