Radical Pedagogy

Radical Pedagogy (2016)

Volume 13 Issue 2

ISSN: 1524-6345

The Relationship of Space and Policy: How Overlapping Policies Exacerbate Geographic (In)Equalities

Kathryn S. Young

Department of Secondary Education

Metropolitan State University of Denver, USA

E-mail: kyoung42@msudenver.edu


     In the post-civil rights era in the United States, educational inequalities persist. This paper explores the spatial layering of Highly Gifted and Talents programs (HGT) and Special Education Centers (SEC) across the landscape of Denver Public Schools (DPS). The historico-geographic dimensions of inequality are entrenched in current policies related to entitlement programs in schools. This geographic analysis explores the role of institutions in structuring spatial inequality. It illustrates the workings of ‘spatial layering’, and the relationship between space and policy, in relation to education inequalities. This study reveals that post court-ordered desegregation, DPS schools quickly reverted to more homogeneous school populations by race, ability, and income. Schools with the most resources served students with the least academic needs. Re-segregating by race, class and ability has social and educational implications for all students and for the goals of public education.

     Keywords: gifted and talented, special education, desegregation, race,

                       disability, space