Schooling Markets: The Circulation, Creation, and Contestation of Charter School Markets in the United States by Dan Cohen A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Geography) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) October, 2017 © Dan Cohen, 2017 ii Abstract Despite being central feature of economic and social life, markets remain largely understudied within geography. Recently however, a geography of markets has emerged as scholars have begun to excavate the spatial dimensions of markets and their role in shaping the wider economy and everyday life. This dissertation contributes to this literature’s development through the study of charter school policies, which have been used to create markets for publicly-funded schooling in the United States. As argued throughout the dissertation, the study of these schooling markets, which have been the site of fierce political struggles, can help contribute to our understanding of the role markets play in wider sociospatial processes. Grounded in empirical fieldwork and utilizing a geographically-attuned approach to markets inspired by Polanyi and Gramsci, this dissertation approaches the study of charter school markets through case studies examining their functioning in two American states, Michigan and Oregon. It does so through asking the following questions: (1) How are market-making projects in American schooling being constructed, circulated and contested? (2) How have ideologies specific to schooling and education shaped the functioning of charter school markets? and (3) How are market-making 'projects' in education articulated with other sociospatial dynamics? In answering these questions, I argue that, contra to their most common depictions, charter school markets cannot be understood through a narrow focus on the decisions made by actors within them. Instead, the exchange that takes place within these markets is structured by the institutions constructed around them, including struggles over their form and the wider power structures these struggles occur within. This understanding of markets has ramifications beyond schooling and offers new insights into how geographers can understand the role of markets within wider sociospatial relations. iii Lay Summary Over the past twenty-five years American education has been remade through a market-based model of education reform: charter schools. Since Minnesota passed the first charter school law in 1991, these schools have grown rapidly and now enroll 5.4% of American children. Premised on the idea that the ostensibly neutral hand of the market will improve schooling, the popularity of charter schools raises an important question: if charter school policies create markets, what type of markets are they? This dissertation explores the political struggles over charter school markets in two American states, Michigan and Oregon, as a means of understanding how the functioning of charter school markets has been shaped by these struggles. The results of this study are then used to advance discussions on how markets function in general — making the argument that markets are often shaped by political struggles over market institutions and their spatial boundaries. iv Preface This dissertation is an original intellectual product of the author, Dan Cohen. The fieldwork reported herein was approved by the Research Ethics Board of the University of British Columbia (certificate #H14-01756). A version of Chapter 2 has been accepted for publication in Progress in Human Geography entitled ‘Between perfection and damnation: The emerging geography of markets.’ A version of Chapter 4 has been published in Cohen D (2017) Market mobilities/immobilities: mutation, path-dependency, and the spread of charter school policies in the United States. Critical Studies in Education 58(2): 168–186. v Table of Contents Abstract .......................................................................................................................................... ii Lay Abstract ................................................................................................................................. iii Preface ........................................................................................................................................... iv Table of Contents ...........................................................................................................................v List of Tables .............................................................................................................................. viii List of Figures ............................................................................................................................... ix List of Abbreviations .....................................................................................................................x Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................... xi Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................1 1.1 Charter schools and the marketization of American education ...................................... 4 1.2 Research questions .......................................................................................................... 9 1.3 Research approach and methodology ........................................................................... 12 1.3.1 Research approach .................................................................................................... 12 1.3.2 Research methods ..................................................................................................... 16 1.4 Dissertation outline and key arguments ........................................................................ 19 1.4.1 Chapter outlines ........................................................................................................ 19 1.4.2 Key arguments .......................................................................................................... 23 188.8.131.52 Roll out, resistance, and the forging of markets through struggle .................... 23 184.108.40.206 Educational values: Market-making on contested terrain ................................. 24 220.127.116.11 Hegemony, contestation, and schooling markets .............................................. 25 18.104.22.168 The spatiality of markets ................................................................................... 25 Part 1: The Geography of Markets on the Contested Terrain of Education ..............................27 Chapter 2: Sites of Struggle: Markets as Ideology ...................................................................30 2.1.1 Chapter outline .......................................................................................................... 32 2.1.2 Defining markets ....................................................................................................... 32 2.2 Placing markets in economic geography: Three challenges ......................................... 34 2.3 Perfection, damnation, and deconstruction: The theoretical foundations of the geography of markets ................................................................................................................ 38 vi 2.3.1 Perfection and damnation: Markets in neoclassical and Marxist economics ........... 39 22.214.171.124 Markets in neoclassical economics ................................................................... 40 126.96.36.199 Markets in Marxist economics .......................................................................... 43 188.8.131.52 The determined market of neoclassical and Marxist thought ........................... 46 2.3.2 Deconstruction: Economic sociology and the geography of markets ....................... 47 184.108.40.206 Networks and embedded markets ..................................................................... 49 220.127.116.11 Institutional analysis and markets ..................................................................... 50 18.104.22.168 Social studies of economization/marketization ................................................ 51 22.214.171.124 Geography and the sociology of markets.......................................................... 53 2.3.3 Tensions in the geography of markets ...................................................................... 56 2.4 Markets as sites of struggle: Ways forward for economic geography .......................... 58 2.4.1 Struggle in and over markets .................................................................................... 59 2.4.2 Markets as sites of sociospatial struggles ................................................................. 65 2.5 Conclusions ................................................................................................................... 69 Chapter 3: The Contested Terrain of Education: Legitimation, Social Reproduction, and Schooling in America ...................................................................................................................70 3.1.1 Chapter outline .......................................................................................................... 72 3.2 Education, correspondence, and resistance: The contradictory place of education in capitalism .................................................................................................................................. 72 3.2.1 Reproduction theories of education .......................................................................... 73 3.2.2 Neo-Marxist and resistance theory ........................................................................... 76 3.2.3 Correspondence, reproduction, and resistance.......................................................... 82 3.3 State schooling systems and the educational settlement ............................................... 83 3.4 Neoliberalism and the educational settlement .............................................................. 88 3.4.1 Neoliberalization and education ............................................................................... 89 3.4.2 The emerging, neoliberal educational settlement ..................................................... 91 3.4.3 Stability and contradiction in the neoliberal settlement .......................................... 100 3.5 Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 104 Part 1: Conclusion ......................................................................................................................106 Part 2: Markets in Action ...........................................................................................................111 Chapter 4: Continual Circulation: The Mobility of Schooling Markets in the United States......................................................................................................................................................115 4.1 A brief review: Policy mobilities ................................................................................ 116 4.2 School choice in the United States pre-1991 .............................................................. 119 4.3 Markets become mobile: 1991 to 2001 ....................................................................... 126 vii 4.3.1 Michigan and Oregon’s adoption of charter school laws ....................................... 132 4.4 Ongoing mobilities...................................................................................................... 137 4.5 Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 153 Chapter 5: Conceptions of Control: Libertarian Markets and Local Power.......................157 5.1 Michigan: Libertarians, market liberals, and a fragile consensus ............................... 158 5.1.1 Governor Engler’s market vision ............................................................................ 159 5.1.2 Libertarians, liberals, and the limits to reform ........................................................ 165 5.1.3 Stasis and chaos: The roll out of markets in Michigan ........................................... 180 5.2 Oregon: Corporate challenge to union power ............................................................. 182 5.2.1 Oregon and the principle of local control ............................................................... 183 5.2.2 Eluding boundaries: Local control and virtual schools........................................... 188 5.2.3 Stability, disruption, and space ............................................................................... 196 5.3 Roll-out, resistance, and schooling markets in flux .................................................... 198 Chapter 6: Race, Power, and Schooling Markets in Detroit..................................................202 6.1 The political economic context of Detroit .................................................................. 203 6.2 Race, power, and the spread of markets in the Detroit region .................................... 208 6.2.1 Emergency management and the creation of schooling markets in Detroit ........... 209 6.2.2 Freedom to choose: Suburban districts and markets ............................................... 221 6.3 The struggle over Detroit, the struggle over markets ................................................. 237 6.4 Race, urban space, and schooling markets.................................................................. 247 Part 2: Conclusion ......................................................................................................................250 Chapter 7: Conclusion ...............................................................................................................252 7.1 Key themes.................................................................................................................. 253 7.1.1 Roll out, resistance, and the forging of markets through struggle .......................... 253 7.1.2 Educational values: Market-making on contested terrain ....................................... 258 7.1.3 Hegemony, contestation, and schooling markets .................................................... 263 7.1.4 The spatiality of markets ......................................................................................... 266 7.2 Concluding thoughts ................................................................................................... 270 7.2.1 Markets and the educational settlement .................................................................. 270 7.2.2 Space, place, and markets in the sociology of education ........................................ 275 7.2.3 Future directions for geographies of markets ......................................................... 277 Works Cited ................................................................................................................................281 viii List of Tables Table 1.1 States with highest and lowest charter school enrolment in 2013-14 ............................. 8 Table 5.1 Virtual charter school enrollment in 2015 .................................................................. 193 Table 6.1: Student movement in selected Detroit region school districts ................................... 224 ix List of Figures Figure 4.1: ALEC Model Law .................................................................................................... 144 Figure 5.1 Charter school openings (number of schools opened) in Michigan by year from 1995 to 2008 ........................................................................................................................................ 166 Figure 5.2 Charter school openings and closings (number of schools) in Michigan by year from 1995 to 2016 ............................................................................................................................... 177 Figure 6.1 African-American population and percentage of students in charters for Michigan’s 12 largest school districts ............................................................................................................ 209 Figure 6.2 School closures under emergency management and charter school enrollment in Detroit ......................................................................................................................................... 215 Figure 6.3: DPS advertisement ................................................................................................... 218 Figure 6.4: EAA letter................................................................................................................. 220 Figure 6.5: River Rouge advertisement ...................................................................................... 231 Figure 6.6: Enrollment of Detroit students in surrounding school districts ................................ 234 x List of Abbreviations ALEC American Legislative Exchange Council BID Business Improvement District CCCS Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies CDA Critical Discourse Analysis CER Center for Education Reform CFDS Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren DEC Detroit Education Commission DLC Democratic Leadership Council DPS Detroit Public Schools EAA Education Achievement Authority ESD Excellent Schools Detroit FOIA Freedom of Information Act GLEP Great Lakes Education Project KIPP Knowledge is Power Program NAACP National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NACSA National Association of Charter School Authorizers NCLB No Child Left Behind OEA Oregon Education Association ORCA Oregon Connections Academy ORVA Oregon Virtual Academy ORVED Oregon Virtual Education RTTP Race to the Top Program SSEM Social studies of economization/marketization xi Acknowledgements My sincerest thanks to the many people who made this dissertation possible. Whether it was helping me develop intellectually, providing support as I conducted research, or lending me emotional strength, this dissertation is the product of the kindness and brilliance of the people that I am profoundly happy to have met and learned from along the way. The UBC’s Department of Geography in particular has been an intellectually stimulating and emotionally supportive home to me while working on this dissertation. Graduate students such as Wes Attewell, Juliane Collard, Rosemary Collard, Jess Hallenbeck, Tom Howard, Esteban Izquierdo, May Faralles, Catriona Gold, Craig Jones, Craig E. Jones, Kelsey Johnson, Kyle Loewen, Jon Luedee, Adam Mahoney, Elanna Nolan, Paige Patchin, Sage Ponder, Sarah Prezpelska, Carolyn Prouse, Max Ritts, Emily Roseman, Andrew Shmuely, and Sophie Webber were all excellent colleagues that I am thankful to have learnt from. I am also thankful for the department’s economic geography reading group which was a site of great discussions. Colleagues from the University of Toronto were also supportive as I wrote this dissertation from my hometown. Martine August, Martin Danyluk, Caitlin Henry, Kanishka Goonewardena, Prasad Khanolkar, Katie Mazer, Laura Pitkanen, and Patrick Vitale provided me with an intellectual community while I was away from UBC. Martin Danyluk in particular was a valuable sounding board for ideas as I finished the dissertation. I am also thankful for the topic-specific research communities that have helped me advance my understanding of the subjects touched on in this dissertation. Josh Akers, Rosemary Collard, and Chris Muellerleile have all been valued sources of insight and advice in making sense of the nascent geography of markets. Alice Huff, Kalervo Gulson, Chris Lizotte, Nicole xii Nguyen, and Ee-Seul Yoon have likewise been important in pushing my understanding of schooling and the sociology of education. In both research sites, my fieldwork would not have been possible without the support of local hosts and friends. In Detroit, Josh Akers and the University of Michigan – Dearborn graciously provided me with a visiting scholarship. Other local scholars and activists helped me to understand the context of education reform in the city and provided support in conducting my research. This included Baba Victor Gibson, Kate Levy, Tom Pedroni, and Tracy Peters amongst many others. In Portland, I am grateful for the comradery and support I received from Jamaal Green, Steven Howland, Anthony Levenda, and Dillon Mahmoudi. My family and friends were also a great emotional support during my dissertation. My father Amos Cohen helped spark my intellectual curiosity and encouraged my pursuit of knowledge at a young age. Numerous friends and family members provided me with strength during hard times such as Jeff Batcher, Aaron Bronsteter, Vanessa Campisi, Emily Green, Hervé Jodouin, Nana Kwamie, Josh Levitt, Margot Levitt, Dave McLagan, Scott Pennington, Neil Rea, Brandon Share, and Reg Thompson. Thanks are definitely owed to my excellent committee who have stewarded me through this process and provided valuable guidance along the way. Jamie Peck has been the best supervisor I could have asked for and a constant source of support and new ideas during my time at UBC. Eugene McCann, Leslie Roman, and Elvin Wyly have all pushed me intellectually and helped mould this project throughout its development. Most importantly, my partner Geneviève Jodouin is one of the kindest, most wonderful people in the world and I can never thank her enough for the sacrifices she made in support of this research.1 Chapter 1: Introduction In a world saturated by money exchange, and everywhere mediated by money, the ‘market’ experience is the most immediate, daily and universal experience of the economic system for everyone. It is therefore not surprising that we take the market for granted, do not question what makes it possible, what it is founded or premised on (Hall, 1986: p. 38). In the thirty years since Stuart Hall argued that markets are a universal reality of everyday life, their importance has only intensified. While Hall referred to markets as the sites where we experience the economic system, over the past several decades markets and market logics have expanded into a variety of social realms that had long been kept outside of market relations. Even within the formal economic realm, advances in technology have allowed for the disruption of stable markets and the creation of new ones to the extent that a person can access a market on their smartphone in order to outsource the assembly of a bookshelf. In other words, the market system that Hall refers to has expanded from a universal experience of the economic system to a universal experience that touches social relations considerably beyond the formal economy. Despite their ubiquity however, Hall’s assertion that the foundations of markets remain unquestioned continues to be a salient critique. Indeed, it is only recently that markets have become an explicit object of study in economic geography. Instead, the subdiscipline has eschewed the study of markets in favour of a general focus on the realms of production and (to a lesser extent) circulation (Berndt and Boeckler, 2009; Sheppard, 2011). It is in addressing this thirty-year-old call that this dissertation makes its principal contribution. Rather than assuming that market structures are predictable or that they function entirely based on the balance between 2 supply and demand, the research presented below probes the political struggles1 that constitute markets and shape their evolution. Importantly, this means that rather than understanding markets as spaces removed from their social contexts, I have instead focused on how markets are intimately enmeshed within social and spatial relations. This, of necessity, makes the study of markets a geographic inquiry, with markets shaped by, and in turn shaping, the spatial relations and orders within which they exist. It is also crucial to note that this dissertation does not reflect the study of an abstract ‘market’ but of multiple, actually-existing markets that are situated in specific places and that deliver a tangible service. Namely, this dissertation is about the emergence of markets for publicly-funded schooling through the circulation, creation, and contestation of charter school policies since the early 1990s. As will be described in detail in Chapter 3, charter school policies are explicitly designed to create markets. They do so by allowing non-government, and often for-profit, actors to run schools but, crucially, only providing them with funding on a per-student basis. This creates a market for schooling because, unlike traditional public schools, charter schools are not assigned students but must actively recruit students in order to gain funding, placing both charter schools and students in a market relation. Charter schools must therefore maximize their intake of students in order to make the money they need to continue to run; 1 I understand and use the term struggle throughout this dissertation to denote political contestations over which actors and/or what ideas will have influence over institutions such markets. This conception is influenced by the Gramscian conception of politics as open-ended sites of struggle (the war of position). As Hall (1988: p. 169, emphasis added) writes “Politics for [Gramsci] is not a dependent sphere. It is where forces and relations, in the economy, in society, in culture, have to be actively worked on to produce particular forms of power, forms of domination. This is the production of politics - politics as a production. This conception of politics is fundamentally contingent, fundamentally open-ended. There is no law of history which can predict what must inevitably be the outcome of a political struggle.” 3 similarly, students are positioned to view schooling as an individual choice where they must maximize their educational achievement through picking the correct school. Unlike with the study of abstract markets then, the fact that charter school markets are markets for schooling matters. This is because schooling, and other goods and services, are far from passive containers for the smooth roll-out of market relations; instead, markets are articulated with the social structures and governing ideologies of the sectors producing the commodities to be exchanged in a marketplace. Indeed, education scholars have documented how schooling’s important role in legitimizing the uneven distribution of resources under capitalism has often allowed it to have a relatively autonomous logic from the needs of capital (Apple, 1988). This is something that market-making projects in education must account for in order to be successful. Schooling therefore constitutes a contested terrain for the roll out of markets and this makes the social and political struggles that underpin the functioning of markets available for study in ways they may not be in more conventional markets. This introductory chapter outlines the context within which this dissertation on charter school markets must be understood. The chapter therefore includes both an introduction to the cases that form the empirical basis of this dissertation as well as the research approach and methodologies used to understand these empirics. To accomplish this task the chapter is thus broken up into the following sections: (1) a brief outline of charter school markets and why they matter, (2) a description of the research questions approached through this study, (3) an explanation of the research approach and methodologies used in this dissertation, and, (4) an outline of the sections and chapters that follow and the key arguments found within. The purpose of this introductory chapter is therefore to foreground the contributions of this dissertation to 4 contemporary debates in economic geography and the sociology of education as well as to present the research methods that underpin the study presented. 1.1 Charter schools and the marketization of American education Charter school policies, a market-based education reform, have been one of the most impressively mobile policies of the past several decades. From the date of the initial charter school law in Minnesota in 1991 to the end of 1998, thirty-five states adopted these laws and they have now been enacted in all but seven American states. The number of students attending charter schools has also grown at a rapid pace — between 2000-2001 and 2014-2015 enrolment in charter schools grew from 0.95% (448,343 students) of total enrolment nation-wide to 5.44% (2,721,786) (Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey, 2015), a growth of over 500% in under 15 years. The rapid spread of charter school policies is significant not only due to its speed, but because charter schools mark a radical departure from longstanding traditions of schooling in the United States. This is because charter school systems differ from existing models of delivering publicly-funded schooling by imposing competitive market pressures on schools. As briefly described above, the creation of these pressures has been accomplished through allowing non-government (and often for-profit) groups to run schools but tying their funding to their ability to attract individual students. Undertaking such a drastic change of an important public service has required a shift in how democratic rights in schooling are perceived. As Apple (2001) has argued, the promotion of charter schools and other market-based schooling reforms has been predicated on replacing the principle of democratic control over elected school boards with a view of democratic schooling as expressed through individual choice within a marketplace. 5 Despite this discursive work to establish markets as the epitome of democracy, charter school policies do maintain some level of government control over the delivery of schooling. Charter schools must apply to a government body, termed an authorizer, before they can open. They must also go through a periodic renewal process where that authorizer can choose to revoke their charter if they fail to achieve certain performance goals. As will be described in this dissertation, such restrictions on charter school operators are the result of political battles whereby groups opposed to market-based schooling have been able to assert a level of control over charter school markets. The specifics of how charter school markets function are therefore highly uneven and depend upon on the political context within which they exist. Because of this, the particularities of charter school laws vary from state-to-state, especially given that schooling is largely governed at the state level in the United States despite a recent growth in the federal role over schooling. Such differences include variations in the types of agencies empowered to authorize new charter schools, the reporting requirements placed on charter schools, state policies towards charter school closures, and in the amount of funding charter schools receive. Charter schools are part of larger group of market-based education reforms, often grouped under the ‘school choice’ label, and therefore must be understood as part of a wider trend towards market rule over schooling and other social services. While the institutional forms of these market-based reforms in education vary, the ideology behind them is largely grounded in the neoliberal belief that public services can be provided more efficiently through market systems than through direct government delivery. This ideology was most famously presented in America by Milton Friedman (2002), who argued that schooling should be delivered by providing money to students and letting them choose the school they wished to attend (commonly referred to as voucher programs). Following in this heritage was the influential work 6 of Chubb and Moe (1988) who marshalled statistics that purportedly illustrated that private schools were more effective than public schools, arguing that the ‘exit option’, whereby students could exit schools they did not like, placed a competitive pressure on private schools that made them more efficient. Chubb and Moe then used this research to argue that public school systems should also incorporate the exit option as a means of improving the delivery of schooling. This ideology has helped support the spread of charter schools and related policies such as voucher programs which attempt to remake schooling to function as a market. While largely dormant in the decades following Friedman’s work, school choice policies have more recently become popular throughout the Anglo-American sphere and beyond. The United States, England,2 and New Zealand have all adopted school choice policies as has Sweden. This shift in control of publicly-funded schools to non-state actors has changed public schooling so profoundly that Stephen Ball (2012a) has gone so far as to refer to it as the ‘beginning of the end of state education.’ Similarly, Torres (2013) argues that we have seen the end of the 80-year dominance of the liberal ‘New School’ approach to education and its replacement with a new neoliberal common sense that instils competition at all stages of the schooling experience. Clearly charter schools are not a marginal policy intervention, but rather constitute part of a profound reshaping of the schooling landscape in the United States and elsewhere. Importantly, and as will be reviewed in this dissertation, charter school markets have been promoted with the aid of a complex mixture of government, corporate, philanthropic, and political support. For example, the spread of charter schools has been closely linked with federal 2The other countries which make up the United Kingdom have not adopted school choice policies. 7 policy. Notably, George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program helped promote the growth of charter schools by mandating that schools which did not reach targets based on standardized test scores could be replaced by a charter school. This move towards school choice was also reinforced by NCLB’s financial support for the planning, program design, and implementation of charter schools (Mora and Christianakis, 2011). Following in these footsteps, Barack Obama’s Race to the Top program (RTTP) had an even more explicit focus on markets and charter schools, requiring that states competing for federal education funding remove any restrictions on the number of new charter schools (Hursh, 2011; McGuinn, 2012; Mora and Christianakis, 2011). RTTP thus helped spur the creation of schooling markets and increased their popularity through material rewards and discursive support aimed at fostering their growth. Most recently, the appointment of Betsy DeVos,3 a longstanding supporter of voucher programs, as Secretary of Education signals a continuance and further evolution of this longstanding federal support for market-based school reforms. These federal programs have been augmented and supported by a variety of sources. Some of the richest people in the world including the Walton family, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Eli and Edythe Broad have spent millions of dollars supporting the spread of charter school programs through lobbying and as well as through directly funding charter schools (Cohen and Lizotte, 2015; Mitchell and Lizotte, 2014; Scott, 2009). Corporations have also helped spread charter schools, including some such as K12 Inc. and Pearson Education that directly profit from providing services to, and directly running, charter schools. As will be explored throughout this 3 The DeVos family is one of the wealthiest families in Michigan (with an estimated net worth of over 5 billion USD) and exercises a great deal of political power within the state’s Republican Party. For example, Betsy DeVos served as chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party from 1992 to 2000 and her family has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the Republican Party nationally. 8 dissertation then, the functioning of charter school markets must be understood within the context of how these different actors have promoted market-based education reforms and specific types of charter school policies which work to their advantage. Importantly however, the spread of charter schools and other market-based school reforms has been a spatially variegated process with some state and local governments at the forefront of creating public schooling markets and others emerging later and in a highly-contested manner. For example, the balance of power between political parties or the relative strength of teachers’ unions from state-to-state have greatly shaped how and when charter school policies have been adopted. This uneven geography can be seen in the differential level of charter school enrolment across the United States. As can be seen in Table 1.1, the difference between the percentage of students enrolled in charter schools varies significantly between states. Furthermore, even within states with a high level of charter school enrolment there can be significant variations in how charter school markets function. For example, states like Michigan have a large number of for-profit charter schools while others ban for-profit schools altogether (Kain, 2011). These variations highlight how we must pay close attention to the contextual factors that shape how charter school policies are implemented and function. Table 1.1 States with highest and lowest charter school enrolment in 2013-14 (Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey, 2015) State Enrollment State Enrollment Arizona 17.8 Iowa 0.1 Colorado 10.9 Maine 0.2 Michigan 9.2 Wyoming 0.5 Utah 8.8 Kansas 0.5 Florida 8.5 New Hampshire 1.1 9 It is the articulation between the circulating geographies of power (federal programs, wealthy philanthropists, corporate power, etc.) that promote markets and place-specific contextual factors (local political context, teachers’ union power, etc.) that is the subject of this dissertation. This approach is important because neither abstract discussions of how markets function nor highly-contingent descriptions of their form can capture the complex ways that power is used to promote certain types of markets or how the political context of actually-existing markets can sometimes resist the promotion of particular market forms from above. It is therefore the interplay between these two that is the subject of the work that follows, and, in exploring this interplay, I make the argument that markets must be understood as shaped by uneven power struggles over their operation — struggles that are not removed from their social context but inextricably linked to it. 1.2 Research questions At the foreground of this project is the goal of addressing the challenge posed by Beckert (2009: p. 264) amongst others to “show how… structural forces actually influence market outcomes.” This requires research questions that are not solely focused on the specific markets studied, but which take into account their relationships with other social and economic processes. Of necessity then, understanding struggles over charter school markets requires research questions that probe how these struggles are enmeshed with broader power relations. This includes probing how ideas around charter schools have been circulated as well as how these new schooling markets are articulated to existing institutions of schooling and the sociospatial contexts within which they exist. The questions used to study these dynamics are as follows: 1. How are market-making projects in American schooling being constructed, circulated, and contested? 10 2. How have ideologies specific to schooling and education shaped the functioning of charter school markets? 3. How are market-making 'projects' in schooling articulated with other sociospatial dynamics and how do these dynamics shape the functioning of actually-existing charter school markets? Each of these questions illuminate a different aspect of the struggles over charter school markets that have been central to shaping how they function. As outlined above, while charter school markets are largely governed at the state level (albeit with widescale variations between states), they are enmeshed with wider circulating geographies of power that seek to promote or resist these markets at the national and even global level. The precise nature of these relationships is the object of the first question on the construction, circulation, and contestation of charter school markets. As Lai (2011) and Prince (2012) have argued, markets are often shaped by the mobilization of expertise, money, and technology by powerful actors who attempt to impose their preferred market structures. Within the sociology of markets Fligstein (1996) refers to these preferred structures as ‘conceptions of control’ that represent a general understanding of how actors within a market believe that market should be governed. Fligstein argues that these conceptions can become fiercely contested when actors advance differing views of how a market should function, leading to changes in a market’s structure. The ways in which such struggles over conceptions of how charter school markets should function lead to changes within these markets, and how these struggles are related to wider circulations of power are therefore a central feature of this dissertation and the subject of inquiry targeted by the first research question. 11 Also important to the study of charter school markets is understanding the difference it makes that these markets are for the delivery of schooling. This is the subject of the second research question on the relationship between charter school markets and ideologies associated with schooling. As the theoretical approach outlined in Chapters 2 and 3 highlights, understanding markets requires a focus on how and why markets become embroiled in wider social struggles such as those over the future of public education. This is because the types of goods and services traded in a market matters, as do perceptions of the consequences of market exchange. Given the importance of schooling in American culture, schooling markets have undoubtedly been shaped by how actors inside and outside of these markets react to the consequences of market exchange. As put by the Obama-era Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the perceived stakes of education markets are high: Quality education is… the civil rights issue of our generation. It is the only path out of poverty, the only road to a more equal, just, and fair society. In fact, I believe the fight for a quality education is about so much more than education. It is a fight for social justice. (Confirmation of Arne Duncan, 2009: p. 13) A view that was recently echoed by President Donald Trump who told a joint session of Congress that: Education is the civil rights issue of our time. I am calling upon members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children. (Kamenetz and Turner, 2017: para. 12-13) This view of schooling as ‘more than education’ and as a path out of poverty is a common trope and, as outlined in Chapter 3, a central feature of ideological belief in America as an meritocratic society (Imbroscio, 2016; Kantor and Lowe, 2006). Given this strong belief in the importance of 12 schooling, how this conviction shapes the construction and functioning of schooling markets is an important object of inquiry and the subject of the second research question approached through this dissertation. Finally, investigating the importance of space and place in the functioning of markets is the goal of the third research question that this dissertation seeks to address. As economic geographers have begun to study markets, they have also sought to probe what difference space and place makes in the structure of markets. Indeed, as Jones (2013) has provocatively argued, markets have often been in the background of economic geography, assigned as placeless sites of exchange that are peripheral to our understandings of spatial relations. Therefore, for the geography of markets to move forward, empirical research is needed to understand what the spaces that markets occupy are like and what roles they play in remaking spatial relations and spatial orders. Furthering our understanding of the role of space and place in markets, as well as how markets shape spatial relations, is the subject of the dissertation’s third research question. 1.3 Research approach and methodology 1.3.1 Research approach Investigating the three questions outlined above required a careful methodological approach. Because these questions draw attention to different scales of action, from the national circulation of policy to the urban politics of school reform, it is impossible to capture every element shaping charter school markets. This difficulty is, in fact, part of the point: markets are far more complex than commonly presented in fields like neoclassical economics. However, if social scientists were to eschew the study of complex social phenomena there would be little in the world to study. Following Shore and Wright (2011) then, this research project has been designed with the understanding that well-located cases can open ‘windows’ through which larger processes 13 become legible for study. As such this dissertation includes three cases that function as ‘windows’ into the processes that shape charter school markets: 1) an investigation into the history of market-based school reforms; 2) the study of charter school markets in Michigan;4 and, 3) a similar study of charter school markets in Oregon. Studying the local dynamics of market-making was a necessary step in understanding the processes through which charter school markets are constructed and evolve. As Fairbanks (2009: p. 549) writes, markets have “endlessly mutable refractions that (re)canalize, exploit, and intensify inherited differences among regulatory landscapes.” This means that market-making processes cannot be read off solely from above but must be grounded though in a close attention to how markets are shaped and reshaped at the local level. By situating myself in Michigan and Oregon I was able to investigate the social natures of both markets while also probing the connections between the two sites and wider circulations of power. Furthermore, while Michigan and Oregon are only two sites of a larger project of market making in American schooling, they are well positioned to help shine a light on processes that are operating throughout the United States. This is because they offer two different windows into how and why charter school markets converge and/or diverge and therefore into the ideological struggles which shape their formation and evolution. They offer different windows because the two states have very different charter school markets and political economic contexts. For one, Michigan’s level of enrolment in charter schools (9.2%) is far higher than Oregon’s (5.1%). The two also differ in the number of for-profit operators active in each state: as of 2011, 79% of 4 This study began with a focus on charter school markets solely in the City of Detroit with the idea that I would investigate markets at three scales: national, state-level, and urban. As the research progressed however the scope of this study was expanded as the importance of state-level policy in setting education policy and the regional nature of schooling markets made it impossible to narrow the study’s focus solely to Detroit. 14 Michigan charter schools were run by for-profit Education Management Organizations (EMOs) while this figure was closer to 2% in Oregon (Miron and Gulosino, 2013). The two cases thus offer important vantage points into how and why markets with a common connection to a national policy environment diverge and therefore insights into spatial relations and place-specific politics that shape charter school markets. In order to study the connections and variations between the two sites I used an approach which Peck and Theodore (2012) refer to as ‘following the policy’ and that Wright and Reinhold (2011) refer to as ‘studying through.’ For both sets of scholars studying mobile policies requires more than just bounded case studies, they require a commitment to ‘follow’ or ‘study through’ the relationships between cases as scholars move “back and forth and back again between protagonists, and up and down and up again between a range of local and national sites” (Wright and Reinhold, 2011: p. 101). This requires a focus on both fixity and mobility (McCann, 2011) and therefore an investigation of both the sites where policies are made mobile and the places where they are implemented. Given the mobility of charter schools markets across the United States, understanding their functioning therefore required that my bounded case studies be read in conjunction with the study of how charter school policies have been mobilized. For this reason, an approach sensitive to fixity and mobility was integrated into the design of this project in several ways. Most notably it was accomplished through the inclusion of an in-depth study of the history of the mobility of market-based school reforms in the United States as well as of the present-day national networks that focus on charter school advocacy. This research was designed to provide the important context within which the place-based research conducted in Michigan and Oregon could be understood. Logistically, this was in part accomplished through archival research as well as through charting advocacy networks online 15 through their presence on social networking sites such as Twitter (Ball, 2012b). Beyond this archival research, this project also involved physical attendance at conferences and other sites of face-to-face communication. This is because, as Cook and Ward (2012: p. 141) write, conferences are “important places where actors meet and talk face to face, which… shapes the way in which policies are disseminated, compared and framed.” Being present at various events where ideas around charter schools were mobilized and discussed helped deepen my understanding of the archival research conducted. There are, of course, gaps in this research project that are a consequence of the methodological choice to focus on fixity/mobility. Understand how charter school markets have been circulated, created, and contested has meant that the lived experience of individual markets actors, particularly at the household level, is not the focus of this dissertation. This focus on fixity/mobility is a conscious decision, as how markets operate at the household level is an area that sociologists of education have covered well (see Ball, 2005; Cooper, 2005; DeSena, 2006; Pattillo, 2015; Vincent, 2017; Waitoller and Super, 2017) and the study of the geographic construction of charter school markets is therefore a unique contribution I am positioned to make as an economic geographer. However, in doing so it is important to note that dynamics at the household level, most notably the uneven burden that school choice places on female caregivers, is therefore not captured in this research. I have sought to address this in this dissertation by drawing on the research of others who have undertaken research at the household level; however, this weakness should be noted and as Jabbar et al. (2016) have argued, the gender dynamics of marketization are still in need of more in-depth study. In summation, this research project was designed to examine both fixity and mobility through blending situated case studies with an attention to the movement of policies and ideas. 16 Through the use of well-situated windows into market making processes in American schooling and an attention to how ideas have been mobilized, I have been able to understand the ideological struggles over market forms and their relationship to place-based political contestations. In short, the project reported on in this dissertation was designed to ‘follow the market’ as it were, extending outward to national debates and examining how these debates articulate with the longstanding politics and spatial relations specific to two different case studies. 1.3.2 Research methods In conducting the research for this dissertation, a variety of qualitative research tools were used. This included the observation of events, semi-structured interviews, and archival research. The methodologies used were consistent with, and designed based on, the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) method. I chose this method because it provides an excellent way to understand the nature of contested processes such as market making. This is because CDA demands that scholars place research data within the context of the wider power relations that produce them and requires a commitment to investigate how language or discourse is mobilized in service of these power relations (Wodak and Meyer, 2000). CDA therefore entails not only a focus on texts and research data but on the social structures within which they are produced and understood. This allows scholars to understand how texts are used both to stabilize existing power relations also how they can be used to contest those structures by advancing alternative meanings. As such, the CDA approach encourages scholarship that reads across multiple texts to understand how they relate to each other rather than focusing on a lone text or interview in isolation (Wodak and Meyer, 2000). 17 This approach lends itself well to both the multi-sited nature of this dissertation as well as to the study of schooling in general. CDA’s focus on how texts are produced, understood, and contested within their social context provides a guide to the way multiple texts, and indeed multiple cases, can be put into dialogue. Within education scholarship, the use of CDA mirrors Lipman’s (2011: p. 16) call for research that highlights the ‘contested dynamics of power and wealth’ which shape education policy. As Lipman argues, data such as interview transcripts and documentary research must be read within the context of the social and ideological forces that shape broader projects of education reform. In practical terms this meant a mix of methods that variously involved following networks of policy and power as well as situated research in Michigan and Oregon. This research included 49 semi-structured interviews with 505 participants (24 in Michigan, 17 in Oregon, and 9 national-level actors), documentary research, and sustained fieldwork including attendance at conferences and events over four months in Michigan, two months in Oregon, and at various national-level events. For my two bounded case studies, I created Google Alerts for both “Oregon charter schools” and “Michigan charter schools” in order to capture all reporting on the subject. These were augmented with Google Alerts for the “Education Achievement Authority” and for “Detroit Public Schools” in order to identify articles particular to Detroit. The media reports gathered through these methods were then used to identify interview participants who were active in the politics around charter school markets in each state. Interview participants were also asked to identify other potential participants in the study in order to augment those identified through 5 One interview was conducted with two participants. 18 these media reports. In addition to these interviews, whenever possible I intended events such as protests, school board meetings, press conferences, and public lectures as a means of studying how the creation of markets was promoted/resisted through public debate. These research methods allowed for interviews and documents to be placed in their local context and for claims to be validated not only through the results of other interviews but also through a prolonged engagement with the politics of a place (Dunn, 2007). The methods were supplemented by extensive documentary and video research using digital archives, correspondence released through Freedom of Information Act Requests, and public records of state legislatures. As noted above, this included media reports gathered through Google alerts. Other documentary research was conducted as needed to track the history of charter school laws. This included collecting meeting minutes and video recordings of state’s legislative committees and other pertinent legislative bodies. In addition, several documents were provided to me by interview participants. These included documents obtained through FOIA requests as well as internal reports that helped provide context for legislative debates that had occurred in the past. Studying the mobility of market-based school reforms required a different methodological approach. Given that charter schools first became mobile in the 1990s studying these policies, of necessity, required the use of primary and secondary sources which documented how and why charter schools became a ‘mobile model’ during that decade. In addition, I did not limit my research on the mobility of charter school models to the past but extended this research to charting the movement of ideas in the present day. As briefly discussed above, studying these networks included a mix of methods designed to monitor the spread of ideas and to conduct research at sites where these ideas were formulated and discussed. This 19 involved tracking these networks online through following their presence on social networking sites such as Twitter as well as attendance at national conferences where market-based education policies were promoted/resisted. These methods proved to be well suited to the multi-site research approach outlined above. While each case could be considered distinct, they can best be understood in relation to each other, with the connections and divergences between them revealing much about the social and spatial nature of markets. By using CDA to analyse the results of the mixed-methods research conducted in Michigan, Oregon, and at the national level, I was able to understand the data gathered in these different sites in relation to each other and to the wider power relations that has shaped the politics of charter school markets. 1.4 Dissertation outline and key arguments This dissertation is divided into two distinct parts. This two-part format has been used to draw a distinction between the theoretical and empirical portions of the dissertation. Such a format is necessary because the discussions in the first two chapters (Part 1) work together to form a cohesive whole — outlining both a definition of markets and an understanding of the political economy of schooling that, in tandem, set up the theoretical approach tested in the three empirical chapters that make up Part 2. This format and the specifics of each chapter are outlined below before the key arguments that run throughout all chapters are outlined. 1.4.1 Chapter outlines The first part of the dissertation, The Geography of Markets on the Contested Terrain of Education, is made up of two chapters. Together, these chapters outline the theoretical underpinnings of the project. 20 Chapter 2, Sites of Struggle: Markets as Ideology, is both a literature review and an intervention into current debates in the geography of markets. In the chapter I review how markets have been conceptualized in different disciplinary traditions throughout the social sciences. Through doing so I highlight the tension between conceptions of markets that view their function as predictable and those that emphasize their contingency. In contrast, I argue instead that markets are best conceptualized as terrains of struggle where contingency of market forms is limited by the roles that markets play in the continual circulation and accumulation of capital. To do so I follow Burawoy (2003) in drawing upon the work of Karl Polanyi and Antonio Gramsci to build an understanding of how markets are not economic institutions separate from sociospatial relations but, instead, are key sites through which these relations are struggled over. Chapter 3, The Contested Terrain of Education: Legitimation, Social Reproduction, and Schooling in America, is largely a literature review of the political economy of schooling in the United States. In this chapter I review different theories on the roles that schooling plays under American capitalism; this includes scholarship that emphasizes how alternative ideologies attached to education allows it a ‘relative autonomy’ from the dictates of capitalism. In doing so I discuss the idea of an ‘educational settlement’ whereby the often-contradictory demands placed on schooling are temporarily stabilized by the state’s attempts to balance these pressures. I then ask how market-based education reforms have altered the current educational settlement in light of arguments made by scholars like Rizvi and Lingard (2009) and Torres (2013) that neoliberal reforms have fundamentally upset the existing one. Part 1 of the dissertation is then concluded with a discussion of how the two theoretical concepts outlined in Part 1 will be used in tandem in order to study charter school markets. 21 Because the conception of markets used in this dissertation posits that markets are terrains of social struggle over wider political battles such as that over the future of schooling, the study of charter school markets requires an understanding of what type of terrain schooling presents for processes of market-making. Taken together then, the two theoretical approaches outlined in Chapters 2 and 3 posit that schooling is a contested terrain for market-making projects and that the contradictory pressures placed on education are likely to manifest themselves in struggles over charter school markets. Part 2 of this dissertation, Markets in Action, consists of three chapters which test this theoretical approach against the empirical projects outlined earlier in this introduction. Chapter 4, Continual Circulation: The Mobility of Schooling Markets in the United States, outlines how the spread of charter school policies has been shaped by different ideological groups seeking to advance their own visions for the future of schooling. Importantly, it tracks how this circulation of ideas has articulated with the specific places where charter school policies have been implemented. In doing so, the chapter not only highlights the importance of understanding how mobile networks promote different market visions but also the key role of existing geographies in shaping how these visions are implemented in places like Michigan and Oregon. The importance of these spatial relations highlights how marketization must be understood as shaped by the articulation between circulating geographies of power and the longstanding politics of a place. Chapter 5, Conceptions of Control: Libertarian Markets and Local Power, delves further into the interaction between the politics of a place and market relations. Zooming in to the state level, this chapter examines how markets in Michigan and Oregon have been shaped by different ideological conceptions of how markets should function that are specific to each state. In 22 Michigan, with its strong libertarian base, charter school markets have been designed to function as closely to the ideal-type market as possible. In Oregon, a strong principle of local control has meant that the governance of charter school markets has revolved around the ability of individual school districts6 to control what market actors can operate within their boundaries. In both sites however, these conceptions of control have often been challenged and their maintenance has required constant political action. As such, although both states are quite different, the history of the evolution of their charter school markets illustrates how ideological struggles over markets are central to how they markets operate. The final empirical chapter, Chapter 6: Race, Power, and Schooling Markets in Detroit, centres the role of geography in markets most explicitly. This chapter examines the functioning of charter school markets in the metropolitan region of Detroit. Through investigating how markets have operated differently across the metropolitan region based on patterns of racial segregation and based on how state power has been used to disenfranchise Black communities, the chapter highlights how markets are shaped by, and reshape, the geographies of the spaces they occupy. Indeed, I argue in this chapter that the way that schooling markets function in Detroit are impossible to disconnect from the longstanding history of racial segregation in the city and the racially-driven dismantling of its democratic institutions. How markets are spread and function must therefore be read within the spatial configurations that they exist within and across, and the uneven geographies of power which have created those configurations. 6 In the United States public schools are run by school districts and governed by democratically-elected school boards. These district’s geographic boundaries often (but not always) mirror municipal boundaries but school districts are a separate political entity entirely devoted to the running of public schools. This system is designed to ensure that communities have input over their local school system. 23 The dissertation then ends with a concluding chapter which highlights the arguments that run throughout the dissertation (discussed below) and some future thoughts on what insights these cases offer into debates within the emerging geography of markets and on the study of market-based schooling policies. The chapter ends with a call for more intensive research projects that think across markets and which can therefore help populate alternative understandings of how markets function. 1.4.2 Key arguments Running throughout all the chapters outlined above are several arguments made based on reading across the three case-as-windows. These arguments touch on both theoretical traditions reviewed in Part 1: (1) the geography of markets and (2) the political economy of schooling. In the concluding chapter (Chapter 7), I review the ramifications of these arguments for different theoretical literatures. At this point however, I will only provide a brief overview of these arguments in order to signpost the discussions that follow in the body of the dissertation. 126.96.36.199 Roll out, resistance, and the forging of markets through struggle As will be outlined in Chapter 2, the central role that social struggles have played in the development of charter school markets is an important argument made throughout this dissertation. In opposition to both apolitical and deterministic descriptions of market functioning, in the chapters that follow I illustrate that struggle over charter school markets has had real effects on not only how charter school markets function but on the fact that such markets exist at all. This is because charter school policies themselves were born of decades of struggles over the roll out of market-based schooling reforms and acted as a compromise policy between those promoting markets and those with a much more tentative belief in their efficiency. Furthermore, similar political struggles have shaped the evolution of charter schools from this initial moment 24 to the present day. They have also been a feature at all scales of market governance, from the level of an individual school district to the contestation of nationally-circulating models of charter school reforms. Importantly however, such struggles have also unfolded on an uneven terrain, with actors mobilizing their power to ensure that markets are governed in a manner that fits their ideological beliefs or that work to their advantage. As such, that the functioning of charter school markets has, in many ways, been prefigured by the political battles over how they should be governed is a central argument of this dissertation. 188.8.131.52 Educational values: Market-making on contested terrain Elaborating on this argument is another key point made in this dissertation: that it is important that the markets being struggled over are markets for schooling. This is because, as will be discussed in detail in Chapter 3, schools are ascribed several distinct values in American society that have shaped how political struggles over their form have occurred. Indeed, the politics of charter school markets are intimately related to the positioning of these markets as the means of achieving educational values — most notably, that the inequalities of capitalism can be remedied through schools providing a level playing field for advancement. Indeed, the quotes from Arne Duncan and President Trump from earlier in this chapter highlight the ubiquity of this narrative at the highest level of power. Therefore, the ways in which the politics of charter school markets are shaped by this value (and others) is an important thread running throughout this dissertation. For instance, I illustrate how arguments around social mobility provide discursive cover for the roll out of markets while also providing power to counterarguments mobilized in support of regulating charter school markets. The importance of understanding the difference that schooling makes in the functioning of these markets is therefore another key argument made in the chapters that follow. 25 184.108.40.206 Hegemony, contestation, and schooling markets In close relation to both of the arguments made above is the role of neoliberal hegemony in the construction of schooling markets. While contestation has shaped the particular forms of different charter school markets, over the past several decades there has been a clear trend towards the deepening of market rule over American schooling. Indeed, beginning with the Reagan administration we can witness a consistent push towards remaking publicly-funded schooling in the image of an idealized market, with charter schools just one policy among many proposals advanced during this time. How the promotion of these market-based policies aligns with what Hall and O’Shea (2013: p. 10) refer to as the transformation of “what passes as common sense” in the vision of a market is therefore an important element in understanding the relentlessness with which markets have been promoted in places like Michigan and Oregon. As will be demonstrated through the empirical cases below then, the creation of charter school markets must therefore be placed within the context of wider political economic changes and especially within the wider march of market hegemony. 220.127.116.11 The spatiality of markets Finally, in direct conversation with the emerging geography of markets, throughout the dissertation the role of space and place in the functioning of markets will be consistently highlighted. Arguments about the spatiality of markets are partially descriptive in the chapters below, in part based on necessity because, as Jones (2013; see also Christophers, 2014a; Hall, 2015) has argued, economic geographers have only begun to map out the spatiality of markets. In this context, simply highlighting these elements remains an essential task for geographers as they move towards a collective research program (Peck, 2012a). More substantively however, are my efforts to build upon the arguments made regarding markets as sites of social struggle 26 through illustrating how space and place are central to how struggles over markets occur. I argue that space and place are important to such struggles for two key reasons: (1) because the ability to bound markets to a defined territory is an important way of controlling the functioning of markets, thereby making this act of boundary-drawing a site of contestation; and, (2) because the politics of markets are often intertwined with the politics of the places and spaces they exist within, which means that struggles over markets can become key sites of struggles over the future of those places. In describing how markets in Michigan and Oregon are shaped through struggle then, I also explore the spatial relationships that play key roles in this process and that help shape how markets function. 27 Part 1: The Geography of Markets on the Contested Terrain of Education The two chapters in Part 1 present the theoretical approach used throughout this dissertation. These chapters are kept separate because they discuss two literatures that have rarely been put into conversation: the study of markets and the study of schooling (although see Lubienski, 2003; Jabbar, 2015). In part, these two literatures have been kept separate because schooling has largely been kept out of market relations over the past century; however, as markets for publicly-funded education have grown in scale, studying schooling through studying how schooling markets function is now an important scholarly endeavor. As such, in Part 1 of this dissertation I review scholarship on both the social underpinnings of markets and the political economy of schooling. In doing so I develop an approach to the study of charter school markets that integrates lessons from both literatures. Both chapters have been outlined in the introductory section above, so I will only briefly describe them here. In Chapter 2, I argue that markets are best conceptualized as neither the overly-determined sites of exchange presented in neoclassical and Marxist economics nor the contingent networks described in much of the sociology of markets; instead, I put forward an argument that markets can best be understood as sites of political contestation marked by uneven power, with their functioning shaped by the results of struggles over their form. In Chapter 3, I conduct a high-level review7 of the political economy of schooling and argue that education is the site of contradictory logics that shape institutions of schooling (including markets). In doing 7 This review is, of necessity, high-level because the audience for this dissertation is largely geographers. Therefore, much of what is reviewed would be considered assumed knowledge within the sociology of education but will be mostly new to geographers unfamiliar with education scholarship. 28 so I settle on the frame of an ‘educational settlement’ to describe how state schooling systems manage these contradictory logics and then move on to explore the current, neoliberal settlement. That these two literatures have not often been put into discussion does not mean that they have nothing in common. Indeed, when one considers the interventions that the sociology of markets has made into the debate around conceptualizing market forms, some commonalities come to the fore. Many scholars within the sociology of markets have sought to uncover the social networks and institutions that constitute markets and the sociotechnical technologies which make them legible (Fligstein and Dauter, 2007; Fourcade, 2007). This parallels the focus of education scholars such as Morrow and Torres (1995) and Carnoy and Levin (1985) on schools as institutions of the state that balance competing pressures. In these conceptions, markets are not simply sites of exchange, and schools are not simply sites of education, they are rather dynamic institutions that reflect the social contexts within which they exist. As markets for schooling grow, this highlights a potential consonance in understanding how market-based schooling will be shaped by social networks, institutions and sociotechnical technologies specific to education. More specific to the arguments made in both chapters though is a common focus on neoliberal hegemony in the current moment. In Chapter 2 I argue for the use of Burawoy’s blending of Polanyi and Gramsci to understand how markets are sites of hegemony and counterhegemony. This focus on a Gramscian notion of hegemony, specifically of the ideology of markets as ‘common sense’ also runs throughout much of the political economic literature in education. This is most obvious in the work of Michael Apple who has used Gramscian analysis to study education since the 1970s and 1980s (Gottesman, 2010) and in Gramsci’s continued influence on current scholarship on education (see Dumas, 2011; Lipman, 2013; Torres, 2013). 29 This recent work has much in common theoretically with this dissertation’s proposed approach to studying markets. For example, Torres (2013: p. 91) refers to the neoliberal common sense around market efficiency as the “new theology of the market” and argues that “under this prevailing ideology, education becomes a consumer good not an inherent right.” In seeking to understand how existing educational values (e.g. Torres description of education as an inherent right) are subsumed to this market common sense, these education scholars also study the complex articulation between markets and institutions of schooling. Despite the fact that these two literatures are rarely put into conversation, there is therefore a commonality in seeking to understand the hegemony of the ‘common sense’ of market efficiency. In Part 1 of this dissertation then, I explore both sets of literatures to investigate different ways of conceptualizing markets and institutions of schooling. This is done to build the theoretical framework used throughout the dissertation and to lay the groundwork for the empirical investigations discussed in Part 2. 30 Chapter 2: Sites of Struggle: Markets as Ideology Markets are everywhere. From buying groceries at the local supermarket to speculating on securitized mortgages, markets are fundamental to the organization of everyday life. This is truer now than ever, with the triumph of market ideology so prevalent that, as Doreen Massey wrote, the neoclassical assumption of market perfection has “become so deeply rooted in the structure of thought… that even the fact that it is an assumption seems to have been lost to view” (2013: p. 14). This ideology, which posits that markets are the most efficient and just method of governance (O’Neill, 1998), has led to the creation of new markets, as even calls for social and environmental justice are met with market-based responses such as voucher systems for education and carbon markets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (Fraser, 2014). Yet despite their role in governing everyday life and as basic institutions of capitalist societies, it is only recently that economic geographers have taken up markets as sites worthy of study (Berndt and Boeckler, 2009; 2011b; Boeckler and Berndt, 2013; Hall, 2012; Jones, 2013; Peck, 2012a; Prince, 2012; Schoenberger, 2008; Smith, 2005). While this emerging literature has done much to enhance our understanding of how markets differ in form and function, many questions remain for the geography of markets that are relevant for this dissertation. Most notably: how should markets be defined, how do space and place shape the functioning of markets, and what roles do markets play in broader societal processes? These challenges have remained unaddressed in part because geographers studying markets have conducted their work largely in opposition to orthodox versions of neoclassical and Marxist economics, both of which project a universal view of markets and their functioning. On the one hand, neoclassical economics’ assumption of efficient markets presumes the predictable behaviour of market actors regardless of social context (Barber, 1995; Milonakis and Fine, 31 2009). On the other, for Marxists, the ‘coercive laws of competition’ (Marx,  1990: p. 433) and the need for the continual circulation of capital place strict limits on the variability of market forms (McNally, 1993). As described by Karl Polanyi ( 2001: p. 89), these two approaches have long polarized political economic thought, with “progress and perfectibility on the one hand, determinism and damnation on the other.” In contrast, recent work in geography has emphasized the contingency of market forms, using concepts from economic sociology to deconstruct markets and emphasize their complexity. For a distinctive geography of markets to emerge however, scholars in the field cannot forge their arguments solely in opposition to the dominance of neoclassical and Marxist thought but must also build a generative research program which studies the commonalities between markets and how their functioning shapes, and is shaped by, other social and economic processes (Muellerleile and Akers, 2015; Peck, 2012a). This is important for the study of charter school markets especially because, as will be argued in Chapter 3, schooling markets are tightly connected to a number of social processes specific to the sector. It is with these questions in mind that this chapter reviews scholarship on markets both inside and outside of geography. Through undertaking a critical, but productive, review of different conceptions of markets found in classical political economy and recent work in economic geography and sociology, I develop an approach to markets that situates them within their political economic context without narrowly limiting how they can be understood. In particular, I argue that the scholarship of cultural Marxists and those using the work of Polanyi can help economic geographers move past the tension between new approaches to studying markets and the discipline’s longstanding tradition of productivist political economy (Braun, 2016; Christophers, 2014b; Muellerleile and Akers, 2015; Peck, 2012). Through centring 32 markets as sites of social struggle, cultural Marxists and Polanyian scholars have rejected deterministic readings of markets while still holding wider power relations within their frame of analysis. This approach is used in the empirical chapters of this dissertation to understand how (and why) charter school markets have been created and how their functioning is shaped by social struggles over the institutions which govern them. Furthermore, as discussed in the introduction to Part 2, it also provides a common basis for dialogue with scholarship in the sociology of education around the ideas of hegemony/counterhegemony. 2.1.1 Chapter outline To make this argument I engage with multiple theories of markets as a means of highlighting why the geography of markets has emerged at this moment, what challenges it faces, and the potential of conceptualizing markets as sites of social struggle through a hybrid cultural Marxist/Polanyian framework (especially in regard to charter school markets). This is done in the four sections that follow this introduction: (1) an outline of why the geography of markets matters and three challenges for the subfield; (2) an examination of how markets are conceptualized within different theoretical traditions; (3) an engagement with cultural Marxist and Polanyian thought as a means of building a more generative geography of markets; and, (4) some concluding thoughts. 2.1.2 Defining markets Before this review can begin however a tricky question must be approached: what do we mean when we talk about markets? While different conceptions of markets will be discussed below, a preliminary definition of markets is a necessary starting point for the comparison of these conceptions. That a simple definition for such a central economic concept is not readily apparent speaks to how rarely the origins of markets and the specifics of their functioning are discussed in 33 the social sciences and, therefore, the need for this review. As economist Douglass North (1977: p. 710) noted forty years ago, “It is a peculiar fact that the literature on economics and economic history contains so little discussion of the central institution that underlies neoclassical economics – the market.” The continuing relevance of this ‘peculiar fact’ means that what makes a market, ‘a market’ remains amorphous in economic geography. Rosenbaum (2000) also highlights the ambiguity of the term ‘market’ and attempts to chart the commonalities between different definitions. In doing so he argues that definitions of markets almost always contain a conception of them as a site (not always physical) where exchange takes place between actors; in other words, where a buyer and seller of a good or service come together to exchange. Yet, as he further points out, markets must have a distinct function that distinguishes them as an analytical category from simple exchange. Undertaking further review, he argues that markets can best be distinguished through their role as sites of institutionalized forms of exchange that, at the very minimum, foster the development of routines between actors and thereby organize the way that exchange occurs. Hodgson (2008) arrives as the same conclusion. He notes that when one explores the etymology of the term ‘market’, the modern understanding can be traced to physical sites such as the Greek agora, where exchange did not simply take place but was also organized. Following this logic, Hodgson, like Rosenbaum (2000), highlights that markets contain institutional structures, like rules or defined hierarchies, that undergird processes of exchange and allow them to occur (Hodgson, 2008). To Hodgson (2008) this means that “it is the degree of organization of exchange activity that makes markets different from relational exchange.” By emphasizing the role of markets in the organization of exchange, these authors provide a framework within which we can understand them by drawing our attention to the 34 myriad institutions and structures that make up markets and allow them to function. In doing so they distil markets to a simple definition that can be used as the basis for the review that follows: markets are sites where exchange is organized. 2.2 Placing markets in economic geography: Three challenges In geography, the study of markets began to emerge following the recent financial crisis and the subsequent revelation of how exotic financial instruments had reshaped housing markets in the United States. This engagement with markets as a research area mirrored a movement throughout the social sciences by scholars seeking to disrupt the taken-for-granted understanding of markets found within neoclassical economics (Boeckler and Berndt, 2013). For economic geographers, this focus on markets constituted a break from the long-standing disciplinary focus on production systems and supply chains, where “the market remains a black box and is simply taken as pre-given” (Berndt and Boeckler, 2009: p. 538-9) and where the explicit study (and problematization) of markets has been as a result limited (Jones, 2013; Peck, 2012a; Sheppard, 2011; Smith, 2005). This post-financial crisis research agenda has begun the process of opening the ‘black box’ of markets and highlighted the diversity of market forms and of areas under market rule. A special issue of Environment and Planning A on ‘making markets’ illustrates the breadth of these projects. The issue includes case studies of the creation of markets for financial derivatives (Muellerleile, 2015), real estate (Akers, 2015), and greenhouse gas emissions (Cooper, 2015). The work therein and similar projects on agro-markets in Ghana (Ouma et al., 2013; Ouma, 2015), construction markets in the UK (Lovell and Smith, 2010) and street markets in Yemen (Lauermann, 2013) highlight the different spaces, scales, and fields that markets populate as well as the diverse methods through which they can be understood. For example, Cooper (2015) and 35 Lovell and Smith (2010) study markets through examining how technologies of calculation make disparate commodities commensurable and therefore suitable for market exchange. Muellerleile (2015), on the other hand, takes a historical approach, charting how the legal-regulatory system governing the market for financial derivatives gradually evolved out of the trade for agricultural products in Chicago. While they use different methods to understand market creation, these works have a common focus on the social, sociotechnical, and spatial constitution of markets that is consciously forged in opposition to the asocial market of neoclassical economics. Peck (2012a) and Muellerleile and Akers (2015) note the promise of this work but argue that for the study of markets to evolve beyond a collection of individual research projects it must move past this oppositional approach and towards a constructive intellectual program that retheorizes the place of markets in society. Muellerleile and Akers (2015: p. 1784) specifically warn that “ignoring the possibility that actually existing markets may have some common characteristics across space and time, whether as a price mechanism or otherwise, will leave [the geography of markets] underspecified and incoherent.” By highlighting how current work in the subfield has yet to fully address what ties it together, this critique highlights several challenges for the nascent geography of markets. The first challenge is careful consideration of what geographers mean when they refer to markets. While the general outlines of a research program can be seen through the cases discussed above, the specifics of what constitutes a market remain unclear. In their three-part review of the geography of markets for example, Berndt and Boeckler (2009; 2011b; Boeckler and Berndt, 2013) do not explicitly problematize the definition of markets, instead focusing on ‘marketization’ as a process through which goods and services are assigned value, made ready for exchange, and circulated (see also Birch and Siemiatycki, 2016; Bryant, 2016; Ouma et al., 36 2013). Using this definition, geographers have extended the study of markets into realms of production in sectors such as agrifood (Ouma, 2015) or into the global circulation of commodities such as tomatoes (Berndt and Boeckler, 2011b). The question remains however of what roles markets themselves play within this broader process of marketization? While specificity in defining markets may not be needed to describe how actually existing markets break from neoclassical or Marxist depictions, if geographers want to build a cohesive subfield that addresses questions of why markets matter and how they factor into wider economic and social processes, they must be clear on their object of study. The second challenge for geographers of markets is to provide a more fulsome exploration of the role of space and place in the functioning of markets. This includes not only the sites (physical or otherwise) where exchange takes place but also how market exchange remakes spatial relationships. To be clear, geographers have begun the process of unpacking how spatial relations are central to the functioning of markets. Most notably, there is a vibrant literature on how the contested process of geographically bounding a market renders it calculable and allows actors to make decisions (Berndt, 2013; Christophers, 2014a; Hall, 2015; Kama, 2014). Nevertheless, there is still much work be done in understanding the spatiality of markets (Christophers, 2014a; Hall, 2015; Jones, 2013) and several unaddressed issues remain, such as how to understand the overlapping spatial relationships between markets (e.g. between the local, regional, and national markets for a commodity [Jones, 2013]). Given that existing geographic work on markets has relied on adding spatial elements to theories borrowed from economic sociology (more on this below), reflection is needed on the tension between these approaches and the spatial questions of interest to economic geographers. 37 Finally, the third challenge is to understand the roles that markets play in the societies and spaces they exist within. This challenge has been the subject of much debate within the subfield, with recent articles by Braun (2016), Christophers (2014b), Muellerleille and Akers (2015), and Peck (2012a) all posing the question of how the micro-politics of markets feed back into the macro-structures of capitalism. This can be understood in part as a reaction by political economists to an alternative approach to studying the economy. However, the stakes are higher than a disciplinary squabble. Understanding the role of markets in wider power structures is integral to unpacking how what happens within markets such as charter school markets impacts the social and economic processes outside of them. For example, Smith (2005) argues that that the roles of markets in these processes are not fixed and that “perhaps the politics and ethics of markets can be challenged not by arguing against markets, but by making a bid for them” (p. 17). On the other hand, Christophers questions the limits of a focus on market hybridity in challenging power, asking “if so much active work is involved in configuring and operating markets, and if in theory they are inherently contestable and fragile as a result, why, in reality, are they actually so incredibly resilient?” (2015: p. 1861). In light of these conflicting assertions, geographers of markets must explore how the demands placed on markets under capitalism may limit their hybridity and how what happens within markets is shaped by, and perhaps shapes, other social and economic processes. Addressing these challenges is vital if the geography of markets is to follow Peck’s (2012a) and Muellerleile and Akers’s (2015) calls to build a constructive program. This is a necessary task for geographers seeking to understand how markets impact everyday life and feedback into the functioning of broader economic and social processes. As this chapter argues, there is great potential in using the work of cultural Marxists and Polanyian scholars to meet 38 these challenges; through conceptualizing markets as not just sites where exchange is organized but also as sites of contestation over the distribution of resources, geographers can develop a more thorough understanding of the roles that markets such as charter school markets play in sociospatial relations. 2.3 Perfection, damnation, and deconstruction: The theoretical foundations of the geography of markets That geographers have only recently turned their attention to markets is not surprising given the vast shadow cast by neoclassical and Marxist economics. Both view markets as functioning in a largely predictable manner and geographers working in these traditions have therefore left the internal logics of markets mostly unexplored. While they hold vastly different visions of the results of market exchange with, in the words of Polanyi ( 2001), one assuming perfection and the other damnation, conventional treatments in both neoclassical and Marxist thought tend to understand the functioning of markets as readily apparent and therefore as an area in need of little research. Given their dominance, the geography of markets has largely emerged in opposition to these theories by focusing on how markets vary in form and function. In breaking from neoclassical and Marxist conceptions of markets, these geographers have instead drawn on approaches from the sociology of markets which emphasize how the different networks, institutions, and technologies that surround the process of exchange shape how markets operate and evolve. The two contrasting assertions outlined above, that markets are predictable and that they are contingent, constitute a tension that has helped prevent the geography of markets from addressing the three challenges discussed earlier. In this section I review the different theoretical traditions that underpin each assertion as a means of outlining the roots of this tension. First, I 39 review the predictable/determined markets of neoclassical and Marxist economics and why each tradition has eschewed the direct study of markets. Second, I review the contingent market described in the sociology of markets and how different schools of thought within sociology have described this contingency. At the end of these reviews I discuss how these different theoretical traditions have shaped economic geography and contributed to the shape of the emerging geography of markets. I conclude with a discussion of the tension between these two approaches and how cultural Marxist and Polanyian scholarship can help address it. 2.3.1 Perfection and damnation: Markets in neoclassical and Marxist economics Despite their oppositional programs, orthodox Marxists and neoclassical economists both hold similar conceptions of markets as consisting of the smooth exchange of commodities, diverging on the likely effects of this functioning rather than on the nature of exchange itself (Berndt and Boeckler, 2009; Christophers, 2014b; Lie, 1997). As Harvey (2003: p. 143) writes, “Marx’s general theory of capital accumulation is constructed under certain crucial initial assumptions which broadly match those of classical political economy… [but] the brilliance of Marx’s dialectical method is to show that market liberalization… will not produce a harmonious state in which everyone is better off. It will instead produce ever greater levels of social inequality.” However, while in both conceptions market exchange is viewed as largely predictable and relatively smooth, there are important differences between them. As reviewed in detail below, for neoclassical economists markets consist solely of unattached actors exchanging to maximize profits, while for Marxist economists market actors are not unattached but rather constrained by the social relations found in production. 40 18.104.22.168 Markets in neoclassical economics For neoclassical economists, markets are characterized by their asocial nature — they are sites of neutral exchange where buyers and sellers can find each other and, through a rivalrous process of determining a price and exchanging commodities, where supply and demand are balanced and scarce resources are allocated efficiently. The assumed neutrality of markets in the process of exchange has meant that the origins of, and the institutions that define, markets have largely gone unremarked in the discipline and that markets themselves are rarely studied (Barber, 1995; Douglass, 1977; Graeber, 2014; Jackson, 2007; Mirowski, 2007; Rosenbaum, 2000; Schoenberger, 2008). Much of what we can learn from neoclassical economics about markets is therefore from examining what is not included in their conceptualizations of how markets function. An investigation of neoclassical economics must begin by understanding how economics evolved from political economy, a discipline that was broadly concerned with “the investigation of the causes of wealth and its distribution,” to economics, which is narrowly focused on the actions of individuals interacting in a separate sphere outside of society called the ‘economy’ (Milonakis and Fine, 2009: p. 97; see also Polyani  2001). This is because economics as we know it today emerged as economists attempted to fashion the discipline to be more ‘scientific’ using rigid, immutable laws to explain the workings of the economy in isolation from other social phenomena (Ackerman, 2002; Milonakis and Fine, 2009; Mirowski, 2007; Weintraub, 2002). Milonakis and Fine (2009) identify this shift as beginning with the marginalist revolution of the 1870s when the concept of marginal utility created a theory of prices as determined by the scarcity of an item and the ‘marginal’ utility a consumer receives from an additional unit of that commodity; as they write, marginal utility “gave a rationale for narrowing 41 the scope of economic investigation to the study of the problem of allocation under scarcity and the determination of prices, by focusing on market relations treated in isolation from their social and historical context” (p. 98). This shift to a discipline focused on economic activity in isolation from other social dynamics further hardened in the 1950’s as mathematical modelling became the discipline’s dominant method of debate (Mirowski, 2007; Weintraub, 2002). As Lawson (2013) writes, the mathematical turn resulted in a discipline that has largely (but not completely) placed the following assumptions at the centre of mathematical models and therefore as outside of debate: (1) that the actions of individuals constitute the appropriate locus for understanding the economy; 8 (2) that actors make decisions in some rational, usually utility-maximizing, manner; and, (3) that actors make decisions in a system where information is either perfectly or mostly available.9 This does not mean that neoclassical economists uniformly hold a naïve belief that every market functions in exactly this manner, but rather that as Mann (2013) writes, that any doubts about these assumptions are not reflected in their models built to simulate the economy and therefore in disciplinary debates. 8 This focus on the individual rationality is why the widely discussed moved towards behavioural economics does not constitute a break from the neoclassical orthodoxy but rather an attempt to understand its failures while working largely within a neoclassical frame (Ponder and Wyly, 2013). While behavioural economics acknowledges that actors may act irrationally, this deviation still works within neoclassical assumptions about how markets are driven by individuals attempting to make decisions based in economic rationality and, instead, focuses on individual psychology to understand why actors make seemingly irrational decisions. In short, behavioural economics posits that actors think they are being rational rather than exploring the possibility that there are frames outside of economic rationality that guide decision making. Tellingly then, behavioural economics does not entertain the idea that markets are inherently social institutions. Therefore, as Berndt (2015) writes, in practice the behavioural turn has led to policy prescriptions that attempt to make people behave more like rational actors and does not constitute a break with neoclassical theory. 9 To this we might add the assumed homogeneity (and exchangeability) of commodities (Fine and Lapavitsas, 2000). 42 Within the perfect market framework outlined by these principles there is little room for understanding how markets effect economic activity through the way that they organize exchange. Neoclassical conceptions of markets must therefore be understood through what is missing from their descriptions of a market’s functioning rather than by what is present. As McCloskey (1996) writes: The specifically neoclassical definition… is that economics is the study of choice in the ordinary business of life. To study choice is to fail to study other things… The Marxist study of Power, the institutionalist study of Habit, the Austrian10 study of Creativity are more or less subordinated in the neoclassical approach to what the neoclassicals are pleased to call “maximization under constraints” (p.122, original emphasis). As the arena through which actors engage in choice, neoclassical conceptions of markets therefore leave little room for other considerations — they are simply sites where actors may exchange commodities unburdened by considerations other than utility maximization. Neoclassical markets are therefore marked more by what lies outside of their walls than what actively constitutes their structures. In the neoclassical view, anything other than the rational actions by individuals to maximize their utility is a distortion of a market, an ‘imperfect’ 10 While Austrian economics have had little purchase in economic geography, they are an interesting contrast to neoclassical theory. While on the level of ideology neoclassical and Austrian economics are often bedfellows, Austrian economists, especially Hayek, do not view markets as separate from social relations but rather as the ideal method of governing society. Unlike neoclassical economists, Hayek did not believe that markets contain perfect information, but rather that market mechanisms, through prices, provided signals to consumers that allow for the most efficient distribution of resources. Therefore, instead of conceiving of markets as sites with perfect information and equilibrium, Austrians see them as containing imperfect knowledge and uncertainty but nevertheless as vastly superior to central planning. However, since both traditions focus on the utility maximizing homo economicus (Madra and Adaman, 2014) and therefore believe that the way to understand markets is to understand how individuals negotiate the process of exchange, functionally the two approaches to markets are very similar (Milonakis and Fine, 2009; Mirowksi, 2007). 43 form of competition. This is perhaps best explained by Jackson (2007) who argues that when economists discuss actually existing markets they do so along a continuum of ‘marketness’ where impersonal exchange and competition between strangers signals a more ‘natural’ market’ and social exchanges and cooperation mark a less natural market. As he writes: Variation among markets is sometimes portrayed on a scale of ‘marketness’, with anonymous competition at one pole and fully personal exchange at the other… Such a purist approach condemns almost all observed trading to inferior non-market or near-market categories. (Jackson, 2007: p. 237). For this reason, markets in neoclassical economics are best understood as places where the baggage of social life must be checked at the door — they are the space of exchange and only exchange. This erasure makes the functioning of markets predictable and therefore marks the way that markets organize exchange as unnecessary for study. 22.214.171.124 Markets in Marxist economics By contrast, in Marxist thought markets are predictable not because of a lack of social connections between actors but because the nature of market exchange is overdetermined by its role in the continuation of capitalist social relations. This is because in orthodox Marxist thought markets play an important but largely superficial function (Christophers, 2014b). Markets are important because, as the sites where the disciplining force of competition is most strongly experienced, they ensure that capitalists and workers perform their roles in the continual circulation of capital. Importantly however, these roles are set through capitalist social relations as determined by the means of production rather than within markets themselves, with Marx ( 1973: p. 752, emphasis added) writing that “competition executes the inner laws of 44 capital; makes them into compulsory laws towards the individual capital, but it does not invent them. It realizes them.” Indeed, Marx’s approach is defined by its contrast to other works of classical political economy in not placing markets at the centre of economic theory. Most notably, in Volume 1 of Capital Marx famously rejects market exchange as the source of value and instead focuses on production as the site where capitalist accumulation can best be understood (Fine and Lapavitsas, 2000; Kozel, 2013; Umney, 2013). This focus on production results in markets being viewed as largely unimportant in Marxist thought; as Christophers (2014b: p. 14) writes “because it is in production that value is created, and because it is value that is [Marx’s] central theoretical concern. Value is not created in exchange, hence exchange can be (relatively) sidelined." So while market competition serves to execute the inner laws of capitalism, in Marxist thought the true source of these laws are found in the social relations particular to the capitalist mode of production. The way that social relations prefigure the structures within which market exchange occurs can most clearly be seen in the Marxist understanding of labour markets. To Marxists the functioning of labour markets is predicated on the creation of a class of workers who rely on selling their labour for survival. Capitalist labour markets therefore cannot be understood through focusing on how rational actors choose to exchange their labour for a wage; rather, they are the downstream effect of the establishment of a system of social relations in which people are forced into a reliance on waged labour. In Marxian terms labour markets would not exist without the process of primitive accumulation that creates an army of exploitable workers (Clarke, 1995; McNally, 1993). According to Clarke (1995: p. 3) labour markets are indicative of the general role of markets in orthodox Marxism where they are seen “as no more than a passive reflection 45 of the social relations of capitalist production.” In this example, the functioning of labour markets is prefigured by capitalist social relations rather than shaped by the way labour markets organize exchange between workers and capital. Importantly, this relation between market interactions and the underlying social relations they express is hidden by the fetishism of the commodity, whereby market actors see only the exchange taking place and not the social relations that underpin it. Commodity fetishism allows for markets, and not social relations, to be seen as holding a coercive power which requires actors (both capitalist and working class) to engage in ways that allow them to compete in a market. This is what Marx means when he writes that competition ‘executes’ the laws of capital but ‘does not invent them.’ Capitalist market exchange is how an individual worker sells their labour to a capitalist, or alternatively how a capitalist experiences the pressure that forces the cutting of costs, but at their root these pressures are the result of the mode of production which requires the constant circulation of capital to increase the capture of surplus value (Clarke,1995; Kozel, 2013; McNally, 1993). Markets are therefore not only the result of social relations but also ensure the continuation of these relations through acting as a disciplinary force; as Kozel (2013: p. 71, original emphasis) writes: Marx argues that the very exchange relations which mutually connect producer-exchangers appear to them not as social relations, but as an outside force they must obey. Even though producer-exchangers constitute the market through their interactions, the people involved become beholden to money and exchange-value… For these reasons Balibar argues that "fetishism is fundamentally a theory of the market.” To orthodox Marxists then, markets, through competition, act as a coercive force that ensures that actors continue to play by the rules of capitalist social relations — relations that are 46 determined outside of market exchange. So, while markets may act to organize exchange, they do so in a way that is tied to the social relations of production. Such a conception leaves little room for understanding markets themselves as important sites (Block, 2011; Hall, 1986). 126.96.36.199 The determined market of neoclassical and Marxist thought In economic geography, the dominance of first the neoclassical tradition and subsequently of the Marxist one, has meant that markets have rarely been an explicit object of study. On the contrary, economic geographers have largely eschewed moments of exchange in favour of studying the circulation of capital and systems of production. This includes Marxist scholarship as well as post-structuralist analyses, which study how gender, race, and other axes of difference shape the functioning of economic systems and vice versa (Sheppard, 2011).11 This work, and work that trades more closely with neoclassical economics, tends to leave markets and processes of exchange untouched (Berndt and Boeckler, 2011b). There are of course exceptions: some Marxists do see a role for markets in structuring exchange since value cannot be realized until exchange occurs (see Karatani, 2003), but in these cases markets remain a second-order phenomenon used to understand how they affect production and the capture of surplus value (Christophers, 2014b). This is not to say that Marxist scholarship has nothing to offer to the geography of markets. Marx’s insights into the inherently unstable and crisis-ridden nature of capitalist expansion can provide a guide to how and why markets are created and undergo processes of change. In particular, it provides a clear explanation for why new fields are commodified as 11 This, of course, does not mean that these approaches accept the description of markets found in neoclassical and Marxist economics; the opposite is true, and the notion that markets are social would hardly be a surprise to feminist economic geographers. It is rather to say that markets are not often the centre of research agendas in these approaches. 47 capital attempts to find new sources of profit in a never-ending quest to sustain growth (Harvey, 2003). Furthermore, as Christophers (2014b) argues, while Marxist thought does not help us to understand why markets vary in form and function, it can help us understand the limits to this variability since markets must work to ensure the continual circulation of capital. Similarly, given how ideas within neoclassical economics have informed the neoliberal vision of a free-market utopia, it is important to pay attention to how the discipline has shaped actually-existing markets (Callon, 1998; Peck, 2010; Mann, 2013). With market design now an established field of study where economists seek to create markets that best reflect neoclassical thought (see for example the work of Alvin Roth), the way that powerful actors have used neoclassical ideas to produce particular methods of organizing exchange means that understanding neoclassical economics is essential for economic geographers. What is clear however, is that these theoretical schools downplay the significance of markets. Neoclassical economics, almost by definition, views markets as outside the realm of debate; to study how markets are shaped by social relations would require questioning some of the core principles of the discipline. On the other hand, orthodox Marxism deemphasizes the study of markets and exchange through its focus on relations of production. Because of this eschewing of the study of markets, different theoretical tools are needed to address the challenges to the geography of markets outlined above. We cannot understand how and why markets vary in form and function, and how this impacts sociospatial relations, through theories that point in the opposite direction. 2.3.2 Deconstruction: Economic sociology and the geography of markets Perhaps because of economic geography’s lack of attention to markets and the dominance of neoclassical and Marxist approaches, geographers have turned to concepts from economic 48 sociology for the theoretical tools needed to understand their social underpinnings (Berndt and Boeckler, 2011b).12 In contrast to neoclassical and Marxist conceptions of markets as predictable in form and function, work in the sociology of markets instead emphasizes their contingent and variable nature. Indeed, while economic sociologists have disparate views on the precise nature of markets, in general the subdiscipline holds a common conception of markets as spaces where social connections shape the nature of exchange and competition (Fligstein and Dauter, 2007; Fourcade, 2007; Ouma, 2015). For this reason, ideas from economic sociology have inspired much of the increased attention to markets in geography. The sociology of markets is not a unified field however and there are multiple schools of thought within economic sociology on how markets can be conceptualized (Fligstein and Dauter, 2007; Fourcade, 2007). Fligstein and Dauter (2007) group these schools into three categories: 1) work that examines how networks are formed through multiple interactions between actors, often referred to as the embeddedness approach; 2) institutional analysis, which examines how formal and informal institutions set the rules within which markets operate; and 3) the social studies of economization/marketization (also known as the ‘performativity’ school), which examines how different theories, technologies, and non-human actors help to create or ‘perform’ markets. While Fourcade (2007) cautions that each of these categories are themselves diverse, at a meso-level they describe the general understanding of markets held within economic sociology. In this 12 There are of course approaches outside of this review that do no hold a deterministic view of market relations but which have not been widely used by geographers studying markets. The feminist attention to how gender shapes the economy, evolutionary economics’ focus on continual economic transformations, or even the Austrian view of the necessity of sublimating social relations to market rule also diverge from the understanding of markets held in neoclassical and Marxist economics. 49 section then, each approach will be briefly reviewed separately before their take-up in geography is discussed. 188.8.131.52 Networks and embedded markets The embeddedness approach as named by one of its pioneers, Granovetter (1985), posits that, contrary to the atomistic actors assumed by neoclassical economics, market actors are often deeply embedded in personal ties of trust that shape the way that exchange occurs (Fourcade, 2007: Krippner and Alvarez, 2007; Lie, 1997). In Granovetter’s (1985: p. 490) words: "The embeddedness argument stresses… the role of personal relations and structures (or "networks") of such relations in generating trust and discouraging malfeasance.” According to scholars focusing on embeddedness, markets consist not only of actors engaging in arm’s-length, economically-rational exchange, but also those that are exchanging on the basis of personal connections that have grown over time. This means that buyers and sellers may behave in economically irrational ways in order to maintain the personal ties they have developed with others active in a market. This view is contrary to even the more nuanced neoclassical approaches that focus on transaction costs or game theory because rather than assuming that actors make purely economic decisions designed to maximize profits over time, personal relationships may result in market actors making decisions that run counter to economic logic (Granovetter, 1985; Uzzi, 1996). Embeddedness approaches therefore attempt to understand how social networks perform market functions such as sharing information and therefore how they organize market exchange (Mani and Moody, 2014). This means looking at relational networks such as how manufacturers monitor the actions of their competitors to identify a niche (White, 1981), or studying the social rules that structure long-term relationships between contractors and developers in construction 50 markets (Krippner et al., 2004). Embeddedness approaches do not only focus trust however, but also on the ways that market actors attempt to understand and even change markets using social relationships. For example, Baker (1990) highlights how manufacturing firms will choose to contract with several different banks in order to raise capital, while also maintaining a steady relationship with a particular bank for a majority of their transactions. This pattern of purchasing means that these firms are able to use social connections to structure the market to their advantage by ensuring they hold many relationships at the same time. In this way manufacturing firms do not only seek the best available deal in order to maximize profits but also arrange their connections to banks in a way that shapes the market by ensuring there are multiple firms with which to contract. 184.108.40.206 Institutional analysis and markets Rather than focusing on individual actors, institutional approaches to the sociology of markets examine how the institutions that govern markets are created and how they stabilize market exchange (Fourcade, 2007; Fligstein and Dauter, 2007). These institutions include not only those within a market but also the wider legal and institutional context within which markets exist. As Fligstein and Dauter (2007: p. 19) write: Institutional theory suggests not only that contractual market exchange depends on the rule setting and sanction enforcement of states, but also that states may define what types of products are appropriate for exchange. Furthermore, the internal structure of the state as rule setter and regulator can influence the types of products states allow to be exchanged and the rules supporting and surrounding exchange. Hence institutional methods of studying markets diverge from the actor-centric approach common to both embeddedness and neoclassical scholarship. Institutionalist work does not limit 51 itself to studying individual actors undertaking exchange in a market but also to how markets are regulated. Institutional approaches therefore understand individual decisions as shaped by the context of a particular market. Rather than making decisions based solely on utility maximization or individual relationships, actors must also adhere to the laws, regulations, and social norms of the specific market within which they are exchanging (Dobbin and Dowd, 2000; Fligstein, 1996; Fligstein and Dauter, 2007). Importantly, this includes an understanding of markets as dynamic institutions subject to change. For example, using the concept of ‘market as politics,’ Fligstein (1996) argues that political contestation shapes the ways that markets function, with actors that are advantaged by a market’s current structure attempting to stabilize the existing order while disadvantaged groups put forward alternate visions which he terms ‘conceptions of control.’ Institutional approaches within the sociology of markets therefore highlight how market exchange is shaped by the institutions that govern this exchange — institutions that are themselves contingent in nature. 220.127.116.11 Social studies of economization/marketization The most recent school of the sociology of markets to emerge is the social studies of economization/marketization (SSEM) which is commonly referred to as the performativity approach. To scholars using this approach, markets are neither natural nor predetermined but rather ‘performed’ by actors who make decisions within a dense network of relationships. Because of the complexity of these relations, market actors must undertake a process of framing (also known as ‘performation’) as a means of creating a framework within which they can operate. This is accomplished through classifying some of these connections as part of a coherent thing referred to as the ‘market’ and others as outside of its boundaries, thereby performing the 52 act of boundary drawing. Importantly however, these relations do not only include connections between market actors like buyers, sellers, and regulators but also between these actors and non-human ones such as economic theories or mathematical models. This is important because these non-human actors, such as risk assessment models for stock trading (MacKenzie and Millo, 2003), are often a key method through which performation occurs — serving as calculative devices which delineate what is seen as market or non-market. By including non-human actors, the SSEM approach therefore draws attention to how technologies like mathematical modeling are not neutral but actively constitute markets (Boeckler and Berndt, 2013; Callon, 1998). Callon (1998: p. 30) contrasts this approach to other schools within the sociology of markets, particularly the embeddedness approach, with the rejoinder that “the economy is embedded not in society but in economics.” By this he means that the process of performation is often driven by how the discipline of economics classifies economic activity. In this view, neoclassical ideals of the market are true insofar as those within markets believe them to be true and act to structure markets accordingly: as he writes “economics, in the broad sense of the term, performs, shape and formats the economy, rather than observing how it functions” (Callon, 1998: p. 2). To SSEM scholars then, actors are neither the completely asocial figures of neoclassical economics nor the socially-embedded decision makers of the embeddedness approach. Instead, market actors are world-makers, creating the economic worlds they inhabit through their interactions with each other and with other, non-human actors (Callon, 1998). Economists and economic theories therefore make and shape markets through framing how market actors understand what ‘markets’ are and how they should behave within them — although they often ‘overflow' this narrow framing causing crisis (Ouma, 2015). 53 18.104.22.168 Geography and the sociology of markets Despite these differences, approaches from the sociology of markets all illustrate how markets change in relation to the contingent social networks, institutional structures, and technologies and/or ideas that constitute them. This work has allowed for the emergence of a geography of markets that stands in contrast to Marxist and neoclassical thought. Rather than taking markets and the process of exchange for granted, geographers using approaches from sociology have highlighted how market exchange is always shaped by social connections between actors and therefore the necessity of undertaking in-depth research on the functioning of actually-existing markets. This has resulted in a growth in empirical projects focusing on the social and sociotechnical constitution of markets and how their contingent nature shapes the organization of exchange. While geographers have used the notions of embeddedness (see Lai, 2011) and institutionalism (see Hall, 2007) to study markets, the most popular approach in the subfield has been the social studies of economization/marketization (SSEM). Despite being described as in its ‘initial stages’ as recently as 2009 (Berndt and Boeckler, 2009), the past several years have seen an increase in its popularity in economic geography. Using the ideas of Callon as well as other work using the SSEM method, geographers have studied markets as diverse as exotic animal auctions (Collard, 2014), business education markets (Hall and Appleyard, 2011), and emissions trading (Kama, 2014). The use of this approach has allowed geographers to focus on how markets function as highly contingent assemblages which turn commodities into calculable objects fit for exchange (Berndt and Boeckler, 2011b). For example, geographers have explored how the calculations and technologies used to establish fishing rights as a tradeable commodity have remade the salmon industry in Alaska (Hébert, 2014) and the UK (Cardwell, 2015). 54 This grounding in economic sociology has helped develop a vital literature with many strengths. By adopting a focus on the networks, institutions, and/or technologies and ideas that surround the process of exchange, geographers have illustrated how space and place are integral to the functioning of markets. This has included studying how China’s emerging financial markets have been shaped by competing knowledge networks of Western experts and Chinese bankers (Lai, 2011), how construction markets are splintered into sub-markets (Lovell and Smith, 2010), and how markets for privately certified products such as Fair Trade goods depend on geographic imaginaries (Doherty, Smith, and Parker, 2015). In each case these authors have emphasized that the social/sociotechnical constitution of markets cannot be removed from its spatial context, with the clash between circulating models of finance and the existing Chinese banking sector resulting in a distinctly Chinese financial market, or the geographic imaginary of the fairly treated, hard-working Southern farmer supporting the development of Fair Trade markets. A central feature of this work has been studying how the social/sociotechnical process of geographically bounding markets is essential to how markets operate. As Christophers (2014a: p. 754-755) deftly points out, it is difficult to discuss a market without referring to its geographical boundaries: “the French automobile market, the New York housing market, the global financial services market, and so on: when we attempt to identify and define markets, geographical scope… is invariably one of the key dimensions on which we do so.” As geographers have illustrated, studying how these boundaries operate is essential to understanding the nature of markets. For example, Kama’s (2014) work on emissions trading highlights how carbon markets could not exist without the contested process of boundary drawing which allows carbon emissions to be calculated and made available for trade. Or alternatively, Christophers (2014c) 55 has shown how pharmaceutical corporations use territorial boundaries to enable differential pricing and thereby increase their market power (see Berndt  and Hall  for other examples). In both cases, geographic boundaries are used to constitute a market, shape how it functions, and allow certain actors to gain power. Similarly, a focus on the social/sociotechnical has allowed geographers to trace what Collard (2014) refers to as the ‘spatial momentum’ of markets. Collard argues that the ways that exchange is organized within a market can extend outwards to remake the relationships between sites and to create new geographies. Using the case of auctions for exotic wildlife in the United States, she writes that understanding the valuation and commodification of animals that occurs at these sites is essential to understanding the ecological impact of the exotic wildlife trade on the Guatemalan landscape. Likewise, Ouma (2015) traces how the shape of Ghanian agrifood production along a just-in-time model was driven by competition in European retail markets. In both cases the specific social practices through which these markets assign a price remake the connections between places and reshape sites far removed from the marketplace itself. Here markets become a central node in the remaking of spatial relations. Taken as a whole, this work highlights how approaches from the sociology of markets have helped economic geographers build an understanding of markets as complex institutions that require in-depth study. This constitutes a break from neoclassical and Marxist approaches. Embeddedness, institutional, and SSEM scholars all highlight how markets may change in relation to the contingent social networks, institutional structures, and/or ideas and technologies that constitute them; with their attention to space, geographers have been able to add to this literature in important new ways. In doing so, they have begun to build a subfield able to investigate how markets organize exchange — a long-neglected process in economic geography. 56 However, as hinted at earlier, and as is discussed in more detail below, there are limits to this approach that have been the target of critique from others within the subdiscipline. 2.3.3 Tensions in the geography of markets The views of markets discussed above exist in considerable tension and this tension has permeated the geography of markets. While the study of markets requires a departure from neoclassical and Marxist thought, approaches from the sociology of markets have been critiqued for paying too much attention to the peculiarities of individual markets and not enough to how these markets are embedded within wider power dynamics. Thus, while the approaches borrowed from the sociology of markets are well suited to understand what Muellerleile (2013: p. 1638) refers to as the “internal logic by which markets function,” they are an uneasy fit with the political economic tradition in economic geography. Indeed, critiques of these approaches in both economic sociology (Krippner, 2002; Lie, 1997; Mirowski and Nik-Khah, 2007; Fourcade, 2007) and geography (Christophers, 2014b; 2015; Muellerleile, 2013; Muellerleile and Akers, 2015; Peck, 2012a) have made the point that a focus on deconstructing markets must be paired with an understanding of how markets fit within the operation of capitalist economies. As Lie (1997: p. 351) writes in a critique of the embeddedness approach that is relevant to the debate within geography: In spite of avoiding market essentialism, the embeddedness approach in practice largely eschews analyzing historical and cultural variations in markets… Social networks exist inevitably within the larger historical and structural context. The embeddedness approach must itself be embedded in larger, historically transient, social structures - not only state institutions and suprastate organizations, but also historically shifting transnational relations and structures. 57 Understanding the relationship between the internal politics of markets and structures external to them thus remains an important challenge for the geography of markets. Such critiques of a narrow focus on internal market dynamics are central to the most active debate within the geography of markets: how the contingency of markets feeds back into the macro-structures of capitalism. Recent articles by Braun (2016), Christophers (2014b), Jones (2013), Muellerleille and Akers (2015), and Peck (2012) have raised this question and sought to push geographers studying markets to consider how to integrate it into their research programs. Braun (2016: p. 258) sets the stage clearly, writing that “the empirical challenge, then, is to show how market devices, market structures and forms of capitalism are interwoven – that is, to establish both micro–meso and meso–macro connections.” For the most part these authors suggest that geographers design research projects focusing on the common elements between markets as a means of uncovering these connections. Peck (2012a) advocates using Polanyi’s concept of the ‘always embedded economy’ as the centre of a collective program which could investigate how markets are embedded in the specific social and spatial relations they exist within (see also Muellerleile, 2013). Jones (2013), on the other hand, suggests following the distinctive spatialities that shape markets as a means of creating a practice-oriented approach that could inform debates on market regulation. Christophers (2014b) takes a different tack, arguing that a ‘weaker’ version of the social studies of economization/marketization (SSEM) approach is compatible with Marxist political economy. Drawing on Harvey, he argues that “capital will tolerate all manner of exchange (and distribution and consumption) structures, so long as they do not restrict accumulation for accumulation’s sake” (p. 19). In doing so he charts a way forward by emphasizing that the variability of markets may be constricted by the demands of ensuring the continual circulation 58 and accumulation of capital. Christophers therefore makes the case that geographers should use the SSEM approach as a method of studying how markets relate to value and the value form under capitalism. However, he does not provide a road map for doing so, instead writing that “much more can and needs to be said about this” (p. 19) and thereby neglecting the ‘meso’ step that Braun (2016) calls for in linking the micro-politics of markets to the macro-structures of capitalism. Nevertheless, by drawing attention to how studying the limits of market forms can help reconcile the deconstruction of markets with Marxist political economy, Christophers provides the basis for advancing the conversation beyond an uneasy tension. It is in addressing the missing step identified by Braun (2016) that the work of cultural Marxists and Polanyian scholars has great potential. As will be explored in the next section, the work of these scholars allows us to probe how and why markets resist the limits imposed upon them under capitalism and therefore can help reconcile the tensions in the geography of markets. In this way they provide a framework for answering the question of how markets are connected to, shape, and reshape wider socioeconomic relations. 2.4 Markets as sites of struggle: Ways forward for economic geography As outlined above, concepts from economic sociology have allowed geographers of markets to break from the longstanding focus on production and circulation in economic geography. However, it is also clear that these concepts present challenges when placed in conversation with the discipline’s tradition of political economy. Below I argue that by integrating the work of cultural Marxists and Polanyian scholars into the existing geography of markets, geographers can best address this tension and move forward. This section first reviews cultural Marxist and 59 Polanyian scholarship on markets and then outlines the potential of using their insights to guide new work in the geography of markets. 2.4.1 Struggle in and over markets The work of cultural Marxists and Polanyian scholars provides a general theoretical approach through which markets can be understood as variable while still keeping wider power relations within the frame. Scholarship in both traditions views the proliferation of markets as driven by capitalist accumulation while also conceptualizing social institutions like markets as sites of struggle that help to contain the most brutal of capitalism’s destructive forces (Burawoy, 2003). The work of cultural Marxists who study society as a terrain of struggle, and of Polanyian scholars who study the economy as a socioinstitutional domain, therefore present a method through which markets can be understood as driven by capitalist logics while not completely subsumed by them — or as variable within the ‘finitude of possibility’ set by capital (Christophers, 2014b: p. 15). This conceptualization has great potential in helping geographers understand how the variability of markets feeds back into the functioning of the wider economy and, conversely, how broader social and economic processes affect the internal functioning of markets. Specifically, this potential lies in understanding markets not only as sites where exchange is organized but also as sites of struggle over the distribution of resources. Such an understanding is essential in the current moment where the expansion of market rule into new areas of everyday life has given added importance to struggles over the social/sociotechnical processes through which markets organize exchange. Polanyi ( 2001), writing about an earlier era of market rule, argued that struggles over markets in such eras take the form of a ‘double movement’ whereby the most destructive effects of markets are met with opposition as society moves to 60 protect itself. This occurs when market rule is extended over what he refers to as the ‘fictitious commodities’ of land, labour, and money, which are described as fictitious because they are sold in markets despite not being originally produced for sale as commodities. The placement of these commodities within a market system is destructive because it reduces these ‘commodities’ to only those of their elements that have value in exchange, leading to the devaluation of human life or the ruination of the physical environment. In this way markets become a central site of class struggle as those negatively impacted by their functioning, largely the working class, attempt to protect themselves from attempts on the part of the dominant class to extend of market rule and the two classes use “government and business, state and industry, respectively [as] their strongholds” (Polanyi,  2001: 139). Updating Polanyi’s ideas for the current moment, Fraser (2013) argues that the double movement fails to capture the importance of social reproduction and emancipation in struggles over the shape of markets. She makes the point that Polanyi’s theory cannot capture the importance of the post-1960s’ growth in emancipatory struggles against racism, imperialism, war, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and transphobia that do not fall neatly into the market/anti-market divide. For those fighting against these systems of oppression, the forces of social protection against the market (as embodied in the welfare state) have been as much of an enemy as the market system itself. Fraser thus sets up a three-sided conflict, or a triple movement, between pro-market, anti-market, and emancipatory political forces. Notably, there are no easy alliances between the three, with those pushing for emancipation often aligning with market projects promoted on the basis of opening access to resources that have long been closed to marginalized groups. 61 Burawoy (2003) sees parallels between Polanyi’s work and the scholarship of culturally-oriented Marxists such as Gramsci who posit that society forms the terrain of class struggle. Like other Marxists, Gramsci viewed the economy as driven by the social mode of production, but on the terrain of the superstructure he believed that the shapes of capitalist societies are the result of a complex interplay of economic, social, and political dynamics. Gramsci argued that, through struggle, different societal formations could emerge in ways not entirely determined by capitalist logics (Burawoy, 2003; Hart, 2002). This focus on the indeterminacy of society can help us understand the workings of markets, since markets, understood as social/sociotechnical formulations, are also likely to be shaped by ideological struggles over their form. Furthermore, Gramsci noted that these struggles often include the formation of ‘historical blocs’ where dominant powers promote ideologies that “create the terrain on which men move, acquire consciousness of their position, struggle, etc.” (1971: p. 377). This is important in the current moment, where the dominant ideology is the ideology of market efficiency; As Hall (1986: p. 38, original emphasis) has described: In a world saturated by money exchange, and everywhere mediated by money, the ‘market’ experience is the most immediate, daily and universal experience of the economic system for everyone… It is clear why we should generate, out of these fundamental categories for which we have found everyday words, phrases and idiomatic expressions in practical consciousness, the model of other social and political relations. As Hall argues, markets are a central feature of modern society and the neoclassical ideal of the market has become the model for other social relations. This centrality of the market ideology means that markets, which can be considered one of the central features of the current historical bloc of neoliberalism, have become a necessary terrain upon which hegemonic struggles occur. 62 As such, struggles within markets are often part of a greater hegemonic project to promote, or resist, the ideology of market rule and, as Fraser (2013) highlights, markets also become the site of proxy battles in emancipatory struggles against other hegemonic forces. Understanding markets as not only sites of struggle, but as key sites in wider contests over market hegemony is what distinguishes a hybrid Polanyian/cultural Marxist approach from others that also view markets as sites of struggle. For example, while Barry (2002), Callon (2005), and Fligstein (1996) focus on the internal dynamics through which market contestation is pacified and Bourdieu (2005) conceives of the economy as fields of struggle between firms, these conceptions are largely geared at internal market relations. In the conception advocated here however, the positioning of markets as sites where the compulsory laws of capital are fought over highlights how the internal politics of markets are often connected to a general contestation of market rule or the wider functioning of capitalist economies. In essence, struggles over how markets are governed, over their ideology, may cut across the particularities of specific markets and be a common occurrence across many market institutions. Indeed, Hall (1986: p. 36, original emphasis) argues that mounting an ideological struggle over markets was one of Marx’s purposes in Capital, writing that: There is no fixed and unalterable relation between what the market is, and how it is construed within an ideological or explanatory framework. We could even say that one of the purposes of Capital is precisely to displace the discourse of bourgeois political economy—the discourse in which the market is most usually and obviously understood—and to replace it with another discourse, that of the market as it fits into the marxist schema (p. 36). 63 Channeling Gramsci and following Hall’s thought, we can therefore understand markets as shaped by the material force of market ideology while recognizing that this relationship is not fixed and unalterable but rather is itself the site of struggle; this recognition opens an understanding of the double or triple movement as an ideological struggle rather than the defensive one presented in Polanyi’s double movement (Burawoy, 2003). This line of reasoning is used by Burawoy (2003) when he puts the Polanyian notion of the double movement in conversation with a Gramscian understanding of hegemony to create what he calls a ‘Sociological Marxism.’ Central to this project for Burawoy is understanding the relationship of markets to society. In describing this agenda he writes, “Sociological Marxism’s task is to understand under what conditions and in what form state and society will hold up the market juggernaut, throw up barriers to or rush headlong away from the commodification of land, labor, and money” (p. 244). Burawoy departs from orthodox Marxism in approaching markets as the central relation defining his approach. He does this based on the idea that, while production creates the basis for hegemony, counterhegemony is most likely to emerge from an ideological break with the market ideology in the manner predicted by Polanyi’s double movement. As he writes: Gramsci makes a convincing case that accumulation based on capitalist relations of production is the material basis of capitalist hegemony but errs in thinking that production, or at least the experience of production, can also provide the basis of counterhegemony… Whereas alienated and degraded labor may excite a limited alternative, it does not have the universalism of the market that touches everyone in multiple ways. It is the market, therefore, that offers possible grounds for counterhegemony (Burawoy, 2003: p. 231). 64 The ‘Sociological Marxism’ proffered by Burawoy thus places markets at the centre of struggles over civil society and offers a meso-level theory that can help geographers answer the challenges facing them. Drawing on Polanyi and, like Hall (1986), recognizing the commonality of the market experience, Burawoy suggests that a Gramscian understanding of hegemony and counterhegemony be focused on markets rather than production. This focus on counterhegemonic projects brings into markets not only class dynamics but, following Fraser (2013; 2014), an array of other struggles. This can be witnessed in the way that claims for justice become depoliticized through the creation of markets or the implementation of market solutions, with markets used to pacify resistance to capitalism’s excesses. For instance, calls for climate justice spur the creation of markets for greenhouse gas emissions and the increasing inequality of wealth is channelled into a demand for higher minimum wages on the labour market rather than other redistributive mechanisms. In this manner, markets become a central site for struggles over social and ecological justice. Burawoy’s blending of the double movement with a Gramscian understanding of hegemony and counterhegemony therefore offers a bridge whereby the limits to market variability can still be held inside the frame while also studying differences between markets. Importantly, this is not to say that every market will include a double or triple movement whereby destructive tendencies are curbed or demands for justice change how a market operates. Indeed, Block (2011) points out that in an era where market ideology dominates, counterlogics are often overridden and battles between capitalists over exchange will dominate market structure. Barry (2002) further argues that markets are often sites of a strong anti-politics where the use of expertise and technologies of calculation overwhelm resistance to market rule (see also Ouma, 2015). What it does mean is that in many markets, especially markets where the 65 advantages accrued to powerful actors are clearly visible or where markets are explicitly used to address calls for redistributive justice, struggles over the shape of markets may include a counterhegemonic element that may help account for how and why markets diverge from the shapes assumed by rigid understandings of their functioning. While these struggles, and the markets that they occur within, are likely to be highly contingent based on the social context of actually-existing markets such as charter school markets, focusing on the hegemonic/counterhegemonic element allows these specificities to be placed within their large frame. 2.4.2 Markets as sites of sociospatial struggles Returning to the tensions and challenges in economic geography, conceptualizing markets as sites of struggle in this manner provides several promising directions for the geography of markets as well as an approach that is useful for understanding charter school markets. Through linking the social struggles within markets to wider power relations, the approach outlined here provides a meso-level theory between the micro-politics of markets and the macro-structures of capitalism called for by Braun (2016) and others. In doing so it also allows geographers to move forward in addressing the challenges laid out earlier: (1) defining markets, (2) understanding the role of space and place in their functioning, and (3) studying their roles in the societies and spaces they exist within. Regarding the definitional challenge, given the arguments by Polanyian and cultural Marxist scholars, it is clear that markets must be understood as more than just sites where exchange is organized. This limited definition fails to capture the complexity of markets in an era where market rule is a defining feature of everyday life and, therefore, where contestation is an important feature of many markets. In this light, a definition of markets as terrains of struggle 66 over the networks, institutions, and/or ideas and technologies through which exchange is organized allows geographers to be clear about what makes a market—the organization of exchange—without tightly binding markets to the act of exchange in isolation from other social processes. Importantly, keeping exchange central to the definition of a market also provides a focal point for the study of markets and allows geographers to highlight the commonalities that exist even amidst market variations. Conversely, including struggles over the social/sociotechnical methods of organizing exchange in the definition allows geographers to move outward from this focal point to exploring the array of market-shaping processes outlined by sociologists and to the role of markets in wider social and economic processes. Starting at exchange and moving outwards thereby provides a common thread that can address Muellerleile and Akers’s (2015) concern about the incoherency of the subfield and the basis upon which a collective research project can emerge. The insights of cultural Marxist and Polanyian scholars also provide a theoretical frame through which geographers can better understand the role of space and place in how markets function. This is because if markets are social institutions that are connected to other social struggles, so too are they connected to sociospatial struggles. Through investigating how markets become locally situated sites of contestation over broader social relations, geographers are presented with opportunities to bring the ‘geographies of power’ into further conversation with the study of markets (Prince, 2012: p. 140). Indeed, existing work within the discipline highlights how geographers have already begun to do so through examining how transnational networks of travelling expertise are used to set up particular kinds of markets (Cohen, 2017; Lai, 2011) or how capitalists engage in processes of boundary drawing around markets in order to maximize profits (Christophers, 2014c). As will be shown through the empirical cases of this dissertation, 67 more work of this nature is possible if the ways that the internal politics of markets are connected to broader social processes is integrated into research programs. By providing a theoretical framework for examining how broader dynamics such as the scalar politics of state restructuring or the financialization of the economy shape internal market struggles, this approach helps geographers conceptualize the articulation between the often place-based politics of markets and circulating geographies of power. An approach centred on markets as sites of social struggle also has the potential to meet Jones’s (2013) call to study how markets overlap and relate across different spaces and scales. Again, work within the geography of markets hints at this potential but takes on new significance when read within the frame of markets as sites of struggle. For instance, processes of boundary drawing around markets have already been a source of scholarship (Berndt, 2013; Christophers, 2014a; 2014c; Kama, 2014; Hall, 2015), but how and why groups contest and remake the scale of a market has significance beyond the politics of an individual market. Much as political ecologists have argued that the reorganization of scales of action is a method of asserting control over the environment (Swyngedouw and Heynen, 2003), so too is such reorganization a strategy for market actors who pick the scale of action which fits their mode of politics and advances their other projects (this process plays a key role in Oregon’s charter school markets). These are just two possible examples of how understanding markets as sites of struggle unlocks new approaches to studying the role of space and place in markets. As many have emphasized, work studying the spatiality of markets is only in its nascent stage (Christophers, 2014a; 2014c; Hall, 2015; Jones, 2013). By linking the internal functioning of markets to other sociospatial processes, the approach outlined above can help in advancing this work. 68 Finally, it is in understanding the roles that markets play in the societies and spaces they exist within that this approach has perhaps the most potential. Taking up where Christophers (2014b) leaves off in questioning how the variability of market forms may be limited by their roles under capitalism, understanding markets as sites of struggle provides a mechanism to study both this variability and its limits. By probing how resistance to capitalist and other hegemonic logics is fostered within markets and how (or whether) power is used to ensure that markets continue to function in the circulation of capital, geographers have a method of exploring the missing meso-level connections between the micro-politics of markets and the macro-structures of capitalism. For example, through understanding how and why resistance to charter school markets is pacified, we can better understand the link between the functioning of individual charter school markets and the powerful actors who have a stake in particular ‘conceptions of control’ for these markets. Indeed, as will be explored in Chapters 4 and 5, the shape of charter school markets in places like Michigan and Oregon are almost impossible to understand without taking the actions of these powerful actors into account. Importantly, the potential of this approach also includes tracing how changes within markets reverberate into other social relations. Geographers cannot be content to understand how power is marshalled to pacify markets, but must also study how contestation within markets can impact other social and economic processes. For example, geographers could explore how contestation over how a market functions is received by the various circuits of power invested in that market’s structure, or how different struggles against market rule are connected. As will be illustrated in Chapter 6, this could include tracing how social movements in cities understand and contest the simultaneous marketization of housing, schooling, and welfare systems. In following such movements in either direction, the priority must be examining how changes in markets are 69 linked to, and perhaps change, other arenas of social and economic life. In doing so this approach can build on economic geography’s long history of studying the sociospatial connections that link seemingly disparate phenomena. 2.5 Conclusions This chapter has argued that an approach to markets which highlights their role in social struggles can help geographers understand variation between markets and the potential limits to this variability under capitalism. Economic geographers cannot limit the study of markets to deconstructing how they function but must also probe how markets are tied to capitalist logics, how they become proxy sites of other hegemonic struggles, and how resistance is built within their institutional walls (Block, 2011). Empirical work probing these questions is especially important if Burawoy (2003) is right and there is the potential for counterhegemonic projects within markets. If this is the case, then geographers must study how such projects arise, and the characteristics of the particular markets that allow them to do so. Or, if it not the case, what are the geographies of power marshalled in defence of markets and how do they work? The task of undertaking such empirical work is a central driver of this dissertation. By investigating schooling markets, I have been able to probe the role of social struggles, including ideological struggles, in shaping how charter school markets function in Michigan and Oregon. As I hope the subsequent chapters illustrate, the sociological Marxist approach described by Burawoy (2003) and used in this dissertation, has allowed both the particulars of individual charter school markets as well as wider social and political relations that surround schooling to be kept within the frame. In doing so, the hope is to contribute to the task of building a vital discussion in geography on the role of markets in wider social and economic processes and in understanding how these processes shape the functioning of actually-existing markets. 70 Chapter 3: The Contested Terrain of Education: Legitimation, Social Reproduction, and Schooling in America “As the son of a tenant farmer, I know that education is the only valid passport from poverty” – President Lyndon Johnson, 1965 (LBJ Presidential Library, n.d.). “Education isn’t just another issue. It is the most powerful force for accelerating economic growth, reducing poverty and lifting middle-class living standards” – New York Times editorial, 2017 (Leonhaerdt, 2017). The narrative of education being the solution to the problem of poverty and a key driver of economic growth has long been a central plank of American social policy. From when President Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965 to the present day, education policy has been promoted as more than just a method of governing schools, it has been viewed as a means through which economic and racial injustices can be addressed (Kantor and Lowe, 2006). Such expectations have meant that institutions of schooling must manage often-contradictory pressures that require them to not only prepare students for the labour market but also to fulfil multiple other roles in societal reproduction. Given the assertion in the last chapter that markets must be understood within the context of the political, economic, and social processes they are enmeshed with, the study of schooling markets requires an attention to the dynamics that shape schools and, therefore, that are likely to shape schooling markets. With this in mind, in this chapter I explore the contradictory pressures that characterize the politics of education in the United States and, through doing so, set up the second half of the approach used in this dissertation to study charter school markets. Due to the primary audience of this 71 dissertation, much of this review will cover what sociologists of education might consider assumed knowledge but that is necessary to cover for geographers unfamiliar with the subject matter. Such an examination is necessary because education plays multiple important roles in contemporary society that require close attention if we want to understand the emergence of schooling markets and their continued reinvention. For example, schools, as the sites where children learn the written and unwritten rules of society, are central to the reproduction of the social order — in the words of Althusser (1971), schools have “the dominant role [in instilling ideologies], although hardly anyone lends an ear to [their] music.” Beyond instilling ideology, schools are also asked to prepare students for the labour market, enhance economic competitiveness, and justify the streaming of children into different social classes. These roles often place contradictory requirements on institutions of schooling, causing conflict between groups which emphasize a particular role at the expense of others. As such, in order to understand schooling markets, the ways in which these contradictory pressures are managed by institutions of schooling must be investigated. In this chapter then, I explore the political economy of schooling as a method of understanding how the contradictory roles placed upon schools are likely to manifest as conflicts within charter school markets; for if, as education scholars have long understood, public schooling is the site of fierce social struggles (Apple, 2016; Baron et al., 1981; Greaves et al., 2007), then how charter school markets fit into these struggles will be an important aspect in shaping their form. Drawing on the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies’ (Baron et al., 1981) notion of ‘educational settlements’ as temporary, state-led agreements on how to manage 72 these conflicting pressures, I question whether charter schools are disrupting these agreements, arguing that there are signs that they are but that this remains a still-evolving process. 3.1.1 Chapter outline In order to understand the pressures that are likely to shape schooling markets, I review literature on schooling in four sections: (1) a discussion of the political economy of education including how reproduction and resistance theorists understand the place of education in capitalist societies; (2) a review of how these different theorizations are used to conceptualize the role of the state in providing education, including introducing the concept of the ‘educational settlement’; (3) an exploration of how these theories have been used to understand the current, neoliberal moment and what this says about whether a new educational settlement is emerging; and, (4) some concluding thoughts on how the above relates to the study of charter school markets. As noted above, because this dissertation is primarily aimed at a disciplinary audience, geography, that has traditionally had a limited engagement with the study of schools (Hanson-Thiem, 2009; Nguyen et al., 2017), much of this review covers terrain which will be familiar to scholars from the sociology of education. 3.2 Education, correspondence, and resistance: The contradictory place of education in capitalism Education, despite being on the periphery of geographic thought, is at the centre of reproducing the ideologies through which people understand their everyday existence (Hanson-Thiem, 2009). Indeed, Althusser (1971) famously argued that education is the modern institution most responsible for promoting the ideologies that ensure capitalist hegemony. Furthermore, education is also crucial to the reproduction of sexist, racist, and heteronormative ideologies (Arnot, 2002; Leonardo, 2004; 2012) and, as Morrow and Torres (1995) argue, the role of education in 73 instilling ideologies is not limited to capitalist societies but was also a feature of the Soviet education system. It is for this reason that Morrow and Torres (1995) argue for centering the study of societal reproduction and disruption in the sociology of education, writing that the discipline “must make sense of the contribution of educational activity to the processes of socialization as a source of social continuity and potential discontinuity, or reproduction of the given and production of the new” (p. 7). Give the role of education in social reproduction (and its potential for social disruption), in this section I review how scholars of education have understood the roles of schooling in reproducing capitalism and resisting its hegemony. This will primarily include a discussion of the dialectic of reproduction and resistance that scholars like Giroux (1983) posit as central to understanding how schooling institutions have evolved. Specifically, this section will be broken up into three parts: (1) an examination of the work of reproduction theorists such as Althusser, Bowles and Gintis, and Bourdieu and Passeron; (2) a discussion of the critique of these works and how it has highlighted the role of resistance in shaping schooling; and, (3) some thoughts on how the dialectic between the two continues to shape how we understand capitalist education. 3.2.1 Reproduction theories of education In the 1970s Marxist scholars began to explore the ways in which education is integral to the reproduction of capitalist society. Notable in this regard was the work of Althusser (1971) on the reproduction of capitalist ideologies, Bowles and Gintis (1976) on the correspondence between the needs of capital and the structure of the education system in the United States, and Bourdieu and Passeron (1977) on the role of schools in reproducing social class. Common across all three sets of works was an understanding of education as a system closely tied to the needs of capital rather than as one with strong dynamics of its own. 74 According to Althusser (1971), schools work to ensure the reproduction of capitalist relations over time. They do so through fulfilling their role as an Ideological State Apparatus (ISA), which he defines as an institution that helps reproduce capitalism through instilling ideologies that promote the capitalist system as just and fair. This means that ISAs like schools work to promote ideas and practices through which the working class can understand their domination as legitimate, thereby precluding any questioning of the social order. Althusser places education as the central ISA of modern capitalism because no other state apparatus has access to children for a sustained period while they are in their developmental stages; this makes the school an ideal location for the transference of dominant ideologies. Importantly, Althusser, also argues that the role given to education as the dominant ISA is not inherent to capitalism but rather the result of a class struggle which worked to undermine the previously dominant ISA: the church. That the church’s role in the reproduction of capitalist logics could be disrupted in this manner highlights that social institutions like education are somewhat autonomous from the needs of capitalism and can be shaped by ideological class struggle. In his terminology, ISAs are part of a ‘superstructure’ that rests on an economic ‘base’. This means that ISAs may diverge from the economic needs of the base as long as they do not disrupt the core economic functions of the system. Therefore, ISAs like education can become the site of class struggle as the exploited classes seek to express their own logics within them: The Ideological State Apparatuses may be not only the stake, but also the site of class struggle, and often of bitter forms of class struggle. The class (or class alliance) in power cannot lay down the law in the ISAs as easily as it can in the (repressive) State apparatus, not only because the former ruling classes are able to retain strong positions there for a long time, but also because the resistance of the exploited classes is able to find means and 75 occasions to express itself there, either by the utilization of their contradictions, or by conquering combat positions in them in struggle (Althusser, 1971: p. 147, original emphasis). In Althusser’s thought then, education plays a central role as both a site for the legitimation of ruling class domination and of class struggle. He thus places education at the centre of processes that are integral to understanding the ongoing reproduction of capitalist society. The argument that education serves to reproduce capitalism is also present in the work of other education scholars (Warmington, 2015). Perhaps the most famous work on America in this vein is Bowles and Gintis’ Schooling in Capitalist America (1976). In this book, Bowles and Gintis review the history of American schooling and make the argument that it can be best understood through its correspondence with the interests of the powerful. Bowles and Gintis recount how systems of mass education in the United States have been designed to create the type of workers needed for capitalist production. They highlight that public schooling emerged hand-in-hand with the desire of factory owners for a better trained workforce. According to Bowles and Gintis, this correspondence has continued throughout the history of the United States. In a more recent example, they argue that efforts to provide greater access to higher education for non-elite populations was twinned with a new focus on vocational education in institutions of higher learning, thereby continuing the creation of a stratified workforce. For Bowles and Gintis, the way to understand education is therefore to focus on the needs of capital. Writing at around the same time as Bowles and Gintis, Bourdieu and Passeron (1977) viewed education as a central means through which class is reproduced, presenting another connection between schools and the reproduction of the capitalist system. To Bourdieu and Passeron all schooling, or what they refer to as pedagogic action, is an act of ‘symbolic violence’ 76 whereby the culturally dominant ideology is imposed. This is accomplished through ‘channelling and streaming’ students into different categories, with the most prestigious categories reflecting the values of the upper and middle classes. By turning class values into educational credentials, the education system works to perpetuate the class system. As they write: the School has both a technical function of producing and attesting capacities and a social function of conserving power and privileges, it can be seen that modern societies furnish the educational system with vastly increased opportunities to exercise its power of transmuting social advantages into academic advantages, themselves convertible into social advantages, because they allow it to present academic, hence implicitly social requirements as technical prerequisites for the exercise of an occupation (Bourdieu and Passeron, 1977: p. 166-7). In contrast to Bowles and Gintis, Bourdieu and Passeron were not focused on the direct correspondence of schooling to the needs of production but rather on its role as a system through which class advantages are reproduced (Ball, 2005; Morrow and Torres, 1995). However, common to both was a focus on how institutions of schooling are closely tied to the reproduction of the capitalist system. Combined with the work of Althusser (1971) then, both sets of authors made a strong argument for studying schooling through examining the role of schools in reproducing capitalism. 3.2.2 Neo-Marxist and resistance theory In the 1980s a critique of this singular approach to studying schooling through the needs of capital resulted in a break from reproduction theorists, particularly with the correspondence 77 theory of Bowles and Gintis.13 Attempting to move past the initial work of Bowles and Gintis, neo-Marxists such as Apple, Anyon, and Giroux departed from a strict reading of the correspondence principle and focused more on the ‘relative autonomy’ of education from capitalist domination (Carnoy and Levin, 1985; Gottesman, 2010; Liston, 2015). They did so by exploring the other side of what Giroux terms the dialectic nature of resistance and reproduction (Giroux, 1983: p. 286; see also Carnoy and Levin, 1985) and emphasizing that schools are sites where capitalist social relations are not smoothly reproduced but rather struggled over. This focus on resistance was an explicit reaction to the work of reproduction theorists, with Giroux writing that with “its grimly mechanistic and overly-determined model of socialization there appears little room for developing a theory of schooling that takes seriously the notions of culture, resistance, and mediation” (Giroux: 1983: p. 266). Apple (1988) was more generous, writing that his focus on resistance was made possible because Bowles and Gintis’s work began a discussion on the roles that schools play under capitalism. Nevertheless, the 1980s saw a break from reproduction theory in ways that complicated the narrative of education as a system solely geared towards fulfilling the needs of capital. Although published only a year after Schooling in Capitalist America, Learning to Labour by Willis (1977) is often viewed as originating the focus on resistance within the Marxist sociology of education (Carnoy and Levin, 1985; McGrew, 2011; Phillips, 2014). Unlike Bowles 13 It should be noted that this critique is often overstated. Indeed, Bowles and Gintis’ work is not as deterministic as often characterized (Au, 2006). Like Althusser, Bowles and Gintis see a dual role for education under capitalism: producing the labour needed for capitalist accumulation on the one hand and promoting social control through the veil of the meritocratic ideal on the other. This makes schooling an important area of struggle for all classes as they seek leverage over the system in order to improve the social mobility of their children. While Bowles and Gintis focus on the correspondence principle, they acknowledge this second role for education and write “the independent internal dynamics of the two systems present the ever-present possibility of a significant mismatch arising between economy and education” (1976, p. 236). Thus, while they privilege education’s correspondence with the needs of capital, they are not blind to the possibility of divergence. 78 and Gintis, Willis did not focus on the question of how schooling institutions reproduced class power but instead on the ideological work that the school does at the level of the individual student. As Willis (1977: p. 1) writes: “The difficult thing to explain about how middle class kids get middle class jobs is why others let them. The difficult thing to explain about how working class kids get working class jobs is why they let themselves.” From this vantage point Willis did not examine the school as a factory churning out workers but, as Arnowitz writes in the introduction to a reissue of Learning to Labour, as a battlefield where the “the social and technical division of labor is reproduced through contradiction and conflict” (1981: xii). Willis illustrates this through examining how working class boys drew on alternative ideologies of masculinity for their sense of self-worth and thereby rejected the ideology pushed by their teachers. This meant that the reproduction of capitalism was secured not through a smooth process but a contested one. Following Willis, scholars in education began to focus on the contestation of dominant logics in schools rather than their reproduction, asking, as Apple (2002) did, “whether education itself can have independent or at least relatively autonomous effects on society” (p. 612, original emphasis). Rather than taking the reproduction of capitalist logics as assured, this work focused on how institutions of schooling can at times push back against a narrow correspondence with the needs of capital (Gottesman, 2010). According to Apple (1988), this was necessary because Bowles and Gintis failed to take into account that “most institutions not only came about because of conflict, but are continuously riven by conflicts today” (p. 120) and that these conflicts are rooted in “genuinely contradictory elements in schools” (p. 124). Dale (2009) provides a useful summary of these contradictory elements, arguing that schooling systems must serve three core roles under capitalism: (1) producing a skilled labour force as an input into capital accumulation 79 and economic development, (2) creating social cohesion and order through instilling ideologies, and (3) providing a supposedly legitimate method of streaming children into social classes that can be used to justify the inequality of capitalism. As Dale argues the tensions between these roles often erupt into a conflict that complicates pictures of narrow correspondence and, as resistance scholars point out, this opens up room for resistance to shape institutions of schooling. While Dale’s three elements are a useful frame, it should be noted that not all scholars agree on them or view them as the core contradictions of schooling. For example, Carnoy and Levin (1985: p. 144) argued that, in the American case, conflict over education is built around two elements: On the one hand, schools reproduce the unequal, hierarchical relations of the capitalist workplace; on the other, schooling represents the primary force in the United States for expanding economic opportunity for subordinate groups and the extension of democratic rights… These forces are in structural opposition, creating contradictions – i.e. conflicts and internal incompatibilities – in education that result in a continuing struggle over direction. Nevertheless, despite disagreements on the precise nature of the conflictual pressures on education, by highlighting how contradictory forces shape conflict over schooling, resistance scholars pushed beyond a simple notion of correspondence between schools and capital. This brought about a focus scholarship tracing how resistance and conflict shape systems of schooling. Accelerating this break from reproduction theories of education, other scholars argued for the emancipatory potential of education in producing an anti-capitalist politics. Drawing on the work of Freire (1972), scholars like Giroux (1983) argued that a radical approach to education 80 could help unmask the relations of domination which kept the working class oppressed; or, as Freire wrote, help to “transcend the naïveté which allows itself to be deceived by appearances” (1972: p. 174; see also Murray and Liston, 2015). Instead of concentrating on how schooling functions under capitalism, these scholars worked to imagine a different type of specifically anti-capitalist schooling. In doing so, they furthered the break from reproduction theories in the sociology of education and helped to open the ‘black box’ of the actual practice of teaching. This opening of the ‘black box’ through a focus on pedagogical practices further problematized narrow depictions of the function of schooling and education. For instance, Arnot (2002) importantly points out that reproduction theories relied on a view of the school as an internally coherent institution rather than as a porous one. This has meant that theorists using these approaches failed to consider how schools interact with other social relations that can have a profound effect on students’ orientations towards schooling, such as family and peers. Collins (2009) makes the same point, further arguing that in cases where the household has a different ideology than that being proposed by schooling, we can understand social reproduction more closely at the family level. As these scholars have argued, examining schools as just one of many sites where reproduction occurs disrupts the notion of education as a system whereby capitalism is easily reproduced. The fact that schools must react to the needs and dispositions of their pupils as well the demands of their parents opens possibilities for resistance that cannot be seen through a narrow focus on schools as sites that must respond solely to the demands of capital (see also Apple, 2015; Carnoy and Levin, 1985). Furthermore, scholars have emphasized that capitalist logics are far from the only ones reproduced within schools. As the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) argued in the early 1980s, this narrow focus on reproduction and resistance of capitalism within education 81 hid the fact that education systems also served to reproduce patriarchal relations that were an important element in shaping the schooling system — notably through channelling male and female students into different professions or through emphasizing the role of women as homemakers (Baron et al., 1981). Since that time much of the post-Bowles and Gintis work in the neo-Marxist sociology of education in the United States has focused understanding the ways in which patriarchy, white supremacy, and other systems of oppression are reproduced through the schooling system. For example, Leonardo (2012) calls for a critical raceclass theory of education that acknowledges the importance of capitalist system of production in shaping schools without placing race or racism as a secondary phenomenon. Likewise, Dumas (2011) has argued that race is always classed, and class always raced, and therefore the two must be understood as always connected and articulated to one another. An important aspect of much of this work is in emphasizing the ways that schooling, as a site of social reproduction, has played an integral role in the feminist and civil rights movements. This work has therefore focused on how we can understand the sometimes-progressive role of schools as sites of resistance within the greater context of capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy (Apple, 2015; Arnot, 2002). While acknowledging that the potential of schools to transcend these structures is limited, scholarship has focused on how schools have been a crucial site of disjuncture that opens cracks for resistance. As Arnot (2002: p. 12) writes when discussing education’s role in increasing the professional credentials held by women: Schools as institutions have played a key role in challenging the gendered curriculum and traditional female pathways into social-class destinations… yet at the same time the pattern of sex segregation in the labour market has not only been sustained but, in some cases, it has been even more divisive and oppressive to women than previously. Considerable 82 tension now exists between female aspirations for autonomy and personal freedom and the reality of their material circumstances. In this example, struggles within schooling have met with success in changing the school as an institution but have not changed the corresponding institutions of workplaces. This highlights a contradiction between a (relatively) more egalitarian system of schooling and the patriarchal world of labour and therefore possibilities for struggles within schooling to push outwards. Common to the studies of resistance scholars reviewed above then, is a move beyond a narrow focus on the needs of capital. Rather they have highlighted how the contradictory pressures on schools cause conflict with, and sometimes outright resistance to, the reproduction of the capitalist system. For example, the inherent contradiction of placing schools as both the site where students are streamed into a hierarchical labour market and as the site where these hierarchies can supposedly be transcended, marks a tension that can erupt easily erupt into conflict if not managed. By highlighting these contradictions and the conflicts they create, resistance theorists have emphasized the importance of paying attention to the actual practices of schooling. 3.2.3 Correspondence, reproduction, and resistance The debate between reproduction theories and those focusing on resistance has largely faded from view within the modern sociology of education, with the discipline moving away from studying the correspondence between education and capitalism. Despite recent calls to reconceptualise the relationship between reproduction and resistance (Au, 2006; Gottesman, 2010; McGrew, 2011), the debates of the 70s and 80s have continued to exist in what De Lissovoy (2008: p. 934) calls a ‘stale truce’ with (some) orthodox Marxists engaging in separate 83 debates from the rest of the field while resistance scholarship continues to be an important field of study (McGrew, 2011). However, recently scholars like Au (2006), McGrew (2011), and Gottesman (2013) have attempted to reclaim the work of authors such as Bowles and Gintis by arguing that resistance scholars should not be thought of as overturning work focusing on reproduction but instead as exploring the other side of a dialectic between reproduction and resistance; to these authors rather than being completely opposed, forces of reproduction and resistance should be understood as in dialectical tension. Carnoy and Levin (1985: p. 4) argued the same thirty years ago, writing that "the relationship between education and work is dialectical—composed of a perpetual tension between two dynamics, the imperatives of capitalism and those of democracy in all its forms.” As will be explored in the next section, the methods of balancing this tension is not fixed but, instead, plays out differently across contexts; for as Carnoy and Levin (1985: p. 5) continue: “A dialectical relation is one that is characterized by change; it represents a social form that is always coming into being; it changes according to the phase of the underlying conflict." 3.3 State schooling systems and the educational settlement The review of the relationship between education and larger sociological processes above has emphasized the contradictory pressures on schooling systems. While unflattering descriptions of correspondence theory suggest that we can understand schooling simply through its correspondence with the needs of capital, most scholars from Althusser to resistance theorists have emphasized that institutions of schooling must balance competing pressures. This means that the nature of schooling from context to context is likely to be the result of how these competing agendas interact with the politics of a place and the ways in which capitalism functions in different societies; indeed, as Bonal (2003) argues, the ways in which state 84 education systems respond to these pressures can vary significantly in different national contexts. It is with this in mind that this section explores what Baron et al. (1981: p. 31) refer to as the ‘educational settlement’ whereby a “dominant alliance of forces, and a more widespread recruitment of popular support or inducement of popular indifference” are able to produce a stable compromise between competing agendas for schooling. Following from the earlier review it can be understood that, at a minimum, institutions of schooling in the United States and other advanced capitalist countries must balance the needs of capitalism to both produce workers and to legitimize how these workers are streamed into social classes. Indeed, as outlined above the scholarship of the 1970s was focused almost exclusively on these roles, debating whether they entirely shaped education systems or if there was room for resistance within the practice of schooling. Lost in this polarized view was, as Morrow and Torres (1996) point out, the role of the state as the governing body through which schooling agendas are formed and contested (see also Carnoy and Levin, 1985). For them, without focusing the state as a mediator of conflict it is impossible to capture the specificities through which education policies are formed. Indeed, as Dale writes (2009: p. 22-23), understanding the state’s role in shaping how competing agendas are balanced is essential to understanding schooling: the fundamental key to understanding education systems lies in recognising their relationship to the core problems of capitalism, that it cannot itself solve and that it needs an institution like the state to provide... I have always argued that the solutions to these problems were as likely to be mutually contradictory as mutually complementary… and that attempts to resolve these contradictions lay at the heart of education policy. The conflicts discussed by resistance theories therefore cannot be understood as only taking place within institutions of schooling but must instead must situate these institutions within their 85 context as extensions of the state. This means that any understanding of educational policy must include a focus on how the conflictual pressures within education play out in conflicts over the role of the state. The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) and their book Unpopular Education provides an example of how the study of schooling can take the role of the state into account. In tracing the evolution of English education policy from 1944 to 1980, the CCCS utilized a Gramscian analysis to examine how education policies have changed to accommodate different methods of balancing competing agendas for public education. This included the important point that understanding the needs of capital is far from straightforward given that different types of capital have varied requirements for schooling. Furthermore, the CCCS argued that the needs of capital are an important, but incomplete, way to understand schooling. They did so based on the argument that the relationship between families and schools as well as the power of teachers’ unions are important elements shaping schooling systems. Taking these competing demands into account, the CCCS argued that state education systems develop ‘educational settlements’ whereby relations between these interests become temporarily stabilized; as they write: the term ‘educational settlement’… [refers] to the balance of forces in and over schooling. Settlements entail, at this ‘regional’ rather than ‘global’ level, some more or less enduring set of solutions to capital’s educational needs, the putting together of a dominant alliance of forces, and a more widespread recruitment of popular support or inducement of popular indifference (1981: p. 32). The CCCS illustrated this concept by examining how the English schooling system cycled through different settlements over several decades. This included a post-war settlement on a 86 tiered public education system with strict standards, followed by the expansion of access in the 1960s, and, finally, the neoliberal educational settlement that they saw emerging at the time of their writing. In doing so, they illustrated how education policies reflected the wider balance of power within the state and how this placed different demands on schooling. Carnoy and Levin (1985) undertook a similar analysis of education policy in the United States, arguing that changes in schooling can best be understood through the overall balance of power between social movements and capital. For them the dialectic between reproduction and resistance plays out through state institutions, with capital reworking the state at moments when it is strong and social movements pushing for democratic equality at moments when they have power. Carnoy and Levin (1985) explicitly ground their work in opposition to the education scholarship of the 70s which they characterize as viewing the state as an empty shell or as a monolithic block captured by capital, writing: Schools are conservative institutions. In the absence of external pressures for change, they tend to preserve existing social relations. But external pressures for change constantly impinge on schools even in the form of popular tastes. In historical periods when social movements are weak and business ideology is strong, schools tend to strengthen their function of reproducing workers for capitalist workplace relations and the unequal division of labor. When social movements arise to challenge these relations, schools move in the other direction to equalize opportunity and expand human rights (p. 285). In their book, Schooling and Work in the Democratic State, Carnoy and Levin illustrate how the democratic aspects of schooling have been strongest in periods where social movements are active such as during the civil rights era and weakest in times where capital is powerful such as prior to the Great Depression and during the Reagan era. Unlike Apple and Giroux’s early work, 87 Carnoy and Levin argue that schooling is not the site where resistance is formed but is a secondary site of struggle in wider social movements. Regardless, like the CCSS, Carnoy and Levin (1985) argue that it is essential to understand the balance of power within the state to understand the functioning of school systems. Morrow and Torres (1996), writing across contexts, also focus on the state as a site of articulation between the needs of production. social reproduction, and resistance. Rather than simply focusing on the school (and the friction between schooling and family culture) or on the macrostructures of capitalism, they instead argue for a more open understanding of how state-led policy may differentially manage the tensions inherent to capitalist schooling: in advanced capitalist societies, and developing ones that successfully confront the imperatives for sustained development, the key to a theory of educational reproduction lies in a theory of public policy that can analyze educational policy formation in specific, empirical terms, thus mediating between the abstraction of general societal processes, or a microanalysis of conflicts within educational system (Morrow and Torres, 1996: p. 343, original emphasis) To Morrow and Torres the struggle over schooling’s contradictory roles under capitalism can only be understood in relation to struggles over educational policies that are conjunctural in nature. Bonal (2003), writing about Spain’s position in the semi-periphery, extends Morrow and Torres’ point; he argues that as institutions of schooling evolve in the face of legitimation crises, they do so in ways that are shaped their national context. For example, in Spain the neoliberalization of schooling has played out differently than in the Anglo-American sphere due to the strong position of the Catholic Church and a relatively weak discourse of schools as the means of achieving social mobility (Bonal, 2003). This has meant that neoliberal reforms over 88 schooling that seem similar at a distance can vary in reality — with the Spanish state’s attempt to manage the competing forces of education reformers and the Catholic Church leading to a different sort of ‘educational settlement.’ Therefore, if the state acts as a site for social struggles over education, the nature of that struggle changes from place to place in a manner that fits within each state’s attempts to balance capitalism’s contradictions. The work of the CCCS (1981), Carnoy and Levin (1985), and Morrow and Torres (1996) all help to expand upon the dialectic of reproduction and resistance found in the early work of Apple and Giroux. They do so by extending the dialectic into the functioning of the state and exploring how the state acts as what Carnoy and Levin (1985) refer to as a strategic battlefield for any crisis in capitalist schooling. Furthermore, what the CCCS (1981), Morrow and Torres (1995), and Bonal (2003) illustrate through their empirical work is that these struggles over state institutions are conjunctural in nature and coalesce into national ‘educational settlements’ whereby the dialectic between resistance and reproduction is temporarily stabilized. Struggles over and within the state are therefore not determined by the needs of capital (as narrow representations of correspondence theory suggest) nor are they internal to the practice of schooling (as narrow readings of resistance theory would suggest) — instead, they are shaped by the specific, conjunctural politics of schooling as reflected in state-based education systems. While these authors were writing at the beginning of the neoliberalization of schooling, they can provide a roadmap for how to understand the neoliberal ‘educational settlement’ and how it attempts to balance the contradictory demands on schooling outlined by Dale (2009) and others. 3.4 Neoliberalism and the educational settlement Given the important role of the state in balancing the tensions inherent to schooling in advanced capitalist societies, any attempt to understand the present day educational settlement must be 89 attuned to how the state has changed over the past several decades. This means an attention to how processes of neoliberalization have drastically remade schooling policies through a combination of austerity politics and market rule. While the ways in neoliberalization has occurred within schooling is the result of politics specific to the education sector, the broader political movement away from the state delivery of public services and towards maximizing economic competitiveness is common across most state institutions. As such, in this section I will examine how processes of neoliberalization have pushed towards a new educational settlement in the United States. This is presented in three sections: (1) a brief review of the concept of neoliberalism; (2) a discussion of the shape of neoliberal education policies; and, (3) some preliminary thoughts on the emerging neoliberal educational settlement. 3.4.1 Neoliberalization and education A detailed review of neoliberalism and neoliberalization is outside of the scope of this chapter. However, it is important to be clear about the understanding of neoliberalism used in this dissertation. This is because the term is often used without attaching a clear meaning to the concept or portrayed simplistically as the dismantling of the Keynesian welfare state without regard to how neoliberal policies build new systems of governance (Peck and Tickell, 2002). For clarity’s sake, and following Peck (2010), I use the term neoliberalization to denote the process through which market forms have been created and expanded through state restructuring. According to Brenner, Peck and Theodore (2010), this spread of market forms is the core of neoliberalism. As they write: “whatever the differences among them… all prevalent uses of the notion of neoliberalism involve references to the tendential extension of market-based competition and commodification processes into previously insulated realms of political-economic life” (p. 326). Importantly however, Brenner, Peck, and Theodore emphasize that this 90 is not a pre-ordained process whereby all states will end up with the same, neoliberal, governance structure, but rather a variegated process where the neoliberal tendency towards market rule interacts with existing regulatory and social landscapes. This means that the shape that neoliberal policies take is always hybrid, a mix of ideological state restructuring in the image of a market and of existing political and social structures. This hybridity is important in understanding the way that the educational settlement in the United States has been shifted through processes of neoliberalization. As scholars like Carnoy and Levin (1985) and Morrow and Torres (1996) have written, the politics of schooling are always connected to struggles over the state, and conflicts over neoliberalization are no exception. As will be explored in Chapter 4, over the past several decades American institutions of schooling have been increasingly remade in the image of an idealized market and this has resulted in fundamental changes to the way that schooling is governed (Apple, 2001). Importantly, the precise nature of these changes can best be understood through examining how processes of neoliberalization have, in the manner discussed by Brenner, Peck, and Theodore (2010), resulted in new, hybrid forms. Because neoliberal education policies, like past educational settlements, must find a balance between the needs of capital and the social demands placed upon schools, the form through which these needs are balanced has become the subject of conflict over institutions of schooling. Of course, this conflict over schools is a process still very much in motion. While settlements are never complete in their effects, this is particularly true for the expansion of market-rule given that the majority of students in the United States are still educated at their neighbourhood school. Nevertheless, it is possible to examine whether the contradictory pressures on schooling in the United States are in tension with emerging neoliberal, market 91 forms such as charter schools. Therefore, in the sections that follow I will explore processes of neoliberalization in American schooling in order to understand how these new governance structures are forming and whether they are managing to form a new educational settlement. To do so I will begin by discussing the ways that neoliberalization marks a departure from the existing educational settlement and then move on to exploring how competing agendas for education have been managed as market rule has expanded. 3.4.2 The emerging, neoliberal educational settlement Rizvi and Lingard (2009) in examining global trends in education policy have noted that neoliberal states have placed an increasing importance on education as an input into economic competition — especially in comparison to previous educational settlements. Drawing on Labaree, and in a manner similar to Dale (2009), they argue that there are three key ‘educational values’ that schooling systems must balance: (1) democratic equality, or the view that schools are integral to developing a socially cohesive community where everyone’s personal fulfilment is maximized; (2) social mobility, or the view of education as a rivalrous process through which individuals prepare themselves for the labour market and where effort and intelligence is rewarded; and, (3) social efficiency, or the view of education as the means of creating workers who will contribute to economic productivity and the competitiveness of the state. According to Rizvi and Lingard, as globalization has placed states (and regions and cities) in competition with each other for investment, the balance between these values has become increasingly oriented towards social efficiency or education as economic input. This has meant that education reforms have prioritized the role of schools in the economic competitiveness of a nation or a place. As they write, 92 [the] economistic reframing of education policy has led to an emphasis on policies of education as the production of human capital to ensure the competitiveness of the national economy in the global context. In most countries now, economic restructuring has become the metapolicy framing proposals for education policy reform (Rizvi and Lingard, 2009: p. 16). As they argue, this shift in priorities has meant that education reforms have been geared towards increasing the economic competitiveness of a state rather than focusing on improving social cohesion or increasing social mobility. Certainly, in the United States the focus on education as a means of economic competition and an associated panic about the state of American schools can clearly be seen. Starting with the Reagan-era report A Nation at Risk (1983), the supposed failure of schools has been portrayed as a threat to the future of the country. Indeed, the hyperbolic beginning to the report is clear in this regard, stating: “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war” (p. 7). More recently, the popular 2010 documentary Waiting for Superman was promoted with the tag line “the fate of our country won’t be decided on the battlefield. It will be decided in the classroom” while repeatedly emphasizing the danger of China outcompeting the United States in educating children. This overwhelming orientation towards economic competition, a hallmark of the market-based logic of neoliberalism, has been used to justify the reshaping of institutions of schooling, including an increased focus on science, technology, engineering, and math and a de-emphasis on art, music, and humanities (Dimitriadis, 2012). This focus has been enacted through prioritizing the results of standardized tests that are largely oriented towards the sciences. As Dimitriadis (2012) and Rizvi and Lingard (2009) argue, 93 standardized tests have been used to promote the social efficiency argument in education through a singular attention to how schools can achieve high scores on tests oriented towards the sciences, the results of which are promoted as measuring public education’s input into economic competition. This focus on economic competition in education is important to understanding the disruption of the existing educational settlement because, as Torres (2013) argues, it has an enabled a shift in the common sense of schooling so profound as to end the 80-year dominance of what he calls the ‘New School’ approach to education. In this approach, which is widely associated with Dewey, education is viewed as an integral institution for establishing the well-being of society and for promoting notions of equality and equity. While Torres acknowledges that at no point has a single understanding of education been totally dominant, he argues that the New School’s attention to experiential learning, the development of democratic citizens, and to social mobility has been gradually minimized through successive waves of neoliberalization since the 1980s. As it has done so Torres, in a similar manner to Rizvi and Lingard (2009), suggests that education has increasingly been viewed as means of increasing economic competitiveness. However, to Torres (2013), this shift is not limited to viewing education as an input to the competitiveness of nation-states but also to instilling the ‘neoliberal common sense’ of competition at all levels of the schooling experience. This has taken place through the imposition of market forms and through positioning students in competition which each other as they compete for scarce educational resources (like spots at top universities). Thus the changes to schooling go beyond simple a focus on making public education systems a more efficient input into economic competitiveness but also in instilling the ideology of competition in students. 94 The growth of markets described in this dissertation’s introduction (and further outlined in Chapter 4) has been a large part of the shift towards a neoliberal common sense that Torres highlights. It has also emerged in lock step with the crisis narrative in education, with markets often proposed as the solution to the failings of the public education system and the means through which American education can become more competitive (Lipman, 2011). As described by Scott (2013) and other scholars (Apple, 2001; Gillborn and Youdell, 1999; Lipman, 2011; Pedroni, 2007) this promotion of markets has come at the expense of other educational values. As Scott argues: Market advocates, in promising that choice will empower local school communities… have rejected the redistribution of resources and opportunity for democratic participation—a right that many early civil rights activists struggled to attain for underserved populations. In addition, the emphasis on choice and individual empowerment neglects the ongoing community and grassroots-based movements for educational equity that continue to emphasize issues of democracy, resource equality, and desegregation (Scott, 2013: p. 65). Through a crisis narrative and its proposed solution in the creation of markets, there has therefore been a shift in how schooling is viewed and how it is delivered — with ideals of ‘democracy, resource equality, and desegregation’ deemphasized in the valorization of ideals of competitiveness. A key element in this shift has been the downloading of the responsibility to the individual or household level. As the quote from Scott (2013) above illustrates, this shift has involved undermining communitarian notions of public education through a focus on the household as ultimately responsible for the success of a child’s schooling. Importantly, this has disproportionately placed the burden of managing children’s education on often under-resourced 95 and overworked female caregivers. Given the social construction of such schooling decisions as ‘women’s work,’ this downloading of responsibility places enormous pressures on mothers and other caregivers to act as stewards of their child’s education despite great emotional, physical, and economic cost (Cooper, 2005; 2007; DeSena, 2006; Jabbar et al., 2016; Stambach and David, 2005; Vincent, 2017). Cooper (2005; Wilson, 201514), DeSena (2006), Pattillo (2015), and Pedroni (2007) all therefore highlight that the uptake of such burdens does not necessarily mean a belief in the efficacy of markets, but rather is a response to the realities of these caregiver’s lives. As Pattillo (2015: p. 63) writes: In the absence of an entitlement to quality schools that allows students to “do what they gotta do,” Black parents will of course enter lotteries and line up to secure better schools for their children. They surely display individual agency in doing so. That, however, is not proof of a pro-school-choice politics, but is instead a political critique of how the state is currently falling short of these parents’ visions of educational opportunity and equity. Thus, while communitarian politics are undercut through the instilling of competitive pressures, households are required to take on a heavier load as the added responsibility of navigating school choices is placed upon them. This, perhaps, signals that the removal of alternative ideologies around education are not destroyed by the roll out of market forms, but, instead, that parents “do what they gotta do” in order to ensure their child’s success in an increasingly competition-oriented system. Importantly, as Pattillo argues, this does not mean parents lack agency in making these decisions, but rather that this agency is exercised within the constraints of the circumstances of these parent’s lives. 14 Cooper and Wilson are the same author (post name change). 96 Therefore, despite Rizvi and Lingard’s (2009) and Torres (2013) description of a shift in educational common sense and the growth in a narrative of personal responsibility, it may be premature to write off the importance of liberal values of schooling such as democratic equality and social mobility. Beyond research at the household level which suggests the incompleteness of the spread of neoliberal ideology, Warmington (2015) has also argued that as social inequality has grown and as the social safety net has been scaled back, the legitimation function of education has only increased in importance. According to Warmington, the myth of social mobility through a meritocratic system of education is integral to justifying the increasingly unequal distribution of wealth in an era of drastic social cutbacks (see also Imbroscio, 2016; Kantor and Lowe, 2006). This is because the meritocratic ideal in education allows for a supposed solution to inequality that does not require the redistribution of wealth or a dramatic increase in state spending. This makes it a popular solution for austerity-oriented regimes, with Warmington going so far as to refer to education as the “crisis strategy of the 1%” (p. 296) and Imbroscio (2016: p 183) calling education “the quintessential (and most fundamental) instrument of [the meritocratic] paradigm.” The strength and importance of this narrative can clearly be seen in the comments of Arne Duncan and Donald Trump quoted in this dissertation’s introduction as well as in this chapter’s epigraphs where education is referred to as ‘civil rights issue of our time’ and as the ‘only means to escape poverty.’ Similarly, in the UK context, Tony Blair used Labour’s education policy as a means of avoiding challenges to his regime’s neoliberal agenda, stating: to those who say where is Labour’s passion for social justice, I say education is social justice. Education is liberty. Education is opportunity (quoted in Gillborn and Youdell, 1999: p. 19). 97 Through this discursive move (which can also be seen in the statements of philanthropists supporting education [Cohen and Lizotte, 2015]), alternative pathways to social justice are precluded by the supposed ability of education to address systemic inequalities (Kantor and Lowe, 2006). While the efficacy of this approach can certainly be debated, it is clear that despite its repositioning under neoliberalism, education has played an important role in efforts to legitimate state austerity. Whether the importance given to education as a means of social mobility is enough to preserve alternative educational values is not clear. Statements like those by Blair, Duncan, and Trump may be an entirely discursive move, rather than one that opens possibilities for resistance. There are indeed reasons to doubt that non-economic values in schooling can be protected, especially due to the devolution of state control over schooling to private hands. Given that many schools in the United States are now operated by non-state actors, the governance of schooling has become increasingly insulated from the effects of public debate. Furthermore, even within the publicly-operated system, a rise in outsourcing has increased private control over core activities of schooling such as curriculum development and teacher training (Burch, 2009). These changes have lessened the role of the state as a mediator of educational conflict and helped to place decision-making power over education in private hands. In this light, even if groups are able to put pressure on state schooling institutions to enact progressive policies, the ability of the state to influence the education system as a whole may have been lessened. It is this context of decreased state control and the increased power of private capital over schooling that has led some education scholars to question whether consent is even needed for education reforms in a neoliberal context. For instance, De Lissovoy (2013) asks whether we can still use the Gramscian notion of consent to understand education given the use of high-stakes 98 testing, performance measures, and competitive incentives to coerce teachers and students to act in alignment with the view of education as a competitive endeavour. As he writes: It may be, in this era of hyper-testing, performance indexes and benchmarks, that the manufacture of consent in schooling (the traditional formula for ideological hegemony) is less important than the continuous submission to assessment and monitoring that is demanded of students and teachers alike. In a society in which the market has already effectively instituted itself as the inner and essential meaning, and in which ever more of the subject’s potentialities are mined and reorganized within its logic, it is no longer as important to inculcate a particular mindset; instead, the point is to ever more continuously organize and verify the subject as the effect or property of control (assessment) itself (De Lissovoy, 2013: p. 428, original emphasis). De Lissovoy therefore argues that the combination of technologies of assessment with market forms of schooling has resulted in a situation where coercion rather than consent is the primary method of education reform. If this is the case, then the ability of teachers, parents, and social movements to mitigate the effects of business-and-market oriented reforms may be limited — to say nothing of the potential to construct alternatives. Lipman (2013) comes to a similar conclusion to De Lissovoy but makes the argument that the use of coercion in education is highly uneven rather than universal across the schooling system. While Lipman concurs that the disciplining power of assessment regimes acts as a coercive force, she states that it is specifically targeted at low-income, racialized communities. She writes that in majority Black cities in the United States attempts to generate consent for education policies are almost non-existent and that state politicians and mayors have used crisis narratives and state takeovers to impose market rule and austerity governance. Following this 99 imposition of state power, schooling systems are then aligned to the desires of business leaders — for instance, the enabling processes of gentrification through school closures (see Chapter 6). This use of coercive state power rather than consent is justified through test results which mark majority African-American and Latinx school districts as failures. Importantly, Lipman (2013) makes the point that this system of coercion is predicated on a broader consent to market reform outside of these communities which provides tacit support for state takeovers or mayoral control. As such, consent and coercion are highly uneven, with different groups targeted for one or the other. As argued above this has meant that certain populations, most notably women of colour, are put in situations where school choice is a matter of preserving their children’s future in the face of a dismantled public school system (Cooper 2005; 2007; Pattillo, 2015). In making this argument Lipman signals to the work of Apple (2001) who has traced how a careful alliance of evangelical Christians and neoliberal market reformers have reshaped American schooling. As Apple (2001) writes, this alliance has been made possible through a discursive shift around what democratic schooling means. While previously democracy in schooling was viewed as residing in collective decision-making processes, neoconservative and neoliberal groups, including a strongly-organized home schooling community, have promoted the notion that personal choice in a market is the purest notion of democratic schooling (see also Cohen and Lizotte, 2015). This shift has been enthusiastically received by both neoliberals who believe in the efficiency of markets and by neoconservatives and evangelical Christians who wish to limit state control over their children’s education. Given the consent of these groups, it is therefore inaccurate to state that coercion dominates education policy but rather that, as Lipman (2013) writes, its use is specifically targeted. Furthermore, even amongst communities targeted 100 for coercion there is often a level of consent as community leaders are enrolled in participating in market-making efforts (Cohen and Lizotte, 2015; Pedroni, 2007). 3.4.3 Stability and contradiction in the neoliberal settlement When reading across these descriptions of the neoliberal education settlement two things become apparent. First, is that a focus on schooling as an input to economic competitiveness (or social efficiency in Rizvi and Lingard’s  terms) has been prioritized over social cohesiveness and democratic control over schools. As Apple (2001) has written, this shift has occurred through an agreement on the importance of market mechanisms in schooling and a scaled-back curriculum focused on the ‘basics’ like science, technology, engineering, and math. Second, is that these reforms have not only prioritized economic competitiveness but have actively disempowered groups that have traditionally pushed back against a narrow, economic view of the role of education such as teachers’ unions. By moving the delivery of schooling outside of direct state control, the strength of resistance efforts from social movements, parents, and teachers has been curtailed, enabling a shift towards market mechanisms and economic competitiveness. Furthermore, as Jabbar et al. (2016) have argued this shift towards marketization has profoundly changed the nature of not only schooling but of teaching, as the associated dismantling of unions undoes wage protections and job security within the largely feminized profession. However, the stability of this settlement is not assured, especially given the importance of other roles placed on schooling in the United States. As De Lissovoy (2013), Dimitriadis (2010), and Lipman (2013) have emphasized, outright coercion has often been used to implement market-based education reforms. Such coercion has been enacted through the disciplinary power of a standardized-testing based accountability regime as well as through outright state power targeted at largely African-American and Latinx communities (see Chapter 6 on Detroit). There 101 are cracks in the potential stability of this settlement however, with a growing anti-test movement and protests against education reforms in places like Chicago perhaps signalling some fragility (Au and Ferrare, 2015). This fragility should not be overstated, however. Indeed, the neoliberal educational settlement has shown signs of being able to serve its role of legitimating economic inequality and therefore limiting resistance to its roll out. Through an emphasis on the meritocratic ideal in the national narrative and a discursive shift which has made individual choice synonymous with democratic schooling, the public’s belief in the connection between education and social mobility continues to show signs of strength. This can not only be seen in the narratives around schooling discussed above, but also in its material practice. For example, one of the best-funded and most well-known charter school chains, the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), espouses a ‘no excuses’ brand of education that wilfully ignores racial and class barriers in the promotion of individual responsibility for a student’s own performance. Notably, KIPP requires that parents and students sign a ‘Commitment to Excellence’ form that emphasizes that poverty is no excuse for failure to achieve high test scores. Their guiding ‘Five Pillars’ make this explicit, setting “high expectations for academic achievement and conduct that make no excuses based on the students' backgrounds” (The Promise of College Completion, 2016: p. 1, emphasis added). Similarly, Eva Moskowitz (2014), the head of New York’s largest charter chain, Success Academies, penned an opinion piece that boiled down this ideology to a simple title: ‘Schools can help all kids—poverty is no excuse.’ As Warmington (2015) argues, the neoliberal settlement on education has attempted to achieve some sort of stability through its emphasis on market-based schooling as the method through which structural barriers can be overcome. This 102 helps to paint widespread inequality as the result of individual failings rather than systemic problems, stifling dissent against the new educational settlement. This mobilization of school choice as the solution to poverty, and therefore of an individual’s failure to properly exercise choice as the root of failures to achieve social mobility, has helped tamper resistance to market-based regimes of schooling (Eastman et al, 2017; Scott, 2013; Sondel, 2015). As Eastman et al. (2017: p. 79) argue: By shifting the public responsibility to guarantee the civil rights of culturally and linguistically diverse students and those students with special needs to individual consumers—now expected to ‘‘shop’’ for those ‘‘services’’ themselves—the charter model obviates possibilities for social critique…. Not only is the Sisyphean labor that secured the educational civil rights of diverse students rendered invisible, the charter model erodes the foundation on which parents have to stand in making future demands. This removal of possibilities for critique has been augmented by the mobilization of the language of civil rights to frame school choice as a source of empowerment (Cohen and Lizotte, 2015; Scott, 2009; 2013). While, as Scott (2013) documents, previously the language of civil rights “gave rise to movements fighting for community control, democratic governance, and curricula that represented the histories and cultures of children of color,” this same language is now used to position choice the means through which liberation can be achieved. The displacement of these movement’s energies into the exercise of personal choice has therefore bolstered the stability of the neoliberal educational settlement by providing an alternative direction for dissatisfaction. It has also further undermined potential avenues of resistance by requiring that caregivers direct their energies towards navigating the labyrinthine array of school choices on top of their existing burdens, hindering their ability to mobilize towards communitarian 103 principles (Pattillo, 2015). Importantly however, the ideology of choice and markets does not only work on marginalized communities that bear the brunt of these policies. As Ball (2003) writes, it also matches up with a middle-class habitus which has always viewed education as a competitive endeavor through which their class power can be passed on to the children. This has provided a deep well of support for market-based reforms that helps stabilize these reforms in the presence of any challenges. The use of education to maintain the neoliberal order, and the hegemony of market-oriented policies, is not limited to K-12 education. As Cottom (2017) documents, in an era of insecure economic futures and intense labour market competition, increased access to post-secondary education and a rising credentialism have also helped displace dissatisfaction with the current order. This is not only achieved through the valorization of elite education as a means of social mobility but also though an increase in for-profit vocational universities which Cottom terms ‘Lower Ed.’ These schools sell a vision of a better economic future that furthers the legitimation function of education without disrupting the new educational settlement. In her words: Lower Ed encompasses all credential expansion that leverages our faith in education without challenging its market imperatives and that preserves the status quo of race, class, and gender inequalities in education and work. When we offer more credentials in lieu of a stronger social contract, it is Lower Ed. When we ask for social insurance and get workforce training, it is Lower Ed. When we ask for justice and get “opportunity,” it is Lower Ed (Cottom, 2017: p. xxiii). By offering a ‘shining city on a hill’ these schools continue the narrative that more schooling will offer a way out of poverty by positing that it is a lack of credentials that is responsible for an 104 individual’s poverty; the failure of a high school education to provide an income leads to the solution of requiring further education, presenting an ever-moving target whereby the failure of schooling to solve issues of poverty requires the further continuation of schooling. This ideological work which promotes the potential of schooling markets in helping alleviate poverty may therefore serve to provide a basis for the neoliberal educational settlement, especially when combined with the coercive power of accountability regimes and the targeted use of state power on those most negatively affected (and therefore most likely to resist). As the rest of this dissertation will explore, the hegemony of this settlement, like all hegemonies, is incomplete but the contours of the neoliberal education settlement can be seen. 3.5 Conclusion The scholarship reviewed above makes it clear that education serves important roles in processes of societal reproduction and as an input into the economic system. The management of these roles and of the tensions between them have shaped how the state has delivered education in places like the United States. While there are debates between scholars on the extent to which state schooling systems are shaped by the needs of capital, there is little doubt that these systems constitute an important element of social and economic systems regardless of their method of delivery. This is important because the pressures placed upon schools do not disappear as markets take over their management; indeed, in some respects they have only grow stronger in an area of increased market rule. As Warmington (2015) argues, the roll back of the welfare state has placed more pressure on the education system to serve its function in legitimating economic and social inequality. This is despite the fact that, as Rizvi and Lingard (2009) argue, education is increasingly viewed as an input into economic competitiveness. In the past, such precarious 105 balances were forged through different state-led educational settlements. However, with the turn to markets and a rise in austerity governance, the ability of states to form such settlements is in doubt. De Lissovoy (2013) and Lipman (2013) therefore argue that we may be seeing a settlement based on coercion rather than consent. Regardless of how these tensions are balanced however, it is likely that they will be manifested within schooling markets, especially as they grow and make up a larger part of the American educational landscape. The past forty years of debates over the role of schools and schooling in capitalism will therefore be useful in understanding the politics which shape charter school markets. While the models used to deliver schooling may have changed, many of the dynamics shaping schooling have stayed the same. Dale’s (2009) three core problems of education (supporting capital accumulation, promoting social cohesion, and legitimating inequality) or, similarly, Rizvi and Lingard’s (2009) three values for education (democratic equality, social mobility, and social efficiency) continue to constitute pressures that state schooling systems must address. Part of the challenge in studying schooling markets will therefore be uncovering how and in what form these core problems/values will manifest themselves in the social structures of charter school markets. In relation to the review undertaken in Chapter 2, the question is whether there are tensions between what Torres (2013) refers to as the new neoliberal common sense of markets and these educational values, and how these may play out in and through markets. 106 Part 1: Conclusion The chapters in Part 1 of this dissertation present a review of two literatures that are not often put into conversation, but which do have important areas of overlap. Reading the two in tandem has much to offer both groups of scholarship. On the one hand, if the project of studying the functioning of actually-existing markets is to be advanced, then schooling markets and the social dynamics that coalesce within them present a fruitful site for understanding the social underpinnings of how markets function. On the other, as schooling markets grow in scale, understanding the origins and functioning of these markets will be a crucial task for the sociology of education. The reviews above provide some directions as to the common ground through which these two literatures can be put into conversation. Notably, as neoliberalization has gained strength and markets have grown in both scope and scale, scholars studying both areas have become increasingly interested in market ideology as a hegemonic project. The arguments put forward in Chapter 2 drawing on the work of Block (2011), Burawoy (2003), Fraser (2013; 2014), and Hall (1986) as well as geographic scholarship by Berndt (2015), Christophers (2014b) and Muellerleile (2013) all highlight how the ideology of market efficiency has worked to expand and shape actually-existing markets. Within education, scholars like Lipman (2013), Pedroni (2011), Scott (2013), and Torres (2013) have linked the growth in schooling markets to the same hegemonic project. In seeking to understand how neoliberal common sense shapes actually-existing schooling markets, there is therefore common ground through which the insights into markets outlined in Chapter 2 and into schooling outlined in Chapter 3 can be put into conversation. Through asking how this hegemonic project plays out in schooling and how 107 resistance to this project is either dissipated or integrated into market forms, both sets of literatures can better grasp the social phenomena they seek to understand. An editorial penned by Success Academy founder Eva Moskowitz (2014) briefly mentioned in Chapter 3 provides an excellent example of how reading market hegemony and educational values in concert can help us understand the shape of actually-existing charter school markets. In this editorial Moskowitz exhibits a discursive attention to traditional educational values such as social mobility, a true belief in the neoliberal common sense of the market, and a strong emphasis on personal responsibility as the key to success. As she writes: Many of our Success Academy families face incredible challenges. Some work two jobs, others don’t have a job. About 6 percent of our families are homeless. We have single parents, parents who struggle with difficult economic realities, parents who commute from Staten Island to Harlem — they had to move from Manhattan, but they refused to give up on their child’s education.… We as a nation can’t fix poverty unless we fix education, and we can’t fix education if we keep telling ourselves our schools are “good enough.” If we sell low-income, minority children short, because we believe their poverty prevents them from learning, then indeed, they won’t learn. If we want to help our children of color to rise out of poverty, we must give them schools on par with what their more affluent peers have. We don’t have an achievement gap in America — we have an opportunity gap. With access to great schools, African-American students --— indeed, all students — can and do achieve tremendous academic success. If we give all children a fair start, then the race is theirs to win. 108 We don’t need so much to “lift” children from poverty as to equip them with the skills and self-confidence to achieve their dreams. We must choose to make schools incubators of opportunity, not poverty traps. (2014: para. 19-28) The narrative above illustrates the ideological work performed to stabilize the neoliberal educational settlement. Moskowitz offers a market-oriented vision which mimics the language of liberation and which offers markets as the method through which the educational value of social mobility can be achieved (Scott, 2013). By commenting on the failures of the existing system, Moskowitz places market-based schooling (specifically charter schools) as a progressive alternative and castigates those who tell themselves that schools are ‘good enough.’ While these people go unnamed, the reader will be able to identify them as supporters of the traditional public school system, especially teachers’ unions. This denigration of what has come before also helps provide a justification for market-based reforms because, in this view, markets will allow schools like the Success Academies to provide a quality of education that by themselves overcome structural barriers and eliminate poverty. Any resulting poverty thereby becomes the result of personal failure rather than that of the education system and certainly not as related to the failure (or retrenchment) of redistributive social systems. The fact that impoverished families and especially female caregivers must sacrifice by commuting across the city while holding multiple jobs is not viewed as a problem inherent to a market system — instead it is a presented as an example of the empowering potential of choice. Moskowitz therefore illustrates all sides of the market/schooling coin here: highlighting how the market ideology is mobilized, undertaking the discursive work needed to justify markets as compatible with educational values, and setting up that any failure is the result 109 of parents who, unlike the parents of her students, have ‘given up’ on their children’s education by not moving cities or commuting hours every day while holding multiple jobs. Through pairing the study of markets with the study of schooling, this dissertation can help uncover the complex entanglement of market and schooling logics that have been used to create charter school markets across the United States and which are witnessed in Moskowitz’s editorial. In doing so, this dissertation can also help address some of the questions for the geography of markets outlined in Chapter 2. Perhaps most promisingly, it provides an avenue for understanding how struggles within a particular market are linked to circuits of power and the means through which powerful actors can shape the functioning of actually-existing markets. As described above, charter school markets are linked to a general political struggle over the future of American schooling. As such, how these politics shape the functioning of specific markets in Michigan and Oregon can help address questions about the connections between internal market struggles and wider political dynamics. This also helps unlock secondary questions such as Christophers’ (2015) provocative one about why markets remain largely stable in the face of contestation. In both methodological and theoretical terms, charter school markets provide an avenue for studying struggles within markets as well as how they are enmeshed within wider geographies of power. In regard to the rest of this dissertation. When the methodological and theoretical concerns of both literatures are put together, the broad outline of a framework that can be used to study schooling market emerges. As outlined in Chapter 2, studying any market requires an attention to how these markets are created and struggled over. These struggles cannot be understood in isolation however but, instead, we must study the connections between the struggles within a market and other social dynamics. It is here that the review undertaken in 110 Chapter 3 is essential. While it is clear that the creation of schooling markets is connected to a broader neoliberalization of the state, many of the factors which drive struggles within charter school markets are likely to be particular to struggles over education. Furthermore, as Bonal (2003) has argued, the way pressures on schooling systems are balanced are likely to be contingent based on the geographic context within which schooling markets emerge. There is a clear case then for studying the geography of struggles over charter school markets as a means of better understanding the marketization of public education. This a methodological imperative as well as a theoretical one, with this dissertation’s research design seeking to trace outwards from individual markets to wider relations of power in order to understand how schooling markets function. 111 Part 2: Markets in Action The empirical cases outlined in the following chapters highlight different aspects of charter school markets and, in doing so, illustrate how these markets have been shaped by social struggles over their form. Utilizing the framework described in Part 1, in Part 2 of this dissertation I probe the specifics of how charter school markets operate at different scales, from the national circulation of models of market governance to the relationship between charter school markets and racial segregation at the metropolitan level. As such, each case serves as a different ‘window’ into the functioning of charter school markets, illuminating aspects of these markets which are not apparent from the vantage point of the other cases. As a whole, they provide an overview of the different struggles that have shaped the functioning of charter school markets and the ways in which they are embroiled with wider socioeconomic processes, particularly struggles over schooling. At a high level these chapters illustrate the following common arguments: (1) that political contestation has had a key role in shaping how charter school markets function; (2) that the dynamics specific to schooling outlined in Chapter 3 are an important element in these political conflicts; (3) that these struggles have also been shaped by the wider context of the hegemony of market rule; and (4) that space and place have had a key role in the functioning charter school markets and in the conflicts described in points 1 to 3. Chapter 4, Continual Circulation: The Mobility/Immobility of Schooling Markets in the United States, takes the widest viewpoint both geographically and temporally. In this chapter I examine the spread of charter school markets throughout the United States and place this process within the larger historical context of decades of failed attempts to mobilize market-based education policies. In doing so I draw mostly on archival research rather than the place-based research that forms the core of Chapters 5 and 6. By taking a historical view, I illustrate how and 112 why market-based education reforms were kept immobile during previous educational settlements and the work that was done to make charter schools compatible with the educational values described in Chapter 3. This chapter also charts the uneven spread of charter school policies across different American states, examining the place-based contextual factors that have shaped the mobilization of these policies and/or resistance to their implementation. In Chapter 4 then, the focus is on understanding how charter school markets are enmeshed within the wider circuits of power that are invested in their spread. Chapter 5, Conceptions of Control: Libertarian Markets and Local Power, largely focuses on the state-level emergence of charter school markets. In it I look at how the politics of Michigan and Oregon have resulted in vastly different charter school markets organized around divergent organizing principles: a libertarian ideal of an unrestricted market in Michigan and a focus on local control in Oregon. Having examined how these different principles have been challenged or advanced over time, I then highlight not only the role of struggle in shaping these markets but the uneven terrain upon which this occurs, focusing on the power of capital to shape markets in both states in spite of resistance efforts mobilizing values such as democratic equality and social cohesion. In doing so I illustrate how struggles within markets take place within the wider context of processes of capital accumulation and market hegemony. Finally, Chapter 6, Race, Power, and Schooling Markets in Detroit, takes a close look at how the uneven geography of charter school markets in Detroit is linked to longstanding patterns of racial segregation and the racially-driven use of state power to disenfranchise Black communities. I also trace the connections between the creation of these markets and the wider processes of municipal restructuring and austerity governance that have remade the city. Importantly however, in exploring these connections I argue that charter school markets do not 113 simply sit on patterns of racial segregation and municipal restructuring but actively reshape them. Through this window, charter school markets in Detroit are shown to be part of this greater program of the remaking of the racial politics of the city, serving as only one example of a long history of the disenfranchisement of the city’s Black community. Thus, the emergence of that city’s schooling markets is linked to not only the growth of market rule over Detroit’s schooling but over its entire social fabric. Unlike the previous two chapters, Chapter 6 focuses only on the Michigan case. This is because the dynamics of urban charter school markets in Oregon are largely covered in Chapter 5 and, given the small footprint of charter schools in Portland (the state’s largest city), have a vastly different dynamic than Detroit to the point that comparison would be unhelpful. Before moving on to these chapters however, it is worthwhile establishing how charter school markets are markets as per the basic definition laid out in Chapter 2: the organization of exchange. It is clear that charter school markets fit this definition. While the price is set, students and charter schools approach schooling as an exchange relation that is structured by the different networks, institutions, and ideas and technologies that make up charter school markets. For students and parents, charter school policies reduce their relationship with a school to simply an individual choice on a marketplace where government funding is exchanged for attendance at a school. While some charter schools may have a deeper relationship with students and their parents, there is no requirement that they do so and, at its most basic level, the exchange of money for schooling structures charter school markets.15 On the other end of the exchange 15 In contrast to traditional public schooling which commonly requires that schools have Parent Teacher Associations, school board meetings open to the public, and the election of governing bodies. 114 relation, charter school operators must recruit students and offer their services in order to gain government funding, without which they cannot exist. In both cases the schooling relationship is boiled down to one process, the choice of where that student will attend school and the exchange of money. 115 Chapter 4: Continual Circulation: The Mobility of Schooling Markets in the United States The growth of market-based education policies over the past twenty-five years has so drastically remade schooling systems in places like the United States that, as quoted in the introduction, education scholar Stephen Ball (2012a: p. 89) has gone so far as to call the current moment “the beginning of the end of state education.” These markets have not emerged spontaneously, but instead are the result of policies which have actively redirected public funding from democratically-elected school boards to privately-run schools. This includes charter school markets in the United States, but also the academies program in the United Kingdom and partnership schools in New Zealand. Importantly, the popularity of such policies can be linked to their promotion by different policy networks supportive of market-based reforms. Indeed, as outlined in this chapter, the shape of charter school markets in the United States can partially be understood as the result of how schooling markets-as-policy have been circulated, contested, and continually reshaped by such networks. With this in mind, in this chapter I discuss how the process of promoting charter school markets has unfolded in the United States, examining how the charter school model was made mobile and then reconstituted in places like Michigan and Oregon. This is accomplished by putting the framework developed in Part One in conversation with concept of policy mobilities, a theoretical and methodological literature that is well-suited to studying the mobilization of policy models like charter schools. Most notably, I do so through two arguments: (1) that the mobility of charter school policies must be understood as only one part of a longer project of promoting market-based schooling reforms; and, (2) that the mobility of charter school models should be 116 understood as an ongoing process rather than as limited to the time of their initial implementation. Both lines of thought contribute to our understanding of markets as shaped by sociospatial struggles over their form and by the wider context of the hegemony of market rule; highlighting how policies used to create markets are changed through processes of political contestation and through their interaction with placed-based contextual factors. In order to accomplish this task, this chapter will be broken up into five sections: (1) a brief review of the literature on policy mobilities; (2) an overview of the long history of (failed) attempts to mobilize market-based education policies in the United States; (3) a review of how the idea of charter schools became mobile in the 1990s and early 2000s; (4) a discussion of how charter school markets have been continually remade since their establishment; and, (5) some concluding thoughts. 4.1 A brief review: Policy mobilities The concept of policy mobilities emerged out of critical geographic work which sought to move beyond the fixed conceptions of policy movement found in existing literatures of policy transfer and policy diffusion (McCann, 2011; McCann and Ward, 2012; Peck and Theodore, 2010). In opposition to those literatures’ depiction of the movement of policy as the result of rational actors choosing between complete policy packages, the concept of policy mobilities instead focused attention on the power-laden, uneven process through which policies are moved and emphasized the partial nature of this travel. For McCann and Ward (2015), the value of the concept of policy mobilities is in conceptualizing the travel of policy not as an absolute by which we can categorize policies (this policy is mobile, that policy is immobile) but, instead, as a relational process, with ‘successful’ policies best understood as constructed in relation to ‘unsuccessful’ policies or the absence of a current policy solution used to justify the presence of 117 a new one. This relational approach provides scholars with a framework that breaks from simplistic understandings of the movement of policy and draws attention to how the contingent nature of policy movement can have important effects (Baker and Temenos, 2015; McCann, 2011; McCann and Ward, 2015; Peck, 2012b). Policy mobilities scholarship is therefore less concerned with charting the spread of policies and instead draws attention to the effects of how policies are made mobile. For example, work in policy mobilities has focused on the “informational infrastructure” through which policymakers learn about new policies (conferences, policy tours, etc.) and how this can emphasize certain aspects of a policy while de-emphasizing other aspects (Cook and Ward, 2012; González, 2011). By focusing on what happens to policy knowledge “along the way” (McCann, 2011: p. 217), the concept of policy mobilities allows scholars to incorporate the ways that relationships between jurisdictions and the framing of problems using technological assemblages (such as performance indicators) serve to promote not only specific policies, but specific understandings of those policies. For example, Ward’s (2006) study of the introduction of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) to the United Kingdom emphasizes the particular role that the case of New York and its focus on “broken windows”-style aesthetic improvements had in shaping the UK’s BID policy. By opening up the ‘black box’ of how policies are changed as they are moved between places, the policy mobilities literature emphasizes that seemingly-similar policies vary as they interact with the place-specific politics and institutions that do the hard work of implementation. This is true even of highly mobile policies promoted by powerful actors as local institutional contexts shape how policies are understood and implemented (Baker et al., 2016; Peck and Theodore, 2015). As Baker et al. (2016: p. 463) write, this variegation and duality define the 118 policy mobilities approach with its assertion that “policies are not generated abstractly in ‘deterritorialized’ networks of experts, rather, they emerge in and through concrete ‘local’ situations that constitute wider networks.” As policy mobilities scholarship helps us understand then, the ongoing power of neoliberal policies such as charter schools has not meant a process of homogenization but, as will be argued in this chapter, a series of mutations as the ‘deterritorialized’ and the ‘local’ interact to create new hybrid forms. Thus, as Peck and Theodore (2015: p. 18) argue, “policies may be crossing borders ever more “freely,” but this does not beckon a flat earth of standardized outcomes or some socioinstitutional monoculture.” With respect to markets, this conception of policy mobilities is important because policies, and the networks that move them, are a crucial site of struggle over the shapes that many markets take. For example, Lai (2011) examines the networks used to develop the policies establishing China’s financial markets, highlighting how Western experts clashed with Chinese bankers over the construction of these markets and how this resulted in a new, hybrid form. This means that the methods through which models of regulation or new market institutions are promoted by different actors are likely to have a strong effect on how markets operate, especially in the case of newly constructed markets (such as charter school markets). How charter school policies have been mobilized by different actors and how local political struggles have shaped their implementation are therefore central to understanding the forms that charter school markets take in different states. For this reason, the history of how charter school markets have been promoted throughout the United States is an essential element in understanding the way these markets function. 119 4.2 School choice in the United States pre-1991 The intellectual and political roots of markets for publicly-funded schooling such as charter school markets have a long and complicated history. Most famously associated with public-choice theory and one of the founding fathers of neoliberalism, Milton Friedman (Dougherty and Sostre, 1992; Henig, 1995), the idea of ‘choice’16 in education also has roots in religious, class, and racial conflicts over schooling; indeed, choice and markets have at various times in American history been viewed as promoting different elements of the contradictory educational values discussed by Dale (2009) and Rizvi and Lingard (2009). This has meant that efforts to promote the market-based delivery of schooling have not only been driven by the ideology of market efficiency but at times by efforts to maintain racial segregation or to prevent marginalized communities from gaining control over schooling. This checkered history is important to explore, because the legacies of these failed attempts continue to manifest themselves in market-based schooling policies today (Forman, 2004; Henig, 1995; Ryan, 2004). Furthermore, it is important to understand how and why policies fail to travel if we want to uncover the conditions that allow similar policies to be successfully mobilized (McCann and Ward, 2015; Temenos and McCann, 2013); that is, through focusing on why school choice policies failed to become popular prior to the 1990s we can better understand the emergence of charter school markets over the last twenty-five years. While Beadie (2008) notes that markets for private schooling in the United States date back to the late-1700s and early-1800s, the use of markets as a means of allocating public money 16 Market-oriented education policies are often grouped together under the terminology of school choice, which refers to the ability of parents and students to ‘choose’ their school in a marketplace. 120 first came to the fore in the 1950s. Importantly however, this emergence was shaped by legal and political debates over the constitutionality of religious schooling that far predate the first proposal for the market-based delivery of publicly-funded schooling. These legal battles began in the 1800s when Catholic (parochial) schools gained popularity as an alternative to the Protestant-dominated public system. This popularity unleashed a counterreaction as Protestant supporters of the public system sought to prohibit government funding of religious schools (Viteritti, 1998). At the federal level, Maine Congressman James Blaine introduced an unabashedly anti-Catholic amendment to Congress in 1875 which aimed to prohibit state funding of religious schools. While the legislation ultimately failed, state-level iterations of the ‘Blaine Amendment’ were adopted in 29 states by 1890. These amendments cemented the close connection between government control of schooling and government funding of schooling (Viteritti, 1998). The counter-reaction to Catholic schooling continued into the next century and reached a crescendo in Oregon in 1922 when the Ku Klux Klan and other groups helped pass legislation that made private schooling illegal regardless of the source of funding. They did so based on the argument that public schooling was needed to ‘Americanize’ the children of immigrants (Minow, 2011; Viteritti, 1998). Importantly, this legislation was ultimately ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1925. Through this ruling however, the court affirmed the right of parents to use the private system to send their children to the school of their choice. The Supreme Court’s decision therefore did not disrupt the agreement that public money should be restricted to publicly-run schools, but did establish the right to private schooling as a touchstone of the American education system (Minow, 2011; Viteritti, 1998). These two principles, public funding for public schools and the right to pay for private schooling, characterized a general agreement 121 on the nature of schooling in America for the following decades and therefore the landscape that market-based reforms unfolded within. It was in the 1950s that school choice as a means of breaking up government control of publicly-funded schools first became part of the public consciousness. This occurred along two lines: anti-Black racism and pro-market ideology. In the southern United States school choice policies became popular in the wake of the court-ordered desegregation of public schooling following the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling (Minow, 2008; Ryan, 2004). While in the early 1900s members of the Ku Klux Klan had sought to ensure that all children attended public school in an effort to ‘Americanize’ them, in the face of having to send their children to school with Black children, southern chapters of the organization chose a different strategy. Throughout southern states ‘freedom of choice’ plans were implemented to allow students to choose which public school to attend. These policies were used to maintain segregation by allowing white children to attend white-dominated schools. Other counties even took the extreme step of closing all their public schools in order to prevent integration and providing white children with money they could use to attend all-white private schools (Minow, 2008). Ultimately, these programs were broken up in the mid-1960s through federal action, nevertheless they constituted the first implemented school choice policies in the United States. At the same time as southern states were implementing school choice policies, Milton Friedman (1955) first published an article making the case for the use of vouchers, or packets of money that students could take to private schools, as the ideal method of governing publicly-funded schooling. In this article Friedman argued that, while there is a role for government in financing schooling given its positive externalities, there is no justification for its role in the delivery of education. Friedman asserted that allowing private actors to receive public money for 122 the delivery of schooling would improve the quality and efficiency of education by bringing competitive market forces into the delivery of public schooling — writing that “The interjection of competition would do much to promote a healthy variety of schools. It would do much, also, to introduce flexibility into school systems” (1955: p. 7). Friedman therefore argued that the government should provide every child with a sum of money that they could use to pay for their education and that the role of government should be limited to upholding minimum standards. While this article was published slightly after the advent of choice policies in southern states, Friedman claimed that this coincidence was entirely accidental, writing in a footnote that the paper had been ‘essentially in its present form’ when he learned of segregationist proposals.17 Friedman’s ideas found little reception at the time, but would live on to influence several proponents of school choice policies who took up his ideas. Following these segregationist experiments and Friedman’s market-based arguments in the 1950s, school choice policies largely stayed off the radar until the late 1960s. Their revival came from a new ideological base of centre-left intellectuals who envisioned voucher programs as a way to address racial injustices in the existing school system. While Friedman had relied on arguments of efficiency to promote markets, these liberal reformers believed that by structuring voucher programs to provide more money to low-income families, the inequalities of the existing public school system could be addressed (Forman, 2004; Henig 1995; Molnar, 1998). Voucher markets were therefore promoted as a means of promoting social mobility or what Rizvi and Lingard (2009) refer to as the educational value of democratic equality. Nevertheless, these 17 Friedman (1955) was not dissuaded by the obvious example of how his voucher plan would increase racial segregation, going on to state that it in no way invalidated his proposal since the alternative (public schooling) required a greater evil: the use of state power to shape the behaviour of individuals. 123 liberal voucher proposals still relied on the ideology of market efficiency, with a report prepared for President Johnson on vouchers asking why “virtually all American communities [have] allowed elementary and secondary education to remain a monopoly or at best a duopoly?” (Education Vouchers: A Report on Financing Elementary Education by Grants to Parents, 1970: p. 3). Importantly, however, they also argued against a market that had no restriction on school operators, stating: “Our overall judgement is that an unregulated market would redistribute resources away from the poor and toward the rich, would increase economic segregation in the schools, and would exacerbate the problems of existing public schools without offering them any offsetting advantages” (p. 31). While these liberal voucher programs failed to move beyond a single demonstration project (Forman, 2004), they did mark a shift in how market-based education reforms were promoted, moving beyond simply an argument of efficiency and towards an association between markets and democratic equality. School choice policies did not remain dormant for long, and in the 1980s and 1990s Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush pushed strongly for market-oriented education reforms. This push was inspired by a belief the efficiency of markets grounded in the work of Friedman and more recent work of scholars in a similar vein. Most prominently, in the late 1980s Chubb and Moe (1988) released the results of a quantitative study which argued that higher test scores in private schools were the result of the competitive pressure placed on schools by the ‘exit option’ (the ability of unsatisfied students to switch schools); they used this study to argue that all schools should therefore be delivered by the private sector so that the exit option would be felt throughout the public education system as well (Dougherty and Sostre, 1992; Henig, 1995, Viteritti, 2005). Reagan was an especially strong advocate for market-oriented education policies, and introduced voucher programs to congress in 1983, 1985, 124 and 1986. As Henig (1995) recounts, these voucher proposals ultimately failed because the baggage of earlier debates over religious schools and segregationist programs made both Democrats and Republicans wary of supporting them. This was true of numerous state-level voucher proposals as well, with referenda on vouchers losing by large margins in Oregon, Colorado, Michigan, and California throughout the 80s and 90s (Viteritti, 2005). The existing landscape and the primacy of the agreement on public funding going to publicly-run schools was too much for Reagan to overcome.18 Nevertheless, the Reagan administration was successful in beginning a conversation on market-based education reform and, perhaps most importantly, seeding the narrative of markets as the saviour of a failing public school system. As discussed in Chapter 3, this was, in part, accomplished though the release of A Nation at Risk, a report which painted the picture of a failing school system eroding America’s economic competitiveness. The narrative of public school failure was paired with the rebranding of existing education reforms that were designed to combat racial inequalities as market-based solutions. Most notably, the Bush administration reframed magnet schools, alternative schools designed to promote desegregation through drawing students from throughout a school district, as a market-oriented reform rather than as a reform led by school districts (Henig, 1995). Through moves like these, school choice supporters made the argument that market-oriented education reforms would help to promote racial integration and, as such, that they were compatible with educational values like democratic 18 While the Reagan administration was unable to successfully push for the adoption of vouchers in the 1980s, they did promote the creation of markets within the public system by advocating for states to allow students to choose which public school they would attend. The promotion by a sitting President helped prompt 14 states to adopt a market approach within the public system (Henig, 1995). While an important shift, most state governments rejected market-based schooling and therefore the role of markets in public schooling remained limited during Reagan’s presidency. 125 equality. The dual narrative of a failing school system and a progressive market solution set in place by A Nation at Risk would echo throughout the next few decades, priming the emergence of market-based policies and helping disassociate school choice from its racist past (Cohen and Lizotte, 2015). In many ways the mobility of charter school policies discussed in the next section was built through these struggles to implement market-based reforms and these attempts to reframe them as compatible with ideas of democracy and equality. The forty-year history of the failure of market-based education reforms to become mobile therefore highlights how struggles are important to both the mobilization and immobilization of market forms. For one, the legacies of past struggles over the shape of education helped prevent market-based education reforms from spreading. Prohibitions against the use of public money to fund religious schools as well as the legacy of segregation constituted a barrier that rendered such policies immobile and prevented the creation of markets for schooling. However, as shall be explored in the next section, testing these barriers did help weaken resistance to the mobility of market-based education policies and helped build policy networks that would later prove useful in the spread of charter schools. As Temenos and McCann (2013: p. 352) write, this highlights that understanding mobile policies requires “time to fully explore the histories, presents, and outcomes of policy implementation.” The conscious reframing of school choice policies from a segregationist policy to one that would help address inequality in schooling was a necessary move for market-based education reforms to become mobilized and viewed as compatible with the values long-associated with education. Indeed, it was his very history of failed attempts, experimentation, and hybridization that would lead to the development of charter schools and promote their popularity. 126 This history also highlights the importance of the broader political environment to the promotion of charter school markets in ways that are likely to be applicable to studying other market-making projects. As Block (2011) has argued and as is inherent to the work of Polanyi ( 2001), in eras of market rule the roll out of market-based policies and the dismantling of non-market institutions is easier to accomplish. This can be witnessed in the fact that charter school markets are just one of many areas including heath care, prisons, welfare systems, and other social services that have been remade in the image of idealized markets over the past few decades. The fact that attempts to promote market-based education reforms failed for forty years while the political climate was hostile and then, as will be discussed in the next section, found a more hospitable environment in the present-day, points to the importance of a new, neoliberal common sense in smoothing the roll out of charter school markets. 4.3 Markets become mobile: 1991 to 2001 Charter schools first emerged as an idea in the early 1990s and quickly achieved impressive mobility. From when the first charter school law was passed in Minnesota in 1991 to the end of 1998, thirty-five states adopted charter school policies. However, while the mobility of charter schools occurred at a rapid pace, especially in relation to voucher programs, the policy mobilities literature emphasizes that the mobility of any policy is only partial and that seemingly similar policies may contain important differences. This partial mobility can be seen in the variegated landscape of charter schools, with charters having a huge impact on education in some states (for example in Arizona and Colorado where over 10% of students attend charters) while making up only a tiny part of the educational landscape in others (Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey, 2015). These variations go beyond scale however, with important differences in governance models, the amount of funding for charter schools, and the rules governing the 127 management of these schools. As will be reviewed below, these differences can, in part, be understood by focusing on how struggles over circulating models of charter school governance articulated with the politics of different American states. Charter school policies first appeared at the state level. According to the Senator who introduced the first charter school law, Ember Reichgott Junge (2012), and the policy analyst who helped originate it, Ted Kolderie (1990), the law was inspired by a talk given by Al Shanker, then the head of the American Federation of Teachers. Shanker envisioned charter schools as a method through which public school teachers could create semi-autonomous schools rather than as a market intervention (Peterson, 2010). Kolderie (1990) departed from Shanker’s vision however, and explicitly linked the development of the first charter school law to his belief in market efficiency — citing Chubb and Moe (1998) and identifying the state monopoly over schooling as the origins of any failings within the public system. This reliance on market-based governance was not total however, and Kolderie also argued for the importance of regulating charter schools through accountability measures and publishing information that would help parents decide where to send their children. As the report proposing the law stated: “The system proposed here is a competitive system… But it is also a public system. The schools will serve public objectives and will be publicly accountable for the public support they receive" (Kolderie, 1990: p. 10). In this way Kolderie sought to create a middle ground between vouchers and the traditional public school system while still adhering to the idea of market competition as a positive force. 128 In California, the second state to pass charter school legislation in 1992, it was this middle ground that convinced state Senator Gary K. Hart19 and staffer Sue Burr to promote the policy. Hart and Burr (1996) recount that they were looking for a compromise position between voucher programs and the public system when they learned about Minnesota’s charter law and, upon further research, the work of Al Shanker. As they write: we were convinced that the voucher initiative should not be taken lightly. It was almost like playing Russian roulette with public education, except instead of having a one-in-six chance of being hit by a deadly blow, the odds were closer to 50-50. Something had to be done to respond to the public's frustration with public schools, and it seemed possible to us to craft a legislative proposal that did not sacrifice the attractive features of the voucher movement – namely, choice of schools, local control, and responsiveness to clients - while still preserving the basic principles of public education: that it be free, nonsectarian, and nondiscriminatory (Hart and Burr, 1996: p. 38). This threat of voucher legislation was common to many states which ultimately adopted charter school legislation. Reflecting back on their successful efforts to pass charter school laws in the book, Education Reform Before It Was Cool: The Real Story and Pioneers Who Made It Happen (Allen, 2014), the ‘pioneers’ from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. all discuss the presence of vouchers as being a key factor allowing for the passage of charter school legislation. For example, Melanie Shulz from New Jersey wrote that “Vouchers served the charter school effort well; though no one would publicly admit it; many legislators were happy to 19 Not to be confused with the Colorado senator of the same name who ran for the Democratic party nomination in 1988. 129 eliminate the prospect of vouchers knowing that charter schools would be a far more acceptable public school reform” (p. 70-71). It was therefore the threat of vouchers which enabled the mobility of the charter school policies to many American states. Importantly however, rather than flowing through one policy network, charter school policies were mobilized by multiple networks which seized upon them to promote specific understandings of the concept which best fit their ideological leanings; networks which state legislators tapped into along largely partisan lines and according to the political climate of their state (Bulkley, 2005). While both Republican and Democratic networks exhibited a faith in markets, the lineage and the degree of regulation informing their ideal market for education differed between parties. Republican support for charters emerged out of a long-standing history of voucher advocacy and neoconservative ideology and thus emphasized charter systems with very little public oversight; in contrast, Democratic support was characterized by the advent of the Blair/Clinton “third way” politics which combined a neoliberal faith in markets with a liberal sense of justice and therefore which emphasized tighter systems of control over charter school operators. The mobility of differing visions for charter schools through these networks was facilitated by a lack of fixed meaning to the policy in its emerging stages, a looseness which allowed charter schools to be seen as ‘all things to all people’ (Bulkley, 2005: p. 27). In this manner, charter school policies acted as what Peck (2012b: p. 240) terms a ‘vehicular idea’ where the inherent ambiguity of a concept allows it to “function as [a] facilitative [frame], working around blockages, disarming opponents, enabling new projects to move forward.” The malleability of the charter idea and the importance of networks of travel can be witnessed by the speed at which existing conservative groups which had supported vouchers took up an idea promoted by a Democratic State Senator and inspired by a union leader. One of 130 the first nation-wide groups promoting charter schools, the Center for Education Reform (CER) illustrates this lineage. The CER was founded in 1993 by Jeanne Allen who had previously worked for the neoconservative Heritage Foundation and for the Reagan-era Department of Education (The Center for Education Reform, 2017). Allen had previously written articles supporting voucher plans (Miner, 2004) but pivoted into the charter school space in the early 1990s and became a leading figure in the charter school movement. Her organization, the CER, often acted as a convener of charter school advocates by holding conferences and Allen helped found the Education Leadership Council, an organization of market-oriented state superintendents. Perhaps most notably, the CER pushed for a model of charter school laws that had week state oversight by publishing a ranking of ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ laws based on how strongly charters were regulated and how many institutions could authorize new charter schools (Allen, 2014; Education-Charter Schools, n.d). Similarly, Louann Bierlein of the conservative Hudson Institute began to promote charter schools in the mid-90s and later became an advisor to Louisiana’s governor as the state drafted a charter school law (Hearing on Charter Schools, 1997). These conservative think tanks, which had long promoted voucher programs through the failed attempts outlined earlier, moved quickly to promote charter school legislation that focused on competition between charters and the public system as a method of disrupting public schooling. Democrats were also heavily involved in promoting charter school legislation to state governments, largely through the leadership of President Clinton. Even before becoming President, Clinton was an advocate for charter schools in his position as the head of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), an organization that promoted legislation to state-level Democrats. DLC support for charter schools was immediate, as State Senator Junge of 131 Minnesota wrote, "Within a couple of weeks, Minnesota's reform hit the national scene… Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, who was head of the Democratic Leadership Council at the time, shined a spotlight on what we had done" (Junge, 2014: p. 44). This advocacy only accelerated once Clinton was in the White House. Clinton used the bully pulpit of his State of the Union addresses to promote charter schools in 1994 and from 1996 to 2000. More materially, he implemented the Charter Schools Program to fund the start-up of charter schools in 1994 and consistently helped increase the funding of the program from $6 million to $100 million over the course of five years (Education-Charter Schools, n.d). This funding spurred the creation of charter school markets by providing a new source of money for cash-strapped states. Perhaps more influentially, the program was augmented by consistent behind the scenes lobbying by Clinton and his staffers. As the records of Bruce Reed, Clinton’s Domestic Policy Advisor,20 highlight, the administration closely tracked the status of charter school laws in each state, arranging visits from the President when new laws were passed, sending letters to Governors encouraging them to draft legislation for charter schools, issuing a Presidential directive to support charter schools to the Secretary of Education, and lobbying Senators and Congressmen to support the Federal Charter Schools Program (Charter Schools , n.d.; Charter Schools , n.d.; Education-Charter Schools, n.d.). While also emphasizing the importance of competition, the Clinton Administration’s initiatives placed a greater emphasis on accountability and benchmarks than Republican efforts. 20 Reed also led Clinton’s welfare-to-work program the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act and later headed the Broad Foundation, a prominent philanthropy pushing for market-oriented education reforms which, as outlined in Chapter 6, is extremely influential in Detroit. 132 These initiatives on behalf of both parties highlight how the flexibility of the charter school concept allowed its spread through different ideological networks, with conservative think tanks quickly taking up the mantle of charter schools and pushing towards a deregulated market and the neoliberal wing of the Democratic party advancing a more regulated vision for schooling markets. Importantly, this set up a running battle from state-to-state as these different policy networks attempted to promote their ideal version of charter school laws, highlighting the role of struggles over market forms in shaping their emergence and their systems of governance. For example, Bulkley (2004; 2005) in comparing the decision to adopt charter school policies in Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan, notes that the two Republican states (Arizona and Michigan) relied heavily on the Center for Education Reform and local conservative think tanks when developing their charter school policy, while Georgia, which had a Democratic governor, worked closely with the Democratic Leadership Council. The different networks and ideologies had real impacts on the nature of charter school laws in each state with Arizona not including accountability legislation (since parental decisions would presumably hold schools accountable) and Georgia limiting charter schools to conversions of public schools that had two-thirds approval of faculty and staff. 4.3.1 Michigan and Oregon’s adoption of charter school laws Both Michigan (1993) and Oregon (1999) adopted charter schools during this time period and the history of each state’s charter school law illustrates the importance of national networks, political struggles, and local contextual factors in shaping charter school markets. In Michigan, charter schools were promoted by a network of actors including then Governor John Engler, an early member of the American Legislative Exchange Council who was strongly influenced by the work of Milton Friedman (Goenner, 2011). Engler, and associated conservative groups had 133 previously supported education vouchers but quickly changed course once they learned about charter schools (DeWeese, 1994; Goenner, 2011; Lubienski, 2001). Realizing the potential of charter school laws to avoid the longstanding constitutional amendment against funding religious schooling dating back to the Blaine Amendment, Engler worked with TEACH Michigan to help draft charter school legislation. This legislation was designed to move as closely to Friedman’s version of a schooling market as possible. It did so by granting multiple organizations the ability authorize new charter schools, thereby reducing the ability of these organizations to hold charter schools accountable since charter schools could shop for the most permissive authorizer under this system. Furthermore, it sought to create competitive pressures within the public system by changing Michigan’s funding model to a per-pupil system which meant that school districts would lose money for each student in their district who opted to attend a charter school (Goenner, 2011). The receptive political climate in Michigan thus allowed the policy model circulating through neoconservative networks to be rolled out relatively unimpeded. Oregon however presented a vastly different environment for those attempting to promote charter school policies. Indeed, Oregon only passed a charter school law in 1999 after two failed attempts in 1995 and 1997.21 As in Michigan and many of the states discussed above, the impetus for charter school legislation came from voucher supporters who saw potential in the charter school model to advance school choice in general. The first attempts to implement a charter school law illustrate this relationship between the promotion of charter school policies and longstanding networks of voucher supporters. Notably, the libertarian Cascade Policy 21 Oregon’s State Legislature meets every two years, so charter school laws were heard in the legislature in every session from 1995 to 1999. 134 Institute and the associated Center for Education Change organized conferences promoting charter schools in 1993 and 1994 (Oregon Charter School Report Card, 2006; Reinhard, 1994). According to a think tank researcher active at the time, charter schools were appealing to these libertarian groups primarily because they were a politically feasible school choice policy in the wake of a failed voucher referendum: One of our academic advisors… got interested in this charter school movement and told us about it. And my first thought was that’s pretty mild, I don’t know if I want to spend much time working on charter schools because it’s still a public school, but he convinced us to try it. So we brought Ted Kolderie out and it sort of caught interest. It was the first politically doable chink of the armor in the public school monopoly that was working in other states.22 This meant that in the early-to-mid 1990s ideas of charter schools mostly flowed to Oregon through conservative networks which had already existed around a failed 1990 voucher referendum. These networks brought national figures such as Ted Kolderie from Minnesota and Jeanne Allen from the Center for Education Reform to the state and promoted a version of charter schools based around a multiple authorizer system as seen in Michigan (Reinhard, 1994). However, their proposed legislation was heavily opposed by the powerful Oregon Education Association (OEA) and ultimately failed over the issue over who should be allowed to charter schools, with the OEA arguing that if the state was to adopt charter schools, they should be under the purview of local school districts (The Oregonian, 1995; The Oregonian, 1997). 22 Thinktank researcher, Oregon, 18 June 2015 135 In 1998 alternative policy networks also began to promote charter schools in Oregon. At around this time Alex Medler from the U.S. Department of Education visited the state to discuss charter schools at the invitation of both Republicans and Democrats (The Oregonian, 1998a). This visit roughly corresponded with the news that the state had lost out on $4.8 million in federal grant money due to its lack of a charter school law and this loss of funding helped shape the narrative that a charter school law was desirable (The Oregonian, 1998b). Given this context, and that a Republican House and Senate were sharing power with a Democratic Governor at this time, a charter school law was able to make it through the legislature in 1999. However, the law included several compromises from the original libertarian proposals, reflecting the OEA’s opposition to an unrestricted charter school policy. While negotiations began with a multiple-authorizer version of the bill, the threat of a Gubernatorial veto combined with a public narrative that a more restrictive charter school law would be wise, resulted in a far more restrictive piece of legislation. The final version of the law put in place a system of local school district control over the opening of charters, emphasized the importance of state-wide assessment, and banned private schools from becoming charter schools (a long-standing DLC policy). This meant that charter schools ended up as alternative schools within a system characterized by local control rather than the remaking of public schooling as a whole as witnessed in Michigan (The Oregonian, 1999a; The Oregonian, 1999b; The Oregonian, 1999c). Reading these two cases in concert reveals a number of important factors regarding the spread of charter school policies. For one, the process of promoting charter school policies was shaped by struggles between neoconservative and liberal networks and their articulation with different political contexts. For example, in both Michigan and Oregon, conservative policy networks with a history of promoting voucher policies advanced charter school proposals; 136 however, in Oregon the ability of the OEA to mount an effective resistance to the smooth roll out of a libertarian model meant that its system differed greatly from Michigan’s. While conservative think tanks pushed as far towards a deregulated market as possible in many American states, the neoliberal wing of the Democratic party advanced a more regulated vision for charter schools in places like Oregon and thereby helped forestall the most market-oriented aspects of such models. This meant that the form that charter school legislation took, and therefore the shape of charter school markets, was the result of a running state-by-state battle. This running battle highlights both the role of spatial variegation in the functioning of markets and the role of political contestation in producing this variegation. This running battle also illustrates the importance of understanding the movement of policy models as always partial and the key role of failure in producing new, hybrid policies that can achieve popularity. Charter schools were only able to become mobile because of the threat of voucher policies. As numerous actors recounted, it was precisely the reluctance to pass voucher policies that made charter schools seem like a relatively moderate choice and which facilitated their popularity. Therefore, even in places where charter school models were rolled out relatively smoothly like Michigan, this mobility only followed failed attempts to put in place voucher programs. The roll out of charter school policies must therefore be understood within this legacy of past failures leading to the creation of a new, hybrid model that found a fit with local political contexts across the United States. Furthermore, while political efforts in places like Oregon were not able to prevent the passage of charter school laws, they were able to immobilize aspects of these policies that the education community viewed as the most harmful. What can also be seen through this longer historical focus is the importance of momentum and the strength of pro-market advocacy networks in the mobilization of charter 137 school policies. The Oregon case, where charter school policies failed twice before their ultimate adoption, highlights the difficulty in resisting these networks – a difficulty that increased as the power of such networks grew over the following decades. Indeed, as will be outlined below, the pressures to adopt charter school policies have only become stronger and all but seven American states now have some form of charter schools. Even more than Oregon, Washington State presents an excellent example of the relentlessness with which charter school policies are mobilized. While the state finally adopted a charter school law in 2012, it did so only after seven unsuccessful efforts to pass a charter school law and after three failed public referendums which were largely funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation amongst others (Cohen and Lizotte, 2015). Thus, even in states highly resistant to charter school policies, the ability to restrict their entry has often been, at best, partial. The material wealth mobilized to produce markets in American schooling highlights the highly uneven power available to actors attempting to shape (or resist) schooling markets, thereby linking the politics of these particular markets to wider circulations of power, or the micro to the meso in the words of Braun (2015). 4.4 Ongoing mobilities While the chapter has so far focused on charter school policies at their initial moment of travel, policies are not static but always evolving, with ‘best practices’ continually circulating and remaking policies while long-standing, socio-political contexts continue to immobilize or accelerate different policy options. In the case of charter school policies, this is readily apparent. Since the 1990s actors such as the federal government, large philanthropists, and corporations have continued to promote their own, idealized version of charter school policies. This is because as charter schools have become an increasingly important part of the schooling landscape, a corresponding increase in attention has meant that charter school markets are constantly the 138 subject of reform efforts by powerful actors. Particularly common are efforts attempting to harmonize the operation of charter school markets across state lines in order to facilitate the easy movement of charter school operators into new states. While they are not always successful, these efforts illustrate the importance of paying attention to how circulating geographies of power are brought to bear upon policies even long after their initial implementation. The increased attention to the functioning of charter school markets has included the continued influence of networks that were involved in their initial travel as well as the emergence of new groups which have sought to shape legislation since that time. These ongoing mobilities can be, in part, understood as a reaction to differences in charter legislation between states like Michigan and Oregon. For the federal government, large philanthropists, and national think tanks these state-level idiosyncrasies are viewed as departures from ‘best practices’ that can lead to inefficiencies in charter school systems and prevent the implementation of standardized solutions, and which therefore must be corrected. Similarly, for non-profit charter school chains and corporations who are national in scale, these differences are barriers that can disrupt economies of scale and make it difficult to move into new environments. However, the push for harmonization we see from these organizations is not universal. Indeed, a growing resistance to charter schools and associated policies such as school closures and standardized assessments has resulted in a counter-movement which actively works against the further deepening of charter schools and other market-oriented policies (Au and Ferrare, 2015; Cohen and Lizotte, 2015). The growth in federal programs designed to increase the number of charter schools is instructive as to how power is mobilized to shape charter school policies. President G.W. Bush’s landmark education legislation No Child Left Behind (NCLB) continued President Clinton’s 139 promotion of charter schools. Most notably, it allowed for the reopening of poorly-performing public schools as charter schools and increased financial support for the planning, program design, and implementation of charter schools (Mora and Christianakis, 2011). However, it was President Obama’s Race to the Top program (RTTP) that not only encouraged growth in the number of charter schools, but also sought to remake charter school laws to comply with a specific vision for how charter school markets should function. RTTP pushed the standardization of charter school policies through a competitive grants program where funding was awarded based on how closely states adhered to policy prescriptions such as the removal of restrictions on the number of charter schools, a focus on standardized assessments as a means of judging schooling, and the use of turnaround strategies including converting the “lowest achieving schools” into charters (Cohen and Lizotte, 2015). In a press release discussing the program, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made this orientation clear, letting applicants know that: States that do not have public charter laws or put artificial caps on the growth of charter schools will jeopardize their applications under the Race to the Top Fund. To be clear, this administration is not looking to open unregulated and unaccountable schools. We want real autonomy for charters combined with a rigorous authorization process and high performance standards. (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). RTTP therefore acted as a carrot that helped pull states towards certain types of charter systems, making the state-level particularities forged through struggle in places like Oregon the target of pressure from the federal government.23 23 The Trump administration has yet to announce a keystone education policy. However, from the budget recently proposed by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos it is clear that a focus on producing certain types of markets has only accelerated. The proposed budget includes $1.4 billion in funding for school choice policies including vouchers even while implementing a total budget cut of $9.2 billion. Most notably it redirects $1 billion in funding 140 Undoubtedly, NCLB and RTTP have had a large effect on how charter school markets have evolved at the state level. RTTP has provided not just a financial incentive for states to align with the vision of the Obama administration but also discursive cover that has helped politicians justify controversial changes. This can be seen in the debates over whether mayors should be put in charge of urban school districts (Cohen and Lizotte, 2015). In Wisconsin for example, the state’s governor used the RTTP competition to push for mayoral control of Milwaukee’s school board and to castigate locals when they resisted, stating: Because state lawmakers haven’t fixed the serious need to reform Milwaukee Public Schools, because we haven’t created a clear line of accountability and the authority to bring change in Milwaukee, every other school district in the state is likely to miss out on this important opportunity (Richards, 2010). In Michigan, state control over the Detroit school system (outlined further in Chapter 6) was in part shaped by the state’s RTTP application. Indeed, the creation of the Education Achievement Authority, which was used to takeover 15 schools in the city, was a key feature of Michigan’s application (Mason and Arsen, 2014). In this way, by providing financial incentives and the discursive strength of the President’s office, the federal government has pushed its preferred governance arrangements on state governments (Schott et al., 2016). The federal government is hardly alone in using funding to promote policy changes however. As Mitchell and Lizotte (2014) and Scott (2009) have argued, philanthropic organizations have also used their funding power to shape charter school systems. This has for low-income students to a program (Furthering Options for Children to Unlock Success) that requires that districts allow students to pick their school rather than assigning them to a neighbourhood school if they wish to receive funding (Brown et al., 2017). 141 involved large outlays of funding, as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, and the Walton Foundation have spent hundreds of millions of dollars directly funding not only charter schools but also special-interest groups, education companies, electoral campaigns, and school districts themselves. For example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent over $40 million on District/Charter Collaboration Compacts which provide funding to school districts across the United States that put in place policies that aid charter schools (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2011). These compacts require that public schools share facilities and service contracts with charter schools, that the district closes ‘low-performing’ schools or turn them into charter schools, and that the district commits to aid in spreading ‘high-performing’ charter school chains (Yatsko, Nelson & Lake, 2013). Similarly, in Michigan, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has been crucial in supporting the process of emergency management in Detroit and the related growth of charter schools in that city. For example, the Broad Foundation paid the salary of Detroit Public School’s emergency manager, provided start-up funds of $10 million for the Education Achievement Authority, and paid for Paul Pastorek, the state superintendent who oversaw the creation of New Orleans’ charter school model, to advise Governor Rick Snyder on education reform (Detroit News, 2014; Mason and Arsen, 2014). In this way foundations have helped push for their preferred policy options through the allure of philanthropic funding and the material support of groups whose goals align with their own. The work of these funders has led to an uneven geography of charter schools across the United States. Many foundations prefer to work with school districts that adhere to their policy models and this has resulted in funding flowing into some locations while bypassing others. This is important because in places where foundations are active, foundation money can greatly shape 142 which actors are present. This is because non-profit chains that can access cheap philanthropic funding are able to gain an advantage over smaller charter school operators. Notably, Scott (2011) documents that in 2008-2009 philanthropic actors donated $31 million to New York City charter schools, with the vast majority of the funding going to large charter management organizations rather than community-run charter schools; such funding greatly shapes which schools have an advantage in the marketplace through superior resources and advertising dollars. These decisions about where to invest are highly political and help shape which school districts receive funding and therefore where charter school markets are strongest. For example, Bill Gates has stated that “the cities where our foundation has put the most money is where there is a single person responsible” (Campanile, 2009), meaning school districts under state or mayoral control. Similarly, the Walton Foundation pulled funding for all schools in Chicago after a political backlash against charter schools left them without organizational partners (Sanchez, 2016). With millions of dollars in funding available to them, these organizations both support specific actors in charter school markets and shape where markets spread through their funding decisions. Corporations have also played an important role in shaping the functioning of charter school markets. Perhaps most famously, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) made up of both legislators and corporations has used ‘model laws’ to shape state systems to facilitate profit-making. Figure 4.1 below provides an example of one such model law proposed by ALEC, The Next Generation Charter School Law, which would help corporate profitmaking by removing any distinction between non-profit and for-profit schools, by allowing full funding to go to virtual charter schools, and by installing a multiple authorizer model. These model laws have been promoted throughout the United States. For example, Tennessee state representative 143 Harry Brooks introduced an ALEC law drafted by K12 Inc. a national for-profit virtual charter school, that would have increased state funding for virtual charter schools helping K12’s profit margin (Fang, 2011). In Oregon, the system of local control described above has been challenged by national virtual charter school chains who have located in rural districts but operate on a state-wide basis and who are very much embedded in these networks (see Chapter 5). Through model laws and advocacy, corporations have therefore also helped harmonize charter school markets in ways that work to their advantage. 144 Figure 4.1: ALEC Model Law Source: American Legislative Exchange Council, 2016 145 Working across government, philanthropic, and corporate lines are think tanks, advocacy groups and other ‘intermediary organizations’ who have also played an important part in pushing for their preferred policy models and against state-based variations which prevent their implementation (DeBray et al., 2014). These organizations often work in tandem with government and philanthropy and many receive their funding from foundations like Gates and Walton. By offering seemingly neutral reports, think tanks have been able to shape the discursive realm within which charter school laws are debated. For example, groups like the Center for Education Reform, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers all publish rankings of charter school systems that prioritize their ideological preferences and provide support for those seeking to change existing state-based systems. Other groups have been active in producing and circulating research used to argue for or against policy options, often using foundation funding to do so. In this way these think tanks act as an extension of the policy networks outlined above (Scott and Jabbar, 2014). The research prepared by these groups provides legitimacy and helps to shape which model policies are viewed as legitimate and suitable for consideration. For example, the Recovery School District in New Orleans has been trumpeted as a policy model based on research conducted by groups like New Schools for New Orleans (DeBray et al., 2014). While these groups, the federal government, philanthropists, corporations, and intermediary organizations have been presented separately above, on the ground they often work in tandem and are difficult to disassociate. For example, while RTTP is a federal program, the Gates Foundation was intimately involved in its creation and in the promotion of the program to state governments. Most notably, the Gates Foundation provided $250,000 grants to states to fund their application process for RTTP. Further illustrating the uneven flow of money from 146 foundations, this funding was originally offered to only a select few states before a political backlash forced the Gates Foundation to open funding to all states that were willing to sign an eight-point checklist (Dillon, 2009). Similarly, Gates, Walton and ten other major foundations have provided $500 million in top-up funding for winners of the federal government’s $650 million Investing in Innovation Fund, including $178 million specifically targeted at charters and turnaround schools (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2010). This level of coordination is not universal among pro-market reformers. Indeed, within the pro charter movement there are important differences, especially at the state and local level. While standardized testing has been an important area of focus for the Gates Foundation, the Walton Foundation has spent the majority of its funds (including an announced $1 billion in future investments) on seeding new charter schools (Prothero, 2016). There are also tensions between the liberal and conservative ends of the charter movement regarding how charter schools should be regulated. In Detroit for example, while there is some sort of consensus around the importance of charter schools, when liberal groups pushed for an ‘education commission’ that would regulate the opening and closing of charter schools, they came into conflict with the libertarian end of the charter school movement (see Chapter 6 for more details). Similarly, at both the national and state levels online charter schools have been controversial amongst many charter school supporters in light of their poor results on standardized test scores, with high profile actors like the Walton Foundation criticizing them publicly (Sternberg and Holly, 2016). What these cases indicate is that while pro-market education reformers often work together on some issues, they diverge on others (Ball, 2012b). This is important to keep in mind when examining how markets have emerged in particular sites where members of the pro-charter 147 network may diverge or where a particular actor, such as the DeVos family in Michigan, may play a larger role than other members of the network. It is also important to emphasize that not all national groups active in shaping the discussion around charter schools are pro-market. Notably, the past decade has seen an increasingly well-organized anti-market and anti-testing movement that has pushed back against the smooth roll-out of market systems in education. This movement has formed out of various existing groups such as teachers’ unions, civil rights groups concerned with mass school closures, and parent groups concerned with the growth in standardized testing. While lacking the resources of foundations like Gates and Walton, this movement has seen a level of success in pushing back against market-based education reforms. For example, while millions spent promoting the ‘Common Core’ state standards helped them get adopted in 45 states, resistance from conservatives angry about the federal infringement on state’s rights and liberals mobilizing against the rise of standardized testing caused several states to withdraw from the standards (Apple, 2016; Brown, 2015; Strauss, 2014). Opposition to the roll out of market-based strategies has also been effective in causing philanthropic dollars to move elsewhere. For example, widespread protests against school closures and charter openings in Chicago and Newark resulted in the Walton Foundation pulling funding from both cities. Without philanthropic dollars propping up the growth of charters and funding local lobby groups, the schooling markets in those cities are likely to take a very different shape. Also notable is that groups opposed to market-based education reforms and standardized testing have circulated discourses that have been mobilized to reshape charter school markets. This has included actively resisting the narrative that market-based schooling is compatible with educational values by national networks that share research findings and resources. For example, 148 the Network for Public Education and the Badass Teacher’s Association have annual conferences that bring together anti-market and testing groups and work throughout the year to share information about local struggles. These activities have been circulated amongst an active community of education bloggers who have undertaken research into the activities of groups like the Gates Foundation and Pearson Education. While these groups do not have the resources of large foundations and the federal government, as mentioned above their actions in cities like Chicago and the large-scale ‘opt-out’ movement against standardized testing have helped to slow the creation of markets in public education. Among communities of colour impacted by school closings, these has also been a mass resistance effort that has fought against the imposition of market rule and associated school closures. Organizations like the Journey for Justice Alliance and The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools have led mass protests including ‘walk-ins’ to protest school closures in 900 schools across 30 cities (Rizga, 2016) as well as a hunger strike against school closures in Chicago (Eltagouri and Perez, 2016). Most recently, the Journey for Justice have launched their #WeChoose campaign which explicitly rejects a market approach to schooling and its framing of students and parents as individualized consumers. They have done so by turning the language of choice on its head with the slogan “#WeChoose equity, not the illusion of ‘school choice’”. As they write: We reject appointed school boards. We reject zero tolerance policies that criminalize our children. We reject mediocre corporate education interventions that are only accepted because of the race of the children served. We choose equity (#WeChoose Campaign, 2017). 149 While groups like the Journey for Justice Alliance do not have the material resources of large philanthropists or the federal government, they do exhibit a strong counterhegemonic argument that rejects market logic in schooling. Furthermore, the Journey for Justice alliance has publicly linked the marketization of schooling to other, related projects such as gentrification, racialized police violence, and the erosion of social services. Similarly, groups like Black Lives Matter and the NAACP have connected their struggles for racial justice to resisting the imposition of charter schools on majority Black communities (Nguyen et al., 2017). In this manner, anti-charter groups have linked the political battles over charter schools to a wider resistance against hegemonic forces and sought to build coalitions that can work across these multiple struggles. As argued in Chapter 2, the increasing power of market rule has required that such counterhegemonic politics in play out at least in part through a struggle over markets such as charter school markets. The anti-market movement and its coordination through the networks outlined above signal the growing strength of what Temenos (2017: p. 2) refers to as counter-mobilities or “the resistances, disruptions and alternative pathways used in activism for policy reform by people in disparate locations.” As Temenos charts in the case of harm reduction drug policies, activists have also been able to create networks that work across geographic boundaries to mobilize ideas, research, and expertise in service of implementing progressive policies or pushing back against regressive ones. In Detroit for example, state legislators and local activists spoke of connections to groups like the Badass Teacher’s Association and the Network for Public Education.24 24 State legislator, Michigan, 5 February 2015; Education activist, Michigan, Oregon, 3 February 2015 150 Similarly, local groups Keep the Vote / No Takeover and the Detroit LIFE Coalition are part of the Journey for Justice alliance and helping to organize nation-wide campaigns. This level of coordination across cities and the sharing of research shows that counterhegemonic networks exist alongside those promoting market reforms in education. As Temenos (2017) argues, despite the fact that such networks of expertise are often mobilized in service of power, they can also be used to resist and shape progressive alternatives. Regardless of their orientation, what is common to all of the groups outlined above is that they are active at a national level and consciously work towards shaping charter school markets across the United States. What has shifted since the 1990s is that these national networks are now working within a defined policy environment. This means that, rather than seeking to promote an unknown policy, programs like Race to the Top and the District/Charter Collaboration Compacts are actively trying to remake existing policy environments in ways that push the governance of charter schools towards their preferred models. While the initial travel and mutations of the charter school idea in places like Michigan and Oregon meant that they had vastly different systems of charter school regulation and authorization, under the weight of powerful circulating discourses, money, and legislation, these differences have begun to narrow. Evidence of this narrowing can be found in many of the legislative changes and current debates around charter schools. As outlined above, the focus on standardized testing as the means through which charter schools can be judged has taken an increasingly important role due to the efforts of the federal government, philanthropists, and education corporations. Changes to the way charter schools are governed by authorizers also bears witness to the narrowing of state-based differences. For example, while Michigan from the outset allowed state universities to sponsor and oversee charter schools, in many other states (like Oregon) the opening of schools 151 was limited to local school districts. This tight local control over school districts has been a target of many pro-market groups who would rather pro-charter groups be in charge of deciding whether to authorize charters schools (The State of Charter Schools, 2011). Indeed, multiple authorizer systems are promoted in all model charter school laws published by pro-market groups and are used as a grading criteria by groups like the Center for Education Reform, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. A 2015 report for the Pennsylvania General Assembly on using multiple authorizers bears witness to the convergence of actors on this system. The report clearly lists the sources it consulted in making its recommendation for a multiple authorizer system: Much of the information contained in this report was obtained through the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA). NACSA is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization founded to advance excellence and accountability in charter schools. Information was also obtained through the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, Pennsylvania Campaign for Achievement Now, Research for Action, The Center for Education Reform, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, and the National Association for Public Charter Schools (The Feasibility of Alternative Methods for Authorizing Charter Schools in Pennsylvania, 2015: p. 1) These sources reflect the ability of national actors to help reshape the way charter school markets are governed at the state-level by establishing what is considered ‘best practice.’ Furthermore, while the influence of NACSA and other national charter groups is obvious, the links between ostensibly local groups and the national policy conversation is less obvious at first glance. For example, while the Pennsylvania Campaign for Achievement Now seems like a 152 local group, it is a satellite group founded by 50CAN, a national organization funded by the big three foundations (Broad, Gates, and Walton) which has a stated goal of setting up local support for its national mission to ‘expand choices’ as a way of addressing the racial achievement gap (50CAN National, 2017). Pennsylvania’s experience is just one example of a broader pattern of national organizations advancing pro-market arguments through what Scott and Jabbar (2014: p. 238) refer to as the ‘hub and spoke’ model where: philanthropists see their investments in [local groups] as a way to realize more promising and effective educational interventions whose “profit” is understood to be a scaling up of reforms they favor. The sum total of their investments is a reform movement propelled forward by these entrepreneurial organizations. By funding (and often founding) local groups that support their policy agendas, large national foundations and companies assert pressure from multiple directions, helping to create the illusion of consensus for their policy models (DeBray et al., 2014; Scott et al., 2015; Scott and Jabbar, 2014). The most recent wave of mobility of policies surrounding charter schools are thus a shift from the politics surrounding the initial adoption of charter school policies in the 1990s. Whereas charter school policies at that time were characterized by their ambiguity and the subsequent variations in their form between states, since that time the mobilization of power has been centred on moving charter school markets in the direction preferred by large actors such as the federal government, philanthropists, and corporations. This has helped to erase much of the state-level variation in how charter school markets function, although, as will be explored in the next chapter, these differences have not been totally removed. Of course, this is not a monolithic process, with tensions both within the pro-charter movement as well as between this movement 153 and those resisting the spread of charter schools. What is clear however is that these struggles do not occur on an even terrain, with the substantial dollars of pro-charter groups often marshalled to promote their preferred policies. The continual use of this power long after the implementation of charter school policies is interesting both for scholars studying the geography of markets and of policy mobilities. For the latter, much of the work studying policy mobilities has understandably focused on how policies travel and move during their initial take-up; what can be seen in the case of charter schools is that this may be only part of the story, with the continual reshaping of policy also an important aspect of understanding the mobility of policy. In relation to studying markets, the constant remaking of charter school markets through the circulation of power and funding are perhaps instructive regarding Christophers (2014b; 2015) challenge to study how markets are stabilized and what variations capital can accommodate. As recounted above, powerful actors like the federal government, large philanthropists, or corporations are able to mobilize resources to reshape markets in ways that fit their vision for these markets or that advantage their operations. The use of power to reshape markets is an important factor in understanding how charter school markets have been shaped by uneven power relations. Nevertheless, it is also important to note the ‘counter-mobilities’ that resist these powerful actors, advancing counterhegemonic arguments and building connections across disparate sites. 4.5 Conclusion The over half-century of market-based education policies reviewed above reveal how charter school markets have been greatly shaped by the legacy of decades of efforts to promote market-based schooling. While powerful actors promoted market-based education reforms for decades, it is only in the past 25 years that they have become a widespread reality. In the years before this 154 recent popularity, struggles over racial segregation, the role of religion in schooling, and over an ideological belief in the supremacy of markets meant that market-based policies could not find a fit with local political contexts. However, as the political environment has changed, and as charter schools emerged as new hybrid model that could escape these legacies, the creation of markets in schooling occurred at a rapid pace — albeit with a vastly uneven geography. Indeed, as the cases of Oregon and Washington State illustrate, the terrain has shifted to the point where it has become difficult for states to resist the spread of market-based education reforms. The continuing mobility of policies governing charter school markets is therefore an important element shaping their functioning. The long history of failed attempts to mobilize policies like vouchers and the ultimate success of charter school programs highlights how political struggles can have a profound impact on market-making projects, facilitating either their smooth roll out in eras when market rule is accepted, or immobilizing these projects when resistance is strong. Such mobilizations do not end once policies are adopted however, but rather continue on as powerful actors attempt to reshape existing markets to fit with their preferred vision or, in Fligstein’s (1996) terms, conception of control. This history reflects the arguments of Block (2011) and Burawoy (2003) that market-making is a hegemonic project that is able to, at times, roll over opposition through the instillation of a market common sense. Beyond these broad strokes however, the particularities matter, with market-based education reforms only taking off once they were able to break free from their associations with racial segregation and/or the funding of religious schooling. Fitting in with the educational values discussed by Rizvi and Lingard (2010) was a key element in this — voucher policies were not able to achieve the popularity of charter schools in part because they did not exhibit a fit with these values. Thus, charter schools as a policy option were forged through political struggles, 155 presenting a hybrid market approach that was able to bypass the conflict that had marked attempts to mobilize voucher programs. Furthermore, even in an era of market rule the smooth roll out of markets, especially markets in the libertarian image, was not assured. While in places like Michigan this roll out occurred relatively unimpeded, in Oregon strong resistance meant that their charter school markets became characterized by a system of local control over entry into the marketplace. Struggles over markets and the ways in which they articulate with a state’s political context are an important element in shaping their form, serving to immobilize elements of even highly mobile policies. Market-making and market-shaping policies are, like other policies, therefore shaped by the spatial relationships used to move them; a fact that can have a large impact on the differential functioning of markets across space. Importantly however, the stability of these variations in market forms is far from certain, with powerful actors often working to remove any barriers that keep markets from functioning in their preferred manner. Charter school markets are therefore powerfully influenced by their place within the circulation of ideas, power, and money that have led to their creation and have continually reshaped them. This says much about the ways that markets, especially ones so closely linked to government policy, must be understood within the context of the mutable act of mobilizing policy; an act that is, of course, shaped by the particularities of the sector being marketized. In schooling, this has meant that the values ascribed to education have shaped the movement of policy, helping prevent the spread of voucher programs in past decades and thereby leading to the creation of charter school policies as a hybrid option. Within a conception of markets as struggle then, political struggles over markets are not restricted to the space of the market itself, 156 or even the immediate institutions that surround exchange, but are enmeshed with the geographies of power and expertise mobilized to shape markets in particular ways. 157 Chapter 5: Conceptions of Control: Libertarian Markets and Local Power As outlined in Chapter 4, Michigan and Oregon’s charter school markets have significant differences. Most notably, charter schools make up a much larger proportion of the state’s total enrolment in Michigan (9.2%) than Oregon (5.1%25) (Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey, 2015). The two states’ markets also have vastly different urban profiles with charter schools heavily concentrated in Michigan’s major cities while being much more dispersed in Oregon.26 Conversely, Oregon’s system has a large proportion of online charter school students while these schools enrol under one percent of Michigan’s charter school students (Michigan Department of Education, 2017). These differences exist despite the common pressures to move towards ‘best practice’ models of charter school governance discussed in Chapter 4. This chapter therefore zooms in past the national scale to outline the politics of charter school markets in both states. In doing so, I explore how and why these states have continued to diverge, focusing on the ideologies that have shaped the political struggles around charter school markets in each state. In focusing on these politics struggles, this chapter describes how the governance structures of charter school markets in each state embody the different ideologies mobilized in their construction and maintenance. In both Michigan and Oregon the continual evolution of charter school markets has been guided by a dominant ideology that has set the terrain within which market struggles occur. In Michigan, a strong libertarian base at the state level has shaped 25 Depending on your definition this number may be lower. These figures include single-district schools that reconstituted themselves as charter schools but which remain the only brick-and-mortar school in the community. 26 47% of students in Michigan’s largest city, Detroit, attend charter schools (Michigan Department of Education, 2017) compared to 3.9% of students in Oregon’s largest city, Portland (Oregon Department of Education, 2015). 158 much of the politics over charter school markets. In Oregon, the principle of local school district control has been repeatedly defended against the nationally-dominant, multiple authorizer approach to governing charter school markets. Importantly, this is not to say that these are the only ideologies that have shaped the evolution of each market, but rather that they have set the ‘rules of the game’ for these markets, and thereby serve as what Fligstein (1996) refers to as conceptions of control which provide an order to a market. This means that any challenges to existing market structures have had to factor in the strength of these principles and the power of the groups behind them. As such, these conceptions of control do not guarantee market stability but rather can be more accurately conceived of as a central feature over which struggles over markets are fought. This argument will be made in three parts: (1) the history of charter schools in Michigan and the role of a libertarian market ideology in shaping how markets operate in the state will be reviewed; (2) the history of charter schools in Oregon will be examined, especially the struggle over integrating virtual charter schools into a system largely characterized by local control; and, (3) the histories of charter school markets in both states will be put into conversation in order to highlight what they can tell us about markets in general and schooling markets in particular. 5.1 Michigan: Libertarians, market liberals, and a fragile consensus From the beginning, Michigan’s movement towards school choice policies has been characterized by a strong ideological belief in the efficiency of markets. As briefly recounted in Chapter 4, Governor John Engler was the driving force behind the state’s 1993 charter school law, viewing charter schools as a market-based policy that could bypass both the constitutional amendment against religious schooling and a general lack of support for voucher programs. 159 Long-time charter advocate with ties to Engler, James Goenner (2011: p. 45), leaves little doubt about Engler’s motivation, writing that: the origin of Michigan’s charter schools policy can be traced to the economic and political philosophies espoused by Smith (1776/1993) and Mill (1838/1991). The market-based orientation of Michigan’s charter school policy can also be directly traced to the more recent writings of Friedman (1962) and Chubb and Moe (1990) and their advocacy for returning to a market-based educational system guided by parental choice and competition. This ideological belief has been an organizing force in Michigan over the last twenty-five years, with successive attempts to create schooling markets in the neoclassical image clashing with resistance and thereby creating new market institutions. Importantly, this resistance has rarely taken the shape of a clear struggle between pro-market forces and an opposing anti-market group. Rather, in a manner predicted by Fraser (2013; 2014), various market-friendly liberal groups have advocated for their own visions for schooling markets and at times aligned themselves with those on both sides of the market divide. Nevertheless, the clear influence of the neoliberal common sense of market efficiency can be seen in the state. 5.1.1 Governor Engler’s market vision The first step in moving schools in Michigan towards a market-based model came in the early 1990s when Governor John Engler undertook a complete remodeling of Michigan’s school system. The charter school law briefly mentioned in Chapter 4 was only part of this project, with Engler also fundamentally reforming school funding and implementing a system of competition between public districts through the ‘Schools of Choice’ policy which set up a system where money followed students as they moved between school districts. Taken together, these policies 160 marked a radical change to public schooling in Michigan and a strong push towards governance through markets. The changes to Michigan’s school funding model, enacted through a referendum commonly referred to as Proposal A, were perhaps the key element in reshaping the state’s public education system (Goenner, 2011; Lacireno-Paquet and Holyoke, 2007). Passed in 1994, Proposal A raised money for Michigan’s schools through a new 2% sales tax, replacing the existing property-tax based, funding model. This money was used to fund a per-student ‘foundation allowance’ that followed students as they moved between schools, breaking from the previous system which had funded schooling on a district-wide basis. Proposal A was therefore consciously designed to place school districts and charter schools in competition by implementing a funding model that required schools and school districts attract and/or retain students in order to assure their financial viability. Engler made this link clear when arguing for Proposal A in front of the state legislature, stating that: The total funding level of schools will be determined by how many students they can retain or attract. The schools that deliver will succeed. The schools that don’t will not. (Engler quoted in Lubienski, 2001: p. 5). By linking funding to competition for students, Proposal A set the stage for the rest of the changes that were to follow. As a member of the State Board of Education27 put it, the foundation allowance ultimately “became a bounty on the head of a kid” that fueled competition between school districts and charter schools. Engler further entrenched this system of competition between schools a year later when the School Aid Act was amended to include the 27 Member of State Board of Education, Michigan, 23 January 2015 161 new ‘Schools of Choice’ policy in 1994 (Goenner, 2011). This policy let districts choose whether to allow non-resident students to attend their schools. When combined with the foundation allowance, this meant that districts stood to gain or lose money based on whether they retained their own students and/or how well they attracted out-of-district students — thereby creating an incentive for local school districts to approach schooling as a market relation. In addition to these changes to the funding model, Michigan’s charter school system was designed to be as close to the vision of a neoclassical market as possible under the limits of the state constitution. Michigan’s system allowed for multiple organizations to authorize charter schools which meant that, unlike in many other states, restrictions on opening charter schools were relatively lax because schools turned down by one authorizer could apply to another. Furthermore, authorizers were incentivized to charter as many schools as possible since they were allowed to keep 3% of the foundation allowance for each school they authorized. As one employee of a philanthropic funder of charter schools told me: “as an authorizer you take a 3% fee based on enrolment, so the market incentive of just figuring out how to authorize more schools is a lot of what is driving the market.” 28 Furthermore, Engler ensured that authorizers would look favourably on applications by allowing state-wide universities to authorize schools; because Engler appointed the boards of these universities, he was able to ensure that they would be supportive of the charter school movement (Goenner 2011; Lacireno-Paquet and Holyoke, 2007; Lubienski, 2001). As a whole, the implementation of Proposal A, the ‘Schools of Choice’ 28 Philanthropic Foundation Employee, Michigan, 6 February 2015 162 policy, and Michigan’s charter school system, revamped Michigan’s school system and created new competitive pressures on schools throughout the state.29 Importantly however, Engler did not achieve a complete remodelling of Michigan’s school system and his broader reform project suffered some setbacks. As established in the previous chapter, Engler and his allies viewed charter schools themselves as a compromise policy on the path towards a voucher system (Goenner, 2011; Lubienski, 2001). Indeed, the chairman of the group that funded the drafting of the law, TEACH Michigan, reflected on charter schools as only the first step of a grander plan, writing that Engler’s reforms “have made it much easier to advocate extending the same financing system to independent schools” (DeWeese, 1994: p. 32). As such, charter school markets were viewed as a compromise policy — the best possible option given the political circumstances. Furthermore, even this compromised move towards markets in education required the careful priming of a public that was hesitant to move away from the traditional public school system based solely on arguments of market efficiency. Notably, the coalition supporting charter schools relied on the creation of a crisis narrative in the public system, on depictions of an intransigent education bureaucracy, and on the argument that parental choice was a higher form of democratic control over schooling than elected school boards (Goenner, 2011; Lubienski, 2001). For example, Engler’s 1995 State of the State address included a section on ‘Building Educational Liberty’ where he argued for the “liberty for parents to send their children to schools they deem the best” and stated he would undertake reforms that: 29 It is for this reason that the Schools of Choice policy is often discussed alongside charter school markets with little distinction made between the two in this dissertation The policies were introduced at around the same time and it is difficult to untangle the effects they have had on schooling in Michigan. 163 will seek to repeal the state School Code. Its replacement? A local Education Code that maintains accountability, but puts parents back in charge. That's one "outcome" we should all agree upon. It's time to stop controlling education from Lansing or Washington; it's time to start transferring full authority to parents and the schools they pay for! (Engler, 1995: para: 49). Similarly, when introducing the charter school law in 1993 Engler recounted the story of Rory, an 8-year-old ‘trapped’ at his local school which did not meet his needs; stating that charter schools would allow Rory and other students the freedom to escape traditional public schooling (Goenner, 2011). These rhetorical moves helped to associate market-based education reforms with parental power and painted school boards and the education bureaucracy as anti-democratic when compared to choice exercised in a market (Apple, 2001; Cohen and Lizotte, 2015; Lubienski, 2003). This made the move to a market system about more than just efficiency of delivering a public service, but also marked it as a moral obligation to help children ‘trapped’ in poor schools. In making these arguments, Engler and other charter school supporters tapped into narratives around social mobility and democracy. These narratives were ever-present in the public statements made by Engler and his allies and, as discussed in Chapter 3, reflected the need to balance the competing demands placed on schooling with the creation of a market system (Goenner, 2011; Lubienski, 2001). Even with this priming, the implementation of the charter school law was met with substantial resistance in Michigan. Supporters of public education, including the Michigan Education Association (the state’s teachers’ union), immediately launched a legal challenge on whether charter schools met the state’s constitutional requirement that funding flow to ‘public’ schools. This lawsuit was not settled until 1997 when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that 164 charter schools were, in fact, constitutional (Goenner, 2011). The threat of this lawsuit and resistance to charter schools from key bureaucrats such as the state superintendent were on the mind of those drafting the charter school law and affected the decisions they made; as Goenner (2011: p. 104) recounts, “[Engler] said it is important to understand that he and his team could not accomplish all the deregulation they desired.” These failures included a lack of a funding for charter facilities, which slowed their growth rate, and the inclusion of accountability measures which were put in the charter law in order to meet the definition of public under the constitution. Perhaps most notably however, in 1996 anti-charter groups were able to cap the number of charter schools which could be authorized by state-wide universities (Arsen et al., 1999; Lacireno-Paquet and Holyoke, 2007). Despite multiple attempts, Engler was never able to gather enough support to remove this cap and it helped limit the growth of charter schools in Michigan (Goenner, 2011). Therefore, while according to people close to him and his own comments, Engler was committed to creating a system of schooling that would adhere as closely to the neoclassical vision of a perfect market as possible, resistance, struggle, and existing constitutional barriers shaped the actually-existing markets implemented through Michigan’s charter school law. The creation of markets for schooling were therefore forged through struggle even in a market-friendly state like Michigan — a struggle which shaped how those markets functioned. Thus, even though Michigan was a relatively permissive environment in the national context (as outlined in Chapter 4), political contestation played a key role in shaping its charter school markets. Nevertheless, the ideology of market efficiency permeated the market institutions that were set up in Michigan. This included the system of multiple authorizers incentivized to charter 165 as many schools as possible as well as the revised funding model put in place under Proposal A. While resistance and institutional barriers shaped the actual-existing charter school markets in the state, they did so in response to a well-supported ideological vision that relentlessly drove market reforms. This was accomplished through conscious efforts to instil the neoliberal common sense of the market through a narrative of students trapped in failing schools with charter schools (rather than reforms within existing schools) as their only way out. Despite the fact that reshaping schools in Michigan occurred on a contested terrain, Engler and his allies were able to implement several policies that created a market within the publicly-funded school system and prime the ground for a further push towards markets; something that actors like DeWeese (1994) noted was always part of the plan. 5.1.2 Libertarians, liberals, and the limits to reform Following the implementation of the cap in 1997, the level of debate and legislative proposals surrounding charter schools greatly subsided. According to Lacireno-Paquet and Holyoke (2007) this was in part because an impasse had been reached between the pro-and-anti charter groups and in part because charter schools, which were limited by the cap, remained a relatively minor part of the educational landscape in the early 2000s. In 1999 only 2.8% of Michigan’s students were enrolled in charter schools, growing to 4.1% by 2003 (Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey, 2015). The cap on charter schools authorized by statewide universities likely kept a lid on this growth (Lacireno-Paquet and Holyoke, 2007) since, as can be seen in Figure 5.1 below, the number of charter school openings per year dropped dramatically once the cap was reached in 1999. Schools of Choice policies also remained a marginal policy intervention at this time with only 2% of Michigan students using the policy to cross school district lines in 166 2002 (Spalding, 2013). As such, market-based education reforms remained largely off the radar for the early part of the 2000s. Figure 5.1 Charter school openings (number of schools opened) in Michigan by year from 1995 to 2008 (Centre for Educational Performance and Information, 2017) As the decade wore on however, the reforms put in place in the 1990s became a larger part of the educational landscape. As multiple interviewees recounted,30 this was in part because school funding could not keep pace with the rate of inflation once the state’s financial troubles caused a drop in the revenue gathered through the 2% sales tax. As one employee of a parent activist group told me: what broke in 2007 was that the sales tax, expected/project revenue, collapsed. And they were talking in the spring and summer of 2007 of having to take back something on the 30 Employee, Parent Activist Group, Michigan, 29 January 2015; State Representative, Michigan, 15 December 2014; Intermediate School District Superintendent, Michigan, 16 February 2015 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008Openings 36 31 32 35 35 13 20 16 19 26 20 11 10 17Total Openings 36 67 99 134 169 182 202 218 237 263 283 294 304 3210510152025303540167 order of $375 to $400 per pupil… for districts that are basically budgeted to break even, most of them don’t have the capacity to absorb that sort of cut. 31 This increased financial pressure on school boards in an austerity environment caused many to look at out-of-district students as a means of balancing their budgets, leading to a corresponding increase in districts participating in the Schools of Choice policy. According to the superintendent of an Intermediate School District, school districts began to compete for students when an austerity regime and heightened competition created a zero-sum game: The policy has been there for Schools of Choice for quite a while, but as districts start to see their students leave, either to charters or other school districts then they have to change. Most of them have changed their policies on Schools of Choice and there are districts that up until the last two or three years hadn’t accepted Schools of Choice students [that are] now entering into the competition because they need the students and they need the revenue… We’ve seen that a lot in the past few years. [Q: Why only in the last few years do you think?] I think because of all the cuts that have been made at the state level in school funding. The fact that more and more districts are opening up so you have more students leaving districts… on top of all state cuts you are losing students.32 Thus, the reforms that Engler put in place did not create a market for education solely by putting in place a new governance system, but required a mix of these reforms with an austerity regime 31 Employee, Parent Activist Group, Michigan, 29 January 2015. 32 Intermediate School District Superintendent, Michigan, 16 February 2015 168 that pushed school districts to participate in competitive behaviour. This highlights how markets never exist in isolation but are always embedded in their socioeconomic contexts, with market dynamics taking off strongly as funding became scarce rather than entirely through the demand of students for alternative educational choices. Following this period of growth, the politics around charter schools and markets in education became active again in 2011 when Republican Governor Snyder replaced Democratic Governor Granholme. While Snyder prefers to think of himself as a technocrat rather than an ideologue (giving himself the label ‘one tough nerd’), his election opened a window for those supporting market-based education reforms to push for a new wave of changes. This included both libertarian groups and liberals with a belief in technocratic, market-based fixes. Like in the 1990s under Engler, a strong belief in libertarian ideology has influenced many of the policies shaping education reform under Snyder. Notably, the DeVos family, which includes current U.S. secretary of education Betsy DeVos, has strongly advocated for minimal government involvement in schooling and sought to advance voucher programs in the state. Much of this influence has been channelled through the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) which the DeVos family founded in 2001 in the wake of a failed voucher referendum. While GLEP is devoted to advancing voucher programs, its monetary and political capital was essential to a successful campaign to lift the cap on university-authorized charter schools in 2011.33 Indeed, GLEP and the DeVos family financed the electoral campaigns of many of the Republicans who voted to lift the charter school cap, with the Detroit Free Press reporting that 66 of the 78 of these legislators were directly funded by GLEP or by J.C. Huizenga, founder of 33 GLEP employee, Michigan, 26 January 2015 169 the for-profit charter school chain National Heritage Academies (Jesse, 2014). Furthermore, in the subsequent primaries GLEP targeted Republican legislators who voted against removing the cap, pouring money into what one targeted legislator referred to as ‘the dirtiest campaign’ he had ever been involved in (Jesse, 2014). This libertarian advocacy network has had a strong influence on education policy beyond simply lifting the cap. Notably, soon after taking office the Governor, in his special message on education reform, advanced his idea for an ‘Any Time, Any Place, Any Way, Any Pace Program’ which would have changed school funding to follow students on a course-by-course basis. He also advocated for legislation which would have required that all districts participate in the Schools of Choice program outlined above (Snyder, 2011). This proposal was married with a secretive ‘skunk works’ project where members of Snyder’s staff and Richard McLellan (who helped Engler draft the original charter school law) convened employees of both the Department of Education and charter school operators to meet in-person and over private e-mails (which are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act). This group discussed moving towards a voucher-type system by developing a ‘Michigan Education Card’ that students would be able to use to purchase access to individual courses, as well as the prospects of developing a system of low-cost, online schools that could deliver such courses (Clark, 2013; Skunk Works FOIA documents, 2013). Upon the revelation of this group and a corresponding backlash, Snyder ultimately distanced himself from ‘skunk works’ but the project and his first statements on education signalled a strong, and well-funded, advocacy network pushing towards a mix of libertarian education ideals and technological approaches to education. This core of libertarian advocates for market-based education reforms were not the only players proposing changes to charter school markets however. Philanthropic foundations such as 170 the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation developed a close relationship with Governor Snyder as he came into power. As discussed further in Chapter 6, these groups would play a large role in Detroit specifically, but also helped develop and fund Snyder’s signature education reform: the Education Achievement Authority.34 This project, modelled after New Orleans’ recovery district, was mandated to take over schools which performed poorly on state-mandated tests (the bottom 5%) and provide them with ‘turnaround’ services to improve their performance. Importantly, this was also a favoured policy of the Obama administration and a central feature of Michigan’s application for Race to the Top funding (Finances_Foundation, 2013; Mason and Arsen, 2014). The EAA attempted to re
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Schooling markets : the circulation, creation, and contestation of charter school markets in the United… Cohen, Dan 2017
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