Published In

Social Problems

Document Type

Post-Print

Publication Date

11-5-2020

Abstract

Value added scores, statistical estimates of teacher quality, are representative of neoliberal logic. The higher average scores of teachers of socially advantaged students raise concerns that scores are inaccurate and unfair, and propagate decontextualized neoliberal understandings of the nature of learning and teachers’ work. This study uses longitudinal data from roughly 4,500 teachers in a large urban district between 2007–08 through 2012–13 to follow individual teachers as they switch into schools of different “performance levels” over time. Fixed-intercept models tracking individual teachers between 2007–08 and 2012–13 showed scores increased for teachers who switched into high-performing schools and decreased for teachers who switched into low-performing schools. Particularly indicative of scores biased by contextual factors outside teachers’ control, score changes for mobile teachers are partially attributable to shifts in the economic status and race of students in teachers’ classrooms and schools. Understanding how neoliberalism operates within education provides sociological insight into how neoliberalism is legitimated and perpetuated in other central social institutions, such as the criminal justice system, the environment, gender, sexuality, and health.

Rights

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

Post-print version will be available 6 months from the publication date.

DOI

10.1093/socpro/spaa044

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/34267

Available for download on Sunday, May 16, 2021

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