School of Public Affairs
One Bernard Baruch Way, Box D-0901
New York, NY 10010
Office Location: 135 East 22nd Street, Room 412
Phone: 646 660-6838
Fax: 646 660-6831
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 in History of Education Quarterly, American Journal of Education, Peabody Journal of Education, and Teachers College Record. Dr. Kafka’s current projects include: a study of the principalship in the context of school desegregation in the 1960s and 70s; an investigation of today’s “new” educational philanthropy and its effects on educational policies and politics in New York City; and a review of scholarship on the history of teaching, to be published in the American Education Research Association’s upcoming Handbook of Research on Teaching. She is a member of the editorial board of the History of Education Quarterly.
She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.