Employing the Urban Education Typology Through a Critical Race Spatial Analysis. Academic Article uri icon


  • The urban education typology put forth by Milner (Urban Educ 47(3):556-561, 2012) offered a conceptual demarcation of three different, yet interconnected types of urban school districts (i.e., urban intensive, urban emergent, and urban characteristic). Nearly one decade after Milner's seminal urban education typology, few empirical or conceptual articles have operationalized this typology across multiple school districts in one region. We enter this scholarly space to reaffirm the typology and its utility in identifying the conditions that create varying educational inequities and transformative opportunities. Through a critical race spatial analysis, we attempt to capture, crystalize, and expand Milner's typology by examining a multitude of data points and intentionally drawing on geospatial data from five linked school districts in Harris County, Texas. Our findings, as viewed through lenses of Critical Race Theory and the Chicana Feminist conceptual framework known as borderlands, accentuate two major implications; (1) while there are physical spaces of restriction inside and around schools and school districts, regularly school districts contend with identical challenges despite their urban education typology categorical classification; and (2) when employing the urban education typology, it is imperative that researchers deeply contextualize the physical, temporal, historical, social, and racialized spaces that schools and school districts exist in.

published proceedings

  • Urban Rev

altmetric score

  • 8.9

author list (cited authors)

  • Williams, J. A., James, M., Beltrn, A., Young, J., Neshyba, M. V., & Ogletree, Q.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Williams, John A||James, Marlon||Beltrán, Ana Carolina Díaz||Young, Jemimah||Neshyba, Mónica Vásquez||Ogletree, Quinita

publication date

  • September 2022