Using critical race discourse analysis, this study examines descriptions of a heated controversy over the proposed closure of the only primarily black high school in a large urban city. Participants included community members and the district and school leaders who were key in the controversy. Based on Foucault’s analysis of power we looked for conflicts in the narratives of the participants in their description of the controversy. Four strands of discursive conflict emerged: the purpose of school; the relationship of school and community; communication; and the issue of racism. Taking these four strands together, the themes found in the discourse of the community members enacted an emancipatory knowledge paradigm, while the themes found in the discourse of the administrators enacted a technical-rational, instrumental paradigm of knowledge.
- critical race theory
- educational leadership