And the Advancing Endgame Revolt!
3. Performance Contracting and Supplemental Educational Services: Other Altars of Neoliberal Language Deception and Citizen Salvation
Performance Contracting and Supplemental Educational Services: Other Altars of Neoliberal Language Deception and Citizen Salvation
WITH THAD LAVALLEE1
Performance contracting, introduced into education in the 1970s, was and remains one of the principal neoliberal illusions designed to deter democracy by keeping the public in the role of spectator. In the wake of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and the profound public resistance to the Vietnam War, mechanisms had to be sought to re-engineer hegemony and deter any significant decision-making power on the part of the public. It was an early effort to instill a piece of neoliberal doctrine and was quite effective, given the anxieties of the shallow economic performance of the 1970s. It was not as extreme as the dismantling of Keynesian economic theory and policy in Chile, where we witnessed the rise of the first neoliberal government. But it was one of the first contrivances of neoliberal entrapment and remains an important part of the agenda. The current strategyis aggressively driven by grant programs such as Race to the Top and the philanthropic misadventures ofthe “patron saint of the reformers”2 (Brill, 2011)—Bill Gates—and cohorts such as the Eli and Edyth Broad Foundation and John Walton. In an era of deep tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation of finance, attack on unions in an environment already marked by low union density and power, cuts in social spending, and stagnation of wages despite rising costs of living and rising...
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