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

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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 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 even exacerbate inequalities. Sensitively 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. 

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Once I got past the academic writing (wow, it's been awhile!) I found this a really interesting read. Very relevant to our current school situation and thus excellent food for thought. I especially liked chapter 5 on the "professionalism" of volunteering and what that means for parents that can't or think they can't or just don't want to do that much. Once I got past the academic writing (wow, it's been awhile!) I found this a really interesting read. Very relevant to our current school situation and thus excellent food for thought. I especially liked chapter 5 on the "professionalism" of volunteering and what that means for parents that can't or think they can't or just don't want to do that much.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    Important and perceptive. Very useful to me in illuminating some of my experiences with our school system so far, and articulating some of my concerns about the solutions people propose.

  3. 4 out of 5

    idana

    very, VERY interesting read. i loved this a lot. so informative, so digestible, so explorative of so many different perspectives. enjoyed thoroughly 85/100

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Notess

    Academic but useful

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rolf

    An incredibly prescient book, written 6 years ago but describing patterns seen in all major U.S. cities. This is basically "Nice White Parents," the book. An incredibly prescient book, written 6 years ago but describing patterns seen in all major U.S. cities. This is basically "Nice White Parents," the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jenny McBeth

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    Mariellecastellanos

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    Philip

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    Turd Ferguson

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    Emily Brown

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    DeAnna

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    Steve Nye

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    Emily

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    Souldrummer25

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