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Document Type

Introductory Essay

Abstract

This is a particularly challenging time for public education. There has been a coordinated, incessant attack on public education on just about every front, including challenges to its public purposes. Those who subscribe to neo-liberalism seek purposes associated with free-market reforms, such as viewing students as customers and for-pay educational services. The attacks on public education include a national narrative challenging educational professionalism, creativity, and responsiveness to the tasks educators undertake and issues they address, advocating instead for research-based and scripted curricula and controlled instruction with direction to maintain fidelity to what is prescribed. These attacks also include an over-reliance on standardized assessments as the final and most important arbiter of what constitutes evidence of student learning.

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