Masters Thesis

An Introduction to Neoliberalism in United States Education

The United States has been experiencing the ascendancy of a particular type of politics called neoliberalism. Creators of this theory borrowing from a limited definition of the old term liberalism sought to transform how we understand the world into a market-based lens of understanding. The utopic ideal of neoliberalism is the proliferation of markets and the deconstruction of public goods. The tools used in this process are commodification, deregulation and privatization. The rise of neoliberalism has profoundly changed the dynamics of education within the United States. Think-tanks lead by neoliberal theorists has affected government policy on the local, state and federal level creating the groundwork for a market-oriented education system. Externally private entities such as charter schools and for-profit universities have emerged and experienced enormous growth within that last several decades. Internally, public institutions propelled by necessity or desire have adapted the logic of neoliberalism. This shift in the Education system has come at enormous cost to the general public as immediate profit becomes primary goal of education while educations former goal of providing a more informed electorate, instilling common values and critical thinking become incidental.

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