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ERIC Number: EJ799593
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1071-4413
"Happy to Comply": Writing Assessment, Fast-Capitalism, and the Cultural Logic of Control
Scott, Tony
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v30 n2 p140-161 Apr 2008
In order to examine how large-scale testing affects writing pedagogy and students' composition processes, the author conducted a study that centered on two high school senior English classes in the state of Kentucky. Since 1991, Kentucky has implemented a large-scale writing assessment and system of teacher and school accountability. Generating over 500 pages of coded data, the study incorporates interviews with state and district level administrators, teachers, and students and observations of two classes during a school year. Through interviews and the examination of administrative and professional development documents, the study also creates an "archaeology" of this state system of assessment and accountability. It outlines the system's history and organizational logic, mapping a trajectory from its political genesis to its administrative procedures and goals, to the everyday writing pedagogy that it significantly shapes. In this article, the author draws on some of the data from the study to describe how this assessment makes learning writing synonymous with learning bureaucracy. Referencing Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Antonio Negri, and Michael Hardt, he argues that the "all assessment all of the time" approach to writing education identified in the study reflects a more general trend in assessment from a logic of discipline to a logic of control. The assessment erodes barriers between broad organizational procedures and goals and day-to-day classroom activities and subsumes teachers' and students' creative labors under a bureaucratic framework. The result is highly rationalized literate activity that is explicitly employed toward the ends of a bureaucracy. (Contains 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky