When Middle-class Parents Choose Urban Schools: Class, Race, And The Challenge Of Equity In Public…

Paperback | March 18, 2014

byLinn Posey-maddox

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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. 

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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 eve...

Linn Posey-Maddox is assistant professor of educational policy studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. 
Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:March 18, 2014Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022612021X

ISBN - 13:9780226120218

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Tables
Acknowledgments

One / Middle-Class Parents and City School Transformation

Two / Reconceptualizing the “Urban”: Examining Race, Class, and Demographic Change in Cities and Their Public Schools

Three / Building a “Critical Mass”: Neighborhood Parent Group Action for School Change

Four / The (Re)Making of a “Good” Public School: Parent and Teacher Views of a Changing School Community

Five / Professionalizing the MPTO: Race, Class, and Shifting Norms for “Active” Parents

Six / Morningside Revisited

Seven / Maintaining a “Commitment to Everyone”: Toward a Vision of Equitable Development in Urban Public Schooling

Appendix A / Social Class Categories
Appendix B / Methodological Approach

Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“When Middle Class Parents Choose Urban Schools demonstrates the efficacy and power of white middle-class social networks and the power these parents have to transform schools as well as neighbourhoods. However, just as gentrification of residential areas has squeezed out working-class families from their historic locales, this albeit well-intentioned initiative has led to the unintended consequence of squeezing out low-income and, in the case of Morningside, African-American families from the school. It has also had the unintended consequence of shifting the nature of diversity away from racial and ethnic and class diversity, and ironically undermining one of the important motivators for some families in wanting to send their children there.”