John H. Portz

Areas of Study

Public Policy and Administration, Education Policy, State and Local Government

Selected Publications

  • Leader-Managers in the Public Sector: Managing for Results. With Michael S. Dukakis. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2010.
  • “Governance and the Boston Public Schools,” in Boston: A Decade of Urban School Reform, ed. by Paul Reville, Harvard Education Press, 2007.
  • “Boston: Agenda Setting and School Reform in a Mayor-Centric System,” in Mayors in the Middle: Politics, Race, and a Mayor-Centric Approach to Urban Schools, ed. by Jeff Henig and Wilbur Rich, Princeton University Press, 2003.
  • “Supporting Education Reform: Mayoral and Corporate Paths,” Urban Education, November 2000.
  • City Schools and City Politics: Institutions and Leadership in Pittsburgh, Boston, and St. Louis. Lawrence, KS:University Press of Kansas, 1999 (with Lana Stein and Robin Jones)
  • “Problem Definition and Policy Agendas: Shaping the Education Agenda in Boston.” Policy Studies Journal 24:3, 1996
  • The Politics of Plant Closings. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1990

Selected Professional Activities

  • Department Chair, 2003-2011
  • Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, Brazil, Fall 2011
  • Watertown School Committee, Elected Member, 2006-present

Upcoming and Recent Courses Taught


  • POLS 4701- Political Science Senior Capstone
  • POLS 2355- Intergovernmental Relations


  • POLS 7204- Seminar in Public Policy
  • POLS 7306- Capstone in Public Policy and Public Management