School Reputation as a Site of Struggle: An Investigation of the Impact of School Choice in Washington, DC on a Neighborhood Public School

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this article, I draw on interviews with teachers and administrators at a secondary neighborhood public school in Washington, DC about their perceptions of how the school is viewed by external stakeholders and the impact of those perceptions within an urban education market. Extant empirical research on market forces and effects has not centrally focused on school reputation as an analytic unit to understand how public schools are impacted by school choice and competition. Utilizing reputation of place as a conceptual frame, the findings reveal that school reputation has both discursive and material impacts on urban public schools. Further, school reputation acts as a site of struggle for educators at three distinct and overlapping areas: struggle with partners, struggle with enrollment, and site of struggle with the urban space environment. Finally, the findings confirm that the logics of choice as a means for school improvement are inherently flawed. Given these findings, recommendations for teachers and leaders are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUrban Review
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Market-based education reform
  • School choice
  • School reputation
  • Urban education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies

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