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Suddenly DiverseHow School Districts Manage Race and Inequality$
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Erica O. Turner

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226675220

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226675534.001.0001

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Managing Accountability by Monitoring Achievement Gaps

Managing Accountability by Monitoring Achievement Gaps

(p.83) Chapter Three Managing Accountability by Monitoring Achievement Gaps
Suddenly Diverse

Erica O. Turner

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines how and why Milltown and Fairview district leaders came to adopt similar homegrown data or performance monitoring policies and practices, which reflected and recreated the color-blind managerialism of high stakes testing and accountability policy. It argues that after efforts to train teachers to be more sensitive to the complications of teaching across lines of race and culture drew educator resistance, the district leaders embraced “data based decision making” as equity-oriented education policy and practice that would address “achievement gaps” and related challenges to district legitimacy without blaming students, and without imperiling cooperation from the predominantly white teachers and white middle-class residents upon whom they depended for school district support and operation. Performance monitoring caused district leaders to confront some inequities; but, it also catered to white teachers and legitimized data-wielding district leaders over teachers and families of color, all without directly addressing the race and class inequities at the root of disparities in achievement and educational opportunity in these school districts.

Keywords:   accountability policy, performance monitoring, achievement gap, testing, data, colorblind managerialism, data based decision making, teachers, school districts, education policy

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