History Echoes: Investigating Black-White Racial School Discipline Disparities and School Desegregation:
Kathryn Wiley

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Research Development Award

Award Year



Howard University

Primary Discipline

Exclusionary school discipline is one of the most pressing civil rights issues today in U.S. public education. Despite numerous studies addressing Black-White racial disparities in exclusionary school discipline, the history of this issue has been largely overlooked. And though some scholars have recognized school desegregation as an important origination point, few studies have examined this theory in-depth. In response, this project investigates exclusionary school discipline in select desegregating school districts following the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision. Using archival data, this study seeks to identify how school discipline policies and practices developed in desegregating districts, with particular attention to decisions made by education officials and racialized discipline dynamics. Informed by theories of second-generation segregation, this study seeks to document and describe where and how racialized exclusion took hold in districts over time. In examining this history, this study seeks to expand our understanding of today?s Black-White racial disparities in exclusionary school discipline while providing sociological insights that speak today?s continued pursuit of civil rights and equal educational opportunity.
About Kathryn Wiley
Dr. Kathryn E. Wiley is Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the School of Education at Howard University. She is an expert in school discipline, climate, and safety, with a focus on race and educational opportunity. She uses multiple research methods and a historical lens to understand contemporary education policies in the context of longstanding, racialized inequalities. An avid public scholar, she is passionate about supporting education leaders, advocates, organizers, and lawmakers in creating affirming, and sustaining schools for Black students and educators. Her work has appeared in Educational Administration Quarterly, Race Ethnicity and Education, The Urban Review, Chalkbeat and EdWeek, among others. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice from the University of Colorado Boulder. She is originally from Dayton, Ohio and attended Sinclair Community College and Wright State University.

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