Vicious Circles in Education Reform

Assimilation, Americanization, and Fulfilling the Middle Class Ethic

By (author) Eric Shyman

Publication date:

12 October 2016

Length of book:

158 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781475827217

Vicious Circles traces the history of development of public education and the near simultaneous advent of educational reform from its very beginning. Drawing on history, politics, law, sociology, and educational research, all aspects of public schooling are brought to light using a non-partisan analytical approach. Critically examining areas such as institutional racism, sexism, ableism, ethnocentrism, and xenophobia, as well as the corporatization and privatization of public schooling, Shyman extracts the fundamental problems that have ever plagued, and continue to plague, successful education reform. Essentially, Shyman demonstrates that little progress in the area of education reform has ever been made. Rather, the same misinformed, repackaged efforts by a disconnected and insularly private political elite have continued to be applied, perpetuating a “vicious circle” of failed and misguided attempts at education reform.
Shyman takes on the most complicated and critical issue that we have spent a lot of energy avoiding: what are schools for? He covers a lot of terrain and skillfully helps us see ways in which we could move forward to make schools serve democratic ends. But will we? He doesn’t shy away from how difficult it will be and why it requires very different alliances and trade-offs than education policy has relied on in the past period of history.