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This socio-political analysis focuses on various coalition members’ roles in the design and implementation of the Learning Corridor, a $126 million complex of four interdistrict magnet schools, located in the predominantly Puerto Rican south side of Hartford, Connecticut. Drawing upon historical and qualitative research methods, it examines how different Latino politicians, activists, and parents viewed the original purpose of the magnet school project -- and how they continue to address conflicts that have arisen during the past five years of implementation. In addition to archival analysis of ten years of documents and statistics, the study draws upon twenty-nine semi-structured interviews with key advocates. Major findings reveal how city-suburban magnet schools have been a two-edged blade for Hartford’s Latino residents, resulting in important tangible and symbolic gains for some, but diluting benefits that were originally slated for Hartford’s neighborhood youth.


Submitted as part of the Cities, Suburbs and Schools project for the On The Line web-book by Jack Dougherty and colleagues.

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