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Schooling in ‘post racial’ America: a counter story of black-white inequality

Crawford, Claire 2015. Schooling in ‘post racial’ America: a counter story of black-white inequality. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Current cries for accountability nearly always result in some form of testing. For critical race theorists, most of the standardised tests that poorer-blacker children experience in schools inevitably legitimise their so-called ‘deficiencies’. Critical race theorists contend that the high stakes testing game is more accurately an endorsement of the dominant culture’s superiority, and policies such as the No Child Left Behind Act continue to instantiate inequity and validate white supremacy, despite well-published claims to the contrary. The empirical data reported in this study were collected during a mixed- method in-depth case study in one diverse high school in Florida (2010- 2011). This study’s findings suggest that far from being a relic of the past, segregation by race in schools is alive. Permissive segregation of poorer- blacker ‘mainstreamed’ students and wealthier-whiter ‘magnet’ students, under the veneer of meritocracy and ‘magnet schooling’, was based almost exclusively on a student’s performance on standardised tests. This study also claims that magnet students as group have significantly benefitted from the induction of NCLB, with black students controversially loosing ground since its inception. The Social Studies curriculum, said to be a multicultural intervention through which issues of racial inequality could be challenged, was found to be fundamentally Eurocentric in approach; offering only ‘legitimate’ and ‘privileged’ white narratives as the ‘official knowledge’. Finally, this study finds limited support for ‘oppositional culture theory’. Although black students did recognise the value of education, it was usually in a theoretical sense, as black students were conscious of the white hegemonic barriers they faced in school. Although traditional methods of analysis could translate the black group’s rejection of traditional scholastic rewards as being ‘oppositional’, critical race theory contends that black students more accurately utilised their Afrocentric agency to resist, survive and succeed within and beyond the institutionally racist climate of schooling in ‘post-racial’ America.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 May 2016
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2023 14:07

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