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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.
Her 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 work has appeared inHistory of Education Quarterly,American Journal of Education,Peabody Journal of Education, andTeachers College Record. Dr. Kafka’s current projects include: a review of scholarship on the history of teaching, to be published in the American Education Research Association’s upcomingHandbook of Research on Teaching, a comparative history of inequality in education, and an exploration of the relevance of institutional theory to school reform. She is a member of the editorial board of theHistory of Education Quarterly and Secretary of Division F (History and Historiography) of the American Educational Research Association.
Dr. Kafka received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.