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Books: White Parents, Black School

51ABf0za3qLIt's been a relatively slow Fall season for education books, despite Nicholson Baker's Substitute and Matthew Desmond's Evicted (both of which I recommend).

However, as you may recall having learned earlier this year, New York City writer Lucinda Rosenfeld has a new book coming out in January, titled CLASS, about a hot topic in education right now: white parents choosing neighborhood schools. 

As summarized in Kirkus Reviews, the book follows the lives of Karen Kipple and her husband, Matt, both career activists in the nonprofit sector, who "have righteously enrolled their daughter in their zoned public elementary school, where “the white population…hovered around 20 percent.”

Things get awkward pretty quickly: "A scuffle on the playground between a Jayyden and a Maeve further divides the parents along racial lines." A parent tries to fake an address so that she can send her child to a whiter school.

"From its James Baldwin epigraph—“White people cannot, in the generality, be taken as models of how to live”—to the final pages, in which Karen decides not to inquire about the fate of young Jayyden to avoid appearing “like one of those well-meaning, college-educated white liberals who fetishize the deprivations of the underclass,” this book takes dead aim and doesn’t miss."

News of the book's publication first appeared at a panel Rosenfeld did with Nikole Hannah-Jones and WNYC's Rebecca Carroll discussing voluntary integration efforts on the Upper West Side. The book comes out officially in January.

Related posts:

Nicholson Baker's "Substitute"

How Repeated Evictions Impact Students' Lives

'Confessions Of A Headmaster'

An Anthropological Look At School Fundraising

Two Education Books Make The List

Teaching At A Manhattan Prep School While Black, Gay, & Southern

An Anthropological Look At School Fundraising

New Yorker Writer's Year Embedded In High School English


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