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Betty Malen joined the Department of Education Policy and Leadership in 1994. A former public school administrator, Malen received her PhD 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. 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.