Race, Power, and Equity in a Multiethnic Urban Elementary School with a Dual-Language “Strand” Program



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 41, Issue 2, 214, Article first published online: 23 June 2010


Dual-language education is often lauded for providing high-caliber bilingual instruction in an integrated classroom. This is complicated, however, when a dual-language program does not include all members of a school community. This article examines a “strand” dual-language program that attracts middle-class white students to a predominantly black and Latino community; yet, only some Latino students and almost no black students are included in the dual-language program. Although rarely directly discussing race, teachers and parents simultaneously commend the program for bringing diversity and enrichment to the campus, and accuse it of exacerbating inequities in the educational experiences of different children at the school. Taking a critical race perspective, and in particular using the principle of “interest convergence” and the frames of “color-blind racism” (Eduardo Bonilla-Silva 2006), this article works to uncover the forces underlying these tensions. [two-way immersion, dual-language education, African Americans, critical race theory]