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ERIC Number: EJ795784
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 25
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 72
ISSN: ISSN-1478-2103
Class Matters: Inequality, SES, Education and Childhood in the USA and Canada Today
Farnen, Russell F.
Policy Futures in Education, v5 n3 p278-302 2007
This article examines recent trends in childhood and youth policy, political socialization, and civic education in the USA and Canada since 2000. It examines some of the current trends (such as political socialization and education research findings on children and youth) as well as policy initiatives (such as the landmark federal legislation called the "No Child Left Behind" law which mandates yearly testing in reading, writing, and mathematics from grade 5 on while totally ignoring other fields critical to democratic political development (such as social studies and civics). In addition, the article broaches the subject of class and socio-economic status (SES) in the US educational system and other trends such as introducing service learning into the elementary grades. Briefly put, all measures used for evaluation to date point to SES as the principal determinant of test performance, along with race, ethnicity, urban residence, and other such background factors. Service learning is also worth discussing both for its philosophical roots (which are firmly middle class) but also for its fit with the US and Canadian volunteeristic capitalistic political cultures which stress self-reliance and individualism. The article also considers some of the counter-effectiveness research that people (such as Gerald Bracey) use to indicate that except for its elitism, the US/Canadian educational systems are not underperforming and that educational critics have a hostile anti-public policy stance because they wish to privatize everything, regardless of the consequences therefrom to a democratic society. (Contains 4 figures and 1 note.)
Symposium Journals. P.O. Box 204, Didcot, Oxford, OX11 9ZQ, UK. Tel: +44-1235-818-062; Fax: +44-1235-817-275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001