Individual Presentation or Panel Title

“At risk” Futures: Decolonial Reimagining of Inner City, Low-Income Youth in a California Charter School

Presenter Information

Alma Zaragoza-Petty, UC IrvineFollow

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine how the notion of “at risk” informs the practices and policies in a charter school environment. I argue that there is a broader ideological and political mechanism at play in categorizing students as “at risk” which contributes to the stigmatization of youth of color in schools and parallels their criminalization as seen in research about zero-tolerance policies. In a time of increasing charter school presence in communities of color, this study asks, 1) How might charter school personnel, charged with a mission to make all students successful lifelong learners, provide effective education to low-income inner city youth negotiating the meaning of “at risk” within their social contexts? 2) What role do charter school personnel play individually or within the institution, to help resist, reproduce, or remake “at risk” student ideologies? 3) How do students and families of color perceive the efforts a charter school vis-à-vis educational opportunity, and within their community more broadly? Through the use of interpretive methods, I aim to describe how community members, school personnel and students make meaning of the role of a charter school in their community and in turn how a school responds to the needs of the community. Grounded in complementary theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches that foreground the relationships among ideology, racialization and criminalization of students of color, my study aims to contribute a fresh theoretical perspective and has implications for educational leaders and charter management organizations in identifying and targeting services or policies to meet the needs of students and families of color.

Presentation Description

How do school agents in charter schools make meaning of the concept of “risk” to influence the academic and social experiences of youth? This study aims to contribute research on the labeling of students and its relation to students’ experiences with racialization and criminalization processes in schooling contexts. In addition, by examining how students and families of color perceive the role of a “school of choice” program in their community this study aims to inform organizational policies and school culture practices to better meet the needs of underserved students and families.

Keywords

Neoliberalism, Charter schools, Urban youth, Identity constructions

Location

Magnolia Room B

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Jun 13th, 5:00 PM Jun 13th, 6:15 PM

“At risk” Futures: Decolonial Reimagining of Inner City, Low-Income Youth in a California Charter School

Magnolia Room B

The purpose of this study is to examine how the notion of “at risk” informs the practices and policies in a charter school environment. I argue that there is a broader ideological and political mechanism at play in categorizing students as “at risk” which contributes to the stigmatization of youth of color in schools and parallels their criminalization as seen in research about zero-tolerance policies. In a time of increasing charter school presence in communities of color, this study asks, 1) How might charter school personnel, charged with a mission to make all students successful lifelong learners, provide effective education to low-income inner city youth negotiating the meaning of “at risk” within their social contexts? 2) What role do charter school personnel play individually or within the institution, to help resist, reproduce, or remake “at risk” student ideologies? 3) How do students and families of color perceive the efforts a charter school vis-à-vis educational opportunity, and within their community more broadly? Through the use of interpretive methods, I aim to describe how community members, school personnel and students make meaning of the role of a charter school in their community and in turn how a school responds to the needs of the community. Grounded in complementary theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches that foreground the relationships among ideology, racialization and criminalization of students of color, my study aims to contribute a fresh theoretical perspective and has implications for educational leaders and charter management organizations in identifying and targeting services or policies to meet the needs of students and families of color.