ERIC Number: EJ970837
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May
Reference Count: 12
Two Cheers for NCLB, and Questions for Professor Garrison
Rury, John L.
American Journal of Education, v118 n3 p385-388 May 2012
Jim Garrison's article (Garrison 2012) critiques current reforms in the United States for fostering a harmful "standardization" in schooling, which threatens to further undermine the country's democratic heritage and to prepare many students for servitude in an oppressive social order. John Dewey is cited throughout, as befits Professor Garrison's scholarly background, although the argument consequently often proceeds from authority rather than evidence. It offered as a critical treatise and a broad historical thesis about the genesis and nature of the current reform regime. With respect to the latter, a number of assertions are made about "the new structural feudalism," with "money managers" occupying positions of control in a globalizing economy. The article's principal object is standardization, although this is never carefully defined. All schooling, after all, entails some degree of standardizing, as putting students into classrooms generally means a common curriculum and approach to learning. Garrison suggests that standardized tests reflect the biases of the ruling classes, yet makes little effort to establish the point. Garrison also raises the question of egalitarianism, suggesting that true equality is inconsistent with standards represented by NCLB. But for most public school students, especially those in middle-class suburban communities, state standards pose little threat to the pursuit of individual interests and creativity. It is important to bear in mind that NCLB does not demand excellence in key subjects, but rather a basic level of proficiency.
Descriptors: Evidence, State Standards, Standardized Tests, Educational Change, Academic Standards, Democratic Values, Criticism, Equal Education, Change Strategies, School Restructuring
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001