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ERIC Number: EJ787313
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-1498
Magnet Schools: A Retrospective Case Study of Segregation
Gersti-Pepin, Cynthia
High School Journal, v85 n3 p47-52 Feb-Mar 2002
Often lost in the discourse regarding educational policy-making and implementation are the micropolitical experiences of the individuals who are most affected by policy: students. Policymakers often develop policy under the guise of making schools better, but in effect they often lose sight of insuring that all students receive a good education regardless of gender, race, or class distinctions. In the quest to satisfy constituents and competing value systems, the possible negative effects of policies on students are often ignored. Most policymaking relies on traditional assumptions of a meritocratic system, that implicitly supports the hierarchical structure of society. Since there is only so much room at the top, a certain number of students are doomed, or expected, to fail. Within the bureaucratic structure of educational systems, important goals such as providing a quality education for all children are ignored, or forgotten about, in order to preserve the existing hierarchy. This analysis approaches the implementation of policy from a unique perspective; viewing it in relation to the cultural experiences of students. Utilizing a retrospective case study approach to examine desegregation policy, a specific student culture within a high school magnet school is studied at the micro political level. The author does this by drawing upon her life experiences as a student at Northeast High School (NHS) in Oklahoma City during the period of 1981-1985. By critically examining the cultural experiences of students who are experiencing the effects of desegregation policy, she hopes to expose how the micropolitics of NHS's magnet program supported inequitable distributions of power and resources and reinforced cultural assumptions concerning racism and classism.
University of North Carolina Press. 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 800-848-6224; Tel: 919-966-7449; Fax: 919-962-2704; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education