Elizabeth Morrison Brown
Elizabeth Morrison Brown

Urban Education


Work Position
Assistant Professor in the Early Childhood and Elementary Department at WIlliam Paterson University
Board of Trustees at Learning Community Charter School

Date passed dissertation defense
April, 2011


While an undergraduate at Wheaton College, I became interested in fiscal disparities between wealthy and low-income schools and majored in Political Science with a minor in Education. My honors thesis was entitled, A Judicial Review of New Hampshire and Vermont State Supreme Court Cases Pertaining to Fiscal Disparities in Education. I began my teaching career in the New York City Teaching Fellows Program as a Social Studies and Law teacher at a high poverty middle school in the South Bronx. I live in Jersey City with my husband and two cats.

Title of the Dissertation

Family Gentrification, Student Diversity and Academic Achievement:
A Case Study of a Parent Organized Charter School

Dissertation Abstract

Gentrification and urban revitalization have created the possibility for low-income students to attend economically and racially integrated public schools. This mixed-method case study will describe how a group of parents and educators, in gentrified Jersey City, founded and have attempted to maintain an economically and racially diverse charter school. Using the concepts of cultural, economic and social capital as well as sociolinguistic language codes, this study will provide a comprehensive examination of how public school features/characteristics, such as culture, student demographics, location and curriculum, can attract or deter families.  Additionally, the study will examine whether or not an economically and racially diverse school meets the needs of all its students and alleviates the racial and economic achievement gap within the school.

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