Berkeley Public Policy Professor Rucker Johnson joins GSE

portrait image of Professor Rucker Johnson
February 24, 2022

UC Berkeley Public Policy Professor Rucker C. Johnson, a labor economist who specializes in the economics of education, will join Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education as an affiliated professor—deepening the relationship between Berkeley’s School of Education and Goldman School of Public Policy.

“We are honored to have Rucker be a part of our community. Rucker is an extraordinary scholar and teacher. His work on the economics of poverty, schools, and equity is in the heart of our mission,” said School of Education Interim Dean Christopher Edley. “He's a dazzling quantitative methodologist working on some of the most important challenges, especially studying and designing practices and public policies to advance educational equity. His genius and energy excite everyone he reaches—students, colleagues, and officials alike.”

Johnson’s acclaimed 2019 book Children of the Dream: Why School Integration Works explores the success of school integration efforts in the United States during the 1970s and 1980s and argues that we must recommit to integration to benefit all Americans.

“We use Professor Johnson’s research articles and his recent, groundbreaking book in a number of graduate courses in our school,” noted Professor Jabari Mahiri, faculty director of the School of Education’s Leadership Programs. “His exemplary scholarship is partially reflected by Children of the Dream receiving the prestigious 2022 Grawemeyer Award as one of the most impactful books in education.”  

His other research, appearing in leading journals as well as media outlets, has looked at the role of poverty and inequality in affecting life chances, intergenerational mobility, school finance reform, and the societal consequences of incarceration. Johnson teaches The Microeconomics of Public Policy Analysis, Quantitative Methods II (Applied Econometrics), and Poverty, Inequality, & Public Policy.

Johnson’s many accolades include induction as the Sir Arthur Lewis Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and election to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Education. He is the UC Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy.