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Literacy as Snake Oil

Beyond the Quick Fix


Joanne Larson

This revised edition of Literacy as Snake Oil further investigates and critiques the commodification of literacy and education. Since the publication of the first edition, schools in the U.S. have been targeted even more as a market for private companies seeking to profit from the surveillance of NCLB (No Child Left Behind). Three chapters have been added: one that deals with the reproduction of racialized spaces during a textbook adoption, an analysis of America’s Choice by a classroom teacher, and an analysis of the U.K.’s literacy strategy. This book will inspire teachers to remember their political commitments to resist oppression and unethical practice and find ways to subvert teacher- (and student-) proof packages.
Contents: Joanne Larson: In Sheep’s Clothing: Uncovering the Wolf – James Paul Gee: Reading and Language Development: Beyond Limited Perspectives – Gerald Coles: Forging «Facts» to Fit an Explanation: How to make Reading Research Support Skills-Emphasis Instruction – Patricia D. Irvine/Joanne Larson: Literacy Packages in Practice: Constructing Academic Disadvantage – Lynn Asterita Gatto: Success Guaranteed Literacy Programs: I Don’t Buy It! – Patrick Shannon: Fattening Frogs for Snakes: Virtues for Sale – Kris D. Gutiérrez: «Sameness as Fairness»: The New Tonic of Equality and Opportunity – Brian Street/Adam Lefstein/Kate Pahl: The National Literacy Strategy in England: Contradictions of Control and Creativity – Nancy Ares/Edward Buendía: Complex Literacy Landscapes: Veiled Meanings and Contested Identities – Dan Osborn: Digging Up the Family Tree: America’s Forced Choice.