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ERIC Number: EJ859298
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 70
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
"Soldier of Democracy" or "Enemy of the State"? The Rhetorical Construction of Teacher through No Child Left Behind
Goldstein, Rebecca A.; Beutel, Andrew R.
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v7 n1 p275-300 Jun 2009
This article examines how the political discourse surrounding No Child Left Behind (NCLB) rhetorically constructs teachers and teaching. Using the prepared speeches and press releases from the Bush Administration (January 2001-December 2008) we illustrate that teachers were framed as both allies to the federal government (as supporters of NCLB and public education) and therefore, soldiers of democracy, and as obstacles to student learning and therefore, enemies of the state. Further, the discourse employed by the Bush Administration identified educating America's children as the problem; teachers, in particular, were to blame. It posed a remedy that resonated with the public: NCLB. By identifying public education as the problem, and blaming teachers for that problem, it was easier to focus on changing (or eliminating) individual teachers, students, and schools rather than larger social, institutional, and structural barriers. Such a phenomenon is further reflective of the influence of neoliberalism on public education in the United States, so that individual teachers and schools are expendable if they fail to meet the expectations of the market. (Contains 3 notes.)
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; 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 - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001