FRIDAY FORUM: “Getting Down to Business: How Neoliberalism is Eroding the Democratic Mission of K-12 Public Education” With Dr. Susan Santone
September 13 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
With the goal of preparing educated and engaged citizens, public schooling has long been a cornerstone of a democratic society. But the creeping influence of neoliberalism has recast students as workers and consumers, narrowing the focus to economic competitiveness. At the same time, levels of segregation and inequity rival those before the Brown vs. Board decision declared segregation “inherently unequal.”
This talk will examine how neoliberal ideology affects K-12 policy and classroom practice, and the implications for educational equity. The talk will look at current and past policies, the lead-up to test-based accountability, the clout of corporate interests, and the hidden ways inequities are replicated in classrooms.
To counter these trends, the speaker will present ways to reclaim the public mission of schooling, with an emphasis on classroom practice.
Susan Santone is an internationally recognized educator with 20+ years of experience in advancing democracy and sustainability through skilled teaching and communication. She’s an adjunct instructor at the University of Michigan School of Education where she teaches graduate- and undergraduate courses in education reform and social justice. She’s the author of Reframing the Curriculum: Design for Social Justice and Sustainability (2018, Routledge).