Despite being cemented into the American education system, school choice policies remain controversial among scholars, practitioners, policy makers, and education reform advocates. This study seeks to understand how low-income and working-class parents, for whom school choice advocates claim these policies are intended to benefit, perceive school choice and what motivates these perceptions. In particular, this study focuses on low-income and working-class Black mothers who are often disadvantaged in the education marketplace. Taking advantage of a relatively robust school choice system in Washington, D.C., the author interviewed 10 low-income and working-class Black mothers. The mothers in this sample see school choice policies as an opportunity to exert agency over their children’s education opportunities; however, in reality their choices are limited by their positionality which constrains their real choices. These parents want options beyond their in-boundary traditional public school but policy makers must pursue equitable policies to make the school choice process easier and fairer.
"“Why Do I Have to Send My Child There?” How Low-Income and Working-Class Black Mothers Perceive School Choice in Washington, D.C.,"
Journal of Public Management & Social Policy: Vol. 29:
1, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.tsu.edu/jpmsp/vol29/iss1/9