Urban public education is currently being remade to reflect corporate values and management structures. Charter CMO’s particularly are constructed by policy as the most viable solution for “turning around failing schools.” To date, there are few, if any, insider accounts from charter management-operated (CMO) schools in the research literature. This project brings critical practitioner inquiry into this under-explored space in order to better understand the ways teachers and staff within one specific CMO-operated charter elementary school resist the dehumanizing forces of whiteness and deficit notions of teaching, learning, students, as well as the communities in which they serve. Using critical organizational theory and collaborative inquiry, as well as a narrative inquiry methodology, this project looks at the experiences of teachers and staff members as they enacted the “no excuses” philosophy over the course of one school year. First, the no excuses philosophy and management practices of College Prep Elementary School (CPES) will be explored. This includes narratives from staff members as they interpret their experiences being trained in the no excuses philosophy and how their views changed throughout the year. Then, the emotional reactions of the teachers and staff members will be more thoroughly analyzed as important intersections of identity and politics. Next, I explore stories of institutional microaggression and deficit shared by Staff of Color to gain a better understanding of the ways whiteness exists in schools. Finally, the inquiry group theorizes culturally competent school leadership, arriving at three main themes all resonating with the ethic of care: care for students, care for families and community, and care for teachers. In the final chapter, implications for policy and practice are shared, as well as the limitations of this study.
|Advisor:||Waff, Diane R.|
|Commitee:||Campano, H. Gerald, Edwards, D. Brent, Portnoy, Dina|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Department:||Reading, Writing, Literacy|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational sociology, Educational leadership, Education|
|Keywords:||Deficit, Inquiry, Practitioner research, School leadership, Whiteness|
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