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Examining Competing Notions of Social Justice at the Intersections of High-Stakes Testing Practices and Parents’ Rights: An Inclusive Education Perspective


by Federico R. Waitoller & Barbara L. Pazey — 2016

In this article, we examine tensions that can materialize at the intersection of high-stakes accountability assessments and the rights of parents of students with dis/abilities. We bring to the surface and analyze the competing notions of social justice that have fueled the implementation of both high-stakes testing and the inclusion of students with dis/abilities in public schooling. Our purpose is to problematize narrow discussions about high-stakes testing and students with dis/abilities, contextualizing them in broader struggles for inclusive education. To achieve this task, we examine an event, framed as a case study, which emerged from a larger research project. Our analysis is informed by an understanding of inclusive education as situated practice in which historically evolving notions of justice are tangled and enacted to negotiate situated identities. We conclude with implications for practice and accountability models.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 118 Number 14, 2016, p. 1-24
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 21543, Date Accessed: 8/18/2017 2:50:04 AM

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About the Author
  • Federico Waitoller
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    E-mail Author
    FEDERICO R. WAITOLLER is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on urban inclusive education. His most recent publications include "Teacher Learning as Curating: Becoming Inclusive Educators in School/University Partnerships" published in Teaching and Teacher Education, and "No Stone Left Unturned: Exploring the Convergence of New Capitalism in Inclusive Education in the U.S.” published in Education Policy Analysis Archives.
  • Barbara Pazey
    The University of Texas at Austin
    E-mail Author
    BARBARA L. PAZEY is an Assistant Professor in the departments of special education and educational administration at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on inclusive urban education and disability policy. Her most recent publications include “The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Comparing Special Education Students’ Experiences of Accountability Reform Across Two Decades,” published in The Urban Review, and “Incorporating Quality of Life Concepts into Educational Reform,” published in Journal of Disability Policy Studies.
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