Sociologist Pedro Noguera, an expert in urban education and social inequality, is leaving UCLA to head USC’s school of education, it was announced Monday.
A former public school teacher, Noguera specializes in how social, economic and demographic factors influence schools and student achievement, according to USC. He will assume his post as the Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean at the USC Rossier School of Education on July 1.
“Pedro Noguera is a highly respected professor who is one of the nation’s leading voices on education issues,” said USC President Carol L. Folt. “His prolific scholarship and passion for advocacy will be critical as he leads USC Rossier forward in its mission of preparing outstanding teachers and educational leaders.”
Noguera has been a professsor at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies since 2015. He previously held tenured and endowed positions at New York University, Harvard University and UC Berkeley.
He said he plans to draw on his three decades of experience in various education-related roles, including as a classroom teacher in Oakland and Providence, Rhode Island, and as a school board member, policy adviser and researcher.
“I want to build on the work that’s been started, particularly with schools in Los Angeles,” Noguera said. “I’ve been really impressed by USC’s deep commitment to schools in South Los Angeles. The needs are so great there. I want to build on that work to increase our impact and make sure the professionals we train, the administrators and teachers, are ready to make a similar impact in schools like those. I believe we can make a difference in Los Angeles and throughout the country and world.”
Noguera replaces Karen Symms Gallagher, who is stepping down after 20 years as dean of USC Rossier to rejoin its faculty. The New York native noted that Gallagher brought him to USC decades ago as a consultant.
Noguera said his parents, neither of whom attended college, emphasized the importance of school and ensured that all six of their children earned college degrees.
“I want to make sure more children have that opportunity,” he said. “It always appealed to me that through education, you can make a difference in a very concrete way in the lives of people. I continue to be inspired by the power and potential of education. That’s part of what attracts me to this role at USC.”
Noguera earned undergraduate degrees in sociology and American history, a teaching credential and a master’s degree in sociology from Brown University and obtained his doctorate in sociology at UC Berkeley, where he spent a decade teaching in the Graduate School of Education and directing the Institute for the Study of Social Change.
He taught at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education from 2000 to 2003, and at NYU from 2003 to 2015.
Noguera served as a special education adviser to the governor of New Mexico in 2019, and also consults with the departments of education in Nevada, Oregon and Washington. From 2009 to 2012, he was a governor-appointed trustee for the State University of New York.