Frankenberg_Erica (1).jpg

Erica Frankenberg

Professor of Education & Demography, Director of Center for Education & Civil Rights, Pennsylvania State University
Chapter Member: Central Pennsylvania SSN
Areas of Expertise:

Connect with Erica

About Erica

Frankenberg's research focuses on how federal, state, and local policies affect the segregation and opportunity of racially/ethnically diverse students. Overarching themes in Frankenberg's writings include how the design of school choice policies relates to racial and economic segregation; studying the intersection of housing and school composition; and examining the complex patterns of segregation and inequality emerging in suburban school districts. She serves as an expert witness in school desegregation cases, is a research advisory panel member of National Coalition of School Diversity and fellow at National Education Policy Center, and regularly consults with policymakers at all levels.

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Opinion: "DEI in schools: New acronym, Same Intent," Erica Frankenberg (with Francesca Lopez and Kevin Kinser), Centre Daily Times, February 11, 2022.
Quoted by Jay Caspian Kang in "Have We Failed Suburban Schools?," The New York Times, September 23, 2021.
Quoted by Tyler Kingkade and Nigel Chiwaya in "Schools Facing Critical Race Theory Battles Are Diversifying Rapidly, Analysis Finds," NBC News, September 13, 2021.


"Small Advances and Swift Retreat: Race-Conscious Educational Policy in the Obama and Trump Administrations" (with Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, Kathryn McDermott, Sarah McCollum, Elizabeth DeBray, and Janelle Scott). Education Policy Analysis Archives 31 (2023).

Examined how Obama and Trump officials envisioned and changed the role of the federal government in fostering K-12 race-conscious educational policies and what mechanisms they used to advance priorities. 

"A Critical Analysis of Racial Disparities in ECE Subsidy Funding" (with Karen Babbs Hollett). Education Policy Analysis Archives 30 (2022).

Finds that the average Black and Latinx children’s ECE providers received substantially less tiered funding than the average White child’s provider. Shows that funding also varies by the racial composition of children’s communities, with providers serving children from predominantly Black communities receiving far less funding than providers serving children from predominantly White communities. Racial funding gaps widened over time.

"Student Assignment Policies and Racial and Income Segregation of Schools, School Attendance Zones, and Neighborhoods" (with Kendra Taylor). Educational Administration Quarterly 57, no. 5 (2021).

Discovers that despite high residential segregation, educational segregation varies in these three districts. Mentions the two districts that sought to increase diversity in their student assignment policies, educational segregation was lower than in the third district that did not consider diversity, despite similar levels of residential segregation.

"Subsidized Housing and School Segregation: Examining the Relationship Between Federally Subsidized Affordable Housing and Racial and Economic Isolation in Schools" (with Jennifer Jellison Holme, Joanna Sanchez, Kendra Taylor, Sarah De La Garza, and Michelle Kennedy). Education Policy Analysis Archives 28 (2020).

Illustrates that public housing and LIHTC housing developments are zoned to racially and economically isolated schools, and that developments are associated with especially high levels of economic and racial isolation for Black and Latinx students.

"Racial Segregation in the Southern Schools, School Districts, and Counties Where Districts Have Seceded" (with Kendra Taylor and Genevieve Siegel-Hawley). Aera Open (2019).

Compares the contribution of school district boundaries to school and residential segregation in the Southern counties that experienced secession since 2000. Shows that school district secession is restructuring school segregation in the counties where secession is occurring, with segregation increasingly occurring because students attend different school districts.

"Assessing Segregation Under a New Generation of Controlled Choice Policies" American Educational Research Journal 54, no. 1 (2017).

Discusses analysis of the use of a new generalized, race-conscious SAP in Jefferson County (Kentucky) Public Schools suggests that their plan is largely able to maintain integrated schools, albeit with some increasing racial segregation; economic segregation patterns are mixed.