Call for Abstracts: Education Reform, Communities and Social Justice

Posted by Rutgers University on October 23, 2018


Monday, May 20, 2019

Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Over the past twenty years, neoliberal school reforms have gained increasing momentum across the United States, emphasizing school choice, market discipline, standardized testing, high-stakes evaluation, privatized management, and the reframing of public education as a site for capital investment. These reforms intersect with cities and communities in complex ways. Critics argue that neoliberal reforms exacerbate educational inequalities and can have dramatically differential consequences for low-income and wealthier communities.

Understanding the intersections between these reform strategies and questions of social justice, community development, and urban policy calls for interdisciplinary engagement that bridges the confines of traditional academic disciplines. Increasingly, scholars of psychology, education, politics, sociology, urban studies, economics, planning and many other fields are asking what broader impacts neoliberal efforts to reform public education are having, particularly on our most vulnerable communities.

To further this important conversation, the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University is hosting the fourth annual one day convening, to enable researchers studying the diverse implications of recent school reforms to share their findings and ideas, and to help shape a broader collective research agenda.

We welcome research abstracts on all topics that examine the intersection of neoliberal education reforms and social justice, including the following research areas:

  • Impact of national policy and/or politics on K-12 education
  • Parent, teacher, and/or community activism for and against neoliberal reforms
  • Educational governance, public accountability, and community disenfranchisement
  • Schools, gentrification and urban development
  • Impact of private funding on education policy and practice
  • School closings
  • Impact of neoliberal education reform on higher education
  • Teachers’ race, class, gender, retention, equity, training and tenure
  • Impact of and alternatives to high stakes standardized testing.
  • Parental perceptions of and resistance to high stakes standardized testing
  • How schools control and discipline students
  • Inequality and segregation by race, income, special needs and English Proficiency

All are welcome to attend and participate in the conversation.

If you would like to present your research, please send a 300 word abstract to Julia Sass Rubin at by Sunday, December 9, 2018. Your abstract must include a (1) paper title and (2) name, affiliation, email and phone contact information for each author. To be considered, the papers must report on empirical research and/or make a theoretical contribution. Literature reviews or research proposals will not be accepted. Please direct any questions to Professor Rubin.

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