The Politics of District Governance and Equity among BIPOC School Board Members
Carrie Sampson

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Arizona State University

Primary Discipline

Educational Policy
School boards make many critical decisions connected to policies and practices that influence educational equity. Although studies suggest that Black and Latinx school board members’ representation is associated with positive academic outcomes for Black and Latinx students, research examining how and why such representation matters is scarce. Guided by the Community Equity Literacy theoretical framework, this qualitative case study will analyze multiple data sources (i.e., interviews, school board meetings) to examine the complexities of school board governance among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) school board members. Specifically, this study will analyze the experiences, perspectives, and strategies of BIPOC school board members who represent the Black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Urban councils within the National School Boards Association, in their efforts to advance contemporary policies and practices pertaining to educational equity, including those related to COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. The findings from this study will offer a deeper understanding of school board governance and contribute to the expansion of pathways and a stronger pipeline of BIPOC school board members committed to advancing educational equity.
About Carrie Sampson
Dr. Carrie Sampson is an assistant professor in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation at Arizona State University. She examines educational equity related to leadership and policymaking via school boards, district structures, and community advocacy. Dr. Sampson earned her Ph.D. in Public Affairs and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a M.S. in Cultural Foundations of Education from Syracuse University, and a B.S. in Economics from University of Nevada, Reno. As a Black and Chicana motherscholar of two school-age children, Dr. Sampson has drawn from her interdisciplinary training, along with her personal and professional experiences, to develop a rigorous and critically conscious research agenda that aims to expand educational and liberatory opportunities for minoritized students and their families. Dr. Sampson is the recipient of the 2020 AERA Division A Early Career Award. Her research has been published in several journals, including Race Ethnicity and Education, Journal of Educational Policy, American Journal of Education, Critical Studies in Education, and Urban Education. She also received the 2020 UCEA Williams J. Davis Award for her article entitled “(Im)Possibilities of Latinx School Board Members’ Educational Leadership Toward Equity,” which was published in Education Administration Quarterly.

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