Skip to main content

NEPC’s October Education Interview of the Month Features Discussion of Distrust in Educational Policy

BOULDER, CO (October 24, 2019) – In this month’s NEPC Education Interview of the Month, NEPC Researcher Christopher Saldaña speaks with Katherine Schultz, Dean and Professor of Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder School of Education. Together they discuss the role of distrust in educational change.

In her new book, Distrust and Educational Change: Overcoming Barriers to Just and Lasting Reform, Schultz draws upon her experiences as a policymaker, teacher, school administrator, and researcher to detail the different forms of distrust that can emerge when education reforms are implemented. Schultz argues that distrust and the failure to acknowledge and address it can derail attempts to engender meaningful and lasting educational change. She grounds her analysis in the long history of educational reforms that have exacerbated distrust within and across communities by justifying policy change with narratives that blame low-income communities and communities of color for their shortcomings.

Schultz, however, sees reasons to hope that this history can be overcome. She points to current examples of educational change that have brought communities together by prioritizing the voices of community members and teachers. She also suggests that current policy initiatives, such as the creation of community schools, can create learning environments that elevate the voices of students who have been historically marginalized and underserved.

A new NEPC Education Interview of the Month, hosted by NEPC Researcher Christopher Saldaña, will be released each month from September through May. 

Don’t worry if you miss a month. All NEPC Education Interview of the Month podcasts are archived on the NEPC website and can be found here.

Coming Next Month

In November, Chris will be speaking with Kevin Kumashiro, the former dean of the School of Education at the University of San Francisco, about the Education Deans for Justice and Equity (EDJE) alliance. EDJE is a nationwide alliance of education deans that advances equity and justice in education by speaking and acting collectively and in solidarity with communities regarding policies, reform proposals, and public debates.

Stay tuned in to NEPC for smart, engaging conversations about education policy.

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), a university research center housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: