George Farkas

Picture of George Farkas
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
School of Education
B.A., Columbia, 1967, Mathematics
Doctor of Sociology, Cornell, 1973
Phone: (949) 824-3523
Fax: (949)824-9103
University of California, Irvine
2046 Education
Mail Code: 5500
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Social Ethnic Minority Education, Cognition, Behavior
Research Abstract
George Farkas received his B.A. in Mathematics from Columbia in 1967, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from Cornell in 1973. Prior to joining the faculty at UC Irvine he was Professor of Sociology, Demography, and Education at Pennsylvania State University. He was also Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Sociology and Director of the Statistics Core for the Population Research Institute.

Professor Farkas’ research has made a major contribution to understanding the school achievement gap for low income and ethnic minority students. He has employed a range of statistical approaches and databases to examine the causes and consequences of this gap across varying age groups and educational settings, and was one of the first to show that the gap emerges in early childhood. His research has also examined students’ learning-related behaviors, and their causes, consequences, and relationship to the achievement gap. He has studied the life cycle earnings consequences of cognitive skill and behavioral differences between individuals, and has done research on gender differences. He has a particular interest in quasi-experimental statistical methodology.

Professor Farkas has authored or co-authored four books. His articles have appeared in The American Sociological Review, The American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Science Research, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Sociology of Education, Demography, Journal of Marriage and the Family, The American Educational Research Journal, The Harvard Educational Review, Teachers College Record, Brookings Papers on Educational Policy, The Elementary School Journal, The Journal of Learning Disabilities, The Journal of Special Education, The Journal of Early Childhood Research, Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, The Journal of Youth and Adolescence, The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Economics of Education Review, Econometrica, The Journal of Human Resources, The Journal of Labor Economics, The Journal of Econometrics, Sociological Methods and Research, and Structural Equation Modeling.

Professor Farkas’ research has been supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, The Spencer Foundation, The American Educational Research Association, The Corporation for National Service, The National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, The National Science Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Professor Farkas applied his knowledge and interest in the achievement gap to develop a successful tutoring program that improved reading skills of low-income, minority, and limited English proficient elementary school students. This tutoring program, Reading One-to-One, was widely implemented throughout the country, and helped invent President Clinton’s “America Reads” initiative.

Professor Farkas was elected to the Sociological Research Association in 1996, and served as president in 2010. He was the editor of the Rose Monograph Series of the American Sociological Association from 1996 to 1999, and served on the ASA’s publications committee at that time. He has served on the editorial boards of the American Sociological Review, Social Science Research, Evaluation Review, the American Journal of Education, and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. He currently serves as an associate editor of AERA Open. Professor Farkas was elected a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association in 2009 and was awarded the Willard Waller Career Achievement Award from the Sociology of Education Section of the American Sociological Association in 2020
Park, Y., Xu, Y., Collins, P., Farkas, G., & Warschauer, M. (forthcoming). Scaffolding Learning of Language Structures with Visual-Syntactic Text Formatting. British Journal of Educational Technology
Jenkins, J., Sabol, T., Farkas, G. (forthcoming). Double Down or Switch it Up? Should Low-Income Children Stay in Head Start for Two Years or Switch Programs? Evaluation Review
Morgan, P., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M., & Maczuga, S. (forthcoming). Executive Function Deficits in Kindergarten Predict Repeated Academic Difficulties Across Elementary School. Early Childhood Research Quarterly
Morgan, P., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M., & Maczuga, S. (forthcoming). Kindergarten Children’s Executive Functions Predict Their Second Grade Academic Achievement and Behavior. Child Development
Farkas, G. (2023). Culture, skills, job tasks and inequality. Chapter 3 (pp. 37-50) in M. Tahlin (ed.) A Research Agenda for Skills and Inequality. Cheltenham UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. Download
Guryan, J., Ludwig, J., Bhatt, M.P., Cook, P.J., Davis, J.M.V., Dodge, K., Farkas, G., Fryer Jr., R.G., Mayer, S., Pollack, H., Steinberg, L. & Stoddard, G. (2023). Not Too Late: Improving Academic Outcomes among Adolescents. American Economic Review.
Aurora, M. & Farkas, G. (2022). Paraprofessional instructional assistants raise the reading performance of Latina/o first graders in a low-income district. Remedial and Special Education.
Cooper, M. & Farkas, G. (2022). High school math and motivation for autistic students. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Morgan, P. L., Hu, E.H., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M. M., Oh, Y., Gloski, C.H. (2022). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Advanced Science and Mathematics Achievement During Elementary School. Gifted Child Quarterly.
Morgan, P. L., Woods, A. D. Yang, W., Farkas, G., Oh, Y., Hillemeier, M. M., & Mitchell, C. (2022). Which children are frequently victimized in U.S. elementary schools? Population-based estimates. School Mental Health 14, 1011-1023.
Smith, E. & Farkas, G. (2022). Gender and Mathematics Achievement: The Role of Gender Stereotypical Beliefs of Classroom Peers. European Sociological Review. https:/
Farkas, G. (2019). Discrepancies by Race and Gender in Attorney Discipline by the State Bar of California: An Empirical Analysis. Report commissioned by the California Bar, and reported on their website. Download report.
Farkas, George (2018). “Family, Schooling, and Cultural Capital.” Chapter One (pp. 3 – 38) in B. Schneider (Ed.) Handbook of the Sociology of Education in the 21st Century. New York: Springer. Download chapter.
DuPaul, G.J., Morgan, P.L., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M.M., & Maczuga, S. (2018). Eight-Year Latent Class Trajectories of Academic and Social Functioning in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. J. Abnormal Child Psychology 46: 979-992.
Morgan, P., Farkas, G. et al. (2018). Are Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, or Language Minority Children Over-represented in Special Education?" Exceptional Children 84 (3) 261 – 279.
Lewis, R. W., & Farkas, G. (2017). Using an Opportunity-Propensity Framework to Estimate Individual-, Classroom-, and School-Level Predictors of Middle School Science Achievement. Contemporary Educational Psychology 51: 185 – 197.
Morgan, P., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M., & Maczuga, S. (2017). Replicated evidence of racial and ethnic disparities in disability identification in U.S. schools. Educational Researcher 46 (6): 305 – 322.
Morgan, P., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M., Li, Hui, Pun, W. H., & Cook, M. (2017). Cross-cohort evidence of disparities in service receipt for speech or language impairments. Exceptional Children. 84 (1) 27 – 41.
Rutherford, T., Long, J. J., & Farkas, G. (2017) Teacher value for professional development, self-efficacy, and student outcomes within a digital mathematics intervention. Contemporary Educational Psychology 51, 22-36.
Morgan, P., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M., Maczuga, S. et al. (2017). Are Black Children Disproportionally Overrepresented in Special Education? A Best-Evidence Synthesis. Exceptional Children 83 (2): 181-198. DOI:

This was the most read article in this journal during 2017.
Hammer, C.S., Morgan, P., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M., Bitetti, D., Maczuga, S. (2017). “Late Talkers: A Population-Based Study of Risk Factors and School Readiness Consequences.” Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 60: 607-626. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0417.
He, W., Holton, A., Farkas, G., & Warschauer, M. (2016). The effects of flipped instruction on out-of-class study time, exam performance, and student perceptions. Learning and Instruction 45: 61 – 71. doi:10.1016/learninstruc.2016.07.0010959-4752
Engel, M., Claessens, A., Watts, T., & Farkas, G. (June 2016). Mathematics Content Coverage and Student Learning in Kindergarten. Educational Researcher 45: 293 - 300. DOI: 10.3102/0013189X16656841
Morgan, P.L., Scheffner Hammer, C., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M.M., Maczuga, S., Cook, M., & Morano, S. (May 2016). Who Receives Speech/Language Services by 5 Years of Age in the United States? American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 25, pp. 183-199.
Olson, C.B., Matuchniak, T., Chung, H.Q., Stumpf, R., & Farkas, G. (April 2016). Reducing Achievement Gaps in Academic Writing for Latinos and English Learners in Grades 7-12. Journal of Educational Psychology. DOI:10.1037/edu0000095
Morgan, P., & Farkas, G. (April 2016). Are we helping all the children that we are supposed to be helping? Educational Researcher, 45(3), 226-228.
Morgan, P.L., Li, H., Farkas, G., Cook, M., Pun, W.H., & Hillemeier, M.S. (February 2016). Executive Functioning Deficits Increase Kindergarten Children's Risk for Reading and Mathematics Difficulties in First Grade. Contemporary Educational Psychology. DOI:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2016.01.004
DuPaul, G.J., Morgan, P.L, Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M., & Maczuga S.A. (2016). Academic and Social Functioning Associated with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Latent Class Analyses of Trajectories from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 44, 1425-1438. DOI:10.1007/s10802-016-0126-z
Morgan, P. L., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M. M., & Maczuga, S. (2016). Science achievement gaps begin very early, persist, and are largely explained by modifiable factors. Educational Researcher, 45(1), 18-35. DOI:10.3102/0013189X16633182.

Findings reported on in U.S. News & World Report, the Atlantic, Huffington Post, Education Week, and the Seattle Times and about 10 other media outlets This was the 4th most read article of any AERA journal during 2016 and the most read of any article in Educational Researcher. In 2018 this study was awarded the Distinguished Research Award in Human Development by Division E of the AERA.
Morgan, P.L., & Farkas, G. (2016). Evidence and Implications of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Identification and Treatment. Behavioral Disorders 41, 122-131. DOI:10.17988/0198-7429-41.2.122
Morgan, P.L., Farkas, G. (2016). Evidence of Minority Under-Representation in Special Education and Its Implications for School Psychologists. NASP Communique , 44(6), 30-32
Morgan, P. L., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M. M., & Maczuga, S. (2016). “Who is at risk for repeated mathematics difficulties?” Journal of Learning Disabilities 49 (3) 305 – 319. DOI: 10.1177/0022219414553849.
Morgan, P. L., Hui, L., Cook, M., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M. M., & Line, Y-C (2016). Which Kindergarten Children Are at Greatest Risk for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity and Conduct Disorder Symptomatology as Adolescents? School Psychology Quarterly 31, 58-75. DOI:10.1037/spq0000123
Jenkins, J., Farkas, G., Duncan, G., Burchinal, M., & Vandell, D.L. (2016). Head Start at Ages 3 and 4 versus Head Start Followed by State Pre-K. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 38: 88-112. DOI:10.3102/0162373715587965
Miller, E. B., Farkas, G., & Duncan, G. (2015). Does Head Start differentially benefit children with risks targeted by the program’s service model? Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 34, pp. 1-12. DOI:10.1016/j.ecresq.2015.08.001
Morgan, P.L, Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M.M., Hammer, C.S., & Maczuga, S.A. (2015). 24-Month-Old Children with Larger Oral Vocabularies Display Greater Academic and Behavioral Functioning at Kindergarten Entry. Child Development 86: 1351-1370. DOI:10.1111/cdev.12398.

*Findings reported on in U.S. News and World Report, Reuters, Fox News, New York Post, Education Week, Business Insider, Daily Mail, WebMD, Yahoo! News UK, and about 30 other media outlets.
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