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ERIC Number: EJ1017716
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1443-1475
Testing Capitalism: Perpetuating Privilege behind the Masks of Merit and Objectivity
Thomas, P. L.
International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, v12 n2 p85-103 2013
The accountability paradigm for reforming public schools began in the U.S. as a state-based initiative grounded in establishing state standards for core content and developing high-stakes tests and schedules to hold schools, teachers, and students accountable (Hout and Elliott, 2011). This essay examines the test-based patterns of that paradigm over the past thirty years by confronting testing as a mechanism of surveillance (Foucault, 1984) and then examining the accountability era in South Carolina as an example of the power and failure of accountability based on tests. Tests remain powerful, I contend, because they reinforce the investment-and-return vernacular that reflects and reinforces Americans' faith in capitalism over democracy.
Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society. ANZCIES Secretariat, Curtin University, Box U1987, Perth, WA Australia. Tel: +61-8-9266-7106; Fax: +61-8-9266-3222; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida; South Carolina; Virginia
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: SAT (College Admission Test)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A