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Post 2: Karp

schools11's picture

“NCLB imposes a mandate on schools that is put on no other institution in society: wipe out inequalities while the factors that help produce them remain in place." (Karp, 220)

"In fact they are not educational strategies at all, but political strategies designed to bring a kind of ‘market reform to public education’.” (Karp, 220)

To me, these quotes represent the two types of vicious cycles the readings have revolved around. The first cycle has to do with NCLB. Anyon and Greene talk about how the whole premise that the legislation is based upon is a weak one, as higher educational levels are increasingly not functioning as gates to employment. According to them, NCLB is actually functioning as a barrier to legislation that could decrease poverty levels, such as increasing the minimum wage and job creation. According to Karp, it adds salt to the wound by imposing sanctions on schools that are already not doing very well, and not providing the necessary funding to help these schools. This, in turn, leads to an increasing gap between wealthier and poorer districts, which leads to less educational achievement, the reason NCLB was created in the first place. The second cycle has to do with the privatization of schooling. Charter schools create higher costs for the school district, leading to more cuts and decline in quality of public schools. This, in turn, encourages more privatization. However, as the second article states, charter schools perform better because they have more money and resources at their disposal, while public schools have been drained of these. The increase in high-performing charter schools seems to be resulting in a surge in middle class families from the suburbs moving into the city. This, in turn, may further racial bias in funding, and more inequality between districts. Then again, simply conceptualizing NCLB and privatization as vicious cycles may be simplifying the issue at hand. If they really do further poverty and educational disadvantages, then why are they still in existence? What exactly is at stake?