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ERIC Number: EJ1055070
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0038-0407
The Paradox of Success at a No-Excuses School
Golann, Joanne W.
Sociology of Education, v88 n2 p103-119 Apr 2015
No recent reform has had so profound an effect as no-excuses schools in increasing the achievement of low-income black and Hispanic students. In the past decade, no-excuses schools--whose practices include extended instructional time, data-driven instruction, ongoing professional development, and a highly structured disciplinary system--have emerged as one of the most influential urban school-reform models. Yet almost no research has been conducted on the everyday experiences of students and teachers inside these schools. Drawing from 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork inside one no-excuses school and interviews with 92 school administrators, teachers, and students, I argue that even in a school promoting social mobility, teachers still reinforce class-based skills and behaviors. Because of these schools' emphasis on order as a prerequisite to raising test scores, teachers stress behaviors that undermine success for middle-class children. As a consequence, these schools develop worker-learners--children who monitor themselves, hold back their opinions, and defer to authority--rather than lifelong learners. I discuss the implications of these findings for market-based educational reform, inequality, and research on noncognitive skills.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH); National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 5R24HD047879; 5T32HD007163