We begin and end this book with chapters on resistance to the agendas of the corporate and political right. In chapter two, Carole Edelsky provocatively outlines both the problem of and the resistance to the marketing of fear being perpetuated by the corporate and political right. She uncovers how teachers known for their critical, holistic practice are dealing with the current context—a context that she characterizes as the "new McCarthyism." She illuminates how as with the original McCarthyism, this new version too includes witch hunts, blacklists, secrecy, spying, strong curbs on dissent, the loss of constitutionally designed checks and balances, and the key roles played by and favoring corporate interests. Edelsky intervii views teachers who see themselves and are seen by others as critical holistic teachers to ask them variations on this question: How have they accommodated, resisted, ignored, and given in to these assaults on their professional autonomy and on education for democracy? This chapter serves as both an introduction and overview of how the climate of fear is created and how it is being resisted.
Once Edelsky has set the stage for us we move into the first section of the book, which begins to examining the players in this game of fear. This section provides a comprehensive look at how recent corporate and government interests have used fear in their efforts to dismantle public education through their initial attacks and subsequent control over pedagogy and testing. Each chapter makes the case that this fear is being used to enact an agenda that disempowers teachers, schools, parents and children.