(1) Settler Colonialism in School Choice: A Story of Refusal and Survival From a Traditional Public Middle School

David R. Fisher

Abstract

In the United States, only several, primarily Mid-Atlantic and Southern states legislate county-based school districts. Florida is one of them, and this legislation has created some of the largest school districts in the country. In order to combat the bureaucracy of large school districts, some smaller communities, such as “Buckland,” have turned to charter schools. In 2003, five of the seven schools in Buckland converted, creating a unique charter school district under one superintendent and one board. Tensions have ensued between the charter schools and the two schools that chose to stay with the county-based district. Using Veracini’s (2011) tenets of settler colonialism as a framework, I discuss how the practice of school choice in Buckland has resulted in the displacement of educators, families, and students, inequality between different racial and socioeconomic groups, and the disappearance of traditional neighborhood schools and their communities. I argue that the system of educational choice in the United States is a result of our history as a settler colonial society.

Citation

Fisher, D.R. (2021) Settler Colonialism in School Choice: A Story of Refusal and Survival From a Traditional Public Middle School. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 37-56.

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