Selling and resisting English-medium schooling on Milwaukee’s multilingual Near South Side: A typology of choice schools’ marketing strategies
Keywords:bilingual education, racial capitalism, school choice, marketization
Extant research has emphasized the importance of information to help families of English learner-identified children to navigate school choice structures, and raised critical questions about the information that is made available through school marketing. At a time of increasing tension around school choice and the rapid expansion of certain forms of bilingual education, we argue for the importance of documenting language minoritized parents’ experiential knowledge as one means of combating choice-based exclusion. Drawing from theories of racial capitalism, language ideologies, and language policy, we analyze charter and voucher school websites and interview data from a nine-month critical bifocal ethnography on the intersections and tensions between bilingual education and school choice policy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Our findings identify six marketing strategies that choice schools employed on Milwaukee’s Near South Side, a place with high concentrations of Spanish-speaking, low-income Latinx families. We also present one working-class Mexican father’s narrative of choosing a school for his child as an example of the ways in which parents actively resist the racializing logics embedded within choice-based, marketized school systems. The article provides policy agents with a typology to help generate additional, place-specific analyses of the marketization of language education in multilingual communities.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Andrew H Hurie, Deborah K. Palmer
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