How Suburban Schools Are Struggling with Low-Income Students and Students of Color in Their Schools
Chapter 4. Goodwin Middle School: Cultural Gaps and Resistance to Facing Them
← 66 | 67 →Chapter Four
When you drive into Goodwin, you are struck by a few major landmarks. There is a large hospital complex with a well-known drug rehabilitation center, a community college campus, two parks, and a mall with big box stores such as Home Depot and Walmart. There is constant traffic, movement, and action in this community. There is also evidence of a burgeoning Latino/Latina community with some signs in front of stores and churches in Spanish. The Latino/Latina population is relatively small but growing rapidly.
Goodwin was first settled by German and Polish immigrants as a small farming community and remained rural until the 1950s and 1960s. It is still majority white, as recently as 2013, but in the last decade the population has shifted dramatically and now almost 40% of the residents are people of color. The 2010 Census data revealed that of the approximately 19,000 residents, over 60% were white, 33% were black, and 5% were Latino/Latina,1 up from 22% and 1%, respectively, the decade before (see Figure 4.1; U.S. Census Data, Community Factfinder 2000/2010).
Goodwin, dotted with small, single-family houses, had been a relatively stable working-class community, where most are employed in blue-collar jobs in construction or related fields. Yet over the past five years, those jobs started to dwindle. A nearby manufacturing plant that employed thousands of area residents closed its doors in 2013. While ← 67 | 68 →Goodwin’s median household income was still around the national...
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