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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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The Road to No Child Left Behind, 1995–2002

The Road to No Child Left Behind, 1995–2002

(p.126) 5 The Road to No Child Left Behind, 1995–2002
An Education in Politics

Jesse H. Rhodes

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the period between 1995 and 2002, which was bookended by the “Republican Revolution” against big government and by the passage of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in 2002. It begins by reviewing how the so-called Republican Revolution affected the progress of standards-based reforms in Congress and the states between 1994 and 2000. It then shows how these developments shaped the ideas and advocacy of business entrepreneurs, civil rights entrepreneurs, and their allies in Congress. After tracing the various threads that contributed to the reemergence of support for federal leadership of standards-based reform, it examines the politics surrounding enactment of NCLB, both to explain why the legislation passed and understand how it accommodated existing interests and institutions. Finally, the chapter considers how enactment of NCLB set the stage for subsequent intergovernmental struggles over authority in education—in particular, how it influenced presidential candidate Barack Obama's education agenda in the 2008 election campaign.

Keywords:   education reform, education policy, Republican Revolution, No Child Left Behind Act, standards-based reform

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