Richard Blissett

Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, Management, and Policy, Seton Hall University

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About Richard

Blissett's overall research agenda focuses on two major, connected fields of inquiry. Firstly, what do people believe (both morally and empirically) about policy, why do we believe these things, and why do these beliefs matter? Secondly, what are the mechanisms by which these beliefs and ideals formally or informally translate into broader, institutionalized policymaking in a world where these beliefs often conflict? His research interests within education policymaking include public opinion and information, social determinants of political behavior, democratic behavior and institutions, social movements and ideology and policy understanding. Visit for a complete list of works and curriculum vitae.


The Future of Service-Learning in Maryland Schools


"Beyond the Incident: Institutional Predictors of Student Collective" (with Dominique J. Baker). The Journal of Higher Education (2017): 1-24.

Suggests that the tipping points that motivate student social movement mobilization may not be primarily related to any specific change in institutional characteristics, but rather that they existed in a context of standing institutional characteristics.

"Disentangling the Personal Agenda: Identity and School Board Members' Perceptions of Problems and Solutions" (with Thomas L. Alsbury). Leadership and Policy in Schools (2017): 1-33.

Demonstrates that a variety of characteristics predict perceptions of issue urgency and cogent policy solutions for addressing student achievement. Finds evidence that the translation of Black identity to perceptions is moderated by district context. Indicates that attention to board members' identities may be critical for developing effectively functioning boards and understanding local education policy.

"Principal Licensure Exams and Future Job Performance: Evidence from the School Leaders Licensure Assessment" (with Jason Grissom and Hajime Mitani). Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 39, no. 2 (2017): 248-280.

Finds that the most commonly used principal licensure examination, the School Leaders Licensure Assessment, fails to predict many measures of principal job performance. Discusses how principal candidates of color are substantially less likely than white candidates to fail the exam, making it more difficult for them to advance to school leadership positions.