Public Education, Neoliberalism, and Teachers: New York, Mexico City, Toronto

By Paul Bocking

© 2020

From pressure to "teach to the test" and the use of quantitative metrics to define education "quality," to the rise of "school choice" and the shift of principals from colleagues to managers, teachers in New York, Mexico City, and Toronto have experienced strikingly similar challenges to their professional autonomy. By visiting schools and meeting teachers, government officials, and union leaders, Paul Bocking identifies commonalities that are shaping how teachers’ work and public schools function.

While arguing that neoliberal education policy is a dominant trend transcending the realities of school districts, states, or national governments, Bocking also demonstrates the importance of local context to explain variations in education governance, especially when understanding the role of resistance led by teachers’ unions.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 316 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP006368

  • PUBLISHED APR 2020

    From: $45.00

    Regular Price: $60.00

    ISBN 9781487506605
  • PUBLISHED APR 2020

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    Regular Price: $48.00

Quick Overview

In recent years, schools across North America, serving vastly distinct communities, have been subject to strikingly similar waves of neoliberal policies by governments that are reshaping the nature of teachers’ work.

Public Education, Neoliberalism, and Teachers: New York, Mexico City, Toronto

By Paul Bocking

© 2020

From pressure to "teach to the test" and the use of quantitative metrics to define education "quality," to the rise of "school choice" and the shift of principals from colleagues to managers, teachers in New York, Mexico City, and Toronto have experienced strikingly similar challenges to their professional autonomy. By visiting schools and meeting teachers, government officials, and union leaders, Paul Bocking identifies commonalities that are shaping how teachers’ work and public schools function.

While arguing that neoliberal education policy is a dominant trend transcending the realities of school districts, states, or national governments, Bocking also demonstrates the importance of local context to explain variations in education governance, especially when understanding the role of resistance led by teachers’ unions.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 316 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    "Public Education, Neoliberalism, and Teachers make a valuable and timely contribution to our understanding of how teacher unions engage with and resist neoliberal reforms. The issues explored by Bocking are very well researched and provide a depth of analysis that is all too rare."


    Howard Stevenson, School of Education, University of Nottingham

    "Public Education, Neoliberalism, and Teachers is a major contribution, providing clear illustrations and cross-case analysis of recent neoliberal educational reforms."


    Nina Bascia, Professor & Chair, Department of Leadership, Higher & Adult Education, OISE
  • Author Information

    Paul Bocking recently earned his PhD in geography from York University and is a sessional lecturer in the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University.
  • Table of contents

    Preface

    1. Introduction

    1.1 What Is Teachers’ Professional Autonomy? Why Is It Important for Public Education?
    1.2 Key Dimensions for Assessing Challenges to Professional Autonomy
    1.3 A Geography of Teachers’ Professional Autonomy
    1.4 Challenging Professional Autonomy
    1.5 Methodology
    1.6 Book Overview

    2. Geographies of Professional Autonomy and Neoliberalism in North America

    Preface: Dia Del Trabajo

    2.1 The Emergence of Public Education, Teachers’ Unions, and Professionalism
    2.2 The Postwar Consolidation of Public Education Systems and Teachers’ Unions
    2.3 The Neoliberalization of Education: Teacher Unionism on the Defensive
    2.4 Transnational Elite Policy
    2.5 Counter Hegemonic Continental Networks

    3. New York City

    Preface: Visiting a Small High School on the Upper West Side

    3.1 Structural Changes I: Centralizing Power to Facilitate Neoliberal Fast Policy
    3.2 Structural Changes II: Transforming Workplace Culture
    3.3 Teacher Precariousness and the Weakening of the School Site Union and Professional Autonomy
    3.4 Scaling Up: Initiative in Neoliberal Policy Shifts from NYC to Albany
    3.5 Cuomo’s Expansion of Standardized Testing into Teacher Evaluation: Undermining Professional Autonomy
    3.6 State of Our Union, State of Our Schools

    4. Mexico City

    Preface: Teachers’ Day

    4.1 Transitions in State Power, Decentralization, and Emergence of Elba Esther Gordillo’s SNTE as a Key Neoliberal Actor
    4.2 Re-Centralized Governance through School-Based Competition
    4.3 From Clientelism to a Neoliberalized Teaching Profession
    4.4 Enrique Peña Nieto and Fast Policy
    4.5 What Makes a Teacher? Marginalizing the Normals and Teacher Education
    4.6 Testing Teachers
    4.7 Precarious Employment and Professional Autonomy
    4.8 Acquiescence, Resistance, and the Challenges of Scaling Up: The CNTE in the City and the Countryside

    5. Toronto

    Preface: School Workroom Cultures

    5.1 Centralizing Governance: Increasing Ontario Ministry of Education Control of the Toronto District School Board
    5.2 Quantifying Student Achievement: Policy from the Centre
    5.3 Quantifying Student Achievement: Impact on the Classroom and Professional Autonomy
    5.4 Quantifying Student Achievement: Intersection of Race, Class, and School Choice on Teachers’ Work
    5.5 Scaling Up: The Centralization of Bargaining and the Negotiation of Professional Autonomy

    6. Conclusion

    Preface: Confronting the Neoliberalization of Education

    6.1 The Centrality of Teachers’ Professional Autonomy in the Struggle Against the Neoliberalization of Education
    6.2 Teachers’ Unions as Champions of Professional Autonomy
    6.3 A Multi Scalar Geography of Teachers’ Professional Autonomy

    Appendix: List of Interviews

    Bibliography

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