Education Reform, Communities, and Social Justice: 
Exploring the Intersections

May 20, 2019
Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Photo credit: Ryan Good

Made possible by generous support from

Why this conference?

Over the past twenty years, neoliberal education 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. Proponents argue that competition, combined with standardized measures of performance, forces traditional public schools to operate more efficiently and makes it easier to allocate resources to the people, interventions and organizations making the most progress. Critics counter 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 third 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 new federal administration 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.

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black LinkedIn Icon
  • Black YouTube Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now