The impact of standards-based reform: Applying Brantlinger's critique of hierarchical ideologies

Jessica Bacon, Beth Ferri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Brantlinger's [2004b. "Ideologies Discerned, Values Determined: Getting past the Hierarchies of Special Education." In Ideology and the Politics of (in)Exclusion, edited by L. Ware, 11-31. New York: Peter Lang Publishing] critique of hierarchical ideologies lays bare the logics embedded in standards-based reform. Drawing on Brantlinger's insightful analysis, we trace how hierarchical ideologies impacted inclusive practice at one urban elementary school, deemed failing under the No Child Left Behind Act. Drawing on the qualitative analysis of data from interviews, public forums, and documents, we chart some of the negative effects of hierarchical ideologies on inclusive practice. We illustrate, for instance, how the school instituted a variety of segregated programmes aimed at increasing test scores. We also uncover how grade-level expectations and the need for content modification were used to justify exclusion. Finally, we examine how graduation requirements negatively impacted students with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1312-1325
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • inclusive education
  • special education
  • special education needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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