While we might tend to be aware of various media reports on issues of the day, we might not be aware of how those topics are being researched by our vast higher education system in the US.
Alas, access to much research is behind relative high cost paywalls…which limit the number of readers to even smaller numbers than otherwise. Often such research is only read by specialists in that narrow field being discussed. The journalists we read and watch tend to be generalists and lack post graduate degrees. (with some exceptions at our most capable papers who might afford to employ specialists in various fields…and who might well hold graduate degrees etc.)
Often stories are written by those who are not much more prepared to understand academic research than the average educated reader. To make matters worse for being usefully informed, journalism as a profession with decently paying jobs is disappearing rapidly… as newspapers in US cut back staffs dramatically, and/or shutdown in desperate attempts to compete with online news.
Here’s a taste of a research paper we might well like to read, as it discusses some of the ideas of what we think a public school should be, and presently is. This is very relevant to discussions of charter schools relationship to the US goals and raison d’etre for public schools. Looks like we can obtain access to this one paper for $42…and in lieu thereof, all we have here is the abstract, which is a real tease.
This article takes up a text that Rancière published shortly after The Ignorant School Master appeared in French, ‘École, production, égalité’[School, Production, Equality] (1988), in which he sketched the school as being preeminently the place of equality. In this vein, and opposed to the story of the school as the place where inequality is reproduced and therefore in need of reform, the article wants to recount the story of the school as the invention of a site of equality and as primordially a public space.
Inspired by Rancière, we indicate first how the actual (international and national) policy story about the school and the organizational technologies that accompany it install and legitimate profound inequalities, which consequently can no longer be questioned (and become ‘invisible’). Second, the article recasts and rethinks different manifestations of equality and of ‘public‐ness’ in school education and, finally, indicates various ways in which these manifestations are neutralized or immunized in actual discourses and educational technologies.