ERIC Number: ED213625
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec-28
Reference Count: 0
Short-Circuiting the Bureaucracy: Policy Origins in Education.
Graham, Hugh Davis
The Great Society's secret task forces created by Lyndon Johnson, particularly in the case-study area of federal education policy, show the use and misuse of the task force device. Modern use of it began with John F. Kennedy. Although he used the task force device effectively sometimes, he did not use it effectively in his educational programs in 1961 through 1963. The use of the task force device came to fruition under Johnson who initially designated 14 task forces that were to operate without publicity. The Gardner task force in education was typical. It is credited with innovating policy for Title III, IV, and V and the aid to developing colleges in the Higher Education Act. In assessing the relative contributions of task forces to education policy in 1964-65, it is necessary to consider some unique external circumstances. First, the Budget Bureau had a strategic position--it enjoyed a substantive measure of initiative and control over the agenda and information flow of the part-time Gardner task force. Second, there was a logic and rhythm of presidential budgetary and fiscal policymaking. Finally, there was a starving of Great Society programs even while Johnson and his task forces, which kept increasing in number, wanted more program legislation. By using task force policy recommendations the Johnson Administration was able to short-circuit bureaucracy and get passed a greater amount of Great Society legislation. (NE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Higher Education Act 1965; Johnson (Lyndon Baines); Kennedy (John F); Task Force Approach
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association (Los Angeles, CA, December 28, 1981).