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ERIC Number: ED610272
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2021-Jan
Pages: 35
Abstractor: As Provided
The Democratic Deficit in U.S. Education Governance. EdWorkingPaper No. 20-196
Kogan, Vladimir; Lavertu, St├ęphane; Peskowitz, Zachary
Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University
Political scientists have largely overlooked the democratic challenges inherent in the governance of U.S. public education--despite profound implications for educational delivery and, ultimately, social mobility and economic growth. In this study, we consider whether the interests of adult voters who elect school boards in each community are likely to be aligned with the educational needs of local students. Specifically, we compare voters and students in four states on several policy-relevant dimensions. Using official voter turnout records and rich microtargeting data, we document considerable demographic differences between voters who participate in school board elections and the students attending the schools that boards oversee. These gaps are most pronounced in majority nonwhite jurisdictions and school districts with the largest racial achievement gaps. Our novel analysis provides important context for understanding the political pressures facing school boards and their likely role in perpetuating educational and, ultimately, societal inequality.
Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. Brown University Box 1985, Providence, RI 02912. Tel: 401-863-7990; Fax: 401-863-1290; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation; Stanford University, Hoover Institution
Authoring Institution: Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University
Identifiers - Location: California; Illinois; Oklahoma; Ohio
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A