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The Struggle for Control of Public Education: Market Ideology vs. Democratic Values


reviewed by Ash Vasudeva — 2002

coverTitle: The Struggle for Control of Public Education: Market Ideology vs. Democratic Values
Author(s): Michael Engel
Publisher: Temple University Press, Philadelphia
ISBN: 1566397405, Pages: 208, Year: 2000
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The afterglow of the 2000 presidential election – where sanguine, popular notions of democracy were confronted by the harsh reality of partisan political interference and charges of voter-intimidation – provides the perfect setting to examine the state of democratic schooling in public education. If Michael Engel is correct, the prognosis is not good. Engel’s timely treatise paints a picture of public education where democratic values are subordinated by market ideology. According to Engel, the ideology of the marketplace, almost entirely unopposed during the latter part of the 20th century and into the 21st, promotes educational policies and practices that are narrowly tied to economic goals. Engel highlights the insidious influence of market-ideology on four high-profile educational policies: school choice, educational technology, restructuring, and curriculum. Engel condemns most school choice policies because they "destroy the concept of public education as a community enterprise … [and] pit families and schools against each other in a battle for survival of the fittest," (p. 69). Similarly, he critiques the market-based aspects of educational... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 104 Number 1, 2002, p. 87-89
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10740, Date Accessed: 10/24/2017 7:02:54 AM

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About the Author
  • Ash Vasudeva
    Galef Institute
    E-mail Author
    Ash Vasudeva is a Ph.D. candidate in Policy Studies at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. His research examines the relationship between decentralization and accountability, particularly in the context of urban schooling. He was a research associate on the UCLA Charter School Study.
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