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ERIC Number: EJ795152
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
Corporate Control of Public School Goals: High-Stakes Testing in Its Historical Perspective
Emery, Kathy
Teacher Education Quarterly, v34 n2 p25-44 Spr 2007
In the last 20 years, public education in the United States has been transformed under the pressures of high-stakes testing. Some argue that right wing ideologues are out to privatize the public school system in order to wring as much profit from the system as they can. Others argue that the new reforms are needed because for too long, teachers have allowed working class students of color to fail in schools. Both of these views and their variations, however, suffer from a lack of historical perspective. If one puts the current educational reform movement in an historical context, then what can be seen is the following pattern: When the job categories in the U.S. economy undergo a fundamental realignment, business leaders move to transform the public school system to sort the nation's children into the new categories and socialize them to accept these arrangements. This theoretical paradigm explains a lot of things, including the widespread bipartisan support that No Child Left Behind enjoys today. This author states that the educational reforms being put in place that are associated with high-stakes testing, while justifying the creation of real and painful changes in schools--resegregation, under-funding, downsizing, outsourcing and a new tracking system--have not fundamentally changed the essential characteristics of a centralized, bureaucratic system. To address this dilemma, the author, along with three others, created a "Freedom School" in San Francisco in the summer of 2005. This Freedom School, taking its inspiration from the Citizenship Curriculum of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Schools, teaches the detailed history of the Southern Freedom Movement so that those who need nurturing, inspiration, or tool building, can learn from the past. It provides community members, students, and educators within schools a place to go to gain or retain perspective on and rekindle their passion for issues of social justice. It is hoped that the San Francisco Freedom Schoolcan make a small contribution in this direction. Analysing how social movements have happened (their successes and failures) is crucial if teachers are going to be part of creating the next one. (Contains 23 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A