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When Middle-Class Parents Choose Urban SchoolsClass, Race, and the Challenge of Equity in Public Education$
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Linn Posey-Maddox

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226120188

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226120355.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 03 June 2020

Building a “Critical Mass”

Building a “Critical Mass”

Neighborhood Parent Group Action for School Change

Chapter:
(p.37) Three Building a “Critical Mass”
Source:
When Middle-Class Parents Choose Urban Schools
Author(s):

Linn Posey-Maddox

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226120355.003.0003

This chapter focuses on the influence of parents’ collective action and social networks in processes of school choice and urban school transformation. Specifically, the chapter examines the efforts of a middle-class neighborhood parent group to increase neighborhood enrollment and investment in their local school. Through an analysis of parents’ efforts to create what several described as a “critical mass” of middle-class families at the school, this chapter explores the equity implications of neighborhood parent-group organizing for urban school reform. The findings suggest that middle-class parents are not simply taking advantage of urban revitalization efforts led by developers and civic leaders, but may be collective actors in processes of school and neighborhood change.

Keywords:   parent engagement, social networks, critical mass, collective action, school choice, middle-class parents

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