ABSTRACT

As I have suggested, the study of whiteness in education is receiving increased attention, particularly as it relates to color-blind perspectives in schools. In this chapter, I argue that the No Child Left Behind Act is an example of color-blindness par excellence. NCLB’s hidden referent of whiteness makes a casual pass at racial explanation that sidesteps race as a causal explanation for educational disparities. In this sense, NCLB is an “act of whiteness” and perpetuates the innocence of whiteness as a system of privilege. It is a form of whiteness as policy. Its white common sense deems racial disparities as unfortunate outcomes of group competition, uneven social development, or worse, as stubborn cultural explanations of the inferiority of people of color. I argue for a color-conscious perspective that problematizes the otherwise race-neutral discourse of NCLB.