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Responsibility and judging: producing and using numbers

Responsibility and judging: producing and using numbers

Chapter:
(p.113) Six Responsibility and judging: producing and using numbers
Source:
The Politics of Public Education
Author(s):
Helen M. Gunter
Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447339588.003.0006

In the high stakes context of biopolitical distinctiveness, what matters appears to be selecting data and using it to make performance claims by smoothing a narrative. This chapter examines how this is integral to segregating the system using Hannah Arendt's (2003) thinking about responsibility and judgement, where she identifies what happens when people are rendered thoughtless, particularly in how a situation is framed and understood through fabricated myth-making. The deployment of the Education Policy Knowledgeable Polity to the creation of ‘data-rich’ schools in England enables an examination of a form of depoliticisation by calculation where the interplay between standards, numbers, and school leadership is deployed to change identities and practices. The state has been able to make contractual alliances with elite individuals, companies, and networked knowledge producers who have used particular ideologies in order to present a seductive, trainable, and measurable model for the modern professional.

Keywords:   Hannah Arendt, Education Policy Knowledgeable Polity, education reform, depoliticisation, segregated education system

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