ERIC Number: ED194413
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Is the Prince Listening? Politics of Education and the Policymaker.
Wirt, Frederick M.
This paper explores the politics of education with emphasis on the uses and influences of educational research in educational policy formation. Objectives are to identify information needs of policy makers and to shed light on the educational policy process. The hypothesis is that there is a lack of unity in studies of the political aspects of public education with regard to methodology, theory, and the linkage of one set of findings to another. To rectify these shortcomings, this study applied deductive theory to investigate how educational research is used by policy makers (interpreted to include federal, state, and local agency officials authorized to oversee schooling). Research utilization is broadly interpreted to include use as an information source for policy makers, political ammunition, an aid to problem solving, and a means of conceptualizing issues. Problems which arise in the educational policy making process include ignorance among policy makers regarding relevant research, time pressures which preclude extensive research and/or searches for existing research findings, failure to adequately assess policy implementation based on specific research recommendations, narrow focus of most research, value-laden research, and bias on the part of policy makers. Recommendations to alleviate these problems include recognition that there are different types of research (descriptive, exploratory, critical, forecasting) and that different research findings are appropriate for different stages of the policy process (issue clarification, alternative formulation, decisionmaking, implementation, and evaluation). (DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Not available from EDRS in paper copy due to blurring of ink density throughout original document. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (Washington, DC, August 28-31, 1980).