Date of Degree

6-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Michelle Fine

Subject Categories

Demography, Population, and Ecology | Educational Sociology | Place and Environment | Race and Ethnicity

Keywords

Gentrification; Newark; Charter School; Redlining

Abstract

Gentrification is the process of investment into disinvested neighborhoods. The development of gentrification brings a reduction in crime, new job opportunities, and better government services, but these new neighborhood amenities are not available to all residents within the gentrified location. Newark, NJ one of the poorest municipalities in the northeast has long been one of the faces for urban blight and is one of the most troubled cities in the state of New Jersey in terms of crime, poverty, and academic performance.

Out of gentrification expensive chain stores, high priced rental units, and charter schools are born. Structurally the neighborhood begins to change, but with the structural change and higher-priced facilities so do the residents. While gentrification is presented as a manner to improve the lives of all residents in the neighborhood, it is usually those that are considered the gentrifiers that end up reaping the benefits.

Newark recently regained control of their school system in 2018 after years of state control, lack of resources, and an explosion of charter schools. Only to have autonomy of a school district, which still lags the rest of the state and the nation, in terms of resources and academic performance. This despite being in a state that is one the wealthiest and is regarded as having one of the best public-school systems in the country. Can gentrification improve the quality of education in Newark? I argue no and that instead of creating quality education in Newark for low-income minority students, they are instead creating a two-tier school system, where some students are provided adequate education, and some are not.

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