Prof. Lubienski is an award-winning researcher and author, known internationally for his work on markets in education, school choice, and privatization. He is a fellow with the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado and Sir Walter Murdoch Visiting Professor at Murdoch University in Western Australia. He has authored peer-reviewed articles in the American Journal of Education, the Oxford Review of Education, the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Policy, and the Congressional Quarterly Researcher. His work has been funded by the federal Institute of Education Science, the William T. Grant Foundation, the Australian Research Council, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Spencer Foundation, and featured in news media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and Business Week. In addition to School Choice Policies and Outcomes: Empirical and Philosophical Perspectives (with Walter Feinberg, SUNY Press, 2008), Lubienski published The Charter School Experiment: Expectations, Evidence, and Implications (with Peter Weitzel, Harvard Education Press). His book, The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools, (with Sarah Lubienski, University of Chicago Press) won the 2014 PROSE Award in Education Theory from the American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence.

Key Professional Appointments

Professor Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois, 2013 - present

Scholar Scholars Strategy Network, 2013 - present

Associate Professor Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois, 2007 - 2013

Visiting Scholar Faculty of Education, Unviversity of New South Wales, 2012 - 2012

Fulbright Senior Scholar New Zealand, University of Waikato, 2011 - 2011

Assistant Professor Educational Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois, 2004 - 2007

Assistant Professor History, Philosophy & Comparative Studues in Educa, Iowa State University, 1999 - 2004


Post-Doctoral Fellow, Education Policy, National Academy of Education,2005

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Education Policy, Advanced Studies Program, Brown University,2002

Ph.D., Education Policy and Social Analysis, Michigan State University,1999

M.A., History, Michigan State University,1992

B.S., History, Northern Michigan University (Summa Cum Laude),1989

Awards, Honors, Associations

PROSE winner, American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence, Education Theory Association of American Publishers, 2015 - 2015

Sir Walter Murdoch Visiting Professor Education, Murdoch University, 2013 - present

List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students 2014 - 2014

Distinguished Senior Scholar College of Education, 2013 - 2013

List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students (rated “outstanding,” Spring, 2005; Spring 2007), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004 - 2012

Visiting Scholar — Monash University, Melbourne, Australia Monash University, 2011 - 2011

Fulbright US Senior Scholar New Zealand, Fulbright Program, 2010 - 2011

Fellow National Education Policy Center, 2010 - present

Faculty Affiliate Institute of Government and Public Affairs, 2008 - present

Distinguished Scholar College of Education, 2007 - 2008

Fellow Forum on the Future of Public Education, 2007 - present

In Our News

Wealthy donors, think tanks major influences on education policy, study finds (3/11/2016)

Education faculty leading the way in public policy and special education (1/20/2016)

Professor Chris Lubienski again recognized as top public policy influencer (1/7/2016)

Professor Chris Lubienski testifies on meager effects of vouchers (11/5/2015)

Education 'experts' may lack expertise, study finds (2/20/2015)

Governor advocates for lifting Illinois' cap on charter schools (2/11/2015)

K-12 funding remains a challenge in Illinois, says EPOL professor (7/9/2014)

Professor Chris Lubienski making his public presence felt (1/21/2014)

Researchers have a new take on which schools work and why (1/2/2014)

Education faculty engage in critical research and publications (10/18/2013)

Christopher Lubienski named director of The Forum on the Future of Public Education (9/11/2012)

EPOL Professor C. Lubienski weighs in on homeschooling gains in U.S. (9/7/2012)

Professor Christopher Lubienski speaks out on school zoning manipulation in New Zealand (6/25/2012)

School voucher expert Christopher Lubienski cited in New York Times article (6/12/2012)

Professor Christopher Lubienski cited about Louisiana's proposed education overhaul (4/13/2012)

Professor Christopher Lubienski featured in USA Today story about home schooling demographics (2/20/2012)

Chris and Sarah Lubienski's math studies cited in public versus private school debate (11/1/2011)

Studies by Christopher and Sarah Lubienski assess math performance in public and private schools (10/17/2011)

Chris Lubienski talks school choice and vouchers with UI News Bureau (9/13/2011)

Research & Service

Research interests: Education Policy and Politics, Political Economy of Education, Organizational Theory and Innovation, Relationship of Theory and Evidence to Policy, Education Reform and Equity, International-Comparative Analyses, Geographic Analyses and Urban Education


Lubienski, C., & Lubienski, S. (2014) The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools.. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, IL  link >

Malin, J., & Lubienski, C. (2015) Educational Expertise, Advocacy, and Media Influence Education Policy Analysis Archives 23 (6)  link >

Lubienski, C., Scott, J., & DeBray, E. (2014) The Politics of Research Use in Education Policymaking Educational Policy 28 (2), 131-144

Lubienski, C. (2013) Privatizing Form or Function? Equity, Outcomes and Influence in American Charter Schools Oxford Review of Education 39 (4), 498-513  link >

Lubienski, C., & Brewer, T. (2013) Review of “Report Card on American Education: Ranking State K-12 Performance, Progress, and Reform.” National Education Policy Center: Boulder, CO  link >

Lubienski, C., Lee, J., & Gordon, L. (2013) Self-Managing Schools and Access for Disadvantaged Students:  Organizational Behavior and School Admissions New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies 48 (1), 82-98

Lubienski, C., Puckett, T., & Brewer, T. (2013) Does Homeschooling “Work”?  A Critique of the Empirical Claims and Agenda of Advocacy Organizations Peabody Journal of Education 88 (3), 378-392  link >


Principal Investigator How Do Intermediary Organizations Define & Disseminate Research for Educational Policymaking?, William T. Grant Foundation, 2011 - 2015

Principal Investigator Hardie Faculty Fellow: The Social Geography of Universal Choice: Competition, Charter Schools and Access in Post-Katrina New Orleans, Bureau of Educational Research, 2008 - 2009

Co-Principal Investigator School Choice and Educational Reform in New Orleans, Campus Research Board, 2007 - 2008

Principal Investigator The Social Geography of School Choice in Segregated Urban Areas, The Spencer Foundation (National Academy of Education), 2005 - 2006

Co-Principal Investigator School Choice Policies and Outcomes Around the Globe: Philosophical and Empirical Perspectives on Limits to Choice in Liberal Democracies, The Spencer Foundation, 2005 - 2006

Principal Investigator Adversaries or Allies: Do voucher programs increase competitive or cooperative strategies between public, private, and charter schools?, Bureau of Educational Research, 2005 - 2006

Co-Principal Investigator A New Look at School Type, Mathematics Achievement and Equity, U.S. Department of Education, 2005 - 2006

Co-Principal Investigator School Choice Policies and Outcomes Around the Globe: Philosophical and Empirical Perspectives on Limits to Choice in Liberal Democracies, International Program Studies (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation), 2005 - 2006

Principal Investigator Marketing Schools: Structuring incentives for innovation in educational production and promotion, The Spencer Foundation (Brown University), 2003 - 2003

Principal Investigator Substantive and Symbolic Innovation in Competition-Based School Reform, Campus Research Board, 2005 - 0


Member, Editorial Board Educational Administration Quarterly, 2011 - 2014

Associate Editor American Educational Research Journal, 2011 - 2013

Member, Editorial Board Educational Researcher, 2009 - 2012

Member Spencer Foundation, Small Research Grants Advisory Committee, 2008 - 2011

Member, Editorial Board Education Policy Analysis Archives, 2009 - present

Editorial Board Member Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 2006 - present

Member, Policy Task Force Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, 2006 - present

Review Panel Member Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering, National Science Foundation, 2006 - 2006


Ed Politics and Policies Examines the legislative and political processes in the formulation of current federal and state educational policies, together with the evaluation of policy and the formulation of policy alternatives. Course Information: Prerequisite: EOL 548 or consent of instructor.

Politics of Education Overview of the political structure and processes through which many of the major issues in education are treated; analyzes nature of the policymaking process in education and discusses the roles of principal participants in the process of educational decision making, but focuses on fundamental recurring issues in education and the ways these issues have been resolved or not resolved by the overall system. Particular attention to the role that both the federal and state judiciary as well as legislative authority have had in shaping educational policy. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

Uses/Abuses of Educ Research This course aims at comprehensive research literacy by considering educational research in historical, philosophical, policy and political context. Through close reading and quantitative, qualitative, and humanistic studies, the discussion of interdisciplinary perspectives on the research process, students learn to engage intelligently with multiple modes of research and deal critically with policies claiming an evidentiary warrant. Specific topics include: the relationship between research, policy, and practice; the nature of theory and method, argument and evidence in the humanities and social sciences; the tensions between advocacy and research.

Careers in Higher Education Seminar in educational policy studies; sections offered in the following fields: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education. Course Information: May be repeated. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Christopher Lubienski

Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership



338 Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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