TitleFamily gentrification, student diversity, and academic achievement
NameMorrison, Elizabeth (author), Sadovnik, Alan (chair), Backstrand, Jeffrey (internal member), Barr, Jason (internal member), Semel, Susan (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - Newark,
Charter schools--New Jersey--Jersey City--Case studies,
Academic achievement--New Jersey--Jersey City--Case studies
DescriptionIn this study, I examine the history and effects of a parent-organized charter school in Jersey City, New Jersey in the context of the gentrification of the city. Based on ethnographic, survey, and school- and student-level achievement data, I analyze how the
school influences equity and academic achievement. Using the concepts of cultural, economic, and social capital, I provide a comprehensive examination of how public school characteristics can attract or deter families from sending their children to particular schools. At the charter school, students from most subgroup outperform the state-specific subgroup average. On average, students demonstrate a small amount of growth over time; however, there are wide racial and economic achievement gaps between subgroups. The gaps narrow to some extent in math, but during middle school the gap expand in language
arts. Interestingly, free-lunch students in more economically balanced cohorts perform better than free-lunch students in less economically balanced cohorts. The study has policy implications for both the state of New Jersey and Jersey City. At the state level, policies currently enable economic segregation in charter schools. Both a lack of busing services and an early application deadline create an advantage for
privileged families. Similarly, the policies disadvantage low-income families, who may lack social networks and charter school information. Therefore, this study illustrates the importance of equalizing access to charter schools for all parents. This study also has implications for the Jersey City. Currently, Jersey City is
assisting housing developments and local businesses with tax abatements and other incentives. However, the population Jersey City is attempting to attract will only remain in the city if the quality of the schools improves or school choice options increase. The focal school has successfully integrated families who would otherwise send their children to private school or leave the district. Without quality schools, wealthier families will leave Jersey City and its relatively high taxes for more affordable alternatives with better educational opportunities. Thus, the city’s already small tax base will become even smaller. More importantly, there will be fewer opportunities for low-income children to
interact with middle- and high-income children and experience high-quality schools.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Elizabeth Morrison
CollectionGraduate School - Newark Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.