Janelle Scott
University of California, Berkeley
Professor & Robert J. and Mary Catherine Birgeneau Distinguished Chair in Educational Disparities

Year Elected


Membership status

Janelle Scott is a Professor and the Robert J. and Mary Catherine Birgeneau Distinguished Chair in Educational Disparities at the University of California at Berkeley in the Graduate School of Education, African American Studies Department, and Goldman School of Public Policy. She earned a Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of California at Los Angeles' Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. Before earning her doctorate, she was a teacher in Oakland, California. Scott is President-elect of the American Educational Research Association, and will serve as AERA President beginning April 2024. Professor Scott's research investigates how market-based educational reforms affect democratic accountability and equity in public education. She has explored this research program across several policy strands: 1) the racial politics of public education, 2) the politics of school choice, marketization, and privatization, 3) the politics of research evidence on market-oriented reforms, and, 4) the role of elite and community-based advocacy in shaping public education and research evidence utilization. Her work has appeared in several edited books and journals, including the Peabody Journal of Education, Educational Policy, Qualitative Inquiry, the American Educational Research Journal, and the Harvard Educational Review, and she is a frequent media expert on matters pertaining to education, race, and inequality. She was awarded a Spencer Dissertation Year Fellowship, and a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 2014, she was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Educational Research Association's (AERA) Committee on Scholars of Color. She is an AERA Fellow. She served as Vice President for Division L (Policy and Politics) of AERA (2019-2022). She is the editor of School choice and diversity: What the evidence says (2005, Teachers College Press), and, with Sonya Horsford and Gary Anderson, author of The Politics of Education in an Era of Inequality: Possibilities for democratic schooling (2018 Routledge; Winner American Educational Studies Critic's Choice Book Award, 2020), and with Monisha Bajaj, the editor of Racialization and educational inequality in global perspective (2022, Winner American Educational Studies Critic's Choice Book Award, 2023). The 2023 World Yearbook of Education. London: Routledge. She is also a Dean's Distinguished Research Fellow, Faculty of Education at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, and a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a trustee of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and a board member for the Education Law Center.

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