ERIC Number: ED229882
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Feb
Reference Count: 0
The Role of Issue Networks in State Agenda-Setting.
Kirst, Michael W.; Meister, Gail
By synthesizing theoretical and empirical research on issue networks, this paper describes and classifies four examples of networks involving educational issues. A literature review shows that, unlike other social and economic influences, networks are marked by flexibility in membership, leadership (individual, group, or organizational), structure, operation, and lifespan. The literature also reveals that the initiators of issues may generate a policy movement by creating a network of advocates. Applying the literature's conclusions to four issues of state policy-making--school finance reform, creationism, collective bargaining for teachers, and minimum competency graduation--shows the influence of various types of networks. None of the issues was actively advocated by federal government policy. Interview data and socioeconomic information were considered in analyzing the effects of the four issues on the policy agendas of California, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Texas, and Washington State. Networks were typed by their degree of uniform adherence to a concept and by their style of organization. The cases ranged from absolute control over the concept and strict centralization of dispersal, in the case of "creation science," to the diffusion of a general concept without centralized guidance, in the case of minimum competency testing. Besides degrees of agreement, the paper notes, networks could possibly be typed according to variations in policy solutions and content. (JW)
Descriptors: Centralization, Communication Research, Coordination, Educational Legislation, Information Networks, Network Analysis, Policy Formation, Politics of Education, Social Action, Social Networks, State Legislation, Tables (Data)
Publications, Institute for Research on Educational Finance and Governance, School of Education, CERAS Building, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 ($2.00).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Inst. for Research on Educational Finance and Governance.
Note: Will reproduce poorly in paper copy due to light, broken print of original document.