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Sherman Dorn

Director, Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation; 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 more than 3,000 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 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
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

Martinez, D. G., & Dorn, S. (in print). Swamping errors: A Florida postmortem for high school graduation rate proxies. Voices of Reform.

*Chapman, K. P., *Ross, L., & Dorn, S. (2020). Opting out in the Empire State: A geographic analysis of opting out in New York, spring 2015 and 2016. Teachers College Record, 122(2). Retrieved from https://www.tcrecord.org/content.asp?contentid=23062

Dorn, S., & Kim, W.* (2019, November). Budgeting for Big Bird: Fundraising for Sesame Street and the meaning of public in educational television. Presentation at annual meeting of the History of Education Society (Columbus, OH).

Dorn, S., & Kim, W.* (2019, April). Opening Pandora’s locker: Federalizing the education gospel, 1945-2010. Presentation at annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Toronto, ON).

Dorn, S., & Potterton, A. U. (2019, April). Why do urban Massachusetts charter schools overperform. Presentation at annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Toronto, ON).

Dorn, S. (2018, November). Ed words: How education policy discourse reflects and shapes problem definitions. Presentation at annual meeting of the Social Science History Association (Phoenix, AZ). 

*Ross, L., *Chapman, K. P., & Dorn, S. (2018, March). A geographic analysis of opting-out behavior in Colorado. Poster session at annual meeting of the Association of Education Finance and Policy (Portland, OR).

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).

* - Student collaborators.

 

Research Activity

Postwar history of educational broadcasting

Three major forces catapulted education onto the national stage in the immediate post-WW 2 era: the mass spread of broadcast culture, especially television; the civil rights movement; and the Cold War. My current major research project is a history of educational broadcasting in the United States, roughly bookended by the premier of The Howdy-Doody Show as the first nationally-broadcast children's television show in December 1947, on the one hand, and the rise of Youtube in the late 2000s, on the other. This includes the history of well-known shows on public television such as Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, and also commercial broadcasting that we can consider educational, including Schoolhouse Rock. 

Other 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? 
  • Systematic literature review of school choice 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.

Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
DCI 595Continuing Registration
EPA 691Seminar
EPA 790Reading and Conference
EPA 792Research
Summer 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
DCI 595Continuing Registration
TEL 595Continuing Registration
TEL 780Practicum
EPA 790Reading and Conference
DCI 790Reading and Conference
EPA 792Research
EPA 795Continuing Registration
DCI 795Continuing Registration
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
TEL 595Continuing Registration
DCI 595Continuing Registration
EPA 790Reading and Conference
EPA 792Research
DCI 795Continuing Registration
EPA 795Continuing Registration
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
DCI 595Continuing Registration
TEL 780Practicum
EPA 790Reading and Conference
TEL 791Seminar
EPA 792Research
EPA 795Continuing Registration
DCI 795Continuing Registration
TEL 799Dissertation
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
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

History of Education Society; American Educational Research Association; Association of Education Finance and Policy; Arizona Educational Research Organization

Graduate Faculties / Mentoring History

Arizona State University: Leadership and Innovation (EdD) and Educational Policy and Evaluation (PhD). University of South Florida: Interdisciplinary Education (PhD). Selected student list: Kevin Jaramillo, EdD, Arizona State University, 2019; James Lett, EdD, Arizona State University, 2018; Mary Elizabeth Azukas, EdD, Arizona State University, 2018; Ariana Lopez, EdD, Arizona State University, 2018; Sean Lazarus, EdD, Arizona State University, 2018; Michelle Vlahoulis, EdD, Arizona State University, 2018; Kacie Nadeau, PhD, University of South Florida, 2017; Brent Lamons, PhD, University of South Florida, 2012; Peter Gamache, PhD, University of South Florida, 2011; Judy Castillo, PhD, University of South Florida, 2011.

Work History

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