Articles from The Journal of Urban Affairs current Special Issue, Unequal Schools and Communities: A Critical Examination of Neoliberal Education Reform, are available for download now! You can also find videos to use in your remote classes!


By Guest Editors: Julia Sass Rubin , Ryan M. Good & Michelle Fine

Over the past twenty years, neoliberal education reforms have gained increasing momentum across the United States, emphasizing school choice, market discipline, standardized testing, high-stakes evaluation, privatized management, and the reframing of public education as a site for capital investment. This special issue examines the intersections between neoliberal education reform strategies and questions of social justice, community development, and urban policy. Many of the articles were first presented at the inaugural Education Reform, Communities and Social Justice research conference at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

The articles speak to the political economy of urban education and its entanglement with “development”; how race matters in school selection and attitudes toward school closure; where and how resistance to charter schools and high stakes testing has been mobilized; and the racialized reach and impact of zero-tolerance discipline policies. The articles also focus on how parents, educators, and students are navigating the radically redesigned landscape of school “choice.” With a wide-angle view of the policies and practices born in neoliberal logics, these articles reveal the consequences, the resistance, and the alternatives, infused with a sense of outrage, equity and hope.

Click here to view the Journal of Urban Affairs Special Issue: Unequal Schools and Communities: A Critical Examination of Neoliberal Education Reform table of contents, articles and videos.