A Second-Class Workforce: How Neoliberal Policies and Reforms Undermined the Educational Profession

Sunni Ali


Years of professional neglect, scrutiny, and inequitable pay have forced educators across the country to fight for
improved policies and reforms. A public, in some circles, that views educators undeserving of their salaries due to the
unpreparedness of the American youth to succeed in the economy and the continued societal problems emanating from
the profession.
Neoliberalism, as a school policy plan, was designed to retool and establish improved schooling opportunities,
especially for children of color located in poor residential environments. Instead, what it created was a more divided,
tiered school arrangement that expelled black-and-brown teachers from education while closing down the schools they
worked in primarily situated in urban America (Lipman, 1998; Watkins, 2011; Apple, 2018).
The methodology for this research diagnosed and assessed key aspects of contemporary literature along with applying
an auto-ethnographic lens to evaluate school reform challenges. The critical race theoretical approach was adopted to
indicate how neoliberalism affects new teachers entering the profession along with teachers and children of color
existing within school structures.
Despite the paper identifying the various milestones achieved in the newly constructed schools, it is also clear that
charter-and-contract school designs pay teachers less for their work, reduces the employment attrition rate, and
consummates an over testing industry that regulates and controls how teachers instruct and are evaluated. More
troubling, fewer people were interested in pursuing this profession as a career (Walker, 2019; Ravitch, 2016).
To fix this challenge, educators are in the streets, the school board rooms, and on Capitol Hill to demand their
profession receive the types of reforms necessary to sustain its existence. Such activism ensures education will
continue to make great strides improving the lives of children, every day, while also working to sustain communities in
need of hope and progress.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jct.v8n3p102


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