Faculty & Staff Directory

Richard Lofton, PhD

Assistant Professor

Keywords: African American students; attendance and absenteeism; low-income students; race and diversity

O: 410-516-8874

Richard Lofton, Jr., an assistant professor of education at the Center for Social Organization of Schools and Johns Hopkins School of Education, is co-principal investigator for the national evaluation of the Student Success Mentor Initiative, which is funded by the Arnold Foundation. The initiative aims to reduce chronic absenteeism, develop caring relationships within schools and increase successful outcomes for students. Also, his research explores the Black habitus of African American students and parents and the impact of concentrated poverty on homes, schools and communities. His research examines the importance of uncovering systemic inequalities, illuminating agency and developing meaningful relationships with students and their parents for academic success. He is a graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, and recently completed a two-year postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Social Organization of Schools.

EDUCATION

Ph.D. 2014 Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
Department of Education Policy & Social Analysis, Program of Sociology and Education
Dissertation Defense June 2014; Dissertation Title – Plessy’s Tracks: A Study of the Roots and Routes of Tracking in a Suburban Middle School Community.
Advisors: Drs. Carolyn Riehl and Ernest Morrell

MPhil. 2013 Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
Department of Education Policy & Social Analysis, Program of Sociology and Education

M.S. 2004 University of Utah
Department of Communication Studies

B.A. 2001 San Jose State University
Department of Communication Studies

RESEARCH EXPERIENCES

Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Center for Social Organization of Schools
Assistant Professor, Years: 2016-Present

Center for Social Organization of Schools, Johns Hopkins University
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Years: 2014-16

Center for Understanding Race and Education (CURE), Teachers College, Columbia University
Research Associate, Years: 2008-2011

Elbenwood Center for the Study of the Family as Educator, Teachers College, Columbia University
Research Assistant, Year: 2007

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Education Policy and Public Policy
Sociology of Education
Concentrated Poverty and Education
Qualitative Field Research Methods
Critical and Social Theory
Academic Placement
Race, Place and Education

FUNDED RESEARCH

2016-2019 Balfanz, R., Lofton, R., & MacIver, D. National Evaluation of School Success Mentor Initiative.
Co-Principal Investigator. Project funded by the Laura and Arnold Foundation. Awarded: 1.4 million

PUBLICATIONS

Lofton, R. (under review). Plessy’s Tracks: African American students and the struggle for equality and academic success in a racially diverse school. Social Problems.

Lofton, R. (in press) Still chasing the dream: The possibilities and limitations of social capital in dismantling racialized tracks. In RoSusan D. Bartee and Phillis George, Contemporary Perspectives on Social Capital in Educational Contexts. Charlotte: North Carolina, Information Age Publishing.

Lofton, R. (in press). The duplicity of equality: An analysis of academic placement in a racially diverse school and a Black community. Teachers College Records.

Lofton, R. (2016). Report on the pilot implementation of My Brother’s Keeper School Success Mentor Initiative. Baltimore, MD.  Johns Hopkins University, Center for Social Organization of Schools. Funded by the Arnold Foundation.

Lofton, R. & Davis, J. (2015). Toward a Black habitus: African Americans navigating systemic inequalities within home, school and community. The Journal of Negro Education. Vol. 84, No. 2, Summer 2015.

Wells, A.S.; Baldridge, B.; Duran, J.; Grzesikowski, C.; Lofton, R.; Roda, A.; Warner, M. & White, T. (2009). Boundary crossing for diversity, equity and achievement. New York, NY: Teachers College, Columbia University. Report on eight inter-district school desegregation plans. See full report on the Teachers College website: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/news/article.htm?id=7232

Wells, A.S.; Baldridge, B.; Duran, J.; Lofton, R.; Roda, A.; Warner, M.; White, T. & Grzesikowski, C. (2009) Why boundaries matter: A study of five separate and unequal Long Island school districts. New York, NY: Teachers College, Columbia University.

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS

Lofton, R.  (2018). Students at the Center. Mississippi State Department of Education.

Lofton, R.  (2018). The Importance of Success Mentors. Jackson Public Schools, Jackson, MS.

Lofton, R.  (2018). High School Redesign Network: Teaching and Learning. Invited Lecturer with the Department of Education, New Mexico. Santa Fe.

Lofton, R.  (2018). Learning from the Field: Examining the Impact of the Student Success Mentors Initiative. Department of Education: National Student Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center, Baltimore.

Lofton, R.  (2018). Placing Students at the Center of Redesign Reforms. Invited Lecturer with the Department of Education, New Mexico. Santa Fe.

Lofton, R. (2018). Organizing Adults for Whole School Redesign.  Invited Lecturer with the Department of Education, New Mexico. Santa Fe.

Lofton, R. (2018). Exploring Root Causes of Chronic Absenteeism and Ways to Mitigate the Problem. Department of Education: National Student Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center, Baltimore.

Lofton, R. (2018). The Possibilities and Limitations of Social Capital to Dismantle Racialized Tracks.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. New York.

Lofton, R.  (2017). Uncovering the Genius Potential of Our Students with Success Mentors. Invited Lecturer, Department of Education: National Student Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center. Baltimore.

Lofton, R. (2017). Students at the Center: Hope, Agency, Trust and Relationships. Invited Lecturer at the Evidence-Based High School Redesign Forum. Civic Enterprises, Baltimore.

Lofton, R. (2017). Using Early Warming Systems to Combat Concentrated Poverty. Webinar presented to the Department of Education: National Student Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center. Baltimore.

Lofton, R. (2017). Concentrated Poverty and the Limitations of Social Capital. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Antonio, Texas.

Lofton, R. (2017). Conceptualizing a Black Habitus. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research  Association. San Antonio, Texas

Lofton, R. (2016). 50 Years After the Coleman Report and Still Haunted by Plessy.  Invited Speaker at The Coleman Report at 50: Its Relevance for Policy and Practice Today. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

Lofton, R. (2016). Report on the Pilot Implementation of School Success Mentor Initiative: Review of the Site Visits of Five School Districts. Paper presented at the Department of Education. Washington, DC.

Lofton, R. (2016). The Circumstances of Concentrated Poverty. Paper presented at the Diplomas Now Summer Institute, Orlando, FL.

Lofton, R. (2016). Duplicity of Equality: Academic Placement and African American Students and their Parents. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Studies Association.  Washington, DC.

Lofton, R.  (2015). When Charm is Not Enough: Exploring Social Mobility, Educational Opportunities, and Neighborhood Inequalities in Black Baltimore. Invited Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Baltimore.

Lofton, R. (2015). Charm City: Systemic Inequalities in West Baltimore: Hearing the Voices of the Youth.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Atlanta, GA.

Lofton, R. (2015). Concentrated Poverty and Academic Outcomes: Exploring Race, Place and Education. Invited Lecturer, Diplomas Now Annual Conference. Baltimore, MD.

Lofton, R. (2015). Concentrated Poverty and West Baltimore: Hearing the Voices of the Youth. Paper presented at the Center for the Social Organization of Schools: Unpacking Poverty and Its Impact on Academic Success Colloquium. Baltimore, MD.

Lofton, R. (2015). Concentrated Poverty and Academic Success. Paper presented at the Center for the Social Organization of Schools. Unpacking Poverty and its Impact on Academic Success Colloquium. Baltimore, MD.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Johns Hopkins University, School of Education. Qualitative Methods.

Teachers College, Columbia University, Department of Human Development
Teacher Assistant, Education and Public Policy HUDF 4000, 2008

University of Utah, Department of Communication Studies 2001-2003
Teaching Fellow, Interpersonal Communication, Cultural Studies, Speech Communication

San Jose State University, Department of Communication Teaching Assistant, 2000.

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

American Education Research Association (AERA)
American Educational Studies Association (AESA)
Association for the Study of African American Life and History