ERIC Number: ED556253
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Reference Count: 51
Governing American Education: Why This Dry Subject May Hold the Key to Advances in American Education
Tucker, Marc S.
National Center on Education and the Economy
The fundamental changes taking place in the global economy pose an existential threat for high-wage economies like the United States. Countries with high-wage economies will either figure out how to convert their mass education systems into systems that can educate virtually all their students to the standards formerly reserved for their elites, or these nations will see their standard of living decline until it meets the now much lower standard of living of countries that are producing large numbers of high school graduates as well or better educated than those who charge much less for their labor. Many high-wage countries have in fact been busy completely redesigning their education systems with this goal in mind and are now in fighting trim. The United States, however, is not among them. The United States is hobbled by a design for education governance that reflects a distrust of government, a naïve belief that it is possible to get education out of politics, and a conviction that the best education decisions are those that are made closest to the community. This paper looks at the governance issue from a decidedly transnational perspective. This is because it is very hard to get a perspective on education governance as practiced in the United States only by looking at the United States. Different states in the United States have decidedly different policy preferences, but the governance system is pretty much the same across the country. It is only when one looks at the way the education systems of other countries are governed that one realizes that there are other ways to govern education systems, that the U.S. system of governance is an international outlier, and that governance structures can enlarge or limit the possibilities of change and improvement in education systems in crucially important ways.
Descriptors: Governance, Politics of Education, Educational Change, Educational Policy, State Agencies, Agency Role, Government Role, Accountability, Barriers, Unions, School Districts, Institutional Autonomy, Professional Autonomy, Public Education
National Center on Education and the Economy. 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Suite 5300, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-379-1800; Fax: 202-293-1560; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.ncee.org
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center on Education and the Economy; Center for American Progress