Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd)


Middle and Secondary Education

First Advisor

Dr. Joseph Feinberg


Within the past decade and a half, education policies in the United States have become more standards-based and thus more restrictive. No Child Left Behind, under President Bush’s administration, began placing heavy weight on tests to measure student achievement (Klein, 2015); the Common Core State Standards Initiative, under President Obama’s administration, continued the curriculum standardization and increased connections to performance evaluations of teachers (Gewertz, 2015). The standardization that currently characterizes American schools poses several issues for students, especially those on the margins of society—socially, culturally, and economically. Classroom culture, especially under the standardization movement, is culturally biased and leaves few opportunities for traditionally marginalized students to feel at home and welcomed (Irvine, 2003, p. 6). Further, the different high-stakes tests mandated by current education policies take student individuality out of education and overlook marginalized students, as the information and testing practices reflect nothing of their own cultures (McCleskey, 2014). Similarly, despite policymakers’ communicated intentions to create equal learning experiences for all students, their plans are failing because they are relying on equality rather than equity (Irvine, 2003). Lastly, instructional methods, specifically as they are used with marginalized students, reveal color-blindness that, despite teachers’ intentions, are harming our students rather than empowering them (Garces, 2016).