Dr. Molly Makris Co-Publishes Paper on Education during the Pandemic



January 11, 2022 | Academics, Faculty, Publication, Research, Urban Studies

Molly MakrisGuttman’s own Dr. Molly Makris, along with Dr. Elise Castillo and Dr. Mira Debs have published Integration Versus Meritocracy? Competing Educational Goals During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This paper comes to fruition because of the Spencer Grant which supports research in an effort to improve education.

In March of 2020, New York City along with the rest of the nation and the world, was swiftly transformed by Covid 19.  After the national lockdown, life transformed radically for Americans and especially New Yorkers who were hit hard by the initial wave of the coronavirus.  While many essential workers maintained working in person, schools were shuttered and NYC students moved online.  Dr. Makris, Castillo, and Debs, examine the issues of ‘equity and access to some of the country’s most elite and segregated public schools’ and ‘how New York City activists conceptualized educational equity during the pandemic.’ The ‘competing goals’ of pubic ideals and personal choices are revealed through ‘lessons learned from both integration and meritocratic activists’ which have been ‘conceptually framed by Labaree’s (1997) typology of the three competing purposes of education—democratic equality, social efficiency, and social mobility.’The findings of Dr. Makris, Castillo and Debs make clear the challenge and tension between ‘sustaining a vision oriented around the public good amid powerful framings emphasizing the individual purposes of education.’ This publication addresses the exceedingly relevant issues facing the New York City School system in the ongoing pandemic.

Dr. Molly Vollman Makris, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Urban Studies, holds a Ph.D. in Urban Systems, with concentrations in Urban Educational Policy and the Urban Environment, from Rutgers University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She received her M.A.L.S. in Urban Education from the CUNY Graduate Center and a B.S. in Secondary Education from NYU. Dr. Makris began her career as a social studies teacher in a public high school in New York City, later working for a nonprofit youth development organization. Her current areas of research are urban education reform, charter schools, school segregation, privatization of public space, and gentrification.