Janelle Scott

Janelle Scott (she/her) is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the School of Education and African American Studies Department. She holds the Robert J. and Mary Catherine Birgeneau Distinguished Chair in Educational Disparities, and is the Chair of the Race, Diversity, and Educational Policy Cluster of the Othering and Belonging Institute. She is the Associate Dean for Students in the College of Letters and Science. Scott earned a PhD in Education Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to earning her doctorate, she taught elementary school in Oakland, Calif.

Her research explores the relationship between education, policy, and equality of opportunity, and centers on three related policy strands: the racial politics of public education, the politics of school choice, marketization, and privatization, and the role of elite and community-based advocacy in shaping public education. Her work has appeared in several edited books and journals, including the Peabody Journal of Education, Educational Policy, American Educational Research Journal, and Harvard Educational Review. With Sonya Horsford and Gary Anderson, she is the co-author of The politics of education in an era of inequality: Possibilities for democratic Schooling. New York: Routledge, which was honored with a 2020 Critics Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association. She co-edited the 2023 World Yearbook of education with Monisha Bajaj, entitled, Racialization and Educational Inequality in Global Perspective. London: RoutledgeShe is also the editor of School choice and diversity: What the evidence says (2005, Teachers College Press).

Scott is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, a Trustee of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and a Member of the National Academy of Education. In 2017, she was awarded a Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award by the UC Berkeley Graduate Division, and in 2014, she was awarded a Distinguished Scholar Award by the American Educational Research Association's Committee on Scholars of Color. She served as Vice President of AERA's Division L (Policy and Politics) from 2019-2022. 


Recent Publications: 

Scott, J. & Bajaj, M. (Eds.). (2022). Racialization and educational inequality in global perspective. The 2023 World Yearbook of Education. London: Routledge. 

DeBray, E., Finnigan, K.S., George, J., & Scott, J. (2022). A civil rights framework for the reauthorization of ESEA. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Available at: http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/reauthorization.

Scott, J. (2022). Rushed Oakland school closure plan should be postponed. Mercury News. February 4. https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/02/04/opinion-rushed-oakland-school-closure-plan-should-be-postponed/

Scott, J., Siegel-Hawley, G., DeBray, E., Frankenberg, E., McDermott, K. (2020). An Agenda for Restoring Civil Rights in K-12 Federal Education Policy. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. https://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/restoring-civil-rights

McDermott, K., Scott, J., Frankenberg, E., Siegel-Hawley, G. & DeBray, E. (2020). How the Biden Administration Can Restore Civil Rights in Ed. Policy. Education Week Opinion. December 18. https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/opinion-how-the-biden-administration-can-restore-civil-rights-in-ed-policy/2020/12.

DeBray, E., Frankenberg, E. McDermott, K., Scott, J. & Siegel-Hawley, G. (2019). Brown @65: The ebbs and flow of federal education policy since 2009. American Journal of Education forum. Available at http://www.ajeforum.com/the-ebbs-and-flows-of-federal-school-integration-policy-since-2009/.

Scott, J. (2019). Public scholarship is about more than edu-celebrity. Education Week, January 15, 2019. Available at: https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2019/01/16/public-scholarship-is-about-more-than-edu-celebrity.html?fbclid=IwAR3Ce9OIqU7ZsFrg-JuzbKsx2b-Mlxl71tWNNop-Ujbn7gecLf8kslbInvM

Castillo, E., Goel, P., Owens, S., Scott, J., DeBray, E. & Lubienski, C. (2020). E-Advocacy  in the information market: How social media platforms distribute evidence on charter schools. Urban Educationhttps://doi.org/10.1177/0042085920953885

DeBray, E., Frankenberg, E., McDermott, Scott, J. & Siegel-Hawley, G. (2019). The ebbs and flows of federal school integration policy since 2009AJE Forum (online). 

DeBray, E., Hanley, J., Scott, J., Lubienski, C. (2019). Money and influence: philanthropies, intermediary organizations, and Atlanta’s 2017 school board election, Journal of Educational Administration and History, DOI: 10.1080/00220620.2019.1689103 

Horsford, S., Scott, J. & Anderson, G. (2018). The politics of education policy in an era of inequality: Possibilities for democratic schooling. New York: Routledge. Winner, 2020 AESA Critic’s Choice Award.

Scott, J., Moses, M.S., Finnigan, K.S., Trujillo, T., & Jackson, D.D. (2017). Law and Order in School and Society: How Discipline and Policing Policies Harm Students of Color, and What We Can Do About It. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center.  http://nepc. colorado.edu/publication/law-and-order.

Trujillo, T., Scott, J. & Rivera, M. (2017). Follow the yellow brick road: Teach For America and the making of educational leaders. American Journal of Education.

Scott, J., DeBray, E., Lubienski, C., LaLonde, P., Castillo, E. & Owens, S. (2017). Urban regimes, intermediary organization networks, and research use: Patterns across three school districts. Peabody Journal of Education, DOI:10.1080/0161956X.2016.1264800.

Scott, J. & Holme, J. (2016). The political economy of market-based educational policies: Race and reform in urban school districts, 1915 to 2016. Centennial Issue: Review of Research in Education. Volume 40, pp. 250-295.

Scott, J., Trujillo, T. & Rivera, M. (2016). Reframing Teach For America: A conceptual framework for the next generation of scholarship. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 24(12). http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.24.2419.

For additional publications, see: http://berkeley.academia.edu/Janellescott

Interests and Professional Affiliations

Advocacy Politics

Educational Equity

Policy Analysis and Evaluation

Politics of Education


Qualitative Methods

Race and Schooling

Research Use

Urban Leadership

Urban Schooling

portrait image professor janelle scott wearing a blue green sweater gold chain with three circle charms


BA, University of California, Berkeley, Political Science

PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, Education Policy

Contact Information

Office #4236

School of Education
Berkeley Way West Building (BWW)
UC Berkeley
2121 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-1670


(510) 642-4740