ERIC Number: ED206114
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jul-31
Reference Count: 0
Federal School Policy in the 1980s: Historical Givens and Alternative Futures.
Wirt, Frederick M.
Predicting the federal government's role in education in the 1980s requires being aware of existing patterns and trends, noting their interaction with likely federal policy changes, and assessing the possible outcomes of this interaction. The existing patterns, or "historical givens," include trends in educational economics and demographics, in public attitudes, and in the role of state governments. Population, tax, and technological developments are reducing public schools' resources. The public expects more and more from government. Local interest groups' demands for educational reforms have increased state governments' capacity, and hence responsibility, to govern local education agencies. These existing trends will interact with new federal policies, the most likely of which is the devolution upon the states, through block grants, of existing federal power over educational resources. Three alternative outcomes may occur: the federal role in education may expand, contract, or remain the same. An expanded role would result only from a major educational crisis, which seems unlikely. A contracted role, which many think probable, would lead to a focus on educational politics at the state level. The federal role will probably remain the same, however, as the effects of past policies, existing programs, and local political groups limit the administration's options. (RW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Politics of Education
Note: Prepared for the School Finance Project. Best copy available.