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ERIC Number: EJ900817
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0939
Accountability in American Education as a Rhetoric and a Technology of Governmentality
Suspitsyna, Tatiana
Journal of Education Policy, v25 n5 p567-586 Sep 2010
Accountability is one of the most advocated and controversial topics in US education. Since the early 2000s, the federal government has produced a vibrant discourse on accountability, which emphasizes quality, efficiency, and equal opportunity in education. As part of the larger phenomenon of new managerialism, the dominant forms of accountability are currently based on the power of the manager and the market rather than the bureaucratic or professional authority. This study draws on classic rhetoric and the Foucaultian concept of governmentality to analyze the rhetorical construction of accountability in the US Department of Education speeches and examine the role of accountability in governing educational institutions and subjects. The author demonstrates how as a rhetoric, accountability in education operates as a "sacred language" to propagate neoliberal values and how as a technology of governmentality, it works to maintain the neoliberal political rationality, enforce the openness of educational institutions to government oversight, and enable entrepreneurial subjectivities through responsibilization and moralization of consumer-style choice-making. The author argues that centered on the market-oriented forms of accountability, federal education policies have a limited potential for meeting its officially promoted goals, particularly with regard to equalizing opportunity for minority- and low-income students.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A