Staying after School: At-Risk Students in a Compensatory Education Program

By Bram A. Hamovitch | Go to book overview

mobility is premised on the supposition that our society is benign and open to upward mobility from all groups. An alternative explanation that I reject is that the staff purposefully deceive these young people by lying to them about the nature of our system of stratification. One must assume that the staff are well-meaning individuals who believe in the truth of their own ideological rhetoric. Third, the staff deliberately deliver the message that barriers do not exist for marginal people. This is consistent with the optimistic ideology of America being an open society, that is, of equality of opportunity existing for all. Finally, the data support the idea that the staff are essentially self-congratulatory in their understanding of their own contributions to their students. This is consistent with the hope aspect of their beliefs. It is a response of optimism, of believing that things will work out in the end and that staff have a part in creating a more societally acceptable finished product.

The next chapter will focus on the relationship between OSRP staff and the students' parents. Even though they do not often meet in face-to-face interaction, the staff develop conceptions about the parents that are based on their conservative ideology of hope. This acts to shape those relations in predictable ways that are sometime fraught with misunderstanding.


NOTE
1.
In speaking with Chalka's school, I was informed that quite apart from progress in academic achievement, an improvement in student "behavior" could also be a basis for this award.

-68-

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