kate-14Meet Kate

Kate Shuster, Ph.D., is the president of Shuster Consulting. She has more than twenty years of experience in education, research, freelance writing, editing and project management. She holds a doctorate in Educational Studies from Claremont Graduate University with an emphasis on education policy and quantitative methods. Shuster won the National Debate Tournament in 1996 with her partner David Heidt; at the time; she was the third woman ever to win that event. A New Mexico native, she lives in Montgomery, Alabama.

Current Projects

Kate is the author of Teaching the Movement: The State of Civil Rights Education 2014 and its 2011 edition. She recently finished conducting a national formative evaluation of Perspectives for a Diverse America, a common-core aligned K-12 curriculum tied to anti-bias education and developed by Teaching Tolerance. In addition, she is working on projects with Claremont McKenna College’s Middle School Public Debate Program, Whitman College’s Student Engagement Center, Tulane University’s Center for Public Service and the Alabama Organizing Project. Past clients have included Qatar Foundation, Partners in Education and After School All-Stars.  She provides academic editing services; recently, she edited Dr. Anne Marie Todd’s book Communicating Environmental Patriotism: A Rhetorical History of the American Environmental Movement and Jason Carney’s book Starve the Vulture.

Review a current list of Kate’s publications.


Kate works actively as an independent program evaluator. She has been the lead evaluator and statistician for a number of curricular and after-school programs, including the value-added evaluation of all students in the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Beyond the Bell after-school programs. Her expertise includes quantitative and quantitative analysis, including a full array of multivariate statistical methods and thoughtful analysis of qualitative data. She has worked with data ranging from a few dozen to several hundred thousand cases. She believes that good evaluation should benefit the client to help programs improve.


Kate has taught graduate and undergraduate students in education methods, statistics, debate and public speaking at Claremont Graduate University, the University of Georgia, Emory University and Occidental College. She has coached debate at five universities, including coaching students to national championships in three different formats. Kate is one of the world’s leading debate educators. She has trained more than 5,000 teachers in debate instruction in more than a dozen nations. She is the co-director of the Middle School Public Debate Program, the nation’s largest program for debating in the middle grades, serving more than 25,000 students in class and contest debating. She has started debate programs at more than 300 secondary schools in the United States. Programs she designed have been successfully replicated across Africa. She is the current president of the Pan-American Debate Association and until recently was the head coach for the U.S. national high school debate team.

It is difficult to overstate the role that Kate played in making the Crescent City Debate League possible. Before we started the league, there was virtually no organized middle school debate in New Orleans. Kate was there from the first year the league was chartered, and she is an invaluable advisor, planner, coach trainer, and all-around resource — she is who we turn to when we are in a bind. The league is now thriving, with fifteen regularly participating schools, and we all know that it would not be doing this well without Kate’s outstanding leadership and dedicated service. – Ryan McBride, Ph.D., Tulane University


Contact Kate by email: kate.shuster[at]gmail.com
Contact Kate by phone: 909-964-1936