Racism, Public Schooling, and the Entrenchment of White Supremacy
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168 pages

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The racial achievement gap in U.S. education is a pervasive and consistent problem, an unavoidable fact of public schooling in this country. Because This Is Not for Us is a multi-site critical race ethnography of policy and institutional relationships in an large urban West Coast school district, focused on the practices that created and sustain the achievement gap in that district's schools. In this daring and provocative work, author Sabina Elena Vaught examines how this gap, and the policies and practices that sustain it, is produced and reproduced by structures of racism and race attitudes operative in education. She interweaves numerous interviews with and observations of teachers, principals, students, school board members, community leaders, and others to describe the complex arrangement of racial power in schooling, and concludes that the institutional relationships that create and support policy practices ensure the continued undereducation of Black and Brown youth.




1. The Color of Money: Student Funding and the Commodifi cation of Black Children

2. The Jeremiad: Decentralization and the Deregulation of Democracy

3. Martin Luther King, Jr. High School: Hate Speech and the Grammar of White Supremacy

4.Conclusion: Speaking Truth to Power, Acting Truth to Power







Publié par
Date de parution 22 avril 2011
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781438434698
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1648€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Racism, Public Schooling, and the Entrenchment of White Supremacy
A Critical Race Ethnography
Sabina E. Vaught

Published by State University of New York Press, Albany
© 2011 State University of New York
All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. No part of this book may be stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means including electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.
For information, contact State University of New York Press, Albany, NY www.sunypress.edu
Production by Kelli W. LeRoux Marketing by Anne M. Valentine
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Vaught, Sabina Elena, 1970–
Racism, public schooling, and the entrenchment of white supremacy : a critical race ethnography / Sabina Elena Vaught.
         p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4384-3467-4 (hardcover : alk. paper)
ISBN 978-1-4384-3468-1 (pbk. : alk. paper)
1. Public schools—United States. 2. African American students—Social conditions. 3. Racism in education—United States. 4. Discrimination in education—United States. 5. Educational anthropology—United States. I. Title.
LA217.2.V39 2011
379.2'6—dc22 2010025990
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

for Cecilia, Carmen, and Satya
The many people in Jericho who were willing and generous participants in my research made this book possible. I thank the numerous students, families, teachers, staff, administrators, senior leadership, and community and organization leaders who contributed to this work. In particular, I would like to extend special thanks to Lisa L., Paul K., and Donna M. for their tremendous insight and time. I am especially grateful to Sherri J., who was my guide and touchstone throughout the year. This project would not have been possible without her magnanimous spirit.
My dissertation research is the basis of this book. I am indebted to my two doctoral advisors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Stacey J. Lee and Mary Louise Gomez, who supported, encouraged, and challenged me. I also appreciate the many contributions of my dissertation committee members: Carl Grant, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Mike Olneck, and Amy Stambach. Tashia and John Morgridge provided essential grant and tuition funding for this research. And, I am appreciative of the financial and scholarly support I received from the Departments of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
I am grateful to Tufts University and my department for providing the sabbatical leave that enabled me to finish the manuscript, and to my colleagues and mentors in Education, American Studies, and Child Development who believed in the value of my work. I am also grateful to the many students who have read various drafts of chapters in class and out, and who have expressed ongoing interest in this kind of research.
I benefited from many opportunities to present portions of this book, and thank the reviewers, organizers, and audiences at the conferences held by the American Educational Research Association, the American Anthropological Association, the New Zealand Association for Research in Education, and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute.
Jane Bunker, former editor-in-chief at SUNY Press, had faith in the merit of this project. Reviewers and members of the editorial board for SUNY Press provided very helpful feedback. Stacey Lee, Angelina Castagno, and Lisa Coleman read closely and repeatedly and gave me the most candid feedback. Any shortcomings or errors are mine alone.
Conversations with friends, mentors, colleagues, and students enriched this project tremendously. Tracey Batara, Patty Bode, Alfred Frates, Ian Haney López, Caprice Hollins, Quita Holmes, Roberto Irizarry, Shirley Mark, Erica Meiners, Alesha Morgan-Martinez, Linda Mizell, Jillian Orton, Billy Palmer, Emile Pitre, Ed Taylor, Hine Waitere, Anita Washington, Tami Wilson, Brian Wright, Jean Wu, the organizers and members of the SCER group, and too many students to name, among many others, talked through various questions and ideas with me.
Many wonderful people cared for my children during the time I wrote this book. Their work made mine possible.
Special thanks go to my family. My mother Kim invited my two daughters and me to stay with her for four months, so I could begin this project. She has been encouraging and helpful throughout. My brother Gabe has been a source of great support, comic relief, and sweetness. My grandparents, Deva and Charley, who passed away during this project, believed in me and reminded me of who I was, where I was from, and what was important. Lisa deserves indescribable thanks. And my daughters, Cecilia, Carmen, and Satya, have been patient, funny, hard working, enthusiastic, and grounding.
It's one of the most racist places I've ever, ever encountered … I was born in the South and traveled to the South with my parents every year, for some kind of occasion, and even in those days—you know, the late 50's were still very much a Jim Crow era—“Colored” washbasins and drinking fountains—I never experienced what I've experienced since I've been here. In a town that's so educated, so supposedly cultured, so liberal, it has just been an amazing experience.
—Dr. Mae Collins, Jericho Public Schools Chief Academic Officer, on her few years in Jericho

Wasn't That a Mighty Day
It was a cloudy, dull Monday morning in fall 2002, and I was driving south on the freeway. Off to my right, white billows of pollution pulsed from tall grey smokestacks and merged with the white exhaust of cars into the overcast sky. A plane bore down overhead, preparing to land nearby. I was on my way to my first full day at what was reputed by the local newspapers, people at the central office, and White people generally as the “worst” of Jericho Public Schools' (JPS) high schools: Martin Luther King, Jr. High School. It was described, alternately, as “troubled,” “struggling,” “chaotic,” “dangerous,” “violent,” “poor,” “bad,” “failing,” and “Black.” MLKHS was situated in the middle of the city's predominantly Black neighborhood and abutting its Sa'moan and Southeast Asian neighborhoods. As I turned onto Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, it was calm and quiet, cars moving at a reasonable speed, occasional people entering the few businesses around. Mothers and young children, older women and men waited at bus stops. Some of the buildings showed wear, others were boarded up, but still others were well kept and active. I crossed the intersection directly behind the MLKHS campus and noted the four surveillance cameras; it was one of the few surveyed intersections in the city of Jericho, an ever-present reminder to the community that policing was an inevitable part of their lives. Entering the student parking lot at the back of the school were the typical range of teenage cars—from shiny SUVs to clanging beaters—some energetically booming bass, others quietly filing in. It was no different from high school parking lots I would drive into later in the year in other parts of the city—with the significant exceptions that it was peopled entirely with Black and Brown children and it was heavily patrolled. Two police cars waited along opposite sides of the street next to the lot. Two other officers rode on horseback around two sides of the building and the lot itself. And, one officer stood across the street at a bus stop, occasionally stopping students crossing the street at the surveyed intersection.
Once inside the school, I pulled out my map and began walking the hallways looking for the room of the first class I planned to observe. It was a clean, nondescript building—neither new nor old. As with many schools, some adults greeted students in the hallways, while others remained well inside their classrooms. When I found the room I was looking for, I introduced myself to the White male teacher, then sat down in a chair offered to me by a student in the back of the room. This was a senior-level, core subject-area course.
Martin Luther King, Jr. High School was the symbol of the racialized achievement gap in the district. It maintained the lowest test scores, grades, and standards, among other measures used across the district. Schools like MLKHS exist in every mid- to large-size urban district in the United States. The proverbial racialized achievement gap is unique neither historically nor regionally. It is a pervasive, consistent pattern and it is borne out in the quantitative data of districts and research of scholars nationwide ( Berlak 2001 ; Farkas 2003 ; Orr 2003 ). This gap is the annual measure and symptom of what Ladson-Billings (2006) defines as the “education debt.” This longstanding debt has historical, moral, economic, and sociopolitical components, and what we call the achievement gap is a tangible manifestation of those legacies and practices. The achievement gap is what is happening in our public educational system. Black and Brown students are being failed.
This book is an exploration of how the racialized achievement gap is produced and reproduced in JPS. After a year-long, multisite ethnographic investigation—including inter

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