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Vol. 6 No. 1 (2020): Special Edition

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Minoritized Communities, Urban School Reform, School Policies, and Mayoral Control

May 3, 2020


The purpose of this study is to explore a federal turnaround policy under a mayoral-controlled Northeastern school district that began in 2013. The study utilizes discourse and document analysis and interviews, as well as a life history methodology to explore the perspectives of educators, local politicians, and community activists from Black and Latinx communities, as well as other minoritized populations, within the jurisdiction of the school district. The framework for this study draws on a critical analysis of educational policy studies and utilizes Sandra Stein’s (2004) Culture of Education Policy framework to highlight discourses and language used to frame individuals and groups. This study analyzes a forced leadership change and focuses on a particular elementary school as a result of the implementation of a turnaround policy, and offers some implications for educational policy, reform, and leadership practices.