Newswise — Washington, DC—As school districts grapple with how to plan for the start of the 2020 school year, parents, teachers, and administrators are divided on the best approach. Colleges and universities are dealing with similar questions about how to start their fall semester. Sociologists study education, families, inequality, access, and a number of other issues related to schools reopening and in what format. The American Sociological Association has compiled a useful list of experts as background on the wide range of social issues that must be interrogated to understand the complexity of re-opening schools. These experts are available to answer media questions and provide perspective for news stories. 

Jessica Calarco, Associate Professor of Sociology at Indiana University, is an expert on inequalities in education and family life, and she has written about these inequalities for the New York Times, the Atlantic, and Inside Higher Ed. Calarco's research speaks to inequalities in college students' access to reliable digital technology, inequalities in K-12 parents' resources for supporting children's at-home learning, inequalities in school funding, and the processes that give middle- and upper-middle-class white families an unfair advantage in schools. Contact: [email protected]

Aaron Pallas is the Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology and Education and Chair of the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis at Teachers College, Columbia University. He educates stakeholders about the complexities and unexpected consequences of accountability and resource distribution policies in public schools. Contact: [email protected] 

Jennifer Reich is a Professor of Sociology and Director of the University Honors and Leadership Program at the University of Colorado-Denver. She is author of two award-winning books, Fixing Families: Parents, Power, and the Child Welfare System and Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines, and is co-editor of the book, Reproduction and Society. Her work has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, and Newsweek, and on the Netflix show, Bill Nye Saves the World. Her areas of expertise include vaccine refusal, public health, and child welfare. Contact: [email protected].


For more experts or resources on the topic schools and education, contact the ASA.



About the American Sociological Association

The American Sociological Association, founded in 1905, is a nonā€profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.