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Straight up Nonsense: Or, How to Diss Students with Differences


by Joseph Valente & Kathleen M. Collins — September 20, 2010

In an August 11, 2010 Education Week op-ed column called “Straight Up,” Rick Hess rails against what he terms “edu-babble,” naming our recent Teachers College Record article “[Dis]ableing the Race to the Top,” as a prime example. In this response we respond to his critique by revisiting the ideas in our original work and expanding upon them with new data pertaining to the effects of the Race to the Top. In doing so we underscore how both RTT policy and Mr. Hess draw on similar strategies that serve to “diss” students with disabilities and privilege corporate interests.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: September 20, 2010
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16149, Date Accessed: 9/2/2014 5:05:58 AM

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About the Author
  • Joseph Valente
    The Pennsylvania State University
    E-mail Author
    JOSEPH MICHAEL VALENTE is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education and affiliate faculty in the Disability Studies program at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of the forthcoming autobiographical-novel and autoethnography d/Deaf and d/Dumb: A Portrait of a Deaf Kid as a Young Superhero to be published by Peter Lang in the Disability Studies in Education Series. Currently he is co-Principal Investigator of a Spencer Foundation funded international comparative ethnographic study of kindergartens for the deaf.
  • Kathleen Collins
    The Pennsylvania State University
    E-mail Author
    KATHLEEN M. COLLINS is an Assistant Professor of Language, Culture and Society in the College of Education at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Her program of research examines the contextual factors, interactional processes and literacies that contribute to appearance of dis/ability in educational settings. She is the author of Ability Profiling and School Failure: One Child’s Struggle to be Seen as Competent (2003, Routledge) and her work has appeared in Urban Education, Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Learning Disabilities Quarterly, and English Journal.
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