Fabricating Failure: Making Up the Need for “Help”

Jill P. Koyama

in Making Failure Pay

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780226451732
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226451756 | DOI:
Fabricating Failure: Making Up the Need for “Help”

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  • Educational Strategies and Policy


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Culturing school failure requires an exaggeration or a misinterpretation, intentional or otherwise, of the signs of failure. As federal and state educational policies, and the policy-directed actions of school districts, schools, and supplemental educational service providers interact, failure is produced rather than found and confronted. This chapter presents three examples of inventing failure; the cases involve the actions of many in schools, the Department of Education, and United Education. Success, a possibility to which all strive, became at PS 100 overshadowed by its counterpart, failure. Even when all the recognized signs of success were apparent, the misreading of them erroneously rendered their measured success illegitimate.

Keywords: school failure; inventing failure; success; supplemental educational services; educational policies

Chapter.  8286 words. 

Subjects: Educational Strategies and Policy

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