special issue

Special Issue Preview and Video Presentations, Unequal Schools and Communities: A Critical Examination of Neoliberal Education Reform

Articles from our current Special Issue, Unequal Schools and Communities: A Critical Examination of Neoliberal Education Reform, are available for download now!


By Guest Editors: Julia Sass Rubin , Ryan M. Good & Michelle Fine

Over the past twenty years, neoliberal education reforms have gained increasing momentum across the United States, emphasizing school choice, market discipline, standardized testing, high-stakes evaluation, privatized management, and the reframing of public education as a site for capital investment. This special issue examines the intersections between neoliberal education reform strategies and questions of social justice, community development, and urban policy. Many of the articles were first presented at the inaugural Education Reform, Communities and Social Justice research conference at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

The articles speak to the political economy of urban education and its entanglement with “development”; how race matters in school selection and attitudes toward school closure; where and how resistance to charter schools and high stakes testing has been mobilized; and the racialized reach and impact of zero-tolerance discipline policies. The articles also focus on how parents, educators, and students are navigating the radically redesigned landscape of school “choice.” With a wide-angle view of the policies and practices born in neoliberal logics, these articles reveal the consequences, the resistance, and the alternatives, infused with a sense of outrage, equity and hope.

Table of Contents

1. Parental action and neoliberal education reform: Crafting a research agenda, by Julia Sass Rubin , Ryan M. Good & Michelle Fine

2. Challenging the market logic of school choice: A spatial analysis of charter school expansion in Chicago, by Stephanie Farmer , Chris D. Poulos & Ashley Baber

3. Choosing neighborhood schools: Why Philadelphia’s middle-class parents choose neighborhood elementary schools, by Katharine Nelson

4. The paradox of educational attitudes: Racial differences in public opinion on school closure, by Sally A. Nuamah

5. School development in urban gentrifying spaces: Developers supporting schools or schools supporting developers?, by Molly Vollman Makris & Elizabeth Brown

6. The press for accountability at the nexus of resilience, estrangement, hope, and inequity, by Stacey Steggert & Anne Galletta

7. Do no-excuses disciplinary practices promote success?,by Joanne W. Golann & A. Chris Torres

8. A tightly wound braid: Forces of opportunity and exclusion within an era of school choice legislation, by Elizabeth A. Gilblom , Hilla Sang , Jonathan E. Messemer , Anne Galletta & Rene Molenaur

9. What enables communities to resist neoliberal education reforms? Lessons from Newark and Camden, New Jersey, by Stephen Danley & Julia Sass Rubin

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