Abandoning Failure: Diffusing Its Impact

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:
Abandoning Failure: Diffusing Its Impact

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The actor-network theory illuminates the interconnectivity of material objects, human actors, and their environments. The actor network emerges when the multiple actions of those attending to school failure flows from one location to many others. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates and directives implied that school failure would be remedied if people acted according to the policy; as seen in this study. Federal and state mandates develop and achieve salience through specific discourses and actions adopted by local entities. NCLB drove the interface between actors and their environments. The supplemental educational service, which was acclaimed by the federal and local educational authorities as a “parent-choice” program, drew mixed responses from parents. This chapter illustrates how actors came to share recognition of various forms of failure and, further, how they developed robust interventions and implemented action steps. They mutually defined the categorical distinctions of failure and continued to interpret the highly visible and consequential signs, like failing test scores and low marks on progress reports.

Keywords: actor-network theory; supplemental educational service; parent choice program; failure; progress reports

Chapter.  8650 words. 

Subjects: Educational Strategies and Policy

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