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Equivalence and performance gaps in Swedish school inspection: context and the politics of blame
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2016 (English)In: Discourse. Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, ISSN 0159-6306, E-ISSN 1469-3739, Vol. 37, no 1, 133-148 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses and critically discusses how context is relevant when constructing and upholding an equivalent education for all within the neo-liberal educational regime of marketisation and accountability. At the centre of the article is a study of national school inspection reports in four municipalities in Sweden, exploring performance gaps, equality and justice in an educational system, that for decades has emphasised universal welfare, justice and equality. By drawing on the concept of ‘the politics of blame’, findings show that accountability and blame are constructed in complex ways. Although teachers and schools are blamed for low expectations with little contextual consideration by Swedish Schools Inspectorate, local governments are blamed for not redistributing resources. This can both challenge and strengthen the contemporary regime in governing education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 37, no 1, 133-148 p.
Keyword [en]
accountability, equality, marketisation, performance gaps, school inspection, Sweden
National Category
Public Administration Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-91898DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2014.936929ISI: 000367825500010OAI: diva2:738488
Inspecting the market. Governing education through marketisation and central state control
Available from: 2014-08-18 Created: 2014-08-18 Last updated: 2016-04-26Bibliographically approved

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Carlbaum, Sara
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