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The period spanning 2001 to 2015 could best be characterized in the words “shock and awe” in the United States of America. During this tumultuous time, the public good was placed under increasingly austere measures as a direct result of war, widespread financial speculation, and crash of the financial, investment, and real estate market(s). Subsequently, a banking industry bailout of epic proportions - shouldered disproportionately by average American taxpayers - led to political upheavals, and an increasingly divided body politic. Public education was severely impacted. With the No Child Left Behind Act (2002) school districts were placed under audit and individual schools were often labelled as failures. Congress attempted to fix the law in 2007, yet reauthorization stalled. In 2008, the economic crises compounded the educational impasse with a growing disparity of financial resources, urban neglect and decay. The inauguration of President Barack Obama ushered in the American Recovery and Restoration Act (2009). This act was intended to stimulate the economy, and it did at least save some of the teaching jobs that would otherwise have been cut as local and state revenues were collapsing under the strain. However, a new paradigm also emerged in which funding to the schools would be shifted from need-based to accountability-based and a lottery system called Race to the Top (2009) changed teachers and teacher education dramatically.


This article was originally published by the European Journal of Curriculum Studies, an open access journal. To cite this article, please refer to version of record, available here:



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