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Education Reform and Gentrification in the Age of #CamdenRising

Public Education and Urban Redevelopment in Camden, NJ

Keith E. Benson

Education Reform and Gentrification in the Age of #CamdenRising: Public Education and Urban Redevelopment in Camden, NJ examines the perceptions and interpretations of Camden—a New Jersey community whose population is predominately minority, historically impoverished, and rapidly employing neoliberal strategies in public education and urban redevelopment. Using the framework of standpoint theory as a lens to alternatively view change and "progress" in Camden (dubbed by city officials as #CamdenRising), this book highlights the views of Camden residents who hold little sociopolitical capital yet are profoundly impacted by the city’s efforts in employing neoliberal approaches within urban development and public education.

This book will center current and future resident viewpoints on living in a city whose leadership employs neoliberal tactics in redevelopment and in rebranding public education. Participants in this work reported feelings of political alienation pertaining to participation in redevelopment and public education decision-making. Further, participants also believe such recent efforts for change in Camden are intended to benefit a targeted, potentially gentrifying, population and not the majority low-income minorities who currently reside there.

List of Figures – Acknowledgments – Preface – Introduction – Postindustrial Urban Ecology – Public Education in Low-Income Urban America – The Camden Context – Suspicion and Skepticism – "Change Is Happening But Not For Us" – The Influence of Outsiders and George Norcross – Participants’ Views of Public Schools and School Choice in Camden – It’s All Connected … for the Benefit of Others – Overview of Study, Implications, Conclusion – Epilogue – Appendix – Index.