Sherman Dorn

Director, Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation; Professor
Faculty w/Admin Appointment
WEST Campus
Mailcode
3151
Division Dir (FSC) & Professor
Faculty w/Admin Appointment
WEST Campus
Mailcode
3151

Biography

I have been the director of the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation since 2014, supporting the faculty, academic professional, and staff colleagues who work closely with the division's 2,500 students. The director's role is both to support and lead: there are always new ideas for programs and new ways to help students and faculty in creating new knowledge and improving education. The best part of the job is figuring out how to say "yes" to great ideas coming from great colleagues. 

In my quarter-century in colleges and universities, I have taught more than 2,500 students at all levels in higher education, led academic units in two large public research universities, written or co-edited four books, learned and written about the history of education policy in the United States, and never been bored.  

I look skeptically on the collective definitions of education problems: are we seeing issues correctly? In my research, I have focused on how we defined dropping out of high school as a problem, how we think of public-private distinctions in education, how school accountability evolved, and how we have defined schools as communities. I believe that as individuals, we have holes in our mental model of social problems, and as a society, those holes are reflected in what we think are educational problems and how we try to solve them. We need to identify those mental holes so we are not limited by them. 

Education

  • Ph.D. History, University of Pennsylvania 1992
  • M.A. Demography, University of Pennsylvania 1992
  • B.A. History (Magna Cum Laude), Haverford College 1987

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Guiding Research Questions:

  • How has the historical definition of any problem in education (such as dropping out or the lack of accountability) reflected evolving concerns about education and society?

  • How have the historical and evolving definitions of problems of education hidden alternative ways of framing our challenges?

Publications

Selected recent publications and presentations

Dorn, S., & *Fauland, H. (2017, December). Estimating population overlaps when you do not have access to confidential data. Presented at annual meeting of Arizona Educational Research Organization (Tempe, AZ). 

Dorn, S. (2017, October 15). Simulated probabilistic population estimation [working paper]. Retrieved from https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/dpc7z

Dorn, S., & *Potterton, A. U. (2017, March). Massachusetts charter schools and the magnitude puzzle of empirical school research. Paper presented at annual meeting of the Association of Education Finance and Policy (Washington, DC).

*Ross, L., *Chapman, K. P., & Dorn, S. (2017, March). A geographic analysis of opting-out behavior in New York from 2014-2016. Poster session at annual meeting of the Association of Education Finance and Policy (Washington, DC).

Artiles, A. J., Dorn, S., & Bal, A. (2016). Objects of protection, enduring nodes of difference: Disability intersections with “other” differences, 1916–2016. Review of Research in Education, 40, 777-820. DOI: 10.3102/0091732X16680606 

*Chapman, K. P., & Dorn, S. (2016, March). A geographic analysis of opting-out behavior in New York. Poster session at annual meeting of the Association of Education Finance and Policy (Denver, CO).

*Martinez, D. G., & Dorn, S. (2016, March). Swamping errors: A Florida postmortem for high school graduation rate proxies. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Education Finance and Policy (Denver, CO).

Dorn, S., & *Potterton, A. U. (2015, October 8). Arne Duncan’s legacy: Growing influence of a network of private actors in public education. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-conversation-us/arne-duncans-legacy-growi_b_8265084.html

Dorn, S. (2015). Prophet or fool? The professional position and role of historians of education. History of Education Review, 44(1), 23-37. 

Dorn, S. (2014). Testing like William the Conqueror: Cultural and instrumental uses of examinations. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 22(119). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v22.1684

* - Student collaborators.

 

Research Activity

Current projects

  • Geographic analysis of opting-out behavior in state assessments, a phenomenon that became widespread in several states in spring 2015. This is a collaborative effort with doctoral students, who are taking the lead in presentations and publications from this project. Broader question: How does location factor into educational movements and education politics?
  • Geographic analysis of college attainment among Native Americans. Using the American Community Survey, IPEDS, and other sources, we are mapping where Native American college graduates live. Broader question: What factors can contribute to a critical mass of college graduates in Native American communities? 
  • Meta-analysis of voucher-program participation effects in reading, math, and educational attainment. This is a collaborative effort with doctoral students. Broader question: Are we defining "education markets" reasonably when we talk about voucher programs and charter-school growth?
  • Post-mortem of proxy high-school graduation rates promoted in the 2000s and now made obsolete by a uniform federal definition of graduation rates. This is a collaborative effort with doctoral students, who are taking the lead in presentations and publications from this project. Broader question: How do we talk about important measures of education success when the best available indicators are flawed? 
  • Population estimates from persistent nonunique identifiers. This exploratory effort expands previous research by Vermont social scientists in the estimation of population sizes using persistent nonunique identifiers such as birthdates and first names. 

All of these current projects are in collaboration with current and former ASU doctoral students.

Courses

Summer 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
DCI 595Continuing Registration
TEL 595Continuing Registration
TEL 780Practicum
EPA 790Reading and Conference
DCI 790Reading and Conference
TEL 791Seminar
EPA 792Research
TEL 799Dissertation
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
DCI 593Applied Project
DCI 595Continuing Registration
TEL 595Continuing Registration
EPA 691Seminar
TEL 780Practicum
EPA 790Reading and Conference
TEL 791Seminar
EPA 792Research
EPA 795Continuing Registration
DCI 795Continuing Registration
TEL 799Dissertation
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
DCI 595Continuing Registration
TEL 780Practicum
EPA 790Reading and Conference
TEL 791Seminar
TEL 792Research
EPA 792Research
DCI 795Continuing Registration
EPA 795Continuing Registration
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
DCI 595Continuing Registration
TEL 595Continuing Registration
TEL 780Practicum
EPA 790Reading and Conference
DCI 790Reading and Conference
TEL 791Seminar
EPA 792Research
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
TEL 792Research
EPA 792Research
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
DCI 595Continuing Registration
EPA 691Seminar
EPA 790Reading and Conference
EPA 792Research
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
DCI 595Continuing Registration
TEL 595Continuing Registration
EPA 790Reading and Conference
EPA 792Research
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
EPA 792Research
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
DCI 595Continuing Registration
EPA 790Reading and Conference
Summer 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
TEL 595Continuing Registration
DCI 595Continuing Registration
EPA 790Reading and Conference
TEL 791Seminar
EPA 792Research
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
DCI 791Seminar

Honors/Awards

2017 Review of Research Award, American Educational Research Association, for Alfredo J. Artiles, Sherman Dorn, and Aydin Bal, "Objects of Protection, Enduring Nodes of Difference: Disability Intersections With 'Other' Differences, 1916-2016." Review of Research in Education, Vol 40, March 2016.

Editorships

2004-2008, Education Policy Analysis Archives.

 

Professional Associations

<p>History of Education Society; American Educational Research Association; Association of Education Finance and Policy; Arizona Educational Research Organization</p>

Work History

<p>Arizona State University, 2014-present; University of South Florida, 1996-2014; Vanderbilt University, 1993-1996; University of Delaware, 1992-1993</p>