Janelle Scott is the Robert C. and Mary Catherine Birgeneau Distinguished Chair in Educational Disparities and Professor at the University of California at Berkeley in the Graduate School of Education and African American Studies Department. She earned a Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of California at Los Angeles’ Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. Before earning her doctorate, she worked as an elementary teacher in Oakland, California.
Professor Scott’s research investigates how market-based educational reforms affect democratic accountability and equity within our nation’s schools. Professor Scott has provided conceptual frameworks and empirical analysis to help understand the impacts these policies have had on students, schools, and their surrounding communities. She has explored this research program across three policy strands: 1) the racial politics of public education, 2) the politics of school choice, marketization, and privatization, and, 3) 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, Qualitative Inquiry, the American Educational Research Journal, and the Harvard Educational Review. She the editor of School choice and diversity: What the evidence says (2005 Teachers College Press).
Her scholarship has received several awards and foundation support. She was awarded a Spencer Dissertation Year Fellowship, and a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 2014, she was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Educational Research Association’s Committee on Scholars of Color. In 2017, the Graduate Assembly at UC Berkeley awarded Professor Scott with a Distinguished Faculty Mentorship Award.
She is currently serving as the Vice President of the American Educational Research Association's Division L (Educational Policy and Politics). She has been active in the American Educational Research Association, and the Politics of Education Association. In addition, she has been active in service to national organizations, including the Ford Foundation’s Building Knowledge for Social Justice Initiative, The National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder, the World Education Research Association, International Research Network on Marketization and Privatization, and the Forum for Public Education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has served on the editorial board of the American Educational Research Journal, and is currently on the editorial boards of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Education Policy Analysis Archives.