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Educational Policy and Planning Seminar: How School Districts Manage Race and Inequality

Apr 05, 2022 - Apr 05, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (CST)

Dr. Erica Turner will discuss her book, Suddenly Diverse: How School Districts Manage Race and Inequality (University of Chicago Press, 2020). The book draws on her ethnographic, comparative case study of two midwestern school districts’ efforts to address increasing inequality and diversity while grappling with pressures associated with major economic, political, and demographic shifts that have challenged school districts across the country. Centering race and using the notion of “colorblind managerialism,” she explains how and why these two districts—one relatively well off and more progressive, one conservative and more working class—adopt similar, business-inspired policy approaches that do not fully address the inequality and diversity district leaders faced. Indeed, these efforts can perpetuate existing inequalities and advance new forms of racism.

About the Speaker

Erica O. Turner is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research examines racism and inequity—and efforts to challenge those—in education policy and practice. Professor Turner’s book Suddenly Diverse: How School Districts Manage Race and Inequality (University of Chicago Press, 2020) has won multiple awards. Her work has also been published in the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Researcher, Journal of Education Policy, Race Ethnicity and Education, Teachers College Record, and Urban Education.

The purpose of the Educational Policy and Planning (EPP) Seminar Series is to foster intellectual community by inviting exciting scholars in the field—at UT Austin and beyond—to join EPP faculty and students in a conversation around their research on issues related to education policy.