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Teaching and Research

I teach courses in American federalism, elections, media, and public policy.  Although I thoroughly enjoy teaching in the classroom, I also oversee independent studies focused on student research. Topics that students have investigated with me include urban infrastructure planning, organizational behavior in American hospitals, measures of teacher quality, evidence-based practices in correctional policy, and Democratic candidate rhetoric in Republican-leaning districts.

My Core Research Interests

  • Assessment and accountability.  As American policymakers have lost interest in the process of public policy, they have demanded simple-seeming public reporting of results.  Does this accountability lead to policy change?  How does assessment shape implementation?  This movement appears in many fields, but I focus on teacher quality and student achievement.
  • Federalism and American education.  American education is at once a bastion of localism and target for national control.  Can localism yield democratic accountability without sacrificing academic achievement?
  • Governors’ use of the media.  Many governors produce almost daily press releases even as governors’ media visibility is low.  What kinds of releases are picked up by the press?

Full curriculum vitae.

Current Research

  • “Persuasion or Paranoia: Governors in the Press.” 2014. Project in progress presented at the Midwest Political Science Association.
  • “Convergence in K-16: Student Assessment and Accountability.” Project in progress for 2015.