Book Title: When Middle-Class Parents Choose Urban Schools: Class, Race, and the Challenge of Equity in Public Education
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2014-03-18
Author: Linn Posey-Maddox
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- Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (National Book Award Winner)
- Race in the Schoolyard: Negotiating the Color Line in Classrooms and Communities (Rutgers Series in Childhood Studies)
- Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools (Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities)
- Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, 2nd Edition with an Update a Decade Later
- Unequal City: Race, Schools, and Perceptions of Injustice
- Mindfulness: How School Leaders Can Reduce Stress and Thrive on the Job
- Inequality in the Promised Land: Race, Resources, and Suburban Schooling
- The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
In recent decades a growing number of middle-class parents have considered sending their children to―and often end up becoming active in―urban public schools. Their presence can bring long-needed material resources to such schools, but, as Linn Posey-Maddox shows in this study, it can also introduce new class and race tensions, and even exacerbate inequalities. Sensitively navigating the pros and cons of middle-class transformation, When Middle-Class Parents Choose Urban Schools asks whether it is possible for our urban public schools to have both financial security and equitable diversity.
Drawing on in-depth research at an urban elementary school, Posey-Maddox examines parents’ efforts to support the school through their outreach, marketing, and volunteerism. She shows that when middle-class parents engage in urban school communities, they can bring a host of positive benefits, including new educational opportunities and greater diversity. But their involvement can also unintentionally marginalize less-affluent parents and diminish low-income students’ access to the improving schools. In response, Posey-Maddox argues that school reform efforts, which usually equate improvement with rising test scores and increased enrollment, need to have more equity-focused policies in place to ensure that low-income families also benefit from―and participate in―school change.