College of Education > News and Publications > 2015: 10-12 news > Racial inequality in good schools is topic of inaugural Education and Civil Rights lecture

Racial inequality in good schools is topic of inaugural Education and Civil Rights lecture

John B. Diamond will deliver talk at 6 p.m. Nov. 11 at Lewis Katz Building Auditorium.

John B. Diamond, Hoefs-Bascom associate professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be the featured speaker at the inaugural event for the Center for Education and Civil Rights.

John B. Diamond
John B. Diamond
Diamond’s presentation, “Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools,’’ will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the Lewis Katz Building Auditorium on Penn State’s University Park campus.

Diamond is a sociologist of education who studies the relationship between social inequality and educational opportunity, examining how educational leadership, policies and practices shape students’ educational opportunities and outcomes. He will discuss how racial inequality becomes embedded in organizational routines in ways that help reproduce educational inequality.

“Given the recent attention to the ways in which school discipline and the criminal justice system disproportionately affect students of color, Dr. Diamond’s talk will help illuminate some of the mechanisms as to why this occurs and how we might try to address it,’’ said Erica Frankenberg, associate professor of education.

As part of his presentation, Diamond will highlight three organizational routines – discipline, tracking and opportunity hoarding – and demonstrate how each is implicated in the “achievement” gap.

"We are honored to have such a distinguished scholar join us for this important night,’’ said Liliana Garces, assistant professor of education and research associate for the Center for Study of Higher Education at Penn State.

“His research helps us understand how well-intentioned and seemingly race-neutral acts reproduce racial inequality. We hope those in attendance can walk away empowered to understand how they can work to disrupt these processes,’’ Garces said.

 Garces has written on the impact of affirmative action bans on the representation of students of color in graduate and medical schools. Frankenberg’s research interests focus on racial desegregation and inequality in K-12 schools, and the connections between school segregation and other metropolitan policies.

Jim Carlson (November 2015)