Race-conscious educational policies in the post-Obama era: Separation of powers, federalism, and civil society

Project: Research project

Project Details


For much of the Obama presidency, civil rights offices in the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice made efforts to reduce racial inequality in education. A liberal vision of civil rights based on race-conscious policies remains strong in civil society, and potentially among federal agency employees, even as the Trump administration advances a conservative view in which school choice is a civil rights priority and race-conscious policies must be eliminated because they interfere with individual rights. Dr. Frankenberg and colleagues are examining federal politics and race-conscious educational policies to understand whether and through what processes race-conscious federal policies change during the current administration. They are seeking to understand what actors are involved in supporting or opposing these changes; how they justify them; what strategies are successful; and how coalitions around race-conscious policies shift. To answer these questions, they will interview current and former governmental officials, media, and research/advocacy groups; and review hearing transcripts, policy documents, and media coverage. This research will be valuable for future historians; if politics again reverse direction, this study will help identify which rights were curtailed and what requires amending. These findings will also contribute to the literature on federal policy making and the extent to which existing theory about the relative stability of agencies holds in light of significant ideological change and political churn.,

Effective start/end date1/1/18 → …


  • Spencer Foundation: $50,000.00


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