Audaciously Espousing Hope within a Torrent of Hegemonic Neoliberalism

Brad J. Porfilio, Paul L. Carr

Abstract


It has been over eighteen months since Barack Obama defeated John McCain in the US presidential election. Since this period of time, the Obama administration has implemented, proposed, and supported a spate of educational reform measures, including increasing the length of the school year, tying school funding to K-12 students’ performance on high-stakes examinations, firing teachers, gutting teacher unions and closing schools, opening charter schools, and tying teachers’ evaluations to students’ performance on standardized examinations. Despite the Obama administration’s active involvement in shaping educational circles, there has been a dearth of critical analysis in relation to Obama’s leadership and his educational agenda. In this essay, we illustrate how the Obama administration’s educational vision is a manifestation of the dominance of neoliberal ideology over most elements of social life for the past 30 years. We believe our critical analysis of US political leaders’ and their constituents’ support of the corporate takeover of US schools gives those interested in education the power to strive for democratic and transformative experiences for all students.


Keywords


Critical Pedagogy; Social Justice; Neoliberalism; Democracy; Obama; Government; High-Stakes Testing; Standardized Testing

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education