Volume 12, Number 1, 2017
Deadline for manuscripts: December 31, 2016

Black Lives Matter and the Education Industrial Complex

Along with drawing attention to the police as occupying armies in Black American communities, the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the deep roots of institutionalized racism in the United States.  Starting with the fundamental question, Do Black Lives Matter in the U.S. Education Industrial Complex?, this issue of the Journal of Educational Controversy seeks to explore the various questions raised by Black Lives Matter in relation to U.S. educational institutions, policies, and practices as they impact men, women, and children of color intersectionally, with respect to gender, gender identity, and class.  These questions could include the status of schools as institutions of control and sites of reproduction of racist ideology; the possibility of schools as sites of liberationist  transformation; the institutional history of schools alongside the development of institutional racism; the institutional response of schools to incidents of racial violence; the history of black studies programs in relation to black liberation movements, and the appropriation and sanitizing of terms like diversity and multiculturalism.

Volume 11, Number 1, 2016 (This is an invited issue)
Deadline for manuscripts: September 1, 2016

Is “Best Practices” Research in Education Insufficient or even Misdirected?

For decades the research agenda for identifying “best practices” for reforming education has been structured around testing hypotheses of either effectiveness or prediction of outcomes.  Within the quantitative approach researchers have used a variety of traditional causal and correlational designs to examine relationships between specific measurable variables. Researchers have also used qualitative approaches to examine implementation of such practices in more depth through observations in the field, interviews with students and educators, and content analysis of curriculum and student work. 
However, educational research seeking the best practices can often ignore or minimize the mechanisms that generate the phenomenon studied.  From school-to-prison and mass incarceration, racial-gender disproportionality in special and vocational education, to school dropout rates, correlations abound, but they don't by themselves explain the phenomenon.  Good intentions frame much educational research, but can over-dramatize correlations at the expense of deeper explanation.

This volume seeks papers that exemplify the "paradoxical" nature of educational research.   Submissions should focus on two things: the intentions or motivations that (often) inform educational research, but where the results or outcomes are unintended or unanticipated.  We seek papers that go beyond descriptions of educational issues, however detailed, as well as beyond explanations that repeat initial intentions or motivations.  Papers should reveal and discuss the specific forces and mechanisms that generate the topic of analysis, be it educational practices (teaching, assessment), outcomes (achievement, court decisions, enrollments) or events (protests and emergent social movements, school shootings, drop outs) that are the subject of the paper. 

Volume 13  (This is an invited issue)

Theme: The Complexity of Collaboration: How do the Differing and Often Conflicting Cultures of Universities, Public Schools and Community Collaborate in Promoting the Well Being of Children

School, university and community partnerships are widely promoted by accrediting bodies, professional organizations and state legislatures. Such partnerships are considered to be central to effective teacher preparation and to positive P-12 student learning.  Yet, such collaborations are complex to enact.

Schools, universities and communities have entrenched hierarchies and cultures that may clash. How can university professors, school teachers/administrators, and parents and community work together to bridge these inherent chasms? How can they work together to create the right collaborative conditions for positive school and university culture change? How can we redesign both teacher and teacher-educator work to encourage mutual learning? How can we prepare new teachers to navigate the existing education system while incorporating innovative teaching practices and addressing social justice issues?  How can we bring families and communities into meaningful partnership with schools and universities to address the learning needs of children?