Failure of the Standards Movement – Research and Opinion by Larry Stedman

Neoliberal Reform Project

  • The standards movement is part of what progressives call the “neoliberal reform project.” It is a technocratic, managerial system that combines accountability and social control (standardized testing, merit pay, centralized curriculum, teacher evaluation, and staff dismissals) with choice and market pressure (transfer rights, vouchers, and charter schools). The changes we have seen in schooling and school culture were, in fact, the desired ones. What many of us perceive as a failure is a success in managerial terms. A proficiency-driven, command-and-control, authoritarian type of schooling was, in fact, the goal of the reforms and serves capital’s interests well.
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