School choice or the politics of desperation? Black and Latinx parents of students with dis/abilities selecting charter schools in Chicago

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Abstract

In this paper, we focus on the city of Chicago to examine how Black and Latinx parents of students with dis/abilities engage with school choice. Using analytical tools from grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1990) and a theoretical lens informed by critical notions of space, race and dis/ability, we analyze interviews with parents of students with dis/abilities, field notes, and various artifacts from charter schools (e.g., student handbooks and websites). We found that parents engaged with the politics of desperation (Stovall, 2013): an assemblage of thoughts and rationales to make school decisions amid poor and ableist educational options for Black and Latinx students with dis/abilities. We found that the neoliberal restructuring of urban education space was a driving force shaping parents’ engagement with the politics of desperation. Thus, our study sheds light on the relationship between race, dis/ability, and urban spatial restructuring.

 

 

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How to Cite
Waitoller, F. R., & Super, G. (2017). School choice or the politics of desperation? Black and Latinx parents of students with dis/abilities selecting charter schools in Chicago. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25, 55. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.25.2636
Section
Restructuring and Resisting Education Reforms in Chicago’s Public Schools
Author Biographies

Federico R. Waitoller, University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Waitoller is an assistant professor in the department of special education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on urban inclusive education. In particular, he examines how neoliberal informed polices, such as top-down accountability, portfolio district models, and school choice converge with inclusive education efforts, and how these initiatives affect Black and Latinx students with dis/abilities. His research also examines teacher learning efforts and pedagogies for inclusive education. 

Gia Super, University of Illinois at Chicago

Gia Super is a doctoral student in the department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Her research interests include students with dis/abilities, bilingual education, and teacher preparation in the context of neoliberal education reform. She is a former teacher in the Chicago Public Schools and a parent of a child with a dis/ability navigating special education in the district.