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Struggling for Educational Equity in Diverse Communities: School Reform as Social Movement

Struggling for Educational Equity in Diverse Communities: School Reform as Social Movement This paper argues that those seekingequity-focused educational reform have much tolearn from social movements and grassrootspolitical organizing. We explore how theknowledge, skills, strategies, and passionatenarratives emanating from suchnon-institutional change efforts can shed light onthe difficulty of equity-focused educationreform and provide equity reformers with anexpanded repertoire of change strategies. Wepursue our analysis using an ``exemplary'' caseof reform at Wilson High School. The case datawere collected as part of a four-year study documenting the college preparation experienceof students of color in diverse, comprehensivehigh schools. We conclude that the logic andstrategies employed in social and politicalmovements – in contrast to those found inorganizational change models – are more likelyto expose, challenge, and if successful,disrupt the prevailing norms and politics ofschooling inequality that frustrateequity-focused reforms. Without attention tothese dynamics, such reforms are abandonedentirely or implemented in ways that actuallyreplicate (perhaps in a different guise) thestratified status quo. We also conclude thatthose of us whose research focuses on equityreforms would be well advised to use social andpolitical movements as lenses to more clearlyview the course of these much advocated, butseldom achieved efforts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Educational Change Springer Journals

Struggling for Educational Equity in Diverse Communities: School Reform as Social Movement

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References (40)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Education; Educational Policy and Politics; Administration, Organization and Leadership
ISSN
1389-2843
eISSN
1573-1812
DOI
10.1023/A:1021225728762
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper argues that those seekingequity-focused educational reform have much tolearn from social movements and grassrootspolitical organizing. We explore how theknowledge, skills, strategies, and passionatenarratives emanating from suchnon-institutional change efforts can shed light onthe difficulty of equity-focused educationreform and provide equity reformers with anexpanded repertoire of change strategies. Wepursue our analysis using an ``exemplary'' caseof reform at Wilson High School. The case datawere collected as part of a four-year study documenting the college preparation experienceof students of color in diverse, comprehensivehigh schools. We conclude that the logic andstrategies employed in social and politicalmovements – in contrast to those found inorganizational change models – are more likelyto expose, challenge, and if successful,disrupt the prevailing norms and politics ofschooling inequality that frustrateequity-focused reforms. Without attention tothese dynamics, such reforms are abandonedentirely or implemented in ways that actuallyreplicate (perhaps in a different guise) thestratified status quo. We also conclude thatthose of us whose research focuses on equityreforms would be well advised to use social andpolitical movements as lenses to more clearlyview the course of these much advocated, butseldom achieved efforts.

Journal

Journal of Educational ChangeSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 12, 2004

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