School's In: Federalism and the National Education Agenda

Georgetown University Press
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For most of the history of the United States, citizens and elected officials alike considered elementary and secondary education to be the quintessential state and local function. Only in the past four decades, from Lyndon B. Johnson's signing of the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to George W. Bush's ambitious but controversial "No Child Left Behind" initiative, has Washington's influence over America's schools increased significantly. Today, many Americans have become more convinced that the U.S. government and the states should play an increasingly important role in the nation's schools.

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.

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About the author

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.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Georgetown University Press
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Published on
Jun 1, 2006
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Pages
222
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ISBN
9781589014107
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Political Science / Public Policy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time

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America's fragmented, decentralized, politicized, and bureaucratic system of education governance is a major impediment to school reform. In this important new book, a number of leading education scholars, analysts, and practitioners show that understanding the impact of specific policy changes in areas such as standards, testing, teachers, or school choice requires careful analysis of the broader governing arrangements that influence their content, implementation, and impact.

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.

Contents:

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

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