In the 1980s, with help from President Ronald Reagan’s lies and misinformation, libertarians, Republicans, and neoliberals cracked open the schoolhouse door and invaded our public schools. Today that invasion is an all-out war between their failed ideology and saving our community-based public schools.
Julian Vasquez Heilig, T. Jameson Brewer, and Frank Adamson recently published an analysis of the neoliberal roots of school choice and its spillover into research on school choice.
To conceptualize the politics of research on school choice, it is important to ﬁrst discuss the politics of market- based approaches within the broader purview of public policy. Modern notions of “markets” and “choice” in schooling stem from the libertarian ideas Milton Friedman espoused in the 1950s. As these ideologies escalated in the 1980s under neoliberal theory and Republican orthodoxy, the argument that parents should have choice between competing schools within an education market with little regulation began to crack the public schoolhouse door, allowing an inﬂux of private school vouchers and charter schools.
The ideology of a competitive education market supposes that competition and deregulation are necessary and fundamentally positive forces that will “ﬁx” the “failed” public school…
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