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The New White Flight: Geographies of Race and the Politics of Asian American Education in Silicon Valley Schools

Room 2120, Francis Scott Key Hall
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Willow Lung-Amam, Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, will discuss her work on the "new white flight":

In 2005, a Wall Street Journal article entitled "The New White Flight" rocked the Silicon Valley suburb of Cupertino, California. The article argued that whites were leaving Asian-dominated Cupertino schools that they perceived to be too competitive and narrowly focused on academics, especially math and science at the expense of the liberal arts. Since its publication, scholars have remained strangely silent on the issue. In a case study of Mission San Jose High in the Silicon Valley suburb of Fremont, Lung-Amam finds significant evidence for the "new white flight" thesis, its causes, and effects on neighborhood race relations and school policy. This case challenges the way that scholars have typically approached issues of race and segregation in schools from the perspective of black/white, urban/suburban divide and instead shows how the politics of race and education are shifting in the face of increasing diversity and immigration in contemporary suburbia. It underscores the pressing the need for discourses about equity in schools to go beyond questions of access and integration to white suburban schools, to include critical questions about different educational values and ideals, the shifting meaning, forms, and geographies of racialized privilege, and the presumed value of racially "balanced" suburban schools.

Please let us know if you plan to attend by RSVPing on Facebook or emailing us at newamerica@umd.edu.