Chris Curran is an associate professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Florida’s College of Education. Chris'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 researches early childhood education, particularly in science. 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.
Industry Expertise (1)
Areas of Expertise (4)
Early Childhood Education
School Resource Officers
Children and Poverty
Media Appearances (2)
Do School Police Make Students Feel Safer?
UF News online
Nationally, armed school resource officers (SROs) are part of many students’ daily experience. In Florida, state law even requires armed personnel in schools for the protection of students. Amid a national conversation on policing following the killing of George Floyd, though, how can policymakers also ensure students feel safe at school?
Cops on campuses are supposed to keep kids safe, but may do more harm than good, study finds
Florida Phoenix online
The accompanying data analysis by F. Chris Curran of the University of Florida Education Policy Research Center examines the relationship between police on campus and long-term affects on student behavior. “The results suggest a need to reconsider whether law enforcement should be present in schools, and, if they are, how they can be implemented in a way that minimizes unnecessary exposure of students to law enforcement and arrests,” Curran says in the analysis.
Exclusionary School Discipline and Delinquent Outcomes: A Meta-AnalysisJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Julie Gerlinger, et al.
Excluding students from school remains a common form of punishment despite growing critique of the practice. A disparate research base has impeded the ability to make broader assessments on the association between exclusionary discipline (i.e., suspensions and expulsions) and subsequent behavior.
Kindergarten Cop: A Case Study of How a Coalition Between School Districts and Law Enforcement Led to School Resource Officers in Elementary SchoolsEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Samantha Viano, et al.
Adopting school resource officers (SROs) is a popular response to school shootings. Using the advocacy coalition and multiple streams frameworks, we explore how school districts in one county formed a coalition with the Sheriff’s Department, adopting SROs in elementary schools following the Sandy Hook shooting. We describe how this coalition was bound together by shared beliefs on school safety and the goodness of law enforcement.
Do Interactions With School Resource Officers Predict Students’ Likelihood of Being Disciplined and Feelings of Safety? Mixed-Methods Evidence From Two School DistrictsEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
F. Chris Curran, et al.
School resource officers (SROs) are common in schools, yet consequences of their presence are poorly understood. We found no evidence that, in this context, more frequent interactions or differing trust/comfort with SROs increased disciplinary consequences, perhaps because, as students report, SROs tended to not engage in formal discipline.
Reforming School Discipline: Responses by School District Leadership to Revised State Guidelines for Student Codes of ConductEducational Administration Quarterly
F. Chris Curran and Maida A. Finch
Over the past decade, increasing attention to the negative impacts of exclusionary discipline and disparities therein has led many state educational leaders to enact school discipline reforms. This study examined the response by school district leadership to a state’s revision of guidelines for student codes of conduct.
Estimating the Relationship Between Special Education De-Identification for Emotional Disturbance and Academic and School Discipline Outcomes: Evidence From Wisconsin’s Longitudinal DataEducation and Urban Society
F. Chris Curran, et al.
Students placed in special education programs for emotional and behavioral disorders with emotional disturbance (ED) identification have academic outcomes that lag both students in regular and special education. This issue is especially important for youth attending urban schools. Although prior research has examined students identified as ED, little research has examined how students who experience de-identification fare with regard to academic or behavioral outcomes.