Marketing Fear in America's Public Schools: The Real War on Literacy

Marketing Fear in America's Public Schools: The Real War on Literacy

Marketing Fear in America's Public Schools: The Real War on Literacy

Marketing Fear in America's Public Schools: The Real War on Literacy

Synopsis

Explores the political pressures and influences on teachers today, in particular, how the political actions of the conservative right disempower and control teachers, school districts, parents, and children through an atmosphere of fear used as a strategy to ensure that its political agenda (including increased accountability, high-stakes testing, direct intense direct instruction phonics programs) is followed in schools. The book offers a unique look at not only what the conservative factions are doing buy also why.

Excerpt

—Richard Nixon

As reading professors, it is not surprising that our vision for this book began with our concern over the national trend toward standardizing reading curriculum. We knew, as former teachers, that no one program or curriculum can ever serve the needs of diverse and particular students. But as we came to learn and experience more of the tactics and policies of state and federal government officials regarding reading instruction the book began to take on a different face. We experienced disdain, insults, even outright intimidation when we tried to criticize current research and policy in our own state of New Mexico. We started to hear more and more teachers unwilling to voice negative opinions about scripted reading programs and standardized tests. “I'm afraid to say anything, ” they -would claim. Why, we wondered, the heavy-handed tactics? Why the intimidation? Why the forecasts of doom if the federal agenda is not implemented?

In this introductory chapter on education research and policy we take you into the hidden agenda of the corporate and political right in the United States. We look at how and why public opinion and educational policy are manipulated beginning with an examination of fear as a marketing tool to divert the thinking public and then we investigate the underlying agenda.

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