Suddenly Diverse: How School Districts Manage Race and Inequality chronicles how school board members and educational administrators in two Wisconsin school districts respond to demographic change in their districts, deepening pressures from high stakes accountability, and increased competition from neighboring districts, among other complex challenges facing public schools. Examining the business-like approaches to schooling that these leaders adopt as potential solutions to the issues they confront, the book examines how their efforts come to perpetuate existing inequalities and advance new forms of racism rather than ameliorate them.
Dr. Erica Turner is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an affiliate in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Her research examines racism and inequity—and efforts to challenge those—in education policy and practice. Through her research and teaching she seeks to deepen how we conceptualize policy problems, racial equity, educational aims, and policy alternatives and ultimately to contribute to the knowledge necessary to make public schooling more equitable and just. Her book, Suddenly Diverse: How School Districts Manage Race and Inequality, has been awarded American Educational Studies Association’s Critics’ Choice Book Award, the Erickson and Hornberger Outstanding Ethnography in Education Book Award from the Center for Urban Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania, and an honorable mention from the Sociology of Education Association’s Pierre Bourdieu Award. Dr. Turner was a middle school teacher before earning her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and three children.