Urban education has long been a point of contention and discourse surrounding best practice, with many educators citing gaps in the system. While the term “urban education” accompanies ideas of low socio economic communities according to the introduction of Carl A. Grant and Elizabeth Zweir’s book, “Intersectionality and Urban Education: Identities, Policies, Spaces and Power,” reading further unearths that this inequality has more to do with privilege than the space urban schools take up. Accompanying this research by Grant and Zweir, as well as their research’s contributors, articles by Richard Millner on “Rethinking the achievement gap” and Wanda J. Blanchett, Janette K. Klingner and Beth Harry’s article titled “The Intersection of Race, Culture, Language and Disability: Implications for Urban Education” further extend this dialogue on the strategies and considerations that are imperative for teaching in an urban setting.
Within all three resources, researchers focus on the toxicity of whiteness as the status quo, comparing all data to a racial majority that has long held power in North America and Western Europe. Grant, Zweir and Milner criticize this model, asking instead how educators can evaluate students based on learning rather than frequently citing the “underachievement” of students in urban settings, particularly black and Latinx students. Overall all three texts examine the role the intersectionality of race, ability, sexuality and socio-economic status plays on student’s authentic learning experiences as well as their representation in schools.
To further my research, I will next carefully examine each text to look beyond the similarities of each piece of research in order to draw out differing philosophies and unique narratives of each. I will reflect on my own experiences coming from a rural school rather than an urban setting, as well as being a white female within the education system. Although these perspectives will not be discussed openly within my research paper, I must examine the undertones of my writing as well as my privilege and experiences before commencing a rough draft of my critical summary.