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ERIC Number: EJ1003816
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-0195-6744
Professionalizing the PTO: Race, Class, and Shifting Norms of Parental Engagement in a City Public School
Posey-Maddox, Linn
American Journal of Education, v119 n2 p235-260 Feb 2013
A growing number of parents--particularly middle- and upper-middle-class parents--are working to fill budgetary gaps through their fundraising, grant writing, and volunteerism in urban public schools. Yet little is known about how this may shape norms and practices related to parental engagement within particular schools. Drawing from a case study of an elementary school undergoing demographic shifts in its student population, this article examines the scope and consequences of middle-class parents' collective engagement. The research reveals that parents brought new resources and educational opportunities to the school, yet their engagement through the parent-teacher organization (PTO) and the school's reliance on their contributions engendered tensions and exacerbated existing status positions among parents. The findings highlight the limitations of positioning middle-class parental engagement as a key intervention strategy in urban education. (Contains 4 tables and 8 notes.)
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California