Catherine Kramarczuk Voulgarides

Photo of Catherine Kramarczuk Voulgarides

Assistant Professor, Special Education
By appointment

My work engages with the social, political, and historical conditions that impact educators across the educational ecosystem to identify more effective and equitable policy and legal solutions for long standing inequities. I have expertise in qualitative and mixed-methods research approaches. Using these methods, I seek to understand the equity issues that arise at the intersection of educational policy and law, organizational contexts, and educator interpretation and implementation dynamics—with a focus on special education policy. My research agenda builds from a central question that I have been asking since I entered the classroom as a K-12 teacher and which I explored as a doctoral student. The question became half of the title for my book published by Teachers College Press in 2018 entitled Does Compliance Matter? IDEA and the Hidden Inequities of Practice, which won the best publication award by the American Sociological Association (ASA) Disability and Society Section. The book, based on my dissertation, was a comparative ethnographic study focused on understanding the relationship between racial disproportionality in special education and policy compliance across contexts. To date, I continue to ask “does compliance matter?” in more sophisticated and nuanced ways. My work has been funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the William T. Grant Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Education Research Service Project program, and CUNY Hunter College. I have published numerous peer reviewed articles, book chapters, and books. I have also served in various leadership roles for national educational organizations.

  • New York University PhD
  • Pace University MST
  • McGill University BA
  • Research Seminar: Issues in Special Education (SPED 707)
  • Doctoral Directed Reading Course
  • Social, Historical, and Philosophical Foundations of Special Education (SPED 700.5)
  • Race, Politics, and Education (URBG 78776; URBS 40330)
  • Research on Effective Practice and Curriculum (REPAC) for Students with Disabilities (SPED 801)
  • Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students (SPED 704.5)
  • Teaching Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Classrooms (SPED 308/703/708)
  • Analysis of Major Issues in Contemporary Education Reform (EDF 80400 – 01 )

Educational Policy and Law, Sociology of Education, Disability Studies, Special Education, Social Contexts, Race, Equity


Spotlighted Publications

  • Cruz, R. A., Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C. M., Firestone, A. R., McDermott, L., & Feng, Z. (2023). Is Dis-Ability a Foregone Conclusion? Research and Policy Solutions to Disproportionality. Review of Educational Research, 00346543231212935..
  • Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C. (2022). The promises and pitfalls of mandating racial equity in special education. Phi Delta Kappan, 103(6), 14-20
  • Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C., Aylward, A., Tefera, A., Artiles, A. J., Alvarado, S. L., & Noguera, P. (2021). Unpacking the logic of compliance in special education: Contextual influences on discipline racial disparities in suburban schools. Sociology of Education, 94(3), 208-226. 10.1177/00380407211013322
  • Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C. (2018) Does Compliance Matter in Special Education? IDEA and the Hidden Inequities of Practice. Teachers College Press.

Selected Publications

  • Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C., & DeMatthews, D. E. (2023). The ebbs and flows of equity work amongst organizational shocks and crises. Journal of Educational Change, 1-23.
  • Etscheidt, S. L., Hernandez-Saca, D., & Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C. (2023). Monitoring the Transition Requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: A Critique and a Proposal to Expand the Performance Indicators. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 10442073231177407
  • Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C., & Jean-Pierre, P. (2023). Creating Anti-Racist Building Leadership Teams Through Structural, Interpersonal, and Personal Anti-Racist Efforts. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 15554589231173875
  • Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C., Etscheidt, S. L., & Hernández-Saca, D. I. (2023). Educational inequality and the paradox of dis/Ability rights in a schooled society: moving towards an intersectional discursive, material, and emotive approach. Educational Review, 1-18.
  • Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C., (2023). Special Education Racial Inequity and the Educational Debt. Urban Education, 00420859231153407
  • Tefera, A. A., Artiles, A. J., Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C., Aylward, A., & Alvarado, S. (2023). The aftermath of disproportionality citations: Situating disability-race intersections in historical, spatial, and sociocultural contexts. American Educational Research Journal, 00028312221147007.
  • Kramarczuk. Voulgarides, C., Etscheidt, S., & Hernández-Saca, D. (2022). Racial and Dis/Ability Equity-Oriented Educational Leadership Preparation. Journal of Special Education Preparation, 2(3), 20-30.
  • Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C. & Aylward A. (2022). Enduring Equity Questions: A Sequence Analysis of Citations in Response to Racial Inequity via the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 10442073221114102
  • Strassfeld, N. & Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C. (2022) “School Districts, Evolving Liability Standards, and Special Education Waivers During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Journal of Disability, Law, and Policy in Education.
  • Aylward, A., Garver, R., Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C., & Hodgson, C. (2022). The Ecosystem of Racial Inequalities in Discipline in Early Childhood Education. Perspectives on Early Childhood Psychology and Education, 6(1), 3
  • Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C. “Bookshelf: Kappan authors on their favorite reads.” Kappan. (2022): 67-68.
  • Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C. (2021). Equity, parental/caregiver ‘Power,’ and disability policy in the U.S. Context” International Journal of Inclusive Education 10.1080/13603116.2021.1937345
  • Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C. & Barrio, B. (2021) “The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the equity imperative: Examining early childhood transitions to special education” (Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse Exceptional Learners)
  • Ahram, R., Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C., & Cruz, R. (2021) Looking outside and in: A framework for understanding special education disproportionality. Review of Research in Education Volume 45., pp 311-345.
  • Aylward, A., Barrio, B., & Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C., (2021) “Rural Contexts and Racial Inequity in Special Education” (Rural Sociology)
  • Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C., Fergus, E., & King Thorius, K. A. (2017). Pursuing Equity: Disproportionality in Special Education and the Reframing of Technical Solutions to Address Systemic Inequities. Review of Research in Education, 41(1), 61-87.
  • Voulgarides, C. K., & Tefera, A. (2017). Reframing the racialization of disabilities in policy. Theory Into Practice, 56(3), 161-168.
  • Tefera, A., & Kramarczuk Voulgarides, C. (2016). Is educational policy alleviating or perpetuating the racialization of disabilities? An examination of “big-p” and “little-p” policies. Teachers College Record (Yearbook), 118(14).
  • Voulgarides, C. K., Zwerger, N., & Noguera, P. (2013). Identifying the root causes of disproportionality. New York, NY: Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools

Selected Grants

  • Co- Principal Investigator. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Doctoral Training Grant. ($3.6 million). Dr. Natasha Strassfeld The University of Texas-Austin (PI); Dr. Lauren Hampton, (Co-PI) The University of Texas-Austin; Kathleen Zimmerman University of Kansas (Co-PI). Preparing Early Childhood Special Education Researchers for Diverse Settings (EARLY).
  • Spencer Foundation Conference Grant (2022-2023)  “Envisioning an Interdisciplinary Future for Special Education and Gifted Racial Equity Research.” Catherine Kramarczuk Voulgarides (PI), Maria Cioe-Pena (Co-PI), Rachel Elizabeth Fish (Co-PI). ($49,905.00)
  • Education Research Service Project (ERSP) American Educational Research Association (AERA) (2021-2022, $4,000) Principal Investigator. Boundary Crossing for Praxis in the Pursuit of Special Education Racial Equity in Disciplinary Outcomes
  • PSC-CUNY Research Award Program Enhanced Award Cycle 52 (2021; $ $11,969.50) Principal Investigator. Does Compliance with Disability Policy Lead to Equity? Policy Compliance and Discipline Disparities in Special Education Outcomes
  • PSC-CUNY Research Award Program Traditional B Award Cycle 51 (2020; $6,000) Principal Investigator, Hunter College. Boundary Crossing: Addressing Racial Inequities in Special Education Through a Research to Practice Partnership
  • William T. Grant Foundation (2014; $23,470) Co- Principal Investigator with Dr. Alfredo Artiles, Dr. Adai Tefera, Dr. Pedro Noguero. Paradoxes and Inequities in Special Education and the Law.