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 - present

ScholarScholars Strategy Network, 2013 - present

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

Sir Walter Murdoch Visiting ProfessorEducationMurdoch University, 2013 - present

FellowNational Education Policy Center, 2010 - present

Faculty AffiliateInstitute of Government and Public Affairs, 2008 - present

FellowForum on the Future of Public Education, 2007 - present

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

List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students2014 - 2014

Distinguished Senior ScholarCollege of Education, 2013 - 2013

List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students(rated “outstanding,” Spring2005; Spring 2007)University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004 - 2012

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

Fulbright US Senior ScholarNew ZealandFulbright Program, 2010 - 2011

Distinguished ScholarCollege of Education, 2007 - 2008

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, 0

Principal InvestigatorHow Do Intermediary Organizations Define & Disseminate Research for Educational Policymaking?, William T. Grant Foundation, 2015

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

Co-Principal InvestigatorSchool Choice and Educational Reform in New Orleans, Campus Research Board, 2008

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

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

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

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

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), 2006

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


Member, Editorial BoardEducation Policy Analysis Archives, 2009 - 9999

Editorial Board MemberJournal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 2006 - 9999

Member, Policy Task ForceCenter for Tax and Budget Accountability, 2006 - 9999

Member, Editorial BoardEducational Administration Quarterly, 2011 - 2014

Associate EditorAmerican Educational Research Journal, 2011 - 2013

Member, Editorial BoardEducational Researcher, 2009 - 2012

MemberSpencer Foundation, Small Research Grants Advisory Committee, 2008 - 2011

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


Poli & Cultural Context of Ed The political and social environment of public education in the United States; analysis of the power structure and its influence on educational policy making at the district level; examination of the evolving roles of state and federal agencies, the courts, private organizations, and interest groups in school governance. Studies the tension between the ideal of a democratically controlled public school system and the growing power of educational experts. Course Information: Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the College of Education or consent of instructor.

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.

Topics in Educational Policy Seminar on topics not treated by regularly scheduled courses; requests for initiation may be made by students or faculty members. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 8 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.

Christopher Lubienski

Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership



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