Distinguished Professor George Farkas honored for lifetime achievement in the field of sociology of education
In 1990, Farkas invented Reading One-to-One, a tutoring program in which college students tutor first and second graders who have fallen behind in reading. The program was an impetus for President Clinton’s America Reads, which encourages college work study students to tutor in local school districts.
Programs based on this model continue today in hundreds of colleges and universities, including UCI.
“If we wish to reduce the inheritance of inequality, we must intervene forcefully near the beginning of schooling. This need has guided, and will continue to guide, my work.”
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.
Farkas’s research has been supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, The Spencer Foundation, The American Educational Research Association, The Corporation for National Service, The National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, The National Science Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Labor.
Currently, Farkas is Co-PI on a two-year USDE Institute of Education Sciences grant to continue his study of the effects of racial and ethnic disproportionality in K-12 special educational placement on educational outcomes. Farkas previously found that once students with similar needs (measured by reading and math test scores) for special education services are compared, nonwhite students have much lower special education placement rates than white students. He and principal investigator Paul L. Morgan, Professor, Penn State University, will now be expanding this research to examine over time trends in this phenomenon, as well as the effects of special education on student outcomes.
Farkas was elected to the Sociological Research Association in 1996 and served as president in 2010. He was the editor of the Rose Monograph Series of the American Sociological Association from 1996 to 1999 and served on the ASA’s publications committee at that time. He has served on the editorial boards of the American Sociological Review, Social Science Research, Evaluation Review, the American Journal of Education, and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. In 2009, the American Educational Research Association elected Farkas as a fellow.
In 2018, the University of California, Irvine named Farkas a distinguished professor - reserved for faculty who have achieved the highest levels of scholarship over the course of their careers.
The theme of this year’s ASA annual meeting is “Power, Inequality, and Resistance at Work.” More information, including registration, can be found here.
About the Willard Waller Award
Willard Walter Waller (1899–1945) was an American sociologist recognized as one of the most prominent scholars in the field of sociology. His work, The Sociology of Teaching (1932), is considered an "early classic" in the field of the sociology of education. His research spanned the sociology of the family, of education, and of the military. Read more here: