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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.  I also organize a speaker series on civil liberties.

My Core Research Interests

  • Institutional success. What accounts for the success of collegiate institutions?
  • Teacher mobility and competition. What prompts teachers to switch school districts or exit the profession?
  • 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?

Full Curriculum Vitae.

In Progress

  • Arnold F. Shober. “Cherish the Spirit: Democratic Discourse and the Regulatory State.”  Public commenting has become far more open and democratic — and open to abuse — with the advent of electronic commenting.  How do federal regulators respond to public comments, especially in agencies that are less technical or politically charged?
  • Arnold F. Shober. “Colleges that Fail: Measures of Success.”  This project leverages data from Texas A & M Geoservices, the IPUMS National Historical Geographic Information System, analysis of college institutional histories, news media, and more.