Download e-book for kindle: Building the Federal Schoolhouse: Localism and the American by Douglas S. Reed

By Douglas S. Reed

ISBN-10: 0199838488

ISBN-13: 9780199838486

During the last fifty years, the federal government's efforts to reform American public schooling have remodeled U.S. colleges from locally-run organizations into advanced platforms together developed via federal, country, and native actors. the development of this federal schoolhouse-an academic method with universal nationwide expectancies and practices-has essentially altered either schooling politics and the norms governing academic coverage on the neighborhood point.

Building the Federal Schoolhouse examines those matters via an in-depth, fifty-year exam of federal academic rules in the neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, a prosperous but socially diversified suburb of Washington, D.C. The epochal social variations that swept via the United States some time past part century hit Alexandria with specific strength, reworking its Jim Crow college approach right into a new immigrant gateway district inside of generations. alongside the best way, the varsity method has struggled to supply caliber schooling for specific wishes scholars, and has sought to beat the legacies of monitoring and segregated studying whereas at the same time preserving upper-middle classification scholars. such a lot lately, it has grappled with kingdom and federally imposed responsibility measures that search to spice up academic results. All of those coverage projects have contended with the prevailing political regime inside of Alexandria, every now and then forcing it to a verge of collapse, and at different occasions reconstructing it. all of the whereas, the neighborhood expectancies and governing realities of directors, mom and dad, politicians, and citizens have sharply restricted federal projects, restricting their scope whilst in clash with neighborhood commitments and amplifying them once they align.

Through an intensive use of neighborhood files, modern bills, institution facts, and interviews, Douglas S. Reed not just paints an intimate portrait of the conflicts that the federal schoolhouse's production has wrought in Alexandria, but in addition files the successes of the federal dedication to larger academic chance. In so doing, he highlights the complexity of the yankee schooling kingdom and the centrality of neighborhood regimes and native old context to federal academic reform efforts.

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Additional info for Building the Federal Schoolhouse: Localism and the American Education State

Sample text

For each of the policy domains explored in the book—racial desegregation and integration, special education policy, English-language learners and accountability politics—I am interested in understanding how struggles over authority in education shape the nature of education reform and how the sequencing of reforms matters for policy success. The first issue, battles over who has authority within a particular policy domain, draws on the important work of Karen Orren and Stephen Skowronek. They claim in In Search of American Political Development that political fights over authority define the central concern of the field of political development.

13 As a result of this historical deference, the organization of public schooling in the United States is highly localized. While the term “local control” is certainly misleading in a formal sense, the ongoing fact that local authorities actually operate schools means that “operational localism” is the predominant form of public schooling in the United States. Its persistence and its appeal emerge from two important facets of American public education. First, geographically defined school districts (which retain the ability to exclude students who reside outside district boundaries) remain the predominant mode of organizing schools and, second, a large percentage of the money needed to operate these schools comes from local taxes on real estate within those district boundaries.

As a nation, the United States has witnessed over the past fifty years a remarkable transformation in how schools are governed. The perplexed state of the gurus of educational policymaking stems from a fundamental misapprehension about the relationship between educational improvement and educational governance within the United States. Change in the latter does not necessarily induce the former. While many advocates of federal reforms—from school integration to special education to 4 Building the Federal Schoolhouse Race to the Top—argue that federal policies can incentivize educational improvement, the realities of educational localism in the United States mean that the task of building the education state requires federal policy initiatives to dislocate and disrupt existing local arrangements, without assuming the responsibilities of actually operating schools.

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Building the Federal Schoolhouse: Localism and the American Education State by Douglas S. Reed


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