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Introduction to the Special Issue: Restructuring and Resisting Education Reforms in Chicago’s Public Schools

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Published: 2017-06-05

Authors

Rhoda Rae Gutierrez

University of Illinois at Chicago

Federico R. Waitoller

University of Illinois at Chicago

Keywords: neoliberalism; education policy; race; critical scholarship

Abstract

In this paper, guest editors Gutierrez and Waitoller introduce the special issue, Restructuring and Resisting Education Reforms in Chicago’s Public Schools. As a pioneer of neoliberal education reforms, the city of Chicago and its public school system offers a rich context for critical policy scholarship on the dialectic between education restructuring and community resistance against these reforms. First, the authors contextualize Chicago education reforms within the larger neoliberal project by providing an overview of the policies driving the closures of traditional public schools and expansion of charter schools that the contributors to this special issue examine. The authors also address the co-constitutive nature of race and neoliberalism in education policy, and the disproportionate impact these policies have on low-income communities of color. Next, the authors discuss the significance of this collection of papers for educational policy analysis and call for more research that situates examinations of urban educational reforms in their specific socio-historical, political, and economic contexts. The paper concludes with a summary of the articles included in the special issue.

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Author Biographies

Rhoda Rae Gutierrez

University of Illinois at Chicago

Rhoda Rae Gutierrez is a doctoral candidate in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interests include neoliberal education policy, cultural politics of race, and social justice. She is a researcher with the Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education and a parent activist. 

Federico R. Waitoller

University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Waitoller is an assistant professor in the department of special education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on urban inclusive education. In particular, he examines how neoliberal informed polices, such as top-down accountability, portfolio district models, and school choice converge with inclusive education efforts, and how these initiatives affect Black and Latino students with disabilities. His research also examines teacher learning efforts and pedagogies for inclusive education.

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Published: 2017-06-05

How to Cite

Gutierrez, R. R., & Waitoller, F. R. (2017). Introduction to the Special Issue: Restructuring and Resisting Education Reforms in Chicago’s Public Schools. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25, 53. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.25.3061