Dr. Sarah Lubienski's scholarship centers around intersections of education and equity, focusing on mathematics achievement, instruction, and reform. Through quantitative studies of NAEP and ECLS-K data, as well as qualitative studies of classrooms, her work reveals disparities in diverse students' mathematics experiences and outcomes, and factors underlying those disparities. Dr. Lubienski has served as the chairperson of both AERA's NAEP Studies SIG and the Editorial Panel for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. She recently co-directed an Illinois Math-Science Partnership and has received IES, NSF and Fulbright grants to support her research. She is currently PI of an IES postdoctoral fellowship program, a member of the AERA Grants Governing Board and the Interim Dean of the Graduate College.

Key Professional Appointments

Interim Dean Graduate College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2014 - present

Professor Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010 - present

Associate Dean Graduate College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2012 - 2014

Associate Professor Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004 - 2010

Assistant Professor Curriculum and Instruction, Iowa State University, 1999 - 2004

Assistant Professor Mathematics Department, Buffalo State College, 1997 - 1999


Ph.D., Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Policy, Michigan State University, 1996

M.S., Mathematics, Michigan State University, 1991

B.S., Mathematics/Secondary Education, Northern Michigan University, 1989

Awards, Honors, Associations

2015 American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) Award for Best Book in Education Theory Association of American Publishers, 2015 - 2015

Outstanding Reviewer Award Educational Researcher, American Educational Research Association, 2010 - 2010

Fulbright Scholar Award A Study of Mathematics Instructional Reform in Ireland. US Department of State, $23,000, Fulbright Program, 2010 - 2010

Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005 - 2009

Outstanding Reviewer Award Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 2008 - 2008

Distinguished College Scholar College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006 - 2007

Thomas N. Urban Research Award Iowa Academy of Education, First in the Nation in Education lll, 2001 - 2001

In Our News

Education at Illinois scholars produce most widely read research of 2016 (3/21/2017)

How could public education change under the Trump administration? (12/2/2016)

Gender gap in math achievement, expectations begins early, study shows (10/27/2016)

Math education getting better despite all the controversy, says C&I professor (7/6/2016)

Education professors lead important AERA Institute on Statistical Analysis for Education Policy (5/27/2016)

Education Justice Project assisting those in and out of prison, but challenges remain (1/26/2016)

C&I professor analyzes what drop in NAEP math scores says about Common Core Standards—and NAEP (11/5/2015)

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)

Education faculty lead prestigious AERA institute examining equity in mathematics education (6/17/2013)

Casey George-Jackson to participate in Institute for Higher Education Policy, Lumina Foundation Academic Fellows Program (8/22/2012)

Education Justice Project honors students' work at Convocation (6/19/2012)

Sarah Lubienski and Joseph Robinson teach AERA Statistical Institute (5/25/2012)

C&I Professor Sarah Lubienski named STEM Education Research Collaborative director (2/8/2012)

College announces new appointments for Stafford Hood, Fouad Abd El Khalick, and Sarah Lubienski (1/3/2012)

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)

Research & Service

Professor Sarah Lubienski's scholarship centers around intersections of education and equity, focusing on mathematics instruction, achievement and reform. Her in-depth analyses of national, large-scale data and local classrooms illuminate how home, school, and affective factors relate to gender and race/ethnicity-related disparities in mathematics outcomes. Her work on identifying powerful SES-related indicators also spurred a line of research on public-private school differences in instruction and mathematics achievement, leading to the award-winning, co-authored book "The Public School Advantage."

Overall, her research challenge the field to attend to the challenges that marginalized students, parents, and their teachers face daily. She also confronts the nature of education research, itself, analyzing the ways in which education researchers approach and avoid difficult issues of socioeconomic disparities.


Leder, G., & Lubienski, S. (2015) Large-scale test data: Making the invisible visible. Diversity in mathematics education: Towards Inclusive Practices Springer: Cham, Switzerland

Lubienski, S., Hug, B., & Copur-Gencturk, Y. (2014) Lessons from a Math-Science Partnership Teacher Education and Practice 27 (2/3), 316-331

Copur-Gencturk, Y., Hug, B., & Lubienski, S. (2014) The Effects of a Master’s Program on Teachers’ Science Instruction: Comparing Classroom Observations, Teacher Reports, and Student Surveys Journal for Research in Science Teaching 51 (2), 219-249

Robinson, J., Lubienski, S., Ganley, C., & Copur-Gencturk, Y. (2014) Teachers' perceptions of students' mathematics proficiency may exacerbate early gender gaps in achievement. Developmental Psychology 50 (4), 1262-1281

Copur-Gencturk, Y., & Lubienski, S. (2013) Measuring mathematics knowledge for teaching: A longitudinal study using two measures Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education 16 (3), 211-236

Lubienski, C., & Lubienski, S. (2013) The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools (Winner of 2015 PROSE Award) University of Chicago Press: Chicago, IL

Lubienski, S., Robinson-Cimpian, J., Crane, C., & Ganley, C. (2013) Girls’ and boys’ mathematics achievement, affect and experiences: Findings from ECLS-K Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 44 (4), 634-645

Lubienski, S. (2011) Mathematics education and reform in Ireland: An outsider’s analysis of Project Maths. Bulletin of the Irish Mathematical Society 67, 27-55

Robinson, J., & Lubienski, S. (2011) The development of gender achievement gaps in mathematics and reading during elementary and middle school: Examining direct cognitive assessments and teacher ratings American Educational Research Journal 48 (2), 268-302

Lubienski, S., & Crane, C. (2010) Beyond free lunch: Which family background measures matter? Education Policy Analysis Archives 18 (1)  link >

Lubienski, S. (2008) On “gap gazing” in mathematics education: The need for gaps analyses Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 39 (4), 350-356

Lubienski, S., Lubienski, C., & Crane, C. (2008) Achievement differences among public and private schools: The role of school climate, teacher certification and instruction American Journal of Education 151 (1), 97-138

Lubienski, S. (2007) What we can do about achievement disparities Educational Leadership 65 (3), 54-59

Lubienski, S., & Lubienski, C. (2006) School sector and academic achievement: A multi-level analysis of NAEP mathematics data American Educational Research Journal 43 (4), 651-698

Lubienski, S. (2003) Celebrating diversity or denying disparities: A critical assessment Educational Researcher 32 (8), 30-38

Lubienski, S. (2002) A closer look at black-white mathematics gaps: Intersections of race and SES in NAEP achievement and instructional practices data Journal of Negro Education 71 (4), 269-287

Lubienski, S. (2002) Research, reform and equity in mathematics education. Mathematical Thinking and Learning 4 (2/3), 103-125

Ganley, C., & Lubienski, S.. Mathematics confidence, interest and performance: Gender patterns and reciprocal relations Learning and Individual Differences


Principal Investigator UIUC Postdoctoral Research Training Program in Mathematics Education, Institute of Education Sciences, 2010 - 2016

Co-Principal Investigator Mathematics Science Partnership: Sense-Making in Science and Mathematics, Illinois State Board of Education, 2007 - 2012

Principal Investigator A Longitudinal Study of Gender and Mathematics Using ECLS Data, Institute of Education Sciences, 2008 - 2011

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

Co-Principal Investigator A Closer Look at Mathematics Achievement and Instructional Practices: Examinations of Race, SES, and Gender in a Decade of NAEP Data, U.S. Department of Education, 2002 - 2004


Advisory Board Member Scaling Up Mathematics Achievement (SUMA) at the University of New Mexico, 2007 - 2011

Editorial Board Member Educational Researcher, 2010 - present

Member AERA Grants Governing Board, 2010 - present

Chairperson Research Using NAEP Data Special Interest Group, American Educational Research Association, 2003 - 2007

Editorial Board Member Education Policy Analysis Archives, 2006 - present

Chair, Editorial Panel Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 2005 - 2006

Member, Editorial Panel Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 2003 - 2006


Teaching Children Mathematics Examines children's learning of mathematics and meaningful instructional methods, representations and materials. Emphasis given to number and operations (including both whole and rational numbers), number theory and statistics/probability. Includes laboratory experience with supervised problem solving. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Credit is not given for both CI 430 and CI 431. Prerequisite: MATH 103; admission to the Elementary Teacher Education Program.

Invest Approach Elem Math Inst Course will model and examine an investigative approach to elementary mathematics instruction, which is purposeful, inquiry-based, and meaningful mathematics instruction. Particular focus will be given to the teaching and learning of measurement, geometry and algebra/functions. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Prerequisite: CI 430 or CI 431; admission to the Elementary Teacher Education Program.

Problem Solving in Math Ed Focuses on the role of problem solving in the learning and teaching of mathematics. Examines mathematical problem solving processes, as well as issues surrounding the use of problem solving in K-12 mathematics classrooms, including recent reform trends, equity issues, and distinctions among teaching "about", "for", and "through" problem solving.

Quantitative Research Literacy Course Information: Approved for both letter and S/U grading. Prerequisite: Admission to doctoral study.

Sarah Lubienski

Professor, Curriculum & Instruction



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

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