Birmingham-Illinois BRIDGE Fellowship
As part of the University of Birmingham and University of Illinois BRIDGE Fellowship, Claire applied the principles of Critical Race Theory and Quantitative Critical Race Theory (‘QuantCrit’) to shape an examination of government issued testing data in both the U.K. and U.S. More specifically, Claire explored the potentially racist, classist, and gendered assumptions contained within government published attainment statistics and related policy pronouncements. This work continues to build into a detailed cross-national study of how the ‘achievement gap’ is constructed, managed and policed on either side of the Atlantic.
Claire’s ESRC funded (+3) PhD research focused on the critical examination of education policy, standardised testing data, inequity of opportunity, and educational outcomes by race and ethnicity (as intersected with gender, sexuality, class, and dis/ability). Utilising Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Critical Whiteness Studies, Claire explored the quantitative manifestations of the so called ‘achievement gap’ between black and white (non-Hispanic/Latino[a]) high school students in the U.S., demonstrating how permissive re-segregation of poorer-blacker ‘mainstream’ students and wealthier-whiter (competitive-entry) ‘magnet’ students, was based almost exclusively on a student’s performance on ‘high stake’ standardised tests and subjective ‘teacher recommendation’.
Additionally, Claire’s critical race examinations of federal and state-level education policies, illustrated how ‘gifted’ students standardised test scores had significantly increased since the inception of ‘No Child Left Behind’ (2001), despite the Act having the specific aim of ‘closing the gap’ by race, poverty, disability and language proficiency (U.S. Department of Education, 1998).