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Insurgent Learning: Confronting Neoliberal Assaults on Public Education in Los Angeles County in an Era of Accountability, 2000-2015

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Insurgent Learning examines neoliberal assaults on K-12 public education in Los Angeles County during an era of No Child Left Behind, from 2000-2015. In an era in which so-called “failing” public schools were accountable to rising academic expectations from the state, a movement to privatize public education, fueled through national, state, and local policies, enabled an outgrowth of corporate charter schools. Inspired by the author’s quest to understand the political landscape in education that led the non-profit, Parent Revolution, to organize in the city of Compton to invoke the California “parent trigger law,” Insurgent Learning reveals the policy architects behind the movement to privatize public schools in Los Angeles County.

The dissertation expands beyond geo-political boundaries often defined by city limits and school district boundaries to present the region of South Los Angeles as a zone where structural violence is permissible and the school apparatus is a form of domestic warfare. Through an interdisciplinary analysis, the author relied on interviews, archival research, and her own auto-ethnographic experience to use a muxerista portraitist sensibility that captures competing visions for public education. Collectively, Insurgent Learning is an archive of insurgent knowledge that contributes to a genealogy of Black and Brown grassroots radicalism in the region of South Los Angeles as it centers communities at the forefront of efforts to reclaim and regenerate the democratic potential of public education.

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This item is under embargo until June 14, 2024.