The New Political Economy of Urban Education
Neoliberalism, Race, and the Right to the City
Routledge – 2011 – 208 pages
Series: Critical Social Thought
Urban education and its contexts have changed in powerful ways. Old paradigms are being eclipsed by global forces of privatization and markets and new articulations of race, class, and urban space. These factors and more set the stage for Pauline Lipman's insightful analysis of the relationship between education policy and the neoliberal economic, political, and ideological processes that are reshaping cities in the United States and around the globe.
Using Chicago as a case study of the interconnectedness of neoliberal urban policies on housing, economic development, race, and education, Lipman explores larger implications for equity, justice, and "the right to the city". She draws on scholarship in critical geography, urban sociology and anthropology, education policy, and critical analyses of race. Her synthesis of these lenses gives added weight to her critical appraisal and hope for the future, offering a significant contribution to current arguments about urban schooling and how we think about relations between neoliberal education reforms and the transformation of cities. By examining the cultural politics of why and how these relationships resonate with people's lived experience, Lipman pushes the analysis one step further toward a new educational and social paradigm rooted in radical political and economic democracy.
"Refreshingly, [Lipman] is attempting to seek answers, as she probes the ways in which the changing urban landscape has shaped (re-shaped) urban education…Like the rest of us, [she] holds out hope in this book for a transformation of values and of systems, so that everyday people can reclaim the public sphere, public schools, and continue to hold accountable those responsible for governing our everyday lives."—Teachers College Record
"In this incisive intervention, Paula Lipman offers a devastating critique of the "common sense" assumption that markets can solve enduring urban problems such as racial exclusion, concentrated poverty and public school "failure." Written with theoretical authority and elaborated through extensive on-the-ground analyses of contemporary Chicago, this book provides the most comprehensive exploration to date of the bitterly contested interface between neoliberal urbanism and educational policy. This is activist scholarship at its very best: Lipman's call for a new "right to the city" oriented towards human flourishing and social justice rather than private profit will resonate powerfully among all those struggling to roll back and supersede contemporary forms of market fundamentalism."—Neil Brenner, Professor of Sociology and Metropolitan Studies, New York University
"In cities throughout the United States, fierce battles over the future of American education are being waged. In this important new book, Pauline Lipman explains why the conflicts over charter schools, the role of parents and teacher unions in school governance, and the closure of ‘failing schools,’ is fundamentally related to who will control the future of American cities. Using Chicago as setting for her analysis, Lipman explores the dynamics within the struggles that have occurred in public education in recent years and the underlying interests that propel the protagonists. This detailed and illuminating study is a must read for anyone seeking to understand how the controversies over education policy will shape America's future."—Pedro A. Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University
"This book confirms Pauline Lipman’s reputation as an outstanding critical education scholar. A must read for anyone who cares about urban education, it shines a light on the ways in which the privatization of urban schooling excludes and subordinates low income and minority populations and shows what might be done to build a more democratic and socially just alternative."—Sharon Gewirtz, Professor of Education, King’s College London
"Written for both a general and academic audience, the book uses theoretical concepts in a manner that does not simplify the complexities of the phenomena they analyse but rather enriches our understanding of the concepts through their explication with interviews, policy analysis, and concrete examples. The New Political Economy of Urban Education should be widely read as an example of how to fuse activism and research and as an exemplary piece of intersectional research that contributes to thediscussion on what to create after capitalism." —Alberta Journal of Educational Research
1. Introduction 2. Neoliberal Urbanism and Education Policy 3. Dismantling Public Schools, Displacing African-Americans and Latinos 4. Politics of Mixed-Income Schools and Housing: Moralizing the Poor, Building the Neoliberal City 5. With Cristen Jenkins: Venture Philanthropy—From Government to Governance 6. Choice and Empowerment—The Cultural Politics of Charter Schools 7. Education and the Right to the City—Another World is Possible and Necessary
Pauline Lipman is Professor of Educational Policy Studies in the College of Education, University of Illinois-Chicago.