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Curran, F. Chris

F. Chris Curran HeadshotAssociate Professor
School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education

College of Education
University of Florida
2-260F Norman Hall
PO Box 117049
Gainesville, FL 32611
Phone number: 352-273-4332

Research Biography

F. Chris Curran is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Florida’s College of Education. Prior to joining the University of Florida, he was an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) School of Public Policy. He received his Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies with a doctoral minor in quantitative methods from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College in 2015 and holds a masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi. Dr. Curran’s research focuses on issues of equity in education with a particular focus on the ways that school discipline and safety contribute to racial disparities in educational outcomes. He also has an active body of research that examines early childhood education, particularly in science. His work has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Justice as well as the American Educational Research Association and has been published in outlets including Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Educational Researcher, AERA Open, the American Educational Research Journal, and Education Finance and Policy. His work has also been featured in a number of media outlets including NPR, Politico, Education Week, and The Atlantic. He blogs actively on topics of school discipline and safety and is a regular contributor to The Conversation. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Curran was a middle school science teacher and department chair.


Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies, 2015
Doctoral minor in quantitative methods
Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College

M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, 2011
University of Mississippi

B.A. in Philosophy, 2009
University of Florida

B.S. in Biochemistry, 2009
University of Florida

Key Professional Appointments

Assistant Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County School of Public Policy, 2015 – 2019

Activities and Honors

2019 National Academy of Education and Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow

Emerging Education Policy Scholar, Thomas B. Fordham and the American Enterprise Institute


National Science Foundation – Exploratory Evidence on the Factors that Relate to Elementary School Science Learning Gains Among English Language Learners. (Principal Investigator; $313,159)

American Civil Liberties Union – The Expanding Presence of Police in Schools: An Analysis of Florida’s Expansion of School Resource Officers in Schools (Principal Investigator; $30,518)

AERA Research Conference Grant – New Data Frontiers in School Discipline Research: Charting a Path for Enhanced Data Collection to Better Understand the Entire School Discipline Pipeline and Equity Therein (Principal Investigator; $35,000)

National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship – Ban the Discipline Box? How University Applications that Assess Prior School Discipline Experiences Impact College Acceptance of Youth Disciplined in High School (Principal Investigator; $70,000)

National Institute of Justice Comprehensive School Safety Initiative Grant – Understanding the Adoption, Function, and Consequences, of School Resource Officer Use in Understudied Settings (Principal Investigator; $620,000).

AERA/NSF Research Grant – Early Elementary Science Instruction: Estimating the Impacts of Instructional Time, Content Coverage, and Pedagogy on Equity in and Achievement on Science in Kindergarten through Second Grade (Principal Investigator; $20,000)

Selected Publications

Viano, S., Curran, F.C., & Fisher, B. (2021). Kindergarten cop: A case study of how a coalition between school districts and law enforcement led to school resource officers in elementary schools. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 43(2), 253-279.

Curran, F.C., Viano, S., Kupchik, A, & Fisher, B. (2021). Do interactions with school resource officers predict students’ likelihood of being disciplined and feelings of safety? Mixed-methods evidence from two school districts. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 43(2), 200-232.

Curran, F.C. & Finch, M. (2021). Reforming school discipline: Responses by school district leadership to revised state guidelines for student codes of conduct. Educational Administration Quarterly, 57(2), 179-220.

Cohen-Vogel, L., Sadler, J. (g), Little, M., Merrill, B., Curran, F.C. (2020). The adoption of public pre-kindergarten among the American states: An event history analysis. Educational Policy. Online First.

Fisher, B., Higgins, E., Kupchik, A., Viano, S., Curran, F.C., Overstreet, S. (g), Plumlee, B. (g), & Coffey, B. (g) (2020). Protecting the flock or policing the sheep? Differences in school resource officers’ perceptions of threats by school racial composition. Social Problems. Online First.

Kupchik, A., Curran, F.C., Fisher, B., & Viano, S. (2020). Police ambassadors: Student-police interactions in school and legal socialization.  Law and Society Review, 54(2), 391-422.

Curran, F.C. (2020). A matter of measurement: How different ways of measuring racial gaps in school discipline can yield drastically different conclusions about racial disparities in discipline. Educational Researcher, 49(5), 382-387.

Curran, F.C., Fisher, B., Viano, S. (2020). Mass school shootings and the short-run impacts on use of school security measures and practices: National evidence from the Columbine tragedy. Journal of School Violence, 19(1), 6-19.

Curran, F.C., Little, M. (g), Cohen-Vogel, L., & Domina, T. (2020). School readiness assessments for class placements and academic sorting in kindergarten. Educational Policy, 34(3), 518-547.

Curran, F.C., Fisher, B.W., Viano, S., Kupchik, A. (2019). Why and when do school resource officers engage in school discipline? The role of context in shaping disciplinary involvement. American Journal of Education, 126(1), 33-63.

Pearman, F.A., Curran, F.C., Fisher, B., Gardella, J. (2019). Are achievement gaps related to discipline gaps? Evidence from national data.  AERA Open, 5(4), 1-18.

Curran, F.C. & Kitchin, J. (g) (2019). Documenting geographic isolation of schools and examining the implications for education policy. Educational Policy. Online First.

Curran, F.C. & Kitchin, J. (g) (2019). Early elementary science instruction: Does more time on science or science topics/skills predict science achievement in the early grades? AERA Open, 5(3), 1-18.

Curran, F.C. & Kitchin, J. (g) (2019). Why are the early elementary race/ethnicity test score gaps in science larger than those in reading or mathematics? National evidence on the importance of language and immigration context in explaining the gap-in-gaps. Science Education, 103, 477-502.

Curran, F.C. & Kitchin, J. (2018). Why are the early elementary race/ethnicity test score gaps in science larger than those in reading or mathematics? National evidence on the importance of language and immigration context in explaining the gap-in-gaps. Science Education.  Online First.

Curran, F.C. (2018). Does the Chicago Safe Passage program reduce reported crime around elementary schools? Evidence from longitudinal, geocoded crime data. Criminal Justice Policy Review. Online First.

Curran, F.C., Little, M., Cohen-Vogel, L., & Domina, T. (2018). School readiness assessments for class placements and academic sorting in kindergarten. Educational Policy. Online First.

Curran, F.C. & Kitchin, J. (2018). Estimating the relationship between corporal punishment use and school suspensions: Longitudinal evidence from the Civil Rights Data Collection. Peabody Journal of Education, 14(3), Online First.

Curran, F.C. & Kellogg, A. (2018). Sense-making of federal education policy: Social network analysis of social media discourse around the Every Student Succeeds Act. Journal of School Leadership, 27(5), 622-651.

Engel, M., Cannata, M., Curran, F.C. (2017). Principal influence in teacher hiring: Documenting decentralization over time. Journal of Educational Administration. Online First.

Curran, F.C. (2017). Influence over school discipline policy: Variation across levels of governance, school contexts, and time. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25(119), 1-30.

Curran, F.C. (2017). Estimating the relationship between preschool attendance and kindergarten science achievement: Implications for early science achievement gaps. Education Finance and Policy. Online First.

Curran, F.C., Viano, S., & Fisher, B.W. (2017). Teacher victimization, turnover, and contextual factors promoting resilience.  Journal of School Violence. Online First.

Curran, F.C. (2017). Income-based disparities in early elementary school science achievement. Elementary School Journal. 118(2), 207-231.

Fisher, B., Viano, S., Curran, F.C., Pearman, A., Gardella, J.* (2017). Students’ feelings of safety, exposure to violence and victimization, and authoritative school climate.  American Journal of Criminal Justice.

Curran, F.C. (2017). The law, policy, and portrayal of zero tolerance school discipline: Examining prevalence and characteristics across levels of governance and school districts. Educational Policy.

Curran, F.C. (2017). Teach for America placement and teacher vacancies: Evidence from the Mississippi Delta. Teachers College Record, 119(2), 1-24.

Little, M., Cohen-Vogel, L., Curran, F.C. (2016). Facilitating the transition to kindergarten: What ECLS-K data tell us about school practices then and now.  AERA Open.

Curran, F.C. & Kellogg, A*. (2016). Understanding science achievement gaps by race/ethnicity and gender in kindergarten and first grade. Educational Researcher, 45(5), 273-282.

Curran, F.C. (2016). Estimating the effect of state zero tolerance laws on exclusionary discipline, racial discipline gaps, and student behavior. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 38(4), 647-668.

Curran, F.C. (2016). The state of abstracts in educational research.  AERA Open, 2(3), 1-9.

Engel, M. & Curran, F.C. (2016). Toward understanding principals’ hiring practices. Journal of Educational Administration, 54(2), 173-190.

Claessens, A., Engel, M., Curran, F.C., (2015). The effects of maternal depression on child outcomes during the first years of formal schooling. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 32(3), 80-93.

Curran, F. C. (2015). Expanding downward: Innovation, diffusion, and state policy adoptions of universal preschool. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23(36). http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v23.1688

Claessens, A., Engel, M., & Curran, F.C. (2014). Academic content, student learning, and the persistence of preschool effects. American Educational Research Journal, 51(2), 403-434.

Engel, M., Jacob, B., Curran, F.C. (2014). New evidence on teacher labor supply. American Educational Research Journal, 51(1), 36-72.

Selected Links

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Website