Title: The power of relation-making
Subtitle: insights into the production and operation of digital school performance platforms in the US
Authors: Hartong, Sigrid 
Language: eng
Keywords: Critical data studies;School monitoring;School performance platforms;State education agencies;Topological lens
Subject (DDC): DDC::300 Sozialwissenschaften::300 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie
Issue Date: 2021
Document Type: Article
Journal / Series / Working Paper (HSU): Critical studies in education : formerly Melbourne studies in education 
Volume: 62
Issue: 1
Page Start: 34
Page End: 49
This contribution takes a critical perspective on digital school performance platforms (SPP), which today play a key role in US state education monitoring and accountability. Using examples from two different US state education agencies, I provide an analytical disentanglement of some key dimensions of such platforms’ enactment and materiality. I do so using a topological lens, which in recent years has increasingly been adopted in education policy research as a useful tool for capturing complex and simultaneously generative manifestations of the digital. In the case of platforms, such a topological lens focuses on the power of relation-making and, consequently, on the fabrication and stabilization of particular data representations of education through relational (platform) settings, while simultaneously embracing the ongoing enactment and dynamism of these settings through various data practices. As an empirical example of this ambiguity, this contribution discusses the complex, highly dynamic relational production of US school performance platforms as reported by state education agency experts, as well as the invisibilization of these very production processes when observing the seemingly neutral, compressed, simplified and ready-to-use platforms themselves. Consequently, despite their customized and interactive nature, such platforms powerfully (re)shape what is publicly perceived and can be acted upon as ‘good’ schooling.
Organization Units (connected with the publication): Transformation von Governance in Bildung und Gesellschaft 
ISSN: 17508487
Publisher DOI: 10.1080/17508487.2020.1749861
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