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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, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 May 2022

Morningside Revisited

Morningside Revisited

(p.116) (p.117) Six Morningside Revisited
When Middle-Class Parents Choose Urban Schools

Linn Posey-Maddox

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the sustainability of “free-market diversity” in urban education—diversity based upon individual choices rather than explicit policies. Based upon follow-up research, the chapter outlines the demographic shifts at the school over a four-year period as well as how parents and school staff interpreted and responded to the material and demographic change occurring at the school. The chapter argues that schools like Morningside that become more socioeconomically and racially diverse through neighborhood demographic shifts and middle-class parent engagement are unlikely to sustain their diversity over time in the absence of dedicated resources and explicit education policy. The research suggests that the investments of middle-class parents in urban public schools, in concert with school and district integration policies that ensure that these schools remain accessible to low-income students, may help to disrupt entrenched patterns of segregation, resource disparity, and inequity in public districts and schools.

Keywords:   free-market diversity, individual choice, demographic change, education policy, middle-class parent engagement, integration policies

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