University of Georgia College of Education professor Elizabeth H. DeBray has been ranked among the top scholars in the nation contributing most substantially to public debates about schools and schooling by a national education policy expert.
DeBray, an associate professor in the college’s department of lifelong education, administration, and policy, was ranked 110th in the nation in the 2012 Rick Hess Straight Up’s “Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings,” published last month in Education Week. Hess is an education policy maven of the American Enterprise Institute think tank.
According to Hess, the rankings offer a useful, if imperfect, gauge of the public impact edu-scholars had in 2011, factoring in both long-term and shorter-term contributions. The rubric reflects both a scholar’s body of academic work–encompassing books, articles and the degree to which these are cited–and their 2011 footprint on the public discourse.
DeBray teaches graduate courses in educational policy analysis, the politics of education
and educational policy, change and school organization. Her research focuses on educational politics and policy, educational policy implementation, school choice and governance.
She is currently co-principal investigator on a research project studying how education policymakers at local and national/federal levels interpret and use research that is disseminated by intermediary organizations and interest groups. Christopher Lubienski of the University of Illinois is the principal investigator and Janelle Scott of the University of California-Berkeley is a co-principal investigator.
DeBray and another colleague, Erica Frankenberg, of Pennsylvania State University, are co-editors of a book published in November 2011 titled, Integrating Schools in a Changing Society: New Policies and Legal Options for a Multiracial Generation.
The book explores the policy and legal options for school districts interested in pursuing diverse schools. It features a range of 18 chapters, contributed by leading scholars in educational policy and related fields who explore why racial integration remains an important education policy goal. The contributors reinforce the key benefits of racially integrated schools, examine options to pursue multiracial integration and discuss case examples that suggest desegregation while offering practical, research-based solutions on building public support for school districts’ pursuit of integration and equity.
Last fall, she and Frankenberg were invited to speak about an article they co-wrote titled, “Federal legislation to promote metropolitan approaches to educational and housing opportunity,” at a Fair Housing Equal Opportunity Seminar hosted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C. The article was published in the spring 2010 edition of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy.
DeBray is also the author of Politics, Ideology, and Education: Federal Policy during the Clinton and Bush Administrations (Teachers College Press, 2006) which analyzes the politics of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in the 106th and 107th Congresses.
She has authored many articles on school desegregation, school choice, high schools’ organizational response to accountability policies and compensatory education. She joined the UGA faculty in 2005.
Prior to coming to UGA, DeBray was a Fellow in the Advanced Studies Fellowship Program on Federal and National Strategies of School Reform at Brown University from 2002–05. She was a research assistant with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education from 1997–2001, and a research associate with the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University from 1998–2002. She received her Ed.D. in administration, planning and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2001.
See the Education Week article and rankings: