What are the political, social, and economic barriers to addressing the extreme inequality facing the United States today? When have public officials and communities successfully overcome these barriers? The following categories describe areas of my research that probe different aspects of this answering these pressing questions.
POLITICAL DYNAMICS OF POLICY FAILURE
One avenue for understanding persistent inequality is identifying when, how, and why actors learn that a policy is actually increasing inequality. My dissertation book project, When is Hindsight 20/20?, studies the conditions under which public officials are willing to recognize and respond to policy failure, particularly as it relates to social policies. The project explores the following questions:
In what ways does a states research capacity influence public officials' recognition of policy failure?
When and how does information about policy outcomes constrain public official position-taking?
When do cross-party coalitions form on behalf of reforming a failed policy?
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT & POLITICAL MOBILIZATION
Knowing that important changes to address inequality can come from the bottom up, just as much as they can be top down, I study the civic engagement and political mobilization of new constituencies. My recent projects and working papers include:
EDUCATION POLICY & REFORM
As a former K-12 educator, I am invested in exploring the ways in which the unique history and structure of the American education system impact innovation, policy making and reform. My recent projects and working papers include:
“Measuring Policy Diffusion: An Examination of Teacher Evaluation Practices.” working paper with NaLette Brodnax.
EFFECTIVE PEDAGOGY AND INSTRUCTION IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
In addition to studying political drivers of inequality, I study strategies that can help create more equitable classrooms by examining effective instructional practices in the social sciences. I am particularly interested in documenting successful strategies for teaching reading and writing, which can pose substantial barriers to an equitable classroom experience. My recent projects and working papers include:
“Examining the Effect of Explicit Writing Instruction on the Quality of Student Writing.” with Colin Brown and George Soroka. Forthcoming at Journal of Political Science Education.