Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A critical ethnography: One suburban school community still separate, still unequal
by Harris, Jurate Kuras, Ed.D., Illinois State University, 2013, 130; 3572988
Abstract (Summary)

Ninety-four percent of the children in the Fairmont School District 89 come from families who are poor (identified by eligibility for free/reduced lunches) and 93% of the children who attend school in Fairmont SD 89 are children of color (Illinois Interactive Report Card, 2010). The extreme differences in social economic status and race between Fairmont School District 89 and the seven other small elementary K-8 school districts that feed into one high school are unusual and complex. When discussing such communities, Kozol refers to them as "still separate, still unequal" (2005, p. 41). The Fairmont community in Lockport is an example of this type of community.

A critical ethnographic research design with a critical theory theoretical framework lens guided the examination of the problem of low achieving children of color living in a segregated high-poverty area surrounded by a suburban community of high achieving, middle to upper class, predominantly Caucasian peers. The study explored several questions: 1. Why, when, and how did Fairmont become predominantly African-American and very poor? 2. How do the children of this community school perform compared to their grade level peers in the Lockport area? 3. How has the municipality of Lockport addressed the needs of the children and the Fairmont community located in this remote and isolated section of Lockport Township? 4. What contributions has the Fairmont Partnership made in its 9 years existence to meet the needs of the Fairmont community and its children?

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Clardy, Pauline
Commitee: Bates, Alan, Skinner, Elizabeth
School: Illinois State University
Department: Curriculum and Instruction
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Area Planning and Development, Education Policy
Keywords: Academic achievement, Critical ethnography, Critical race theory, Critical theory, Poverty, Social justice, Suburban
Publication Number: 3572988
ISBN: 978-1-303-42017-7
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