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


WHITES -- Race identity, ACADEMIC achievement, SCHOOL children -- Food, STUDENTS, Black, EQUALITY, GREAT Britain, achievement, critical race theory (CRT), inequality, racism, Whiteness


Gillborn, David




Adopting an approach shaped by critical race theory (CRT) the paper proposes a radical analysis of the nature of race inequality in the English educational system. Focusing on the relative achievements of White school leavers and their Black (African Caribbean) peers, it is argued that long standing Black/White inequalities have been obscured by a disproportionate focus on students in receipt of free school meals (FSMs). Simultaneously the media increasingly present Whites as race victims, re-centring the interests of White people in popular discourse, while government announcements create a false image of dramatic improvements in minority achievement through a form of “gap talk” that disguises the deep-seated and persistent nature of race inequality. The paper concludes by reviewing the key elements that define the current situation and notes that they fit the essential characteristics used in law to identify the operation of a conspiracy. It is argued that conceiving the racism that saturates the system in terms of a conspiracy has a number of advantages, not least the insight it provides into the workings of “Whiteness” as a fundamental driver of social policy. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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