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Making Failure PayFor-Profit Tutoring, High-Stakes Testing, and Public Schools$
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Jill P. Koyama

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226451732

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226451756.001.0001

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Abandoning Failure: Diffusing Its Impact

Abandoning Failure: Diffusing Its Impact

(p.137) 7 Abandoning Failure: Diffusing Its Impact
Making Failure Pay

Jill P. Koyama

University of Chicago Press

The actor-network theory illuminates the interconnectivity of material objects, human actors, and their environments. The actor network emerges when the multiple actions of those attending to school failure flows from one location to many others. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates and directives implied that school failure would be remedied if people acted according to the policy; as seen in this study. Federal and state mandates develop and achieve salience through specific discourses and actions adopted by local entities. NCLB drove the interface between actors and their environments. The supplemental educational service, which was acclaimed by the federal and local educational authorities as a “parent-choice” program, drew mixed responses from parents. This chapter illustrates how actors came to share recognition of various forms of failure and, further, how they developed robust interventions and implemented action steps. They mutually defined the categorical distinctions of failure and continued to interpret the highly visible and consequential signs, like failing test scores and low marks on progress reports.

Keywords:   actor-network theory, supplemental educational service, parent choice program, failure, progress reports

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