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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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Institutionally Bounded Entrepreneurship and the Future of American Education Policymaking

Institutionally Bounded Entrepreneurship and the Future of American Education Policymaking

(p.183) Conclusion Institutionally Bounded Entrepreneurship and the Future of American Education Policymaking
An Education in Politics

Jesse H. Rhodes

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes the book's main arguments and discusses their implications for future efforts to improve the nation's schools. Stepping away from the case of education, it also considers the lessons of this study for broader theories of institutional change. The fundamental tension explored throughout this book—between Americans' aspirations for better and more equitable schools throughout the ideas—is unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future. The political struggles between business entrepreneurs, civil rights entrepreneurs, educational liberals, educational conservatives, and state leaders were ultimately both about how best to improve the nation's schools, and about who should have the authority to determine how to improve them. They were also about who had the right to speak for the interests of historically disadvantaged groups, and about how these interests should be balanced against the interests of the broader community. Fittingly, given education's central place in American political and social life, these struggles reflect core conflicts between equality and democracy that have animated our nation's politics since the founding. These issues will continue to inform the debates that will carry the politics of school reform into the future.

Keywords:   education reform, education policy, institutional change, equality, democracy

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