[Dis]Ableing Educational Inequities: A Disability Studies in Education Perspective

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Joseph Michael Valente
Kathleen Collins


Race to the Top, inclusive education


Disability Studies is often viewed as only relevant to those with disabilities. What is forgotten or overlooked is that, at its core, schooling is about defining, locating, measuring, and remediating ability. This essay offers [dis]ableing as a lens for exploring and questioning the ubiquitous ways ability has increasingly become defined and constructed by notions of individualism, competition, and economic productivity. We begin with a description of the key principles borrowed from disability studies in education and apply a [dis]ableing lens to inaugural discussions of Race to the Top federal educational reforms in the United States in order to examine the hidden consequences for all students. This article concludes with new understandings about how educational inequities are perpetuated by the policies and practices that purport to dismantle them.

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