Equity and difference in centralized policy

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Abstract:

The paper focuses on the promise of equity that underlies centralized evaluation policies and its relation to difference, or in other words to the singularity of the subject. I defend that without taking the issue of difference into consideration, there is no education, and that the unique subject is what is aspired by education. The analyses rely on recent Brazilian evaluation policy as object. Large-scale testing policies, like much of public policy, are built on the premise that equity is both possible and desirable. First, I try to demonstrate that this is a fallacious promise and then question its desirability. I consider the fact that such a promise even if not delivered does not make it harmless. It creates effects of power while making the idea that ‘no children [should be] left behind’ hegemonic. Naturalizing the existence of a ‘behind’ creates a demarcation line without which it would not be feasible to define this ‘behind’. I argue that the only way to ensure that nobody is excluded is to blur this line, deconstructing the very idea of inclusion, betting on an education committed to the uniqueness of subjects in which the idea of ‘behind’ does not make sense.

Keywords: curriculum policy; difference; evaluation; post-structural

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2012.754947

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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