Book chapter in Carrots, Sticks, and the Bully Pulpit: Lessons from a Half-Century of Federal Efforts to Improve America's Schools, Frederick M. Hess and Andrew P. Kelly, eds.
Book abstract: This timely book brings together a remarkable group of authors who examine the federal role in education policy and reform during the past fifty years.As Frederick M. Hess and Andrew P. Kelly note in their introduction, the book represents a determined effort to move beyond familiar and predictable debates and instead to focus on a number of questions that deserve careful and sustained attention: “What have we learned from the last half-century of federal involvement, especially the last decade or two of significant federal activity? What have we learned about which goals Uncle Sam is well-suited to pursue? What have we learned about how federal efforts play out and about the limits of what federal activity can effectively accomplish?” These questions are of heightened importance at a time when the federal role in education has expanded so dramatically—and when federal education policy is being so vigorously debated. This book—with a diverse and dynamic lineup of leading figures in education research, policy, politics, and innovation—is an indispensable contribution to our current reconsideration of education policy.