Title

Participatory Democracy and Struggling Schools: Making Space for Youth in School Turnarounds

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Abstract

Federal policy, as codified in Race to the Top (RTT) funding guidelines, outlines four types of intervention: turnaround, restart, closure, and transformation. RTT has embraced a technocratic paradigm for school reform that frames choice less as the opportunity for the public to deliberate about what it wants from its schools and more in terms of the freedom of individual families to choose, as customers, from a diverse array of school options. This market-based system has eroded substantive opportunities for parents and students to participate in decisions about their schools. Although scholars have developed compelling arguments about the need to involve parents and teachers in a more deliberative and democratic approach to intervening in low-performing schools, there is little scholarship focused on the role of young people in school intervention processes.