Education Reform: Success As Investment

Courville, Michael
September 2003
Social Policy;Fall2003, Vol. 34 Issue 1, p49
Academic Journal
This article discusses issues concerning education reforms in the U.S. Families and neighborhoods everywhere are affected by the changes that the new economic structure brings to labor markets and the demands of education. Education has simply become training. Children are sent to school to learn and earn. They are taught not just to take tests but do well on them. Schooling has become a production-oriented process where outcome is measured by student employability, school-wide report cards and state benchmarks. U.S. President George W. Bush quickly ushered in the former superintendent of the Houston Independent School District (HISD), Rod Paige, as secretary of education. Bush has predicated his education agenda on the perceived success of HISD schools. Testing children constantly and avoiding questions of urban violence, poverty and unemployment, the HISD contributes to the culture of self-made individualism. Looking at the current market interest in education highlights several significant trends in U.S. society, most strikingly the complete surrender of public equality to the needs of corporate competitiveness. Moreover, ideological and market forces have culminated in a meager promise of equity through consumerism that challenges how those interested in progressive social change will have to operate.


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