Facebook Pixel

Selected Publications

A Rosa Parks moment? School choice and the marketization of civil rights

Janelle Scott. Critical Studies in Education.Vol. 54, No. 1, February 2013, 5-18.

A Rosa Parks moment? School choice and the marketization of civil rights


In this critical analysis, I interrogate the efforts of elite education reformers to cast market-based school choice reforms as descendants of civil rights movement policies. Drawing from multidisciplinary research, including educational policy, history, and sociology, as well as the voices of contemporary educational reformers, I examine the ideological underpinnings and demographic profile of the market-based school reform movement. In turn, I juxtapose these elite stances and initiatives with grassroots organizing in traditionally marginalized communities and argue that it is the latter which yokes their efforts to issues of justice, equity, and voice and are far more deeply connected to the ongoing struggle for civil rights and social justice. I conclude that civil rights claims in support of market-based choice reforms are a seductive attempt to recast civil rights concerns primarily at the individual rather than at the community level and therefore fail to map onto broader social and educational justice concerns that animate alternative grassroots organizing.

Download File

Published Version (141KB)