- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Seduced by the language of the market economy, those making decisions about education today argue that market strategies promote democratic educational reform, when really they promote market reform of education. Michael Engel argues against this tendency, siding with democratic values, which encourage openness, creativity, social awareness and idealism, whereas market values uphold individual achievement, competition, economic growth, and national security.
Behind the facade of progressive rhetoric, advocates of these corporate models have succeeded in imposing their definition of school reform through federal and state policy makers. As a result, communities lose control of their schools, teachers lose control of their work, and students lose control of their futures. Engel attacks the increasing dominance of market ideology in educational policy and extends his critique beyond such trends in school reform as vouchers, charter schools, and "contracting out" to include issues such as decentralization, computer technology, and standards.
The debate over privatization amounts to ideological warfare between democratic and market values. The question is not so much about "school choice" as it is about the values Americans want at the root of their society. Unprecedented in its value-based challenge to the threat of market ideology on educational policy, The Struggle for Control of Public Education is a sophisticated call for a return to community-controlled schools and democratic values.
About the Author:
Michael Engel is Professor of Political Science at Westfield State College. He has published a text on state and local politics and has served as chapter president of his faculty union. He is a school board member in Easthampton, Massachusetts.