Spatial othering: Examining residential areas, school attendance zones, and school discipline in an urbanizing school district

Main Article Content

Abstract

Drawn from interdisciplinary perspectives of special education, critical geography, and education policy, in this study, we examined the spatial patterns of residential areas, school attendance zones, and school discipline rates of an urbanizing school district in Wisconsin to understand the construction of spatial “Other.” We measured the city’s dissimilarity index to examine racial and economic segregation between neighborhoods and elementary schools. We also measured the school district suspension rates to examine racial disproportionality in school discipline. We then analyzed to what extent the redrawing of elementary school attendance zones in the 2007-2008 school year was able to reduce the spatial concentration of racially and economically minoritized students in one elementary public school. We found that despite the well-intentioned efforts of the rezoning committee to lower the percentage of students from low-income families, spatial othering at the neighborhood level continued to funnel students from racially and minoritized backgrounds into the school, due to the concentration of low-income housing in the neighborhood of the school.

 

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Mawene, D., & Bal, A. (2020). Spatial othering: Examining residential areas, school attendance zones, and school discipline in an urbanizing school district. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 28, 91. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.28.4676
Section
Articles
Author Biographies

Dian Mawene, The University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dian Mawene is a Ph.D. candidate in Special Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dian's research interest includes the intersection of race, class, space, and disability through which she examines how social structures including space shape educational opportunities of minoritized students.

Aydin Bal, The University of Wisconsin-Madison

Aydin Bal is an associate professor of education at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. His research focuses on the interplay between culture and behavioral problems across local and global education systems. Dr. Bal examines the racial disparities in special education and school discipline, family-school-community-university collaboration, refugee education, expansive learning, and systemic transformation.