Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Brown University
Website URL
education, urban, 20th century US, politics, public policy, state-building, law
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

My main research interests are twentieth century United States history, the history of American education, urban history, and political and policy history.

I am currently writing a book, tentatively titled, Shifting Fortunes: City Schools and Suburban Schools in Metropolitan Chicago, 1945-2000, which explores connections between public schooling and uneven metropolitan development. It asks how state policies, including funding formulas and aid, regulatory policies, and rules about district formation and governance, structured unequal schooling in metropolitan Chicago and considers how educational inequality shaped and deepened other forms of spatial and social inequality in postwar America.

My first book, School, Society, and State: A New Education to Govern Modern America, 1890-1940 examined education reform as a project of state-building and political development, including how a de facto national education system developed through decentralized legal control.  It looked at the development of urban school systems, professionalization of education, rural school reform, construction of state policies and bureaucracies, compulsory attendance policies, and curriculum reform during this pivotal moment of change when new aims and practices were developed and public oversight over children extended.

Recent Publications

School, Society, & State: A New Education to Govern Modern America, 1890-1940. University of Chicago Press, 2012

“Managing School Integration and White Flight: The Debate over Chicago’s Future in the 1960s,”Journal of Urban History, 42 (July 2016): 709-32.

“Governing the Child: The State, the Family, and the Compulsory School in the Early Twentieth Century, in Boundaries of the State in U.S. History.  Edited by William J. Novak, James Sparrow, and Stephen Sawyer.  University of Chicago Press, 2015.

“The ‘Race Problem’ and American Education in the Early Twentieth Century.” In Inequity in Education: A Historical Perspective. Edited by Debra Meyers and Burke Miller. Lexington Books, 2009.

“Solving the Rural School Problem: New State Aid, Standards, and Supervision of Local Schools, 1900-1933.” History of Education Quarterly 48 (Spring 2008): 181-220.

“Lessons from the Past: A Challenge and a Caution for Policy-Relevant History.” In Clio at the Table: Using History to Inform and Improve Education Policy. Edited by Kenneth K. Wong and Robert Rothman. Peter Lang Publishing, 2008.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century
Expertise by Topic
Government, Law, Politics, Urban History