- About Us
- Research & Outreach
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.
- 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
Key Professional Appointments
- Scholar, Scholars Strategy Network, 2013-present
- Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois, 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
Activities & Honors
- Sir Walter Murdoch Visiting Professor, Education, Murdoch University, 2013-present
- Fellow, National Education Policy Center, 2010-present
- Member, Editorial Board, Education Policy Analysis Archives, 2009-present
- Faculty Affiliate, Institute of Government and Public Affairs, 2008-present
- Fellow, Forum on the Future of Public Education, 2007-present
- Member, Policy Task Force, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, 2006-present
- Editorial Board Member, Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 2006-present
- Member, Editorial Board, Educational Administration Quarterly, 2011-2014
- Distinguished Senior Scholar, College of Education, 2013
- List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, , 2013
- Associate Editor, American Educational Research Journal, 2011-2013
- Member, Editorial Board, Educational Researcher, 2009-2012
- 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
- Fulbright US Senior Scholar, New Zealand, Fulbright Program, 2010-2011
- Member, Spencer Foundation, Small Research Grants Advisory Committee, 2008-2011
- Distinguished Scholar, College of Education, 2007-2008
- Review Panel Member, Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering, National Science Foundation, 2006-
Research StatementResearch 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
- 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, Substantive and Symbolic Innovation in Competition-Based School Reform, Campus Research Board, 2005-present
- Principal Investigator, Marketing Schools: Structuring incentives for innovation in educational production and promotion, The Spencer Foundation (Brown University), 2003-2003
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. (2013). Privatizing Form or Function? Equity, Outcomes and Influence in American Charter Schools. Oxford Review of Education, 39(4), 498-513.
- Lubienski, C., Lubienski, S. (2013). The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, IL.
In The News
Jul. 9, 2014
Illinois continues to face significant structural challenges in K-12 education and has experimented with ways of avoiding those obstacles. Yet the current reforms in elementary and secondary education utilize approaches that tend to de-emphasize inputs such as resources in favor of standards, accountability, choice, and structural reforms of school governance. Read more...
Jan. 21, 2014
Professor Chris Lubienski is making a significant contribution to the national discourse on education, according to the Education Week blog Rick Hess Straight Up (RHSU). Lubienski notched a No. 7 ranking among scholars in the field of government and policy in the Edu-Scholar Public Influence: Top Tens rankings, as well as two-way tie for No. 52 on the Edu-Scholar Public Influence list. The RHSU rankings recognize the often unseen accomplishments of scholars “who have had the biggest impact on public discussion of education.” Read more...
Jan. 2, 2014
Like many in their field, Christopher and Sarah Lubienski, education professors at the University of Illinois, had long taken it as a given that private schools generally outperform public schools. Why would parents shell out thousands of dollars a year in tuition if they weren’t getting more for their money? Moreover, studies in the 1980s and ’90s had apparently settled the matter, showing that private schools produced higher test scores even when accounting for the demographic differences between public and private. Read more...