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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Welcome to the Berkeley Review of Education, a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published online and edited by students from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. The Berkeley Review of Education engages issues of educational diversity and equity within cognitive, developmental, sociohistorical, linguistic, and cultural contexts. The BRE encourages submissions on research and theory from senior and emerging scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers. To submit a paper, please click on "Submit article to this journal" in the side bar.

Fall/Winter 2019


Policies and People: A Review of Neoliberalism and Educational Technologies in P-12 Education Research

Accountability regimes, value added, vouchers—it is difficult to ignore the evidence of market-based rationalities in global discourses around education. Such rationalities rely heavily on Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) for their propagation and maintenance under the guise of educational technologies, or ed-tech. The purpose of this literature review is to examine educational research focused on the role ICTs have played in the neoliberalization of education across the globe. The author contends that future inquiry needs to substantiate the broad claims about the pernicious effects of neoliberalized educational technologies by engaging more directly with those most affected: teachers and students.

The Future of Education: Black Life and Our Classrooms A Moderated Panel Discussion

This piece is an abridged version of a panel discussion that was part of the symposium on Anti-Black State Violence Across the Americas: Power and Struggle in Brazil and the U.S., held at UC Berkeley on February 20–22, 2019, and organized by the LUTA Initiative, a coalition of scholars invested in facilitating international dialogue about racialized state violence across the Americas. The conversation featured Cherrish Cook and Muwazu Chisum-Misquitta (Berkeley High School Student Activists, United States) in conversation with Onirê Onã Walê Borges dos Santos and Andreia Beatriz Silva dos Santos (React or Die/Winnie Mandela Pan-Africanist School, Salvador da Bahia, Brazil). C. Darius Gordon moderated the panel (Editor, Berkeley Review of Education, Graduate School of Education, UC Berkeley). Alejandro Reyes performed transcription and translation for this article. For more information on the LUTA Initiative, the symposium, and a full video of this panel discussion with English and Portuguese subtitles, visit

Call for Conversations

“People, Not Profits”: The Professional Organizations We Need

This article uses a scrapbook design to narrate the authors’ experiences protesting the use of high-stakes performance assessments in teacher preparation programs by engaging in demonstrations during—and proposing policy at—the annual conventions of a large national teachers’ organization. These narrations are used to raise questions about how professional education organizations define advocacy at a time when neoliberal education reforms limit educators’ capacity to carry out our collective responsibilities to marginalized and vulnerable youth. The authors suggest that in the current political climate that has dehumanized youth, demoralized their teachers, and disempowered teacher educators, educators need professional organizations that explicitly name injustices associated with the reductive curricula and for-profit tests that are hindering local teachers’ and teacher educators’ responsiveness to learners and engagement with democratic processes. In response to these injustices, the authors argue that teachers’ professional organizations must do far more to work boldly both against the de-professionalization of educators and toward a re-professionalization of educators that centers rather than marginalizes advocacy and activism.

Towards a Theory of Teacher Agency: Conceptualizing the Political Positions and Possibilities of Teacher Movements

In response to a need for increased engagement given the #RedForEd movement, this article draws upon my experience as an organizer and participant in the recent wave of teacher activism to provide implications for theories of teacher agency and political transformation. First, I conceptualize the Arizona #RedForEd movement’s unique position beyond the state’s logics of political power, considering the possibilities that such a position created for teacher-activists in Arizona. I then confront the decreasing power of the movement in order to demonstrate the need for increased theorizations of the reflexive capacities of institutionalized power structures to sustain oppositional education social movements. I consider the recent history of the RedForEd movement with the hope of forwarding renewed considerations of political transformation, power, and teacher agency, which can inform movements that challenge the hegemonic limits placed upon social-justice-oriented movement work.

Disrupting the Ideology of Settled Expectations: Forging New Social Movements to Dismantle the Educational Racial Contract

This paper draws on the concepts of settled expectations and the educational racial contract to provide an analysis of the current social movements calling for the improvement of teacher salaries and work conditions in K-12 schools. This paper argues that some teacher unions’ lack of centering race in their advocacy to ameliorate educational inequities will not radically transform how teachers are treated in the profession, unless there is an increase in motivation to fully recognize the humanity and educational needs of Students of Color in American society. The author calls for teacher activists to reject the false consciousness of their own settled expectations and work on equal footing with Communities of Color to co-author an emancipatory educational contract on the basis of relational equity, respect, and sympathetic touch.