Lucinda Rosenfeld’s Class, a novel about a Brooklyn parents scheming to get their daughter in an out-of-neighborhood school, is a “guilty pleasure” read, writes Alexander Russo.
College-educated white liberals, Karen Kipple and her husband condo move into a gentrifying neighborhood where the local school is not as highly rated as the the school a few blocks away that’s already fully gentrified.
Karen can brag that her third-grader attends a racially mixed school. But the test scores are mediocre. Will her child succeed with a good-enough education?
“This is not a deep policy book, or even always entirely serious in terms of how it addresses education issues,” writes Russo. “But the issues it raises are serious underneath the satire, and the dynamics among parents, teachers, and children seem fairly realistic.”
Comedian Wyatt Cenac, who’s got a Netflix series called Brooklyn, talks about gentrification in Grist.
“If wealthier people move into a neighborhood and then use their clout to effect change,” the local school may improve, he says. But sometimes, the wealthy “don’t care about the school across street, because they’re going to put their kids in private school, miles away.” Without a sense of community, gentrification pushes out the people who were there before.
Chalkbeat reports on diversity success stories in New York City.