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?
- 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.