F. Chris Curran

Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, University of Florida
Chapter Member: Florida SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About F. Chris

Curran is an expert on K-12 education policy. His research focuses on issues of school discipline and student safety, early childhood and elementary education, and teacher human capital.  A common thread through his work is a focus on the evaluation of policies and practices aimed at improving educational equity for traditionally disadvantaged groups of students.  Recent work includes an examination of the impact of state mandatory expulsion laws on the black-white discipline gap as well as an examination of the policy diffusion of universal preschool. Curran has experience as a middle school science teacher and department chair as well as a metropolitan government employee. Recently, he assisted the Metro Nashville Planning Department with the development of a twenty five year strategic plan, lending his expertise to their development of a long-term vision for education and youth.

In the News

Opinion: "A School Resource Officer in Every School?," F. Chris Curran, The Conversation, April 11, 2018.
Opinion: "Federal Spending Bill Deals Blow to School Safety Research," F. Chris Curran, The Conversation, March 29, 2018.
Quoted by Sean Mulkerrin in "Analysis: No Quick Fix for Growing Student Poverty," The Altamont Enterprise, November 30, 2017.
Opinion: "Alabama Schools Still Use Zero Tolerance Policies Shown to Have Little Effect," F. Chris Curran, Alabama Media Group, October 31, 2016.
Research discussed by Audrey Cleo Yap, in "A New Generation of All-Girls Schools," The Atlantic, October 14, 2016.
Opinion: "Science Achievement Gaps Start Early - in Kindergarten," F. Chris Curran, The Conversation, September 14, 2016.
Research discussed by Jackie Zubrzycki, in "In Kindergarten, There is No STEM Gender Gap," Education Week, August 22, 2016.
Opinion: "Zero Tolerance Laws Increase Suspension rates for Black Students," F. Chris Curran, The Conversation, July 24, 2016.
Opinion: "Improve Baltimore Schools to Attract Families," F. Chris Curran, Baltimore Sun, November 20, 2015.
Opinion: "Overtime-Pay Conversation Should Include Teachers," F. Chris Curran, Education Week, August 18, 2015.
Opinion: "Now That Nashville Next Has Been Approved, What’s Next?," F. Chris Curran (with Claire Smrekar), The Tennessean, August 7, 2015.


"The Effects of Maternal Depression on Child Outcomes during the First Years of Formal Schooling" (with Amy Claessens and Mimi Engel). Early Childhood Research Quarterly 32, no. 3 (2015): 80-93.

Utilizes nationally representative data from the ECLS-K to examine the relationship between maternal depression and elementary school student outcomes. Argues that persistent depression predicts negative behavior, lower academic achievement, and increased absenteeism.

"Academic Content, Student Learning, and the Persistence of Preschool Effects" (with Amy Claessens and Mimi Engel). American Educational Research Journal 51, no. 2 (2014): 403-434.

Examines the relationship between the teaching of advanced academic content in kindergarten and student achievement. Indicates that all students benefit from exposure to advanced mathematics and reading, regardless of incoming skills or preschool experience.

"Expanding Downward: Innovation, Diffusion, and State Policy Adoptions of Universal Preschool" Education Policy Analysis Archives 23, no. 36 (2015).

Examines the political and contextual predictors of state adoption of universal preschool policies. Demonstrates that Democratic control of the state legislature and prior presence of a targeted preschool program are significant predictors of state adoption of universal preschool.

"New Evidence on Teacher Labor Supply" (with Mimi Engel and Brian Jacob). American Educational Research Journal 51, no. 1 (2014): 36-72.

Examines teacher preferences for schools by examining their application patterns at a job fair for the Chicago Public Schools. Indicates that schools serving more advantaged students have more applicants per vacancy and that geography is an important predictor of application.