Politics of education researchers have long recognized the role of micropolitics in school decision-making processes. We argue that investigating micropolitical dynamics is key to an important set of school decisions that are fundamental to inequities in access to high-quality teachers: assignments of teachers and students to classrooms. Focusing on the intraorganizational political power of experienced teachers, our analysis of survey and administrative data from a large urban district suggests that more experienced teachers have more influence over which students are assigned to their classrooms. By a variety of measures, we also find that more experienced teachers are assigned fewer disadvantaged students, on average, a pattern inconsistent with goals of ameliorating educational inequality by matching more qualified teachers with the students who need them most.
Year of publication
Peabody Journal of Education
Special issue: 2015 Politics of Education Association Yearbook