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  Audit Culture and the Making of a “Gypsy School”. Financing Policies, Curricula, Testing and Educational Inequalities in a Romanian Town

    However segregation and discrimination are very important factors that block access of Roma to quality education, there are a series of less visible phenomena also responsible for school inequalities. Aim of this paper is to understand how some of these sophisticatedly linked factors lead to the making of a "Gypsy school" in a Romanian town, a school with low educational performance and bad fame. In doing so, the notion of audit culture is introduced, understood as a set of culturally mediated norms and practices of ranking. As this approach comes into sight, one may understand how - despite the commitment shown by the Romanian policy-makers to facilitate school integration of the Roma - a series of regulations unwittingly obstruct this aim. As it is revealed below, the framing of the national financing policies may involuntarily lead to tracking the Roma children into certain schools, where - in lack of a variety of teaching materials, refined testing and a clear system of rewarding the teacher's performance - quality education becomes a hard-to-reach target. The contextuality of the bad label of a "Gypsy school" is also relevant in this research as it is either a resource, or a stigma depending of the situation.

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