Educating Drug-Exposed Children: The Aftermath of the Crack-Baby Crisis

Educating Drug-Exposed Children: The Aftermath of the Crack-Baby Crisis

Educating Drug-Exposed Children: The Aftermath of the Crack-Baby Crisis

Educating Drug-Exposed Children: The Aftermath of the Crack-Baby Crisis

Synopsis

This is the first book to use teachers' experiences to understand how prenatal drug exposure affects children's' development , and how social construction of the problem influences perceptions within schools.

Excerpt

Educational policy has become a bureaucratic instrument with which to administer the expectations that the public has for education. The language of educational policy has served to establish public agenda issues with the development of new policies. However, this language has also been used to exclude certain issues from the arena of public debate or resist certain claims made by various interest groups. The critical educational policy analysis perspective stems from the work of Michelle Young, Jim Scheurich, Steven Ball, and others who have essentially engaged in a type of policy tracing (e.g., genealogy, archeology) that asks the fundamental question of how politics and policy development, formulation, implementation, and evaluation have multiple and conflicting impacts on various populations, particularly those the policy is intended to serve.

Janet Thomas's work builds on this perspective of critical educational policy analysis by looking at how the battle lines over drug intervention policy overlapped with educational policy issues during the late 1980s and early 1990s. This work discusses the struggle for educational policies and programs for children impacted by the urban drug crisis. In addition to the policy discussions, the text presents the voices of teachers who are working with drug-impacted children who are now in elementary school or special education settings. The teachers neither demonize the children nor paint a portrait of model students. Rather, the teacher interviews reveal the complexity of working with these students, and show how their learning needs, their goals, and their parents' desires are similar to those of students in regular classrooms. This is important in that the teachers of these students

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