Term of Award

Fall 2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 1

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 2

Michelle Reidel

Committee Member 3

Derrick Tennial

Committee Member 3 Email



This inquiry explores the discrepancy of educational opportunities in a Black suburban public school near Atlanta, Georgia. Predominately Black suburban schools in the South have become increasingly similar to Black urban schools. Both Black urban and suburban schools have become places of complacency for teachers and students. There is an incessant fluctuation of teachers and an increase in low expectations for academic success in Black suburban schools. Both Black urban and suburban schools have limited funding while White schools, many times less than ten miles away, experience the benefits of magnet programs, cutting-edge technology and rigorous curricula. Many Black suburban schools mimic the oppressive curriculum of the Black urban schools used and discussed in many studies (Kozol,2001; Kozol, 2005; Kincheloe & Steinberg, 2007).

Drawing on the works of critical race theory (Bell, 1992; Rousseau & Dixson, 2006; Douglass Horsford & Grosland, 2013; Decuir and Dixson, 2004), education of Blacks in the South (Morris and Monroe, 2004; Anderson 1988; Siddle-Walker, 1996; Siddle-Walker and Snarey, 2004 ), race (Siddle-Walker and Tompkins, 2004;West, 2001; Steinberg and Kincheloe, 2007; Walker and Snarey, 2004 ), class (Kozol, 2000, 2005; Warikoo and Carter, 2009 ) and commodification (Bowles & Gintis, 1926; Kozol, 1991, 2000, 2005), I examine the issues in Black suburban schools and show how they are related to issues of oppression and disenfranchisement as seen in urban schools. I examine the steps taken by the school and school system to eliminate chances of academic success for Black students in this predominately Black school, which include a lack of funding, a lack of competent and caring teachers, and a lack of materials and educational prospects

I use counterstorytelling (Love, 2010; Ladson-Billings, 1999, 2000; Delgado, 1989; Solorzano &Yosso, 2002) and fiction (Connelly, He, & Phillion, 2008; Hurston , 1937; Bell, 2005) to explore the desire for students to find their way to success within a school that expected them to fail. I have fictionalized the characters and the timeline of events, but have maintained the exactitude of the lack of support from the school despite the personal drive of the students.