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Judith Kafka uses a historical lens to examine the social, political, and institutional forces that shape American schooling. Her research focuses on urban education from the postwar era through today, and she is particularly interested in the ways in which educational policies serve to both interrupt and reinforce social and economic inequalities.
Dr. Kafka’s book, The History of ‘Zero Tolerance’ in American Public Schooling (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), explores the intersection of race, politics, and bureaucracy in the context of school discipline, using the case of the Los Angeles City School District. Her scholarship has appeared in the Handbook of Research on Teaching (AERA, 2016), History of Education Quarterly, American Journal of Education, Peabody Journal of Education, and Teachers College Record. She is currently at work on a history of race, space and schooling in Brooklyn, from the nineteenth century through today.
Dr. Kafka teaches courses on school reform and education policy and is an active member of the History of Education Society and Division F (History and Historiography) and Division L (Education Policy and Politics) of the American Educational Research Association.
Dr. Kafka received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.