“This current study will allow us to better understand how long this underrepresentation of nonwhite students in special education has been occurring, whether it has recently been getting more extreme, and for which students.”
Throughout his career, Farkas addressed inequality in children’s educational opportunities. His research has made a major contribution to understanding the school achievement gap for low-income and ethnic minority students, and he was one of the first scholars to show that the gap emerges in early childhood.
"Achievement gaps between children from low- and high-income parents are already present when students enter kindergarten, and continue at the same magnitude through 12th grade,” Farkas said. “Special education services are one of the few programs with a mandated budget that can be used to help these students catch up academically. When nonwhite students are denied these services, their academic careers are seriously jeopardized.”
Earlier this year, Farkas authored a Policy Analysis for California brief that addressed practices and policies that would improve services and outcomes for students with disabilities in California. In July, the California Bar Association adopted policies to improve equity in attorney discipline based on recommendations in a report Farkas authored.
Farkas has authored or co-authored four books and more than 125 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Collectively, his work has been cited more than 14,000 times. His publications indicate the range of his research expertise: special education needs and consequences, pre-school readiness, disparities and impacts of child care, children’s growth trajectories in reading, math, and science, and early interventions for students who have fallen behind in reading.
In 2020, Farkas received the American Sociological Association’s Willard Waller Award, which honors a scholar for lifetime achievement in the field of sociology of education.
The IES grant is: Who Receives and Benefits from Special Education in the U.S.? Analyses of Three Nationally Representative Datasets. R324A200166