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ERIC Number: EJ1021647
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0939
"Gap Talk" and the Global Rescaling of Educational Accountability in Canada
Martino, Wayne; Rezai-Rashti, Goli
Journal of Education Policy, v28 n5 spec iss p589-611 2013
In this paper, we undertake a particular policy critique and analysis of the gender achievement gap discourse in Ontario and Canada, and situate it within the context of what has been termed "the governance turn" in educational policy with its focus on policy as numbers and its multi-scalar manifestations. We show how this "gap talk" is inextricably tied to a neoliberal system of accountability, marketization, comparative performance measures and competition within the context of a globalized education policy field. The focus initially is on how the gender achievement gap has emerged in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OCED) publication of the "2009 Program For International Student Assessment Results," but attention is drawn to questions and categories of equity that are used to define and measure socio-economic disadvantage. We illustrate that such measures and "categories in use" function to eschew important aspects of maldistribution, with important consequences for understanding the significance of the interlocking influences of race, social class, gender and geographical location, where there is evidence of spatial concentrations of poverty and histories of cumulative oppression. In the second part of the paper, we focus on the Canadian data to illustrate the multi-scalar dimensions of global/national/provincial "policyscapes" through a politics of numbers. Contrary to the ways in which Canada and specifically Ontario have been marketed and celebrated by OECD and other stakeholders for their "high performing, high quality" education system in terms of achieving equitable outcomes for diverse student populations, we illustrate how the "failing boys" discourse and achieving "gap talk" have actually functioned to produce a misrecognition of the gender achievement gap, with boys emerging as a disadvantaged category in the articulation of equity policies.
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Journal Articles
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A