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Images of urban education in this morning's news

jccohen's picture

This morning, these two articles appeared in the online educations news:

 In the first, we see an image of a white family sitting and standing on the steps of an urban school; even before I read the article I know that we’ll be told about some kind of success in a Phila. school, and that it will be framed as surprising – ah, what a pleasant surprise that there are such rich offering at this city school that these young white guys can go there and see this school choice as “paying off.”  And I at the same time I know about this school and am glad to see them getting positive press…

And/but speaking of “pay offs,” in the article right beside it, the image is rather different, as we see six Black women? women of color? dressed in bright colors and holding song sheets – singing for fair funding (?!).    I know too that they are involved with the community activism we talked about in class the other day, and again, I’m glad to see this positively represented, and yet... they are not being given their due, I’d say, or maybe it’s that they’re being represented in this safe way in order to make their activism palatable…

And what happens when we read these two images together for what they suggest about Philly schools, students, parents and communities – about opportunity and equity, activism and power?