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Book Review

The Seduction of Common Sense: How the Right Has Framed the Debate on America’s Schools

The Seduction of Common Sense offers a powerful examination of current education policy initiatives as framed by the rhetoric of the political Right and the political Left. Critical of both sides, Kumashiro first provides a searching look at the Right and shows why it has succeeded so well in winning the debate about the purposes and possibilities of education. Here he brilliantly illuminates how the Right uses particular “frames”—appeals to conservative notions of the traditional family, free enterprise, goodness, and fear—to shape the public’s common sense ideas about schooling and build support for its attacks on public education and social justice reforms.

Turning then to the Left he shows how it has failed to win support for its initiatives and goals, especially regarding racial disparities in schools. More importantly, he argues that the Left must “reframe” common sense about education to embrace a commitment to human rights, a belief in equality, and quality education for all of our children.