High Stakes: Time Poverty, Testing, and the Children of the Working Poor
- Cite this article as:
- Newman, K.S. & Chin, M.M. Qualitative Sociology (2003) 26: 3. doi:10.1023/A:1021487219440
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Sociological interest in the implementation of policy generally focuses on the ways a single stream of policy creates a set of measurable consequences either for parents or children. This article takes an ethnographic approach to the study of conflicting policy mandates that collide in the lives of families moving from welfare to work at the same time that schools are implementing high stakes tests and the end of social promotion. We show that these two policies make contradictory demands on parents, to the potential detriment of children. Ethnographic research reveals the ways in which multiple and incompatible forms of policy impact poor families, putting them in the unhappy position of choosing between economic stability or mobility and children's educational performance.