"Not in Our District": School Boards, Research Access, and Racial Inequality Public Deposited

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  • February 26, 2019
  • Green, Joshua
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
  • An overview of the literature on the subject shows that there are indeed few studies which focus on school board members and the process by which they make policy decisions; related studies generally focused exclusively on group dynamics instead of the decisions of individual policy-makers. By contrast I am most interested in how individual board members view inequality and the factors that influence those views. Given my interest in research, I am also concerned by the fact that very little education research seems to be implemented in districts around North Carolina. These interests drove the development of my two broad research questions: 1. What factors influence the way that board members frame and respond to issues of race in their districts? 2. Specifically, is there evidence to suggest that access to academic research can help board members view racial inequality in a more empirically valid way? To answer these questions, I interviewed sixteen school board members from seven districts over the course of nine months. Each interview lasted an average of 65 minutes and was semi-structured. Given the paucity of the existing literature, I designed the study, and consequently the interview questions, as an exploratory assessment intended to allow school board members freedom to guide the conversations.
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  • In Copyright
  • Funding: None
  • Caren, Neal
  • Bachelor of Arts
Honors level
  • Highest Honors
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 64 p.

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