Alternatives to Privatizing Public Education and Curriculum: Festschrift in Honor of Dale D. Johnson, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Alternatives to Privatizing Public Education and Curriculum

Festschrift in Honor of Dale D. Johnson, 1st Edition

Edited by Daniel Ness, Stephen J. Farenga


304 pages

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Paperback: 9780367186289
pub: 2019-06-28
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Hardback: 9781138903852
pub: 2017-03-24
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pub: 2017-03-16
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Through conversations in honor of Dale D. Johnson, this booktakes a critical view of the monoculture in curriculum and policy that has developed in education with the increase of federal funding and privatization of services for public education, and examines the shift from public interest and control to private and corporate shareholder hegemony. Most states’ educational responsibilities—assessment of constituents, curriculum development, and instructional protocols—are increasingly being outsourced to private enterprises in an effort to reduce state budgets. These enterprises have been given wide access to state resources such as public data from state-sanctioned testing results, field-testing rights to public schools, and financial assistance. Chapter authors challenge this paradigm as well as the model that has set growing premiums on accountability and performance measures. Connecting common impact between the standards movement and the privatization of education, this book lays bare the repercussions of high-stakes accountability coupled with increasing privatization.

Winner of The Society of Professors of Education Book Award (2018)


"This book offers new and important research on a timely, critical, and contentious topic, the standards movement as a privatizing and profit-making venture. Representing work by respected established and emergent scholars from the US, Asia and Europe, it argues that emphases on accountability and performance are bad for our schools, students, teachers and communities, and offers powerful examples of resistance to these damaging trends." - Therese Quinn, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

"Ness and Farenga have assembled an insightful array of topics--ranging from testing to issues of race, gender and class--critical for understanding today’s educational climate. In an era of intensifying privatization, this text is a must-read for anyone seeking to not only understand, but also resist what is happening to the public commons. Those expecting more than lukewarm analyses and reformism will not be disappointed."--Faith Agostinone Wilson, Professor of Education, Aurora University, USA

Table of Contents

Section I: Challenging the Audit Culture 1. The Sadism of School Reform William F. Pinar2. Death by Numbers: The Loss of Humanity in the Age of Audit Peter Taubman3. Defending Teacher Education from edTPA . . . and Itself Todd Alan Price4. Disrupting U.S. Empire: Creating Subjects to Expand the "Commons" and the Public Good Roberta Ahlquist5. SCALE Down, SCALE Back!: Academic Freedom under Siege through Standards Proliferation by Para- Educational Enterprises Stephen J. Farenga & Daniel Ness Section II: Contributions to Literacy and Language Development 6. We Could Teach Every Child to Read But the Unanswered Question Is: Will we? Richard L. Allington7. Intervention Assessment of Literacy to Inform Teaching and Increase Learning Jeanne R. Paratore & Roselmina Indrisano8. One Size Fits None: Re-Conceptualizing Literacy Instruction for Diverse Learners Evan Ortlieb & Autumn M. Dodge Section III: Easing the Plight of Children 9. "Every Day She Drunk or Gone": Poverty, Persuasion, Peddlers, and Privatization Bonnie Johnson10. Seduction of "East Asian" Schools Barbara S. S. Hong11. Conditions of Success for Teenage Mothers: Revisiting School Achievement on the Margins Elizabeth Chase12. What’s Common in Core Curricula? Isabel Nuñez13. Dehumanization and Violence: Symptoms from a Neoliberal City Kay Fujioshi Section IV: Challenging Education Inequity in Urban Environments 14. The Racial Oppression of Social Justice: Inequities in Chicago Public Schools Carl A. Grant15. Choosing a Faculty Union over Faculty Governance in Public Education: A Case Study of a Single Teacher Certification Policy in New York David Gerwin16. The Anatomy of Dissent as Teachers Plan and Lead a Demonstration in Seattle: Intersections of Hope, Agency, and Collective Action Richard D. Sawyer

About the Editors

Daniel Ness is Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at St. John’s University, USA.

Stephen J. Farenga is Professor of Science Education at the City University of New York, Queens College, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Education, Neoliberalism, and Marxism

Neoliberalism is degrading and destroying public education systems globally. The local characteristics may vary, the results are common - increased inequalities in schooling, vocational and higher education, inferior work conditions for teachers and faculty, and detheorized and technicized delivery systems of increasing conservative curricula at all levels of education. Neoliberalism - marketization, privatization, pre-privatization, commodification - is increasingly accompanied by forms of authoritarian conservatism - secular in some countries, religious in others - with increased control, surveillance, and forced abandonment of critique. Such neoliberal and conservative assaults on public education and on broader aims than those which are couched purely in terms of economic/human capital - meet with increased resistance by students, teachers, communities, social movements, and in some countries, political parties.

The Routledge Studies in Education, Neoliberalism, and Marxism series features books by new as well as established scholars that throw a harsh spotlight on the conditions under which education currently labors and offers analysis, hope, and resistance in the name of more collective, egalitarian education for social and for economic justice.

Please send inquiries and proposals to: Dave Hill ( and Elsbeth Wright (


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Administration / General
EDUCATION / Evaluation
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General