This past week, Dr. Zachary Peskowitz from Emory University came and gave a talk in the Pinnacle Room of Baldwin Hall to discuss his recent research. The talk was entitled,  “How Does Racial Representation Affect School District Outcomes?” This talk featured the most recent of Peskowitz’s research, and is the latest in a series of articles that explore education and representation.

Peskowitz’s research has been described as eclectic because it examines, and provides implications for, many fields including politics, behavior, and policy. As George Krause of the Public Administration and Policy Department noted, the talk had “something for everyone,” because it addressed performance measurement, education outcomes, policy evaluation, public management, diversity and inclusion, elections, and financial management.

Peskowitz’s research examines school districts in California from 2000 to 2014. He and his team measured how school district election outcomes affected school district administration and student achievement in the years after the election. Peskowitz and his team have found evidence that when school boards have a certain level of minority representation, electing an additional minority board member increases average student achievement.

Laura Bayne, SPIA staff member and student, arranged for this speaker to come and thinks outside speakers are a valuable part of the SPIA experience at UGA. “I am grateful we get opportunities to learn from up and coming researchers on interesting and relevant topics. I love that we all get challenged to think critically about how representation can affect things like spending and performance beyond the innate value of equity.”

To learn more about events at SPIA or to add the next speaker to your calendar, check out the SPIA Events Page.