ERIC Number: EJ931254
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Reference Count: 122
A Nation at Risk to Win the Future: The State of Public Education in the U.S.
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v9 n1 p267-316 May 2011
Mounting evidence is exposing how merit pay incentives, charter schools, vocational curriculum, and high-stakes testing regimes do not fulfill their purported objectives, and instead are enormously detrimental to students, education workers, marginalized groups, social equality and ultimately the collective good. While the wealthy continue to thrive and their children attend abundantly resourced private schools with robust curriculum, poor and working people are increasingly being subjected to forcefully controlled, profit generating vocational schools. Opposition to the transformation of public schools into competitive and profit-making enterprises is increasing amongst and between parents, youth, teachers, unions, and their allies. Only through mass and sustained collective action, both inside and outside of schools, can public education not only survive, but also live up to its potential to become a pedestal for a society that provides equality of opportunity and equality of outcome. The struggle over public education is imperative, and it is an essential part of a larger effort to disrupt and dismantle the political, economic and cultural forces responsible for neoliberalism's strangle hold on people's lives and collective consciousness. People must concurrently understand and resist how these forces undermine and destroy all essential public goods, which are fundamental human rights, not commodities. Universal access to education, housing, child care, health care, pensions, transportation, water, food, media, emergency services, energy; along with equitable, safe working conditions and hate-free communities are all essential public goods that are reflective of a substantive democracy which legitimates a government that is charged with overseeing the egalitarian redistribution of wealth, income and power. Universal public education (free, equally resourced and accessible for all) can play a pivotal role in bringing about radical change. This processes requires schools and teachers--empowered by a militant labor movement--providing non-competitive educational environments that cultivate critical literacies, cooperative social relationships and egalitarian expectations. All are essential elements in building power when the ultimate goal is collective control of the economy.
Descriptors: Public Education, Access to Education, Differences, Context Effect, Socioeconomic Status, High Stakes Tests, Democracy, Political Attitudes, Merit Pay, Charter Schools
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.jceps.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States