When Middle-Class Parents Choose Urban Schools: Class, Race, and the Challenge of Equity in Public Education

University of Chicago Press
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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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About the author

Linn Posey-Maddox is assistant professor of educational policy studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Mar 18, 2014
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Pages
232
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ISBN
9780226120355
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Administration / Elementary & Secondary
Education / Elementary
Education / General
Education / Parent Participation
Education / Urban
Social Science / Sociology / Urban
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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