Dr. Kirksey's scholarship is broadly focused on issues at the nexus of education and other areas of public policy, including immigration policy, child and family policy, and health policy. His work stresses a holistic approach to policymaking by drawing attention to knowledge gaps in how changes made in and outside of schools interact with dynamic educational contexts. The goal of his research is to foster data-driven decision making in local, state, and federal policy to forge win-win public policies that reduce inequity in schools. To evaluate programs and policies, Dr. Kirksey employs quasi-experimental techniques using datasets from school districts, government agencies, and large-scale surveys. He has published extensively on topics related to student absenteeism and truancy, inclusion and special education, the ripple effects of immigration enforcement, and teachers and teacher education. Dr. Kirksey's research has been highlighted in several popular media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Politico, Education Week, The Hechinger Report, and Chalkbeat.