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Duke University
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Professor of Sociology

Director, Program for Research on Education and Development of Youth (REDY)

Duke University
268 Soc/Psych Building
Durham, NC 27708

Phone: 919-660-5614
Fax: 919-660-5623




"Kids Don't Want to Fail" (Harvard University Press)



"The Broken Compass" (Harvard University Press)







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I am Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I am also Director of the program for Research on Education and Development of Youth (REDY).

My research interests include social inequality, policy, and education.  My work focuses on the social psychological determinants of the racial achievement gap. Specifically, I examine the factors that contribute to differences in academic investment among African Americans, Latino/as, Asian Americans, and Whites. I also study the impact that adolescents' perceptions of opportunities for upward socio-economic mobility have for their academic investment, and the long-term effects of youths' occupational aspirations both within the United States and Europe. Links to my studies can be found on this website (Menu options to the right).

I earned a Bachelor's Degree from Grambling State University, a Master's degree from Kansas State University, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Sociology from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the faculty at Duke, I was a member of the faculty in Sociology and African American studies at the University of Texas at Austin and Princeton University. I was recently a fellow of the National Forum on the Future of Liberal (Arts) Education, (


Kids Don't Want to Fail (2011) _ _. . The Broken Compass (2014)

. .Harvard University Press _ _ _ _. . _ Harvard University Press

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See Scholarship - Phase I _________ See Scholarship - Phase II



Extended Bio


Courses Taught

Abridged Web CV

Full CV / Resume



Media or Special Appearances:

Talk of the Nation, National Public Radio (NPR): (or click here)

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: (or click here)

Q & A on Race, Culture, and Education with the Washington Post


Martha's Vineyard Event

Link to Webcast of Martha's Vineyard Panel:

VINEYARD GAZETTE: "Poverty and Failure of Education System Weigh on Black Students"


My books "Kids Don't Want to Fail" and "The Broken Compass" are available at: