No child left behind: a neoliberal repackaging of social Darwinism

Leyva, Rodolfo (2009) No child left behind: a neoliberal repackaging of social Darwinism. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 7 (1) . pp. 365-381. ISSN 2051-0969 [Article]

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This paper shall discuss the historical continuities between Spencer‟s Social Darwinism, and the essentialist ideals of meritocracy, selfishness, and competition that are advanced by neoliberalism, and that underpin the Bush Administration's neoliberal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). According to neoliberal rhetoric, the education system is largely seen as the ultimate arbiter of innate intelligence and ability, as well as the benefactor of hard-work and merit, and so its analysis in relation to contemporary education policies and their overarching philosophy is fitting and should provide for critical retrospective and prospective reflections. Furthermore, I contend that neoliberal policies like NCLB have taken what I will refer to as a Neo-Spencerian outlook on education that has abandoned racial inferiority theories, but continues to elebrate unfettered markets, which have only led to further racialised underperformance (Hursh and Martina 2003). Therefore, structural explanations for racialised educational underachievement are overlooked if not replaced by market-based standards of performance, and thus only serve to give fodder to Spencer‟s still popular legacy of racial inferiority.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 14551
Notes on copyright: author can archive publisher's version/PDF (RoMEO blue journal)
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Depositing User: Rodolfo Leyva
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2015 11:37
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 17:14

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