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John Garvey

John Garvey has been active in radical politics for 50 years. He and Noel worked together, more or less continuously, on a variety of projects since the early 1980s. The good thing was that they were always successful. Only kidding!

EDUCATION REFORM Beneath the Surface
PART I: Motives and Methods

In this multi-part article, I will describe the motivations and methods of the dominant forces in education reform circles, assess the consequences of those reforms, and sketch out an alternative to the complaints and demands of the major opponents of the dominant forces.

EDUCATION REFORM Beneath the Surface
Part II: Marketizing School Reform

I ended the first article in this series by discussing the Department of Education’s focus on closing old and opening new schools. I’ll begin this second article by discussing the complementary focus on the marketization of school selection.

Beneath the Surface
Part IV: Beyond Reform

Unlike in the era of legal school segregation or in the long time periods in the United States when the more-or-less explicit tracking of children from different social strata into different educational pathways in the public schools was largely taken for granted as a desirable project, the pervasive educational inequalities of the moment are not the result of intentional policies.

A Life Defined by Political Engagement

Noel Ignatiev, the author of the following essay on Frederick Douglass, died on November 9th of this year. Although he had been ill, he wasn’t expecting death in the immediate future. In fact, he was looking forward to the publication of the essay in The Brooklyn Rail. The brief period of time since his death has witnessed a good number of formal obituaries and less formal reminiscences in The New Yorker, Commune, and The New York Times, which provide both biographical facts and descriptions of his impact and influence on students, friends and political comrades. I will try not to repeat too much of what has already been written.

EDUCATION REFORM Beneath the Surface
Part III: Paving the Roads to Inequality

The paths to educational success and failure are set early in the lives of most children in the city’s public schools, in their neighborhood elementary schools. Early differences matter a great deal.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

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