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Alfred Chris Torres

Associate Professor of K-12 Educational Administration, Michigan State University
Chapter Member: Michigan SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Alfred

Torres is interested in how educational policy and leadership can improve outcomes for traditionally marginalized communities at scale. He uses qualitative and mixed method approaches to study efforts aimed at accomplishing this lofty goal, such as urban "no-excuses" charter management organizations (CMOs), school choice, and school turnaround policies. He specifically examines the conditions affecting the efficacy of these efforts such as educator recruitment, development, and retention, as well as the influence of district governance and leadership on school improvement and policy implementation processes.

In the News

"The Lessons and Limits of Successful Charter Schools," Alfred Chris Torres, Asbury Park Press, March 5, 2015.
Alfred Chris Torres's research on charter school teacher turnover discussed by Helen Zelon, "Why Charter Schools Have High Teacher Turnover," City Limits, August 20, 2014.


"The Uncertainty of High Expectations: How Principals Influence Relational Trust and Teacher Turnover in No Excuses Charter Schools" Journal of School Leadership (forthcoming).
Uses interviews with former No Excuses charter school (NECS) teachers to better explain the mechanisms influencing teacher turnover by analyzing teachers’ perceptions of what principals do to influence relational trust and describing how this influenced teachers’ decisions to leave.
"Are We Architects or Construction Workers? Re-Examining Teacher Autonomy and Turnover in Charter Schools" Education Policy Analysis Archives 22, no. 124 (2014).
Presents the argument that perceptions of teacher autonomy in charter schools may be changing with the recent proliferation of Charter Management Organizations over the last decade. Illustrates how teachers with expectations for autonomy or ideas inconsistent with their school’s model clash with leadership imperatives to implement ‘what works.’
"Is This Work Sustainable? Teacher Turnover and Perceptions of Workload in Charter Management Organizations" Urban Education (2014).
Argues that teacher turnover is a poorly understood barrier to scaling up Charter Management Organizations (CMOs). Uses teacher survey data from a large CMO and finds that working conditions such as teacher workload and the effectiveness of disciplinary systems are important predictors of teacher turnover.