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Schools as Social Enterprises: The Las Casas Report, Evidence- Based, and Neoliberal Policy Discourse

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Abstract

In Mutual Futures: Ed Balls, Michael Gove and the Challenge to Faith Schools (2009), Francis Davis and Nathan Koblintz lament how quite often in policy debates within Catholic circles secular considerations are undermined by religious theorists, or else theological considerations relevant to policy decisions are left to a few “enthusiastic individuals.” My response to this is not only to welcome secular and evidence-based thinking but also to highlight the dangers of excesses culminating in an idolatrous and performative obsession with numbers. In the context of thinking through the policy to create social enterprise school zones, I propose a model of educational discourse that welcomes the secular and scientific but at the same time is critically open to synthetic, overarching claims of the “true” and the “just” that are typical of religious grand narratives. I end with the suggestion that such kinds of educational discourse might be neoliberal and consider briefly the implications of applying this label in the light of current indiscriminate use of the label.

Jude Chua Soo Meng, "Schools as Social Enterprises: The Last Casas Report, Evidence- Based, and Neoliberal Policy Discourse," Journal of Markets & Morality 15, no. 2 (Fall 2012): 391-413


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