Boldt co-edits Bank Street Occasional Papers Series on accountability

February 29, 2012

A Penn State researcher is co-editor of the latest issue of Bank Street's Occasional Papers Series, a prominent academic journal that serves as a forum for educators to discuss timely academic matters. Published by the Bank Street College of Education, the Occasional Papers Series seeks to promote discussion about what it means to educate in a democracy and to meet the interrelated demands of equity and excellence.

Gail Boldt, associate professor of language and literacy education at Penn State, collaborated with William Ayers, who recently retired from the position of distinguished professor of education and senior university scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, to co-edit the special Occasional Papers issue, titled "Challenging the Politics of the Teacher Accountability Movement: Toward a More Hopeful Educational Future."

“The current national school reform debate is dominated by powerful voices calling for teacher ‘accountability,’ a narrow discourse that singles out teachers and in effect blames them for all the woes of failing schools and a troubled society,” said Boldt, explaining the reason she proposed to put together the special issue. “Supported by marketplace ideologies and the relentless drive toward privatizing the public space, the call for teacher accountability functions to de-professionalize teachers as it intensifies demands for a constricted and standardized curriculum and fallacious ‘value added’ measurements of teacher performance.”

Boldt and Ayers invited 13 widely recognized American educators to submit essays for the special edition. The issue includes writings by such prominent educators as Diane Ravitch, Deborah Meier, Pedro Noguero, Anne Dyson, Marc Lamont Hall, Celia Genishi, Kevin Kumashiro, and Greg Dimitriadis, among others.

“One of the most remarkable things about putting this issue together is that every person we asked immediately agreed to participate,” said Boldt. “We envisioned these essays to be expressions of concern, conviction, passion and anger.”

Boldt said the special issue is intended to be “a kind of electronic manifesto, a collection of short, powerful online statements by leading educators about the impact of the teacher accountability movement and the future of school reform. Educators understand the urgency of shifting the dialogue about what matters in the present and future of American education.”

Boldt expects the volume to be a resource for those concerned with “re-framing and taking back the educational conversation, moving toward meaningful school reform, and creating robust approaches to teacher assessment that respect the complexity and depth of teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.”

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  • Gail Boldt

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated January 09, 2015