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An Education in PoliticsThe Origins and Evolution of No Child Left Behind$
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Jesse H. Rhodes

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449710

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449710.001.0001

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A New Direction in American Education Policy, 1980–1988

A New Direction in American Education Policy, 1980–1988

(p.40) 2 A New Direction in American Education Policy, 1980–1988
An Education in Politics

Jesse H. Rhodes

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the initial bout of educational entrepreneurship that gave rise to a new focus on education reform, especially at the state level, during the 1980s. It begins by briefly discussing some of the contextual factors attending the emergence of excellence in education in American education politics. It then shows how business entrepreneurs, civil rights entrepreneurs, educational conservatives, and state leaders mobilized to promote a vision of excellence in education. Next, it analyzes key themes of the excellence-in-education paradigm, illustrating how these four groups linked extant political conditions, educational challenges, and school practices in a narrative that legitimated new forms of government involvement in schools. The final section of the chapter examines how elected officials, state governments, and educational liberals responded to the rise of the new agenda.

Keywords:   educational entrepreneurship, educational reform, education policy, excellence in education, social policy

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