Race, Schools, and Hope: African Americans and School Choice after Brown

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This provocative book helps us to make sense of why and how African Americans participate in and lead school-choice reforms. The author argues that regardless of the success or failure of these reforms, they represent an important political phenomenon in American schooling and in African American history and politics. The first section of the book focuses on African American school choice in the post-Brown period, examining how these reforms became a response to desegregation politics and policies. The second section focuses on a charter school in Oakland, California, that the author helped to found at a time when Oakland's public schools were severely underserving African American students.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807748534
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 3/29/2008
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction 1

School Choice Today 3

My Examination of African American School Choice 4

Why Study These Examples 9

My Method 10

Reflections on My Role 12

Choice and American Hope 15

2 Schooling and Hope: The Integration Debate 17

Purposes of American Schooling 17

Integrationism and Nationalism in African American Schooling 18

Integrationism, Nationalism, and Hope 25

Complicating the Integrationalism-Nationalism Distinction 26

School Choice and the Politics of Integration 29

3 Community Control and Post-Brown Politics of Race and Nation 32

Community Control Context 33

The Short-Lived "Experiment" 35

The Dominant View of Community Control 38

Debating the Goal of Desegregation 40

American Participation and Interracial Partnership 47

School Choice in the Post-Brown Moment 52

4 Independent Schooling as Civil Rights Alternative 53

From Public to Private Control 53

Independent School Context 55

The CIBI Model 57

Schooling for Self-Determination and Survival 59

Independent Schools and Public Education 64

Historical Roots of Modern Choice Politics 69

5 Vouchers, Race, and the American Welfare State 70

The Current State of Voucher Reforms 71

Vouchers and a Local State 75

Vouchers and a Minimal State 77

Vouchers and a Progressive State 81

Vouchers and a Divided State 83

Vouchers and the State of Black Politics 86

School Choice and Debates About the State 91

6 The Founding of the West Oakland Community School 93

Politics of Schooling and Race in the 1990s 94

Politics of Schooling and Race in Oakland 100

The West Oakland Context 102

The WOCS Founding Group 103

"Race Versus Place" 105

Race andQuality Schooling, Broadly Defined 108

7 Politics, Successes, and Challenges of the West Oakland Community School 114

City and School Politics in Oakland 115

WOCS's Successes 118

WOCS's Challenges 123

The Closing of WOCS 132

Charters and the Politics of Urban Schooling 134

8 The West Oakland Community School, Charter Schooling, and Post-Civil Rights Politics 136

Partnership and Participation in American Reform 137

Debating Desegregation, Again 146

Charter Schools and the Public Sphere 150

New Terrain, Same Debates 155

9 School Choice and Hope 157

African American School Choice Since Brown 158

The Limits of School Choice 164

The Potential of school Choice 171

"America Will Be..." 172

Notes 175

References 179

Index 206

About the Author 214

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