The Policy of Inequity

Using CRT to Unmask White Supremacy in Education Policy

Authored by: David Gillborn

Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education

Print publication date:  March  2013
Online publication date:  September  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415899956
eBook ISBN: 9780203155721
Adobe ISBN: 9781136581410

10.4324/9780203155721.ch9

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Abstract

… much of our policy making is evidence free, prejudice driven and hysteria driven (particularly hysteria generated by the press).

This startling assessment of how policy is made comes from inside the public policymaking process in the UK. The words were spoken by Paul Flynn, a Member of Parliament for the then ruling Labour Party and a member of the Public Administration Select Committee, i.e. a group of politicians specializing in issues of governance and law-making. The statement came as Flynn summed up the views of several senior politicians who had just given evidence about the policy-making process in their departments of state (House of Commons 2009, Q138). Flynn’s summary stands in diametric opposition to the official version of policy contained in briefings, legislation, and official statements, where policy is presented as an almost scientific, neutral weighing of evidence to arrive at the most effective response to whatever “problem” is top of the day’s agenda. Unfortunately, the very definition of what counts as “problematic” (like the assumptions that determine what counts as an “appropriate” response) is shaped by dominant ideologies, including widespread assumptions about race and racism in society.

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