“In light of ALL that is happening in American society, it stretches credulity to think that there are still people who think that we are BEYOND race. This collection underscores the way that race is implicated in every aspect of schooling and the editors and contributors take bold, empirically grounded positions that assert once and for all that race has EVERYTHING to do with education and schooling.”

Gloria Ladson-Billings, Professor, Kellner Family Chair in Urban Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Book Description

Within critical discussions of school reform, researchers and activists are often of two camps. Some focus their analyses on neoliberal economic agendas, while others center on racial inequality. These analyses often happen in isolation, continuing to divide those concerned with educational justice into “It’s race!” vs. “It’s class!” camps. What’s Race Got To Do With It? brings together these frameworks to investigate the role that race plays in hallmark policies of neoliberal school reforms such as school closings, high-stakes testing, and charter school proliferation. The group of scholar activist authors in this volume were selected because of their cutting-edge racial economic analysis, understanding of corporate reform, and involvement in grassroots social movements. Each author applies a racial economic framework to inform and complicate our analysis of how market-based reforms collectively increase wealth inequality and maintain White supremacy. In accessible language, contributors trace the historical context of a single reform, examine how that reform maintains and expands racial and economic inequality, and share grassroots stories of resistance to these reforms. By analyzing current reforms through this dual lens, those concerned with social justice are better equipped to struggle against this constellation of reforms in ways that unite rather than divide.

Be part of the conversation: Use #WhatsRace and follow @CritEdPol


“We cannot understand and challenge today’s pervasive attacks on public education without looking intersectionally. Such is the argument compellingly fleshed out by Picower,Mayorga, and colleagues in this collection of brilliant exposés of neoliberal ‘reforms’ that insidiously widen racial and economic injustices. What’s Race Got To Do With It is a must-read for anyone to see the bigger picture.”

Kevin Kumashiro, Dean of the University of San Francisco School of Education; Editor of Six Lenses for Anti-Oppressive Education:Partial Stories, Improbable Conversations

#WhatsRace Book Cover, created by Peter Lang

#WhatsRace Book Cover, created by Peter Lang

Table of Contents

Bree Picower and Edwin Mayorga

1. High-Stakes Testing: A Tool for White Supremacy for Over 100 Years 
Wayne Au

2. Mayoral Control: Reform, Whiteness and Critical Race Analysis of Neoliberal Educational Policy
David Stovall

3. School Closings: The Nexus of White Supremacy, State Abandonment, and Accumulation by Dispossession
Pauline Lipman

4. Keys to the Schoolhouse: Black Teachers, Privatization, and the Future of Teacher Unions
Brian Jones

5. School Choice: The Freedom to Choose, The Right to Exclude
Ujju Aggarwal

6. Charter Schools: Demystifying Whiteness in a Market of “No Excuses” Corporate-Styled Charter Schools
Terrenda White

7. Philanthrocapitalism: Race, Political Spectacle, and the Marketplace of Beneficence in a New York City School
Amy Brown

8. edTPA: Doubling Down on Whiteness in Teacher Education
Barbara Madeloni

About the Editors:

Bree Picower, Assistant Professor at Montclair State University, received her PhD from New York University. She is the author of Practice What You Teach: Social Justice Education in the Classroom and the Streets. Picower is a core member of the New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE) and a founding member of the national Teacher Activist Groups network.

Edwin Mayorga, Assistant Professor at Swarthmore College, is a doctoral candidate at the Graduate Center-CUNY. His project, Education in our Barrios (#BarrioEdProj), is a digital and participatory study of education reform and urban space. He is a member of NYCoRE. Follow Edwin at @eimayorga #WhatsRace

To order:

With our publisher, Peter Lang: Orders can be placed directly with the Peter Lang customer service department by phone: 800-770-LANG or 212-647-7706, by fax: 212-647-7707, or through the internet: www.peterlang.com

#WhatsRace Book Peter Lang Page
ISBN 978-1-4331-2884-4 hb.  (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-1-4331-2883-7 pb.  (Softcover)

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Ebook: Apple iTunes

Paperback: Amazon

Book Events

If you are interested in organizing a book event with the editors or chapter authors, please contact the editors: Bree Picower (bree@nycore.org) or Edwin Mayorga (emayorg1@swarthmore.edu)