The Swindle of Education Reform

  • Teresa L. Sullivan


Fifty years of education reform policy has been framed through an accommodationist approach that blames the victim for performance failure and individualizes the responsibility for that failure onto students, families, and teachers. Then, reform is designed around correcting for or remediating individual flaws that may impede achievement, while failing to correct the glaring obstacles levied by the widening gap of structural socio-economic conditions. Austerity politics and the dismantling of the welfare state construct seemingly plausible resolutions grounded in accommodationism and a culture of poverty principle: pushing the blame, victimizing the poor and oppressed, as if they just need better tools (teachers, curricula, evaluations), and a better disposition. The reform agenda promotes the assumption that with the correct common curriculum, a strong educator evaluation system, and an efficacious business model, the school systems will produce a citizenry able to conquer the woes and ills of society that has previously failed them.


Socio-economic Austerity Poverty principle Teacher evaluations Civic education 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teresa L. Sullivan
    • 1
  1. 1.PlymouthUSA

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