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Education Policy Making

Here are a couple of questions to ponder when posting to this week’s discussion board. You may choose to respond to one of these questions or provide your own thoughts about this week’s readings:

Education policymaking at the federal level has historically been limited. It was not until the 1950s with the Brown v. Board of Education decision, and 1960s with the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that the federal government became involved in education policymaking to any significant degree. Historically state and local governments had discretion over curricula, standards, teacher credentialing, etc.

In more recent times, Federal intervention in education became more intrusive. In 2001 Congress passed, with bipartisan support, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which established criteria to hold states and districts responsible for meeting numerous benchmarks. For many, this was a step too far, and as a result, federal involvement has been scaled back recently. Based on your knowledge of our federal system, where should education policymaking reside (federal, state or local)? Why? How would this level of government help to ensure that students receive a quality education?

Dye describes several interest groups involved in education policy. Often these groups have competing agendas, resulting in policies that are frequently a compromise between the wants and desires of these groups. Describe some of the ways in which these interest groups have helped and harmed education. Are there other stakeholders that you can think of?

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