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Precarious Space: Majority Black Suburbs and Their Public Schools


by Carol Ascher & Edwina Branch-Smith — 2005

The fact that a third of all African Americans now live in suburbs might suggest how far we have come since the pre-Brown days. But most African Americans live in predominantly Black suburbs, where property values are lower than in neighboring White suburbs, and where the public schools are funded by a lower tax base. After presenting a national picture, the authors draw on the experiences of Plainfield, New Jersey, and Prince George's County, Maryland, to describe how strained resources, a history of racialized conflicts resulting in troubled governance, and a perception of students as "inner city" all contribute to low student achievement in public schools in predominantly Black suburbs.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 9, 2005, p. 1956-1973
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12150, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 4:30:09 AM

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About the Author
  • Carol Ascher
    New York University Steinhardt School of Education Institute for Education and Social Policy
    E-mail Author
    CAROL ASCHER is Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Education and Social Policy, Steinhard School of Education, New York University. Trained as an anthropologist, her studies of public education have focused on issues of educational inequality. Her research has recently appeared in Phi Delta Kappan, Journal for Students Placed at Risk, and the Journal of Educational History.
  • Edwina Branch-Smith
    New York University Steinhardt School of Education Institute for Education and Social Policy
    EDWINA BRANCH-SMITH is Associate Research Scientist at NYU’s Institute for Education and Social Policy and a doctoral student in teaching and learning. She has participated in evaluations of school districts and research on community organizing for education reform. Branch-Smith was the founder and principal of a small high school in New York City and a high school science and mathematics teacher.
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