Article examines Black parents’ search for ‘good’ schools

UW–Madison’s Linn Posey-Maddox, Maxine McKinney de Royston, and Rachel A. Johnson are among the authors of an article published in the Harvard Educational Review that is titled, “No Choice is the ‘Right’ Choice: Black Parents’ Educational Decision-Making in Their Search for a ‘Good’ School.”

Posey-Maddox is an associate professor in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Policy Studies, and McKinney de Royston is an assistant professor in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Johnson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Policy Studies.

Alea R. Holman (Fordham University) and Raquel M. Rall (University of California, Riverside) are also among the article’s authors.

According to the abstract, the authors examined Black parents’ educational decision-making in the racial and educational contexts of predominantly white suburban districts, majority-Black urban schools with an Afrocentric focus, and racially diverse urban public and private schools.

Undertaking a qualitative meta-analysis, the authors asked: “How and why is anti-Black racism salient in Black parents’ educational decision-making around schooling?”

“Their findings reveal that race and anti-Black racism are central to Black parents’ school choice decisions,” explains the abstract. “Specifically, they shape the trade-offs parents made in choosing a school for their child(ren), their ongoing risk assessments regarding the potential for racialized harm in their child(ren)’s schooling, and their continuous decision-making about whether to keep their child enrolled or move them to a different school.”

“Regardless of geography,” the abstract concludes, “school type, grade level, and/or social class, race and anti-Black racism shape Black parents’ educational decision-making as they work to ensure that their child(ren) receive a high-quality education within highly racialized schooling contexts.”

Learn more and access the article.