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New Project Forum report on Principal Preparedness to Support Diverse Learners

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Journal Article: Coincidence or conspiracy? Whiteness, policy and the persistence of the Black/White achievement gap

Journal Article » Coincidence or conspiracy? Whiteness, policy and the persistence of the Black/White achievement gap


Education, Critical race theory, Blacks/Education/Great Britain, Racism, Equalization, Educational/Great Britain


Gillborn, David


2008, August


The writer examines the nature of racial inequality in the English educational system by using an approach based on critical race theory. Focusing on the relative accomplishments of white school leavers and their black, African Caribbean peers, he contends that an uneven focus on students receiving free school meals has blurred long-standing inequalities. He also contends that the media increasingly portray whites as race victims, refocusing white people's interests in popular discourse, while government announcements fabricate an image of dramatic improvements in minority achievement through a form of "gap talk" that conceals the nature of inequality. The writer assesses the key elements defining the current situation and observes that they match the important legal characteristics of conspiracies. He argues that conceiving the racism that saturates the system in terms of conspiracies provides insight into the workings of "whiteness" as a basic social policy factor.