FAQ icon

Need Answers?

Directory Icon

Email, Phone, and Addresses

Graduation cap icon

Explore Degrees

Chris Torres

Associate Professor, Marsal Family School of Education


610 E. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

Chris Torres is an Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Leadership in the University of Michigan’s Marsal Family School of Education. His research is focused on educator recruitment/retention and how school systems that incorporate school choice and accountability reform logics organize to improve student outcomes. He uses qualitative and mixed methods to uncover mechanisms that help explain outcomes of educational policy and practice. For example, his early work used survey and interview methods to understand urban “no-excuses” Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) and how the organizational climate in these schools influenced high teacher turnover. Although supporters often claim that the climate of these CMOs help them improve opportunities and outcomes for minoritized children of color, Torres complicates this narrative by drawing attention to some of the costs and consequences of their practices such as high teacher turnover and harsh disciplinary methods.

Recent studies examine district capacity building and improvement efforts in the context of accountability policy implementation and workforce shortages. For example, he has studied how school turnaround policy and urban Portfolio Management Models of educational governance are perceived and implemented. His collaborative work on K-12 educator workforce shortages looks at the substitute teacher labor market as well as teacher absences, supply, and retention to understand how these issues collectively impact schools and students. Across this work he highlights inequities, impacts, and implications for low-income schools and systems serving marginalized communities.

Current and future research focuses on understanding root causes and potential solutions to some of the challenges identified in earlier work. For instance, he is interested in the implementation of team-based models of teacher staffing that aim to improve educator efficacy, development, and retention. He is especially interested in studying how school leaders and differences in individual or organizational contexts influence teachers’ career decisions. 

Prior to joining the University of Michigan Chris was a professor of Educational Leadership at Michigan State University and Montclair State University, and he worked in New York City as a K-2 teacher, grade chair, teacher mentor, mentor teacher trainer, teacher educator, school board chair, and in the central office designing teacher hiring and leadership development systems. Dr. Torres has served in various leadership roles for professional associations. He is a former Associate Director for the University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA). He was associate editor for Educational Administration Quarterly (EAQ) and is an editorial board member for various journals. He served as Program Chair for AERA Division A (Section 1) and the Charter and School Choice SIG and was elected secretary for the Politics of Education Association (PEA) SIG from 2019-2021. He received the Outstanding Reviewer Award in 2019 and 2020 from Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA) and is a recipient of AERA Division L’s Outstanding Policy Report (2021). He holds a BA in Psychology from Yale University, an MA in Early Childhood Education from Mercy College, and a PhD in Teaching and Learning from New York University (NYU). 


Award Start Date
Oct 01, 2022
Award End Date
Sep 30, 2025