EDL 696A-001Race,Neoliberalism, and Education Neoliberalismon Education and RaceReena Joseph1/19/18 “Thevery design of neoliberal principles is a direct attack on democracy.”-NoamChomskyIntroductionNeoliberalism is a complex subject especiallywhen we think about class, race, gender, and education. The World Was IInegatively affected many countries around the world, neoliberalism took shapeto revive the world economy by supporting free trade, competition amongentrepreneurs and globalization. Neoliberalismis more than an ideology in fact it is a totality which effects all aspects ofpeople’s lives, including the government, policies, economy, global relations,race, class and education. Apart from individual freedom, neoliberalism broughtin some positive changes which includes market innovations, competition, bettervariety of products with cheaper price tag. Neoliberalism enhancedglobalization, for example, consumer traders and entrepreneurs have gainedtremendous power in the global market, such as free trade that eliminatestariffs to benefit free flow of goods from one country to another, to advance theoverall comfort and security of the people. The government provides social safety net forthe poor people that comes from the taxes paid by the wealthy to supportswelfare for all, which includes, unemployment benefits, public healthcare sothat it overall benefits the poor people to not fall below poverty line. Thephilosophy of neoliberalism does not support this practice and reduces tax fromwealthy people.
Neoliberalism, whenviewed through critical theoretical lens, focuses on school choices andcompetition in the education system so that it serves the interests of those inthe upper social stratification. It is essential to note that differentethnicities and race go through different obstacle to educational achievement. So, how does neoliberalism play out when wethink of education and race? The main of discussion in this paper will be on therelationship between race, neoliberalism and education and its influence on raceand education. Our weekly class reading will be explored and quoted to supportthis papers argument. The relationship between Neoliberalism, race and educationThe purpose of education is to educatechildren equally who have goals and aspirations in life to successfully learnand grow as an educated and a critically minded individual and thoughtfulcitizen, they will in turn make the world a better and most importantly a safe placeto live and grow in. The importance to educate developed after the World WarII, education was considered a public good and everyone was give the right toeducation no matter from which ethnicity, race, class, and gender peoplebelonged to.
Chubb & Moe (1988, 1064) state”……the key differences between public and private environments—andthus between public and private schools—derive from their characteristicmethods of social control: the public schools are subordinates in a hierarchicsystem of democratic politics, whereas private schools are largely autonomousactors “controlled” by the market.
” The education system is fractured by neoliberalism creating segregation,division and resistance. Therefore, education has not brought openness, on thecontrary it has increased the gap between rich and poor. Marketization,competition and for-profit universities are common elements at higher educationlevel.” (Miller, Andrew B, & Whitford,2016.pp. 136). Neoliberalism started toemerge in the early 80’s which gradually effected the school systems throughderegulation, that allowed schools to have more choice through charter schoolsand private schools, eventually this lead to competition and inequality amongstudents. For example, instead of collaboratingand continuing to have equal access to education for all, schools started to competefor resources which eventually lead to segregation of class and race.
Likewise,in one of our class reading, Hole, noted “…that the neoliberal turnoriginated in the postwar struggles to revitalize a dwindling agricultural andindustrial southern economy and to maintain school segregation after the Brownv. Board of Education.
” (Hole 2012). In addition,the readings from Gloria Ladson-Billings, who talks about separate schools and theimpact of the achievement gap in terms of educational achievements and fundsallocation in schools that effects students who belong to different race,ethnic and socioeconomic background. “The funding disparities thatcurrently exist between schools serving white students and those servingstudents of color are not recent phenomena. Separate schooling always allowsfor differential funding.
In present-day dollars, the funding disparitiesbetween urban schools and their suburban counterparts present a telling storyabout the value we place on the education of different groups ofstudents.” (Ladson-Billings, 2006).Schools also increasing became standardizedin the measurement of student’s ability through the rise of standardizedtesting. Given the school choices, schools favor students who perform well onstandardized admissions tests and who have high grade point averages (GPAs)from secondary school. Furthermore, it negatively effects the bright andcreative students who come from low socio-economic status (SES), since theassessments determine the success level of the student.
Furthermore, Au (2011)states that “(B)y reducing students to numbers, standardized testing createsthe capacity to view students as things, as quantities apart from humanqualities” (Au, 2011, p. 37). Therefor we cansay that it is not the students who get to decide their school choice, but itis the schools that chooses the students. Besides the students the people whoare most affected are teachers. With the increase in standardization of thecurriculum, the teachers have no choice to change the curriculum to maketeaching more creative that meets the students creative and intellectual levels. Neoliberalismalso effects the power to explore new pedagogy.
In a school system the teacheris considered successful or survives if he/she shows an increase in test score of her students. This form of system mostly effects thechildren who come to schools to learn and explore new concepts and subjects areoften taught from a uniform curriculum which leads to competition and lack ofcreativity, which causes stress in the young minds and lives. The students arepowerless they are trapped in the uniform curriculum, the parents and studentsjust follow what is offered, they are not challenged which ultimately leads todrop outs in huge numbers.
In the reading from Stitzlein& Smith (2016). “Teacher turnover produces instability withinschools, communities, and teaching workforces. This is especially true ofcharter schools, which experience higher turnover rates that traditional publicschools” (pp.51). Neoliberalism hasreally destructed and negatively impacted the education system. As stated by Bonilla-Silva in her article,”Racism is the product of racial domination projects (e.g.
, colonialism,slavery, labor migration, etc.), and once this form of social organizationemerged in human history, it became embedded in societies.” (Bonilla-Silva, 2001; Robinson, 2000). Fromone of our class readings, Brown & Delissovoy (2011)quotes Bonilla-Silva’s argument which suggests that “race and racism are bothsystemic and institutional, as opposed to be an outcome of other forms ofoppression (such as that based on class) or an overt and irrational act ofracist practices.
” Bonilla-Silva (2006) “…the wayracism is structural and systemic in all racialized social systems theplacement of people in racial categories involves some form of hierarchy thatproduces definite social relations between the races. The race placed in thesuperior position tends to receive greater economic remuneration and access tobetter occupations and/or prospects in the labor market, occupies a primaryposition in the political system…” (469–470). Besides our class reading, I would also like tomention how race and education plays out in MichelleAlexander (2010) book: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age ofColorblindness. “millions of black people who were arrested for very minorcrimes, for example, for the possession of drugs, and some for no fault atall.” (Alexander, 2010). It is crucial for the economy’s growth and progressthat the children from different background, color and ethnicity should beeducated to represent confidently a skilled workforce globally.
Like the prison systems Alexander adds thatthe, “people challenge the injustices found within the education systemsregarding race to push for reform. The worst schools can be found in the poorblack communities that lack federal funding which creates a vicious cycle wheremany students receive less educational achievement or even struggle to graduatehigh school and get recirculated into the prison system.” (Alexander,2010). “Without a quality educationit is hard to find success in today’s world. Schools are not preparing andfailing students giving them no choice but to live lives of crime. Oncestudents are expelled, they are left without educational services and areforced to drop out of school.” (Alexander, 2010).
“After dropping out, young adolescentsare more susceptible to participating in illegal activity and getting introuble with law enforcement. Instead of enforcing policies that lead to kidsgoing down the wrong path, schools should enforce policies that will benefitstudents in the long run.” (Alexander, 2010). The universities have become money mintingbusinesses and the student are commodities.
The education system is no longerseen as a social good with essential values and ethics, this practice hasnegatively affected human race, especially poor children and women. Becausethey belong to different social and cultural background and especially who arenot privileged. To further draw from our weekly readings, Lipman in her bookstates that “to bring education, along with other public sectors, in line withthe goals of capital accumulation and managerial governance and administration”(Lipman, 2011, p. 14). The politics and neoliberalideology of the current education climate in the United States, which is morefocused on politician and money-making ideologies than focusing on fixing thebroken education system or catering to the poor children who are not well served when it comesto their intellectual curiosity and development.
ConclusionKolderie, Ted has suggested, “that the basic issue is nothow to improve the educational system; it is how to develop a system that seeksimprovement.” (Liberman, M, 1998). Equalopportunity should be given to African American, Latino to share decision-makingpower in terms of policies, regarding what policy is good for them and for theeconomy. If every citizen of the United States has the same constitutionalrights, then there shouldn’t be a racial issue in the justice system. Thejustice system needs to stop seeing all black individuals as “criminals”, andthe education system needs to offer equal educational opportunities to allpublic schools.
Schools should always aim for continuous improvement, so theycan provide the best quality and equal education to all kind of students and anoverall better educational outcome that can change the values of the educationsystem. ReferenceAlexander,M (2010). The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age ofColorblindness (New York: The New Press, 2010), ISBN 978-1-59558-103-7.
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