Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2011 Issue »

    Race, Charter Schools, and Conscious Capitalism

    On the Spatial Politics of Whiteness as Property (and the Unconscionable Assault on Black New Orleans)

    Kristen L. Buras
    In this article, Kristen L. Buras examines educational policy formation in New Orleans and the racial, economic, and spatial dynamics shaping the city’s reconstruction since 2005. More specifically, Buras draws on the critical theories of whiteness as property, accumulation by dispossession, and urban space economy to describe the strategic assault on black communities by education entrepreneurs. Based on data collected from an array of stakeholders on the ground, she argues that policy actors at the federal, state, and local levels have contributed to a process of privatization and an inequitable racial-spatial redistribution of resources while acting under the banner of “conscious capitalism.” She challenges the market-based reforms currently offered as a panacea for education in New Orleans, particularly charter schools, and instead offers principles of educational reform rooted in a more democratic and critically conscious tradition.

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    Kristen L. Buras is a visiting assistant professor of urban educational policy at Georgia State University. She is coauthor of Pedagogy, Policy, and the Privatized City: Stories of Dispossession and Defiance from New Orleans (2010), which received recognition for its outstanding contribution to the field from the Curriculum Studies Division of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). She is also the author of Rightist Multiculturalism: Core Lessons on Neoconservative School Reform (2008) and coeditor of The Subaltern Speak: Curriculum, Power, and Educational Struggles (2006). She has worked extensively with teachers, public schools, and grassroots organizations in New Orleans, where she was born and raised. She is cofounder and director of the Urban South Grassroots Research Collective for Public Education and was granted the Distinguished Scholar-Activist Award by Critical Educators for Social Justice of AERA.
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    Summer 2011 Issue


    Symposium: Unraveling the Double Bind
    Women of Color in STEM
    Editors of the Harvard Educational Review
    The Double Bind
    The Next Generation
    Lindsey E. Malcom and Shirley M. Malcom
    Inside the Double Bind
    A Synthesis of Empirical Research on Undergraduate and Graduate Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
    Maria Ong, Carol Wright, Lorelle L. Espinosa, and Gary Orfield
    Pipelines and Pathways
    Women of Color in Undergraduate STEM Majors and the College Experiences That Contribute to Persistence
    Lorelle L. Espinosa
    Unique Challenges for Women of Color in STEM Transferring from Community Colleges to Universities
    Marie-Elena Reyes
    Symposium: Learning After Disaster
    Voices from Haiti and New Orleans
    Editors of the Harvard Educational Review
    Rebuilding a Country, Cultivating Local Capacity
    Interview with Fabienne Doucet and Louis Herns Marcelin
    Raygine DiAquoi
    Diasporic Lakou
    A Haitian Academic Explores Her Path to Haiti Pre- and Post-Earthquake
    Charlene Désir
    Race, Charter Schools, and Conscious Capitalism
    On the Spatial Politics of Whiteness as Property (and the Unconscionable Assault on Black New Orleans)
    Kristen L. Buras
    “There Is a Lot That I Want to Do”
    Reflections on the Relief Efforts in Haiti
    Raygine DiAquoi
    Who Dat Say (We) “Too Depraved to Be Saved”?
    Remembering Katrina/Haiti (and Beyond): Critical Studyin’ for Human Freedom
    Joyce King

    Book Notes

    Storytelling for Social Justice
    by Lee Anne Bell

    Quality Education as a Constitutional Right
    edited by Theresa Perry, Robert P. Moses, Joan T. Wynne, Ernesto Cortés Jr., and Lisa Delpit

    Black Youth Rising
    by Shawn A. Ginwright