Left Behind in the Race to the Top

Realities of School Reform

Edited by:
Julie A. Gorlewski, SUNY New Paltz
Brad J. Porfilio, Lewis University in Romeoville, IL

Published 2013

Public education is suffering attacks that are well funded and extraordinarily complex and multifaceted. These conditions make it difficult for educators and citizens to gather the information they need to mount meaningful resistance, especially since mainstream media tends to be uncritically supportive of neoliberal reforms. The Orwellian language of reforms is adopted and promoted through news outlets, politicians, and film; thus, arguments against these reforms must bubble up through social media and alternative outlets. By providing a coherent, comprehensive description of contemporary neoliberal initiatives and analyzing their effects on students, teachers, administrators, and teacher education, this book will allow educators, parents, students, and citizens to strengthen their resolve to save public education and, potentially, work to preserve the promise of democracy.

This book examines and uncovers the effects of standardization and privatization on public education. Contributors consider the how of standardized curriculum and assessment, coupled with philanthropic and corporate pressure, have influenced the experiences of students, parents, and teachers. Divided in sections entitled Testing, Testing; Privatization and Militarization: Redefining Schools; Alienation: Displacing Students and Teachers; and Resistance: Opting Out and Hope for Change, this text offers a combination of information and inspiration for teachers, teacher educators, policymakers, parents and anyone interested in understanding the current state of public education.

CONTENTS: Acknowledgments. Foreword. Introduction. PART I: TESTING ... TESTING. THE MISTAKE POLICYMAKERS MAKE ABOUT TEACHING, LARRY CUBAN. “Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain!”: False Pretenses and the Humbug of High-Stakes Testing, Wayne Au. APPR, Solution or Problem?: A Critical Examination of Education Law §3012-c, Emily A. Daniels. Cost-Benefit Analyses of Human Capital: Are Value-Added Measures Valid? Fred Floss. The National Council on Teacher Quality: Judges With an Agenda, Anthony Cody. PART II: PRIVATIZATION AND MILITARIZATION: REDEFINING SCHOOLS. The New Market Bureaucracy in U.S. Public Schooling, Kenneth J. Saltman. Missing the Mark: Neoliberalism and the Unwarranted Rise of Charter Schools, Richard Mora and Mary Christianakis. Gates of Hell: Abandon all Hope, Ye Who Enter Here, Susan Ohanian. The Secretary and the Software: On the Need for Integrating Software Analysis into Educational Spaces, Thomas Liam Lynch. The Era of Recruitment: The Militarization of Everything, William M. Reynolds. PART III: ALIENATION: DISPLACING STUDENTS AND TEACHERS. Teacher and Student Labor in Twenty-First Century Schools, Joshua Garrison. Soldiers or Students?: JROTC, the Military Presence in Schools, and Educating for Permanent War, Shannon K. McManimon, Brian D. Lozenski, and Zachary A. Casey. Importing International Educators: A Neoliberal Assault on Public Education as We Know It, Sue Books and Rian de Villiers. The Cult of Personality v. Expertise in the Education Debate, P. L. Thomas. The GED as a Cover for School Pushout, Eve Tuck. PART IV: RESISTANCE: OPTING OUT AND HOPE FOR CHANGE.See Something, Say Something Collective Resistance to Teacher Education Reform, Barbara Madeloni. Students Against Militarism: Youth Organizing in the Counter-Recruitment Movement, Scott Harding and Seth Kershner. Take This Test and ...: Doing Unto Policy-Makers What They Do Unto Students, Doug Selwyn and Bob Howard. High Stakes Testing: A Parent’s Perspective, Dora Taylor. Teaching Young Children Social Justice Basics: The Public, Equality, and the Common Good, Ann C. Berlak.