In School's In, Paul Manna looks over forty years of national education policymaking and asserts that although Washington's influence over American schools has indeed increased, we should neither overestimate the expansion of federal power nor underestimate the resiliency and continuing influence of the states. States are developing comprehensive—often innovative—education policies, and a wide array of educational issues have appeared on the political agenda at the state and national levels.
Manna believes that this overlap is no accident. At the core of his argument is the idea of "borrowing strength," a process by which policy entrepreneurs at one level of government attempt to push their agendas by leveraging the capabilities possessed by other governments in the federal system. Our nation's education agenda, he says, has taken shape through the interaction of policy makers at national and state levels who borrow strength from each other to develop and enact educational reforms.
Based on analyses of public laws, presidential speeches, congressional testimony, public opinion, political advertising, and personal interviews, School's In draws on concepts of federalism and agenda-setting to offer an original view of the growing federal role in education policy. It provides insights not only about how education agendas have changed and will likely unfold in the future, but also about the very nature of federalism in the United States.
Paul Manna is an assistant professor in the Department of Government and is affiliated with the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy at the College of William and Mary.
Focusing on the nation's experience with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), Manna's engaging case study considers just that question. Beyond the administrative challenges NCLB unleashed, Collision Course examines the dynamics at work when federal policymakers hold state and local governments accountable for results. Ambitions for higher performance collide with governing structures and practices.
Were the collisions valuable for their potential to transform education policy, or has the law inflicted too much damage on state and local institutions responsible for educating the nation's youth? The results have been both positive and negative. As Manna points to increased capabilities in states and localities, he also looks at expanded bureaucratic requirements. Collision Course offers a balanced and in-depth assessment of a policy that has sparked heated debate over a broad expanse of time- from NCLB's adoption through its implementation to the Obama administration's attempts to shift away.Federalism, the policymaking process, and the complexity of education policy all get their due in this accessible and analytical supplement.
Ten Thousand Democracies begins with a look at educational reforms from the Progressive era in the late 19th and early 20th centuries through the civil rights movement and ending with Pennsylvania's 2004 tax relief measure. Berkman and Plutzer explore what factors determine education spending levels in school districts, including the effects of public opinion, the nature of local political institutions, and the roles played by special interests. The authors show how board members are selected, how well the boards represent minorities, whether the public can bypass the board through referenda, and how the schools are financed. By providing an innovative statistical portrait that combines public opinion data with Census data for these school districts, the authors answer questions central to democratic control of our schools: how responsive are school boards to their public and when? How powerful are such special interests such as teachers' unions and senior citizens? By using the lens of America's public school districts to examine the workings of democracy, Ten Thousand Democracies offers new insight not only into the forces shaping local education policy but also how democratic institutions may function throughout all levels of government.
Education Governance for the Twenty-First Century comprehensively assesses the strengths and weaknesses of what remains of the old in education governance, scrutinizes how traditional governance forms are changing, and suggests how governing arrangements might be further altered to produce better educational outcomes for children.
Paul Manna, Patrick McGuinn, and their colleagues provide the analysis and alternatives that will inform attempts to adapt nineteenth and twentieth century governance structures to the new demands and opportunities of today.
Education Governance in America: Who Leads When Everyone Is in Charge?, Patrick McGuinn and Paul Manna
The Failures of U.S. Education Governance Today, Chester E. Finn Jr. and Michael J. Petrilli
How Current Education Governance Distorts Financial Decisionmaking, Marguerite Roza
Governance Challenges to Innovators within the System, Michelle R. Davis
Governance Challenges to Innovators outside the System, Steven F. Wilson
Rethinking District Governance, Frederick M. Hess and Olivia M. Meeks
Interstate Governance of Standards and Testing, Kathryn A. McDermott
Education Governance in Performance-Based Federalism, Kenneth K. Wong
The Rise of Education Executives in the White House, State House, and Mayor's Office, Jeffrey R. Henig
English Perspectives on Education Governance and Delivery, Michael Barber
Education Governance in Canada and the United States, Sandra Vergari
Education Governance in Comparative Perspective, Michael Mintrom and Richard Walley
Governance Lessons from the Health Care and Environment Sectors, Barry G. Rabe
Toward a Coherent and Fair Funding System, Cynthia G. Brown
Picturing a Different Governance Structure for Public Education, Paul T. Hill
From Theory to Results in Governance Reform, Kenneth J. Meier
The Tall Task of Education Governance Reform, Paul Manna and Patrick McGuinn