Chris Lubienski's research centers on public and private interests in education, including the use of market mechanisms such as choice and competition to improve schooling, especially for disadvantaged children. His work examines reforms and movements such as vouchers, charter schools, tuition tax credits, and home schooling that seek to decentralize and deregulate educational governance. He focuses on outcomes anticipated by reformers in areas such as increased innovation and higher levels of achievement, exploring the frequent disconnect between research findings and policy advocacy. He is currently investigating the organizational behavior of schools and districts in local education markets in metropolitan areas.

Key Professional Appointments

ProfessorEducation Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois, 2013 - 

ScholarScholars Strategy Network, 2013 - 

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

Visiting ScholarFaculty of Education, Unviversity of New South Wales, 2012 - 2012

Fulbright Senior ScholarNew Zealand, University of Waikato, 2011 - 2011

Assistant ProfessorEducational Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois, 2004 - 2007

Assistant ProfessorHistory, 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 Theory2015 - 2015

List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students2014 - 2014

Distinguished Senior Scholar2013 - 2013

Sir Walter Murdoch Visiting Professor2013 - 

List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students2004 - 2012

Visiting Scholar — Monash University, Melbourne, Australia2011 - 2011

Fulbright US Senior Scholar2010 - 2011

Fellow2010 - 

Faculty Affiliate2008 - 

Distinguished Scholar2007 - 2008

Fellow2007 - 

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


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

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>


Principal InvestigatorSubstantive and Symbolic Innovation in Competition-Based School Reform, Campus Research Board, 6/1/2005 12:00:00 AM - 

Principal InvestigatorThe Social Geography of School Choice in Segregated Urban Areas, The Spencer Foundation (National Academy of Education), 9/1/2005 12:00:00 AM - 8/31/2006 12:00:00 AM

Co-Principal InvestigatorSchool Choice Policies and Outcomes Around the Globe: Philosophical and Empirical Perspectives on Limits to Choice in Liberal Democracies, The Spencer Foundation, 8/16/2005 12:00:00 AM - 8/15/2006 12:00:00 AM

Principal InvestigatorAdversaries or Allies: Do voucher programs increase competitive or cooperative strategies between public, private, and charter schools?, Bureau of Educational Research, 8/16/2005 12:00:00 AM - 7/15/2006 12:00:00 AM

Principal InvestigatorHow Do Intermediary Organizations Define & Disseminate Research for Educational Policymaking?, William T. Grant Foundation, 7/1/2011 12:00:00 AM - 6/30/2015 12:00:00 AM

Co-Principal InvestigatorSchool 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), 7/1/2005 12:00:00 AM - 6/30/2006 12:00:00 AM

Principal InvestigatorHardie Faculty Fellow: The Social Geography of Universal Choice: Competition, Charter Schools and Access in Post-Katrina New Orleans, Bureau of Educational Research, 8/16/2008 12:00:00 AM - 5/15/2009 12:00:00 AM

Co-Principal InvestigatorSchool Choice and Educational Reform in New Orleans, Campus Research Board, 1/24/2007 12:00:00 AM - 3/31/2008 12:00:00 AM

Co-Principal InvestigatorA New Look at School Type, Mathematics Achievement and Equity, U.S. Department of Education, 7/1/2005 12:00:00 AM - 12/31/2006 12:00:00 AM

Principal InvestigatorMarketing Schools: Structuring incentives for innovation in educational production and promotion, The Spencer Foundation (Brown University), 1/1/2003 12:00:00 AM - 12/31/2003 12:00:00 AM


Member, Editorial Board2011 - 2014

Associate Editor2011 - 2013

Member, Editorial Board2009 - 2012

Member2008 - 2011

Member, Editorial Board2009 - 

Member, Policy Task Force2006 - 

Editorial Board Member2006 - 

Review Panel Member2006 - 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.

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.

Christopher Lubienski

Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership



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

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