Bettie Ray Butler

Bettie Ray Butler
Associate Professor
Dr. Bettie Ray Butler is an Associate Professor of Urban Education and the Director of the Student Discipline Joint Task Force at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. She also serves as the Program Director of the (forthcoming) Master's of Education (M.Ed.) in Urban Education at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. She currently teaches both core and specialized courses in the Curriculum and Instruction Ph.D. program. She has also taught undergraduate and master's level courses that center on diversity in education and teacher preparation. Dr. Butler's existing publication record consists of several referred journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports that center on critical issues in urban education. Broadly, her research investigates issues of equity, representation, and social justice in education. Her specialized area of interests are school discipline and culturally responsive classroom management. Her current work utilizes a restorative framework to assess racial and gender disproportionality in school punishment and identify (develop) alternatives to student suspension.


Ph.D. - Texas A&M University Curriculum and Instruction (Urban Education)
M.A - Texas A&M University Political Science (Public Administration and Public Policy)
B.A. - North Carolina A&T State University and Duke University Political Science and Criminal Justice (Minor in Mass Communication)


Power, Privilege and Education
Urban Educational Policy
Social Deviance, Delinquency, and Education
Urban Schooling, Curriculum, and Pedagogy
Critical Readings in Urban Education
Critical Readings in Urban Education Research
Culturally Responsive Classroom Management
Diverse Learners
Critical Media Pedagogy
Diversity and Inclusion in Secondary Schools
Honors Seminar in Education

Research Interests/Areas of Expertise

Diversity and Education (Teacher Preparation)
Culturally Relevant (Sustaining) Pedagogy
Culturally Responsive Classroom Management
Education Policy
School Discipline
Social Justice

Community Involvement

University-School-Community Partnerships

2016- present Behailu Academy
2015- present Turning Point Academy (Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools)
2015- present Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education
2014- present Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department

Selected Publications

Butler, B. R., & Triplett, N. (in press). The effects of administrative leadership on racial disparities in school discipline. A closer look at White male principals. In D. Armstrong & B. McMahon (Eds.). Convictions of conscience: How voices from the margins inform public actions and educational leadership.

Butler, B. R., Coffee, H. , & Young, J. (in press). Justice-oriented teaching dispositions in urban education. A critical interpretive case study. Urban Education.

Coffee, H. & Butler, B. R. (in press). Developing social justice through service learning: The potential of university-school partnerships for fostering justice oriented dispositions among students of color. International Journal of Research on Service-Learning in Teacher Education.

Young, J., Butler, B. R. Dolzhenko, I., & Ardrey, T. (2018). Deconstructing teacher quality in urban early childhood education. Journal for Multicultural Education.

King, E., & Butler, B. R. (2015). Who cares about diversity!? A preliminary investigation of exposure to courses on cultural diversity in teacher preparation programs in North Carolina. Multicultural Perspectives, 17 (1), 46-52. 

Blake, J., Butler, B. R., & Smith, D. (2015). Challenging middle class notions of femininity: The cause of Black females’ disproportionate suspension rates. In D. Losen (Ed.). Closing the school discipline gap: Equitable remedies for excessive exclusion (pp.75-88). New York: Teachers College Press. 

Butler, B. R., Robinson, D., & Walton, C. (2014) A perfect storm: How pose, perception and threat converge to perpetuate discriminatory discipline practices. In C. Lewis & J. Moore (Eds.). African American male students in preK-12 schools: Informing research, policy, and practice (pp. 151-175). Bradford, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing. 

Butler, B. R., Lewis, C., Moore, J. & Scott, M. (2012). Assessing the odds: Disproportional discipline practices and implications for educational stakeholders. Journal of Negro Education, 81(1), 11-24. 

Blake, J., Butler, B. R., Lewis, C., & Darensbourg, A. (2011). Unmasking the inequitable discipline experiences of urban Black girls: Implications for urban educational stakeholders. Urban Review, 43(1), 90-106. 

Lewis, C., Butler, B. R., Bonner, F., & Joubert, M. D. (2010). African American male discipline patterns and school district responses resulting impact on academic achievement: Implications for urban educators and policy makers. Journal of African American Males in Education, 1(1), 7-25.

Butler, B. R., Joubert, M. D., & Lewis, C. (2010). Who’s really disrupting the classroom: An examination of African American male students and their disciplinary roles. National Journal of Urban Education and Practice, 3(1), 1-12.*