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Could It Be Otherwise? : Parents and the Inequalities of Public School Choice - Lois Andre-Bechely

Could It Be Otherwise?

Parents and the Inequalities of Public School Choice

Hardcover Published: 23rd June 2005
ISBN: 9780415945202
Number Of Pages: 240

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"Andre-Bechely's book breaks important new ground. It demonstrates the subtle complicity between choice policies and family strategies in the production of educational inequalities. Her analysis of the power of policy discourses to shape family practices that lead to injustice is as sophisticated as it is disturbing. The combination of synthetic theory and innovative methods and forms of presentation make this a highly original contribution to the field of school choice research and a welcome break from the conventionality of most qualitative research studies. A must-read for choice researchers and policy-makers."
Stephen Ball, Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education, University of London

"Andre-Bechely's critical institutional ethnography brings new perspectives to the challenge of identifying how school administrative practices can be transformed to promote both the equality and the achievement of children of every class and race. Her focus on parents'- and especially mothers'-experiences of school choice options illuminates in new ways the causes of persistent inequality and low achievement in US public education."
Sandra Harding, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA
"The relentless belief in school choice as a vehicle for school reform has gained widespread popularity in recent years. In this book, Andre-Bechely not only interrogates the darker side of choice, but cleverly reveals its own falsity without abandoning its potential altogether. Indeed, Could It Be Otherwise? is a must-read for researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, and anyone genuinely interested in examining the problematics-and possibilities-of such a deep-seeded ideology."
Gerardo R. Lopez, Indiana University, School of Education
Parents who wish to choose schools for their children must have more than a desire for different or better - they need detailed knowledge of the processes and practices that will give them access to schools of choice. This book vividly contrasts the experiences of a diverse group of urban parents choosing their children's schools with school choice policies from voluntary integration mandates to the No Child Left Behind Act. Lois Andre-Bechely carefully uncovers the race- and class-based inequities these policies sustain, documenting the way parents themselves become complicit in the historical inequalities of schooling. This book exposes how educational institutions are making this so and provokes new thinking about how public school choice could be implemented in more equitable and democratic ways.

Industry Reviews

"Throughout the book, we are shown how parent participants are socially, culturally, and historically positioned within systems of privilege and dominance, and how they bring to the forefront, where relevant, the particular intersections of race, class, and/or gender that position them through the choice process."

--Teachers College Record, October 25, 2007

The first chapter, "Institutionalizing public school choice in an urban district," contains an excellent and comprehensive historical overview of choice policies.

--Teachers College Record, October 25, 2007

Introduction: Policy Studies from the Standpoint of Parentsp. 1
Institutionalizing Public School Choice in an Urban Districtp. 33
Bureaucratic Structures, Privilege, and Discrimination: Parents Navigate the Application Processp. 61
Choice Work: Getting Access to Magnet Schoolsp. 89
Playing the "Points Game": Unfair Advantage in School Choicep. 129
What We Know Otherwise: How Brown and NCLB Hit Homep. 187
Appendix Ap. 215
Appendix Bp. 217
Notesp. 221
Referencesp. 225
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415945202
ISBN-10: 0415945208
Series: Critical Social Thought
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 23rd June 2005
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 16.51  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.46
Edition Number: 1