Research interests include the politics of education reform, inter-governmental relations, the political determinants and substantive effects of prominent education reforms (e.g., decentralization, high-stakes accountability, pay for performance initiatives); case study designs and qualitative research methods.
Betty Malen joined the Department of Education Policy and Leadership in 1994. A former public school administrator, Dr. Malen received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and held professorial positions at the University of Utah and the University of Washington before coming to Maryland. She specializes in education politics and policy. Her research brings the discipline of political science to the examination of education problems and relies heavily on the effective application of case study designs and qualitative research methods. Broadly recognized for her work on the political determinants and the substantive effects of prominent education reforms. Dr. Malen is currently focusing on "reconstitution" reforms, pay for performance intiatives, weighted student funding and on shifts in the balance of power between state and local units of the education system. She teaches courses in research methods (e.g., case study designs, policy evaluation) as well as in education politics and policy.She received the university's Distinguished Scholar Teacher Award in 2016.
- Distinguished Scholar Teacher, University of Maryland, April 2016
- College of Education, Excellence in Mentoring Award, May 2016
- Jay D. Scribner Mentor Award, November 2015, sponsored by the University Council for Educational Administration for exceptional mentorship of students and new professors.
- College of Education, Distinguished Outreach Award, May 2014.
- American Education Studies Association Critics Choice Book Award for Breaking into the all-male club: Female professors of educational administration (contributor; N. Metz, editor), 2011.
- Politics of Education Association, Stephen K. Bailey Award for Shaping the Intellectual and Research Agenda of the Field, April, 2006.
- College of Education 2004-05 Outstanding Teaching Award, May 2005.
- Selected as participant for "A Study of Productive and Influential Scholars in Educational Administration," sponsored by AERA Division A, 1999.
- Recipient, EDPA Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, 1999.
- College of Education Outstanding Teacher Honoree , University of Washington, 1993, 1994.
- University of Utah Graduate School of Education Faculty Teaching Award, June, 1990 (first recipient).
- Distinguished Service Award, American Education Finance Association, March, 1990.
- UCEA William J. Davis Award, sponsored by the University Council for Educational Administration and the editorial board of Educational Administration Quarterly, April, l987.
- Jean Flanigan Dissertation Award, American Education Finance Association, April, l985.
- Secretary, AERA Division L, (Policy and Politics), elected 200
- President, Politics of Education Association, elected 1992.
Rice, J.K. & Malen, B. (2017). Performance-based pay for educators: Assessing the evidence. New York: Teachers College Record. Authors contributed equally to development of this book; order of authorship determined by coin toss.
Theobald, N.D. & Malen, B. (Eds.), (2000). Balancing local control and state responsibility for k-12 education, The 2000 Yearbook of the American Education Finance Association. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.
Fuhrman, S., & Malen, B. (Eds.), (1991). The politics of curriculum and testing, The fourth annual yearbook of the Politics of Education Association. New York: Falmer Press.
Select Book Chapters *designates student co-author
Malen, B. & Rice, J. K. (2016). “School reconstitution as a turnaround strategy: An analysis of the evidence” in J. Mathis and T. Trujillo (Eds), Test-based education reforms: Lessons for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), pp. 99-126. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
Rice, J.K. & Malen. B. (2016). “When the models meet school realities: Educator responses to performance measures in an incentive-pay program.” In Amrein-Beardsley, A., & Hewitt, K. K. (Eds.), Student growth measures: Policy meets practice, pp. 29-48. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Malen, B. (2011). “An enduring issue: The relationship between political democracy and educational effectiveness” in D. E. Mitchell, R. L. Crowson & D. Shipps (Eds), Shaping education policy: Power and process. pp. 23-60. New York, NY: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.
Malen, B., & Rice, J. K. (2009). "School reconstitution and school improvement: Theory and evidence," in G. Sykes, B. Schneider, & D. N. Plank (Eds.), Handbook on education policy research. pp.464-477. New York: Routledge for the American Education Research Association. (Invited and refereed).
Malen, B. (2009). "From school administrator to university professor: Reflections on the initial phase of a major career change," in N. Mertz (Ed.), Breaking into the all-male club: Female professors of educational administration. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. (Invited).
Malen, B. & Rice, J. K. (2008) "A framework for assessing the impact of education reforms on school capacity: Insights from studies of high stakes accountability policies," in J. K. Rice & C. F. Roellke (Eds.), The costs of accountability: Implications of high-stakes accountability policies for education resources and capacity. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing. Reprint.
Malen, B. & *Cochran, M.V. (2008). "Beyond pluralistic patterns of power: A review of research on the micropolitics of schools," in B. S. Cooper, J. G. Cibulka, & L. D. Fussarelli (Eds.), Handbook of education politics and policy. pp. 148-178. New York, NY: Routledge. (Invited).
Malen, B. (2006) "Revisiting policy implementation as a political phenomenon," in M. Honig (Ed.), New directions in education policy implementation. pp. 83-104. Albany, NY: SUNY. (Invited and refereed).
Select Refereed Journal Articles *designates student co-author
Rice, J. K. & Malen, B., Jackson, C., & Hoyer, K. M. (In press). “ Administrator responses to Financial incentives,” Leadership and Policy in Schools. electronic advance copy out in 2016
Malen, B. (2016). “Enriching the preparation of education researchers and practitioner-scholars: Linking school district research priorities and university-based policy evaluation research courses," Journal of Research on Leadership Education.1-19. DOI:10,1177/1942775116663712 jrl.sagepub.com.
Malen, B., *Dayhoff, J., *Egan, L. & Croninger, R. C. (2015). “The challenges of advancing fiscal equity in a resource-strained context,” Education Policy,1-28. DOI:10.1177/0896904815613445 epx.sagepub.com
Rice, J. K., Malen, B., *Jackson, C. & *Hoyer, K.M. (2015). “Time to pay-up: Analyzing the motivational potential of financial awards in a TIF program,” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 37, (1), 29-49.
Malen, B., Rice, J.K., *Bowsher, A., *Matlach, L.B., *Hoyer, K. M. & *Hyde, L. (2015). “Developing organizational capacity for implementing complex education reform initiatives: Insights from a multi-year study of a Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) program,” Educational Administration Quarterly, 15, (1), 133-176.
Rice, J. K., Malen, B., *Baumann, P., *Chen, E., *Dougherty, A., *Hyde, L., *Jackson, C., *Jacobson, R. & *McKithen, C. (2012). The persistent problems and confounding challenges of educator incentives: The Case of TIF in Prince George's County, Maryland, Education Policy,26(6), 892-933.
Malen, B. & Rice, J. K. (2004) "A framework for assessing the impact of education reforms on school capacity: Insights from studies of high stakes accountability policies," Education Policy, 18(5), 631-660
Rice, J. K. & Malen, B. (2003). "The human costs of education reform: The case of school reconstitution," Educational Administration Quarterly, 39(5), 635-666.
Malen, B. (2003). "Tightening their grip?" Educational Policy, 17(2), 1995-216.
Malen, B., Croninger, R., Muncey, D. & *Jones, D. (2002). "Reconstituting schools: Testing the theory of action," Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 24, (2), 113-132.
Contracts and Grants
Principal investigator (with Robert Croninger). Project: In pursuit of equity, autonomy and improvement: A study of the student-based budgeting initiative in the Prince George’s County Public Schools, 2012- 2013 (97,048).
Principal investigator (with Jennifer Rice), Project: Ongoing formative evaluation of FIRST initiative. Funded by a partnership with the school district and the University of Maryland Department of Education Policy Studies, 2010-2011 ($72, 178); 2008-2009 ($72, 178).
Principal investigator, Project: Formative evaluation of ISIS initiative. Funded by a partnership with the school district and the University of Maryland College of Education and Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, 2006-2007 ($35,289).
Principal investigator, Project: Formative evaluation of school improvement. Funded by a partnership with the school district and the University of Maryland Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, 2002. ($22,000).
Researcher, Project: Study of Twenty-First Century Schools initiative. Funded by a partnership with the local school district and the University of Maryland at College Park, 1998-2000. ($150,000, Barbara Finkelstein, Principal Investigator).
Researcher, Project: Evaluation of the United States-Japan Foundation Pre-College education Programs. Funded by the US-Japan Foundation, 1996. ($70,000, Barbara Finkelstein, Principal Investigator.)