Forthcoming articles in the current volume of Critical Education will include a special series examining The Media and the Neoliberal Privatization of Education, edited by Derek R. Ford (Syracuse University), Brad Porfilio (California State University, East Bay), and Rebecca Goldstein (Montclair State University).
The series will be launched on March 30, 2015 and run through August 15, 2015.
Here is a full listing of forthcoming articles in Critical Education, from March through September 2015:
Forthcoming Articles in Volume 6:
Volume 6 Number 6
March 21, 2015
‘That would give us power…’ Proposals for Teaching Radical Participation from a Society in Transition
Manchester Metropolitan University
Volume 6 Numbers 7-16
Critical Education series The Media and the Neoliberal Privatization of Education
Editors: Derek R. Ford, Brad Porfilio & Rebecca Goldstein
Volume 6 Number 7
March 30, 2015
The News Media, Education, and the Subversion of the Neoliberal Social Imaginary
Derek R. Ford
California State University, East Bay
Rebecca A. Goldstein
Montclair State University
Lessons from the “Pen Alongside the Sword”: School Reform through the Lens of Radical Black Press
Hobart and William Smith College
Volume 6 Number 8
April 15, 2015
Breathing Secondhand Smoke: Gatekeeping for “Good” Education, Passive Democracy, and the Mass Media: An Interview with Noam Chomsky
Zane C. Wubbena
Texas State University
Volume 6 Number 9
May 1, 2015
Speaking Back to the Neoliberal Discourse on Teaching: How US Teachers Use Social Media to Redefine Teaching
Volume 6 Number 10
May 15, 2015
Political Cartoons and the Framing of Charter School Reform
Volume 6 Number 11
June 1, 2015
Neoliberal Education Reform’s Mouthpiece: Education Week’s Discourse on Teach for America
University of British Columbia
Volume 6 Number 12
June 15, 2015
Re-Privatizing the Family: How “Opt-Out” and “Parental Involvement” Media Narratives Support School Privatization
Loyola University Chicago
Volume 6 Number 13
July 1, 2015
Learning from Bad Teachers: The Neoliberal Agenda for Education in Popular Media
University of Texas at Austin
Volume 6 Number 14
July 15, 2015
#TFA: The Intersection of Social Media and Education Reform
T. Jameson Brewer
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Volume 6 Number 15
August 1, 2015
Engagement with the Mainstream Media and the Relationship to Political Literacy: The Influence of Hegemonic Education on Democracy
Paul R. Carr
Université du Québec en Outaouais
Gary W. J. Pluim
Volume 6 Number 16
August 15, 2015
Teach For America in the Media: A Multimodal Semiotic Analysis
Sarah Rose Faltin Osborn
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Jessica L. Sierk
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Volume 6 Number 17
September 1, 2015
Capitalizing on Knowledge: Mapping Intersections Between Cognitive Capitalism and Education
Joseph Paul Cunningham
University of Cincinnati
Call for Manuscripts:
The Media and the Neoliberal Privatization of Education
Derek R. Ford, Syracuse University
Brad Porfilio, Lewis University
Rebecca A. Goldstein, Montclair State University
As the neoliberal agenda for public education in North America intensifies, educational literature has increasingly turned its attention toward understanding the logics and processes of neoliberal privatization. Additionally, attention has been paid as to how educators resist these processes and practices, both in the classroom and beyond. This special issue seeks to deepen our understanding of the neoliberal privatization of education by extending critical examinations to an underrepresented field of cultural production: that of mainstream media reporting on education and the neoliberal privatization of education, which many believe represents a new round of primitive accumulation. By examining and analyzing the mainstream media’s relationship to the processes in which neoliberal education ideologies are constructed, reflected, and reified, articles in this issue will explicate the various ways in which the mainstream media has helped facilitate and legitimate neoliberalism as a universal logic in reforming education, both locally and globally. Articles will also speak to how critical educations have guided students in K-20 schools to understand the mainstream media’s relationship to supporting the neoliberal takeover of schools.
We welcome conceptual, empirical, theoretical, pedagogical and narrative articles that approach this topic from a variety of perspectives and frameworks. Articles included in the special issue may ask and examine questions such as, but not limited to: How has media coverage of teachers’ unions and teachers’ strikes reinforced and/or advanced privatization? What shift has taken place in terms of who is positioned in the media as educational “experts”? What are the differences between the way that various major news networks, newspapers, and news magazines talk about educational privatization? How are Teach For America and Teach For All being propelled by media coverage? What are the variations in media coverage of the neoliberal agenda for education? What are the alternatives and prospects for challenges to the mainstream media? How has ALEC impacted school reform policies and practices on the state level and to what extent has the media covered it? How have critical educators positioned their students to understand the mainstream media’s role in supporting the corporate agenda for schooling?
Manuscripts due: May 1, 2014
For details on manuscript submission see: CE Information for Authors
The American education system has never been better, several important measures show. But you’d never know that from reading overheated media reports about “failing” schools and enthusiastic pieces on unproven “reform” efforts.
By Paul Farhi
“Not Why But How: To the Shores of (and the Skies above) Tripoli”
By Andrew J. Bacevich, Tom Dispatch.com, posted April 12
The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University
“The Success of Revolutions That Do Not Succeed”
By Vijay Prashad, CounterPunch.org, posted April 8
The author teaches history at Trinity College
“Morocco: Can Dinosaurs Become Butterflies?”
By Stuart Schaar, The Indypendent, posted April 6
The author is a professor emeritus of Middle East and North African history at Brooklyn College
“The Censored War and You”
By Kelley B. Vlahos, antiwar.com, posted April 5
Compares coverage of the Vietnam and Afghanistan wars
“100 Years of Bombing Libya: The Forgotten Fascist Roots of Humanitarian Interventionism”
By Mark Almond, CounterPunch.org, posted April 5
“Japan, Europe and the Dangerous Fantasy of American Leadership”
By Karel van Wolferen, Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, posted April 4
“Last Act in the Middle East”
By Andrew J. Bacevich, Newsweek, posted April 3
“A Matter of Empire”
By Arno J. Mayer, CounterPunch, posted April 1
The author is an emeritus professor of history at Princeton University
“Response to Juan Cole on Libya”
By Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies, posted April 1
“The Dangerous US Game in Yemen”
By Jeremy Scahill, The Nation, posted March 30
Has much historical background
From Historians Against the War (HAW) Steering Committee (SC):
Over the last few weeks Wikileaks has released numerous classified U.S. government cables that have revealed what U.S. diplomats are saying to each other on a range of topics, from the war in Iraq to heads of state. The documents unveil disturbing facts about these wars, including secret CIA paramilitaries, unaccountable military task forces, and the widespread killing of civilians. The release represents a contribution to the right of the public to know, both in the United States and around the world, what the U.S. government really thinks and does, as opposed to the fictions that often pass for official statements.
In response, members of the U.S. government and public, from both parties, have unleashed a firestorm of verbal abuse, physical threats, legal maneuvers, and economic pressure to try and silence Julian Assange, the head of Wikileaks, and to prevent the publication of any more U.S. government documents.*
We call on all HAW members to oppose these attacks and to stand up for freedom of the press and the free distribution of information. Several petitions are circulating on the web — for example, at https://sites.google.com/site/wilibeaks (Voters for Peace) and http://www.credoaction.com/campaign/wikileaks/index2.html?rc=homepage (Credo). We ask you to sign them and to ask your friends and colleagues to do so as well.
* For recent background articles on these attacks, see, e.g.:
Glenn Greenwald, “Joe Lieberman Emulates Chinese Dictators”
Tom Hayden, “The Lynch Mob Moment”
Robert Scheer, “From Jefferson to Assange”
Editors of The Nation, “First They Came for Wikileaks Then . . .
Yesterday, the Executive Committee of Veterans For Peace voted to break all commercial ties with the Amazon Corporation and call for our members to boycott eBay Corp. and PayPal Corp. This includes, but is not limited to,
- Removing the Amazon link from the VFP website. Previously we had encouraged our members to use this link when making purchases from Amazon Corp., as a fundraising method for our organization.
- Urging our members, supporters and the public to boycott Amazon, eBay and PayPal corporations.
- Urging Julian Assange and the Wikileaks team to continue their fight in the most important area of free speech: government secrets.
The U.S. Justice Department is reportedly considering charging Assange under the Espionage Act. This much-discredited and little-used law was last invoked against journalists, unsuccessfully, in the failed Pentagon Papers case in 1971. However, prosecution and conviction under this act, passed in 1917 to stifle dissent during WWI, may have little to do with espionage and everything to do with government repression.
For example, the federal government used the Espionage Act to prosecute Gene Debs, the great union organizer and socialist presidential candidate, for a 1918 Canton Ohio speech against U.S. involvement in the “Great War.”
Another citizen prosecuted in the same period under the same law, according to Kevin Zeese, director of Voters for Peace, was Rose Pastor Stokes, sentenced to ten years in prison for a letter to the Kansas City Star, saying “no government which is for the profiteers can also be for the people, and I am for the people while the government is for the profiteers.”
The government-war-private corporation axis is exposed fully in this case. Credit card companies Mastercard and Visa, along with giant online retailer Ebay Corp., owner of PayPal Corp., have voluntarily joined Amazon Corp. in answering the government’s request to block WikiLeaks’ funding in an effort to keep additional information from a citizenry increasingly fed up with war, secrecy and corporate power.
VFP gave imprisoned Army PFC, Bradley Manning, its Courage of Conscience award earlier this year for releasing documents detailing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Resistance to the attack on WikiLeaks and Assange is also growing and VFP considers it important to do what we can to join that resistance.
“Imperialism is a form of tyranny, it never rules through consent of the governed. …We talk about the spread of democracy, but we talk about the spread of democracy at the point of an assault rifle.”—Chalmers Johnson
Via Rich Gibson:
So Long Chalmers Johnson (Died November 20, Saturday, San Diego):
“Empire rots the brains of imperialists, is driven by hubris, racism and arrogance.”
Johnson was always an anti-communist, which he equated with Soviet and Chinese communism (he quickly identified the latter as little more than peasant nationalism, rightly so). Probably recruited by Hannah Arendt as a CIA asset, Johnson targeted the east, Japan (“US puppets”) and China. With the implosion of Soviet social fascism, Johnson expected a peace dividend which never materialized. Turning his eyes on the US empire of bases (800 plus), he foretold 9/11/2001 in “Blowback,” then built a trilogy with the later “Sorrows of Empire,” and “Nemesis.” In print and in person, he repeatedly said the US is now a fascist state, one of the few truly reputable scholars with the courage to do so. In “Nemesis,” he said bankruptcy would be the key to the end of the US empire–but warned it would not die with a whimper. He had two suggestions for citizens. The first, take your cat and go to Vancouver. Later, he suggested the US just dissolve its own might, as he said the Brits did. The US, however, does not have the US to hide behind. Johnson’s almost reflexive rejection of a Marxist analysis of imperialism (born almost simultaneously with capitalism, a relentless quest for cheap labor, raw materials, markets, regional control–empire) led him to view imperialism as hubris plus militarism–meaning a change of mind could upend the vampire’s desires. It cannot. Nevertheless, Johnson’s incredible prescience creates a field of land-mines for any of his critics. His research methods should be studied by everyone serious about social change. His book on Revolution, opposing it, inspires those who are for it. Finally, his insider knowledge coupled with a razor wit made encounters with Chalmers Johnson a challenge. He never backed down. So long, and “adios” (his habitual farewell) Chalmers. What you did counted.
Good luck to us, every one.
John Nichols The Nation Blog: Chalmers Johnson and the Patriotic Struggle Against Empire
In a piece titled “The Lying Game: How We are Prepared for Prepared for Another War of Aggression,” journalist John Pilger compares the current drum-beating for war against Iran, based on a fake “nuclear threat”, with the manufacture of a sense of false crisis that led to invasion of Iraq and the deaths of 1.3 million people.
Obama is giving us what he promised: war in Afghanistan. The expansion strategy and the public’s distaste for ware are nearly mirror images of the run-up to Bush’s fiasco in Iraq.
Obama’s “showdown” with Iran has another agenda. On both sides of the Atlantic the media have been tasked with preparing the public for endless war. The US/Nato commander General Stanley McChrystal says 500,000 troops will be required in Afghanistan over five years, according to America’s NBC. The goal is control of the “strategic prize” of the gas and oilfields of the Caspian Sea, central Asia, the Gulf and Iran – in other words, Eurasia. But the war is opposed by 69 per cent of the British public, 57 per cent of the US public and almost every other human being. Convincing “us” that Iran is the new demon will not be easy. McChrystal’s spurious claim that Iran “is reportedly training fighters for certain Taliban groups” is as desperate as Brown’s pathetic echo of “a line in the sand”.
During the Bush years, according to the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, a military coup took place in the US, and the Pentagon is now ascendant in every area of American foreign policy. A measure of its control is the number of wars of aggression being waged simultaneously and the adoption of a “first-strike” doctrine that has lowered the threshold on nuclear weapons, together with the blurring of the distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons.
All this mocks Obama’s media rhetoric about “a world without nuclear weapons”. In fact, he is the Pentagon’s most important acquisition. His acquiescence with its demand that he keep on Bush’s secretary of “defence” and arch war-maker, Robert Gates, is unique in US history. He has proved his worth with escalated wars from south Asia to the Horn of Africa. Like Bush’s America, Obama’s America is run by some very dangerous people. We have a right to be warned. When will those paid to keep the record straight do their job?
The “political spectrum” is a long time topic in high school social studies classes and the parlance of “left-wing/right-wing” is firmly embedded in the minds of most North Americans. However, the left-right dichotomy that is typically used to categorize political views in the media and elsewhere does more obfuscate than illuminate differences in political thought.
In the USA the political spectrum has shrunk to the point that there is effectively no difference between Democrats and Republicans on economics, while there are a few, but only a few, notable differences on social issues. So if you watch Fox News, CNN, etc. you’ll see teleprompter reading pundits making mountains of mole hills when it comes to who’s on the left and who’s on the right—Alan Colms on the left? (At least we don’t have to endure Hannity and Colms any more on FoxNews, although Colms continues to pose on Fox radio).
The terms “Right-wing” and “Left-wing” as applied to politics originated with the French government assemblies in the 18th Century, where the aristocrats sat to the right of the speaker and commoners (the bourgeoisie) to the left.
The oversimplication of political thought to a single scale of left/right is what allows some Americans to actually call Obama a socialist. These folks are sincere in their beliefs about Obama, but the ancient Greeks would have called them called idiots (ἰδιώτης or idiōtēs)—seen as having bad judgment in public and political matters.
Typically jejune public (and pundit) opinions about what constitutes the left and the right makes it difficult for folks to make sense of political positions that fall out of the narrow mainstream—Noam Chomsky and Ron Paul are examples of well known political figures who cannot be accurately characterized on the left/right political binary.
What’s at issue here is not just the accuracy with which we categorize political figures or political views. The left/right binary has the practical effect of forcing political discourse into artificial categories—every political disagreement becomes a two-sided argument, which is the typical cable news or local newspaper paradigm for political news coverage. This strategy works quite well in capitalist democracies, which cultivate the appearance of dissent, choice, and difference on political and social issues, while manufacturing consent amongst the public for policies designed to preserve the interests economic and political elites. The economic bailouts of recent months are a good example of this.
But the left/right binary also alienates, marginalizes, and confuses many people who fail to see a place for their own political views in the “objective” framework of what consitutes politics, so they do not participate (and I’m not talking about voting or elections, but the failure to image themselves as having political agency in the broadest sense of the concept).
Despite a wide variety of models that can provide multidimensional images of political positions, discourse about the political spectrum in the media and many classrooms remains shallow and unidimensional.
While models (and quizzes) like The Political Spectrum, Pournelle Chart, the Nolan Chart, etc. have their limitations, they can be useful pedagogical tools for teachers who want to encourage their students to think about politics beyond the oversimplified right/left divisions that dominate mainstream media (and this provides students with a good starting point for thinking critically about the MSM and the interests they serve).