Sara Dahill-Brown


Associate Professor

Office: Kirby 325
Phone: 758-3364

Areas of Expertise: American Educational Politics and Policy, Program Evaluation, Policy Implementation


Sara Dahill-Brown is an associate professor in the politics and international affairs department at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her research and teaching center on educational politics and policy in the United States with a focus on state-level variation, state-local relations, and implementation.  She is an alumna of Utah’s public schools, a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and a recovering middle school teacher. She has worked as a researcher and volunteer in the school systems of Wisconsin, where she earned her doctorate, and North Carolina, where she now lives.  Her book, Education, Equity, and the States: How Variations in State Governance Make or Break Reform was published with Harvard Education Press in 2019, and her writing on educational politics and inequality has been featured in edited volumes, refereed journals, and professional magazines.


B.A. Political Science and Sociology, Trinity University
M.A. Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ph.D. Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison




POL 212. US Policymaking in the 21st Century. (3h)
Examines the contemporary United States policymaking process. Special attention to ways issues become important and contributions of different political actors, institutions, and ideologies in the passage or rejection of policy proposals. Considers a range of social, economic, and regulatory policies.

POL 213. Economic Inequality and American Politics. (3h)

Examines patterns of economic inequality in the United States, weighs competing causal explanations for changing distributions of income and wealth, and investigates the effects of this inequality on American democracy.

POL 228. The Politics of Public Education. (3h)
Introduces students to some of the most popular and contentious contemporary education policy debates and discusses what the US school system tell us about the country’s fundamental political commitments.

POL 280. Research Methods. (3h)
Overview of the qualitative and quantitative methods prominent in studying political science. Attention is given to the relationships between theory, method and findings by focusing on the need to make systematic empirical observations. P-STA-111 must be taken before or concurrently with this course.

POL 300. Senior Seminar in Political Science. (4h)
Readings and research on selected topics. P-POL 280 and STA-111.

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