ERIC Number: ED332348
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The Minnesota Postsecondary Options Law; A Case of Choice. CPRE Report Series TC-004.
Archibald, Doug A.
Interest in school choice has reached an unprecedented level in the United States. This paper discusses the origins, political context, and controversy surrounding the 1985 Minnesota Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act (PEO), the first state-level school choice initiative and a major catalyst for other states and districts. The first section describes political and historical conditions in Minnesota that hindered widely espoused educational reforms in the mid-1980s, but that contributed to PEO. The climate of fiscal conservatism in Minnesota's legislature, the lack of perceived serious educational problems, and strong local control sentiments were inimical to big top-down reform programs. At the same time, legislators felt politically pressured to support educational reform. A window of opportunity was created for a previously unsuccessful coterie of school choice advocates. The second section focuses on policy and political outcomes of the PEO law. Student participation and performance data and competitive incentives created by PEO indicate that PEO is achieving its goals. Politically, PEO created turbulence and was opposed by Minnesota education groups. An analysis of the PEO debate's language and tactics suggests that much controversy and opposition stemmed from a struggle over authority and a defense of professional educators' control that is incompatible with school choice goals. (27 references) (Author/MLH)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, College Credits, Educational Change, Educational Policy, High Schools, Outcomes of Education, Political Influences, Postsecondary Education, Resistance to Change, School Choice, School District Autonomy, State Action
Publications, Center for Policy Research in Education, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ ($7.00 prepaid). Also available as part of a 4-title "School Choice Package" (Order No. PK-001, $21.00 prepaid).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Policy Research in Education.
Note: For related studies, see EA 023 004-007.