Vassar College Digital Library
Within the contemporary landscape of public education reform, educational actors are re- directing their hopes and visions for equitable and collaborative change outside of public space and into private territories, such as charter schools. The effort to establish the Four Pillars Charter School in the city of Poughkeepsie, NY is one such example of an education reform initiative that seeks to move further outside and away from traditional democratic and public educational institutions. Through an analytical framework that draws upon neoliberal abandonment, the regime of common sense, the politics of disposability, territory, I examine the overall trajectory of the FPCS efforts—including its origins, motivations, and vision and challenges—in order to argue for a return to and a reinvigoration of democratic and public institutions. Ultimately the FPCS effort represents a call to re-imagine equitable educational experiences for youth in existing PCSD schools, and to critically re-examine and begin to deconstruct the racism and classism that has for so long burdened and territorialized traditional democratic and public educational space within the PCSD.
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