Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

Document Type



I use Marimba Ani’s Asili concept as defined in Yurugu to examine the school accountability model. By school accountability model, I mean the school model that consists of privately managed “public schools” regulated by state testing programs. I argue that school accountability is essentially oppressive and its success depends on the falsification of African and African American history. Ani explains that Asili is a Kiswalhili term meaning “beginning,” “origin,” “source,” “nature (in the sense of the ‘nature’ of a person or thing),” “essence,” or “fundamental principle.” Furthermore, Ani writes that seed is an “ubiquitous African analogical symbol in African philosophical and cosmological explanations” and that a culture’s asili reveals its nature during times of ambivalence and conflict. I focus on Louisiana’s 1954 school laws and resolutions passed in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown decision and the White Citizen’s council’s 1950s Social Studies reform movement. I demonstrate that this is the time when we witness the major elements of the present accountability model suddenly unfold. For instance, Louisiana’s state testing program (for students and teachers), standardized social studies curriculum guides and tests, charter schools, and vouchers can all be traced to the resolutions passed during the weeks following the Brown decision. I examine the thoughts and activities of those who engineered the school accountability seed and thereby reveal its power seeking essence. Too, I trace the seed’s unfolding into a plant and its development to the present time, and I demonstrate its instinctual hostility toward African schools, African educators, African students, and liberating African thought. To the best of my knowledge this is the first major study that examines school accountability from an Afrocentric perspective.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mitchell, Roland



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Education Commons