NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ910549
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Toothless Reform?
Smarick, Andy
Education Next, v10 n2 p14-22 Spr 2010
To many education reformers, the passage of the federal government's massive stimulus plan, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), appeared to be a final bright star falling into alignment. The ARRA seemed to complete the constellation: an astounding $100 billion of new federal funds--nearly twice the annual budget of the U.S. Department of Education--to jump-start and sustain the improvement of America's schools. When secretary of education Arne Duncan expressed his intention to make the very most of this once-in-a-lifetime "moon shot," some advocates eagerly prophesied an epochal shift for reform. The ARRA's results to date, however, have been soberingly quotidian. So far, the vast majority of its funds have served to sustain the status quo, funding the most traditional line items and actually helping schools and districts go about their everyday business. With one notable exception, the implementation of this statute has confirmed several lessons of federal policymaking, including the limited ability of the federal government to drive education reform. Though deflating, the author contends that these bumps and bruises, if taken to heart, could help build a better understanding of the federal government's inherent strengths and weaknesses in K-12 education policy, a particularly valuable exercise as NCLB reauthorization looms. As important, they could still have a critical influence on the ARRA itself--helping to salvage its crown jewel of reform, the vaunted Race to the Top (RTTT). In this article, the author talks about the ARRA and the RTTT fund which represents by far the largest amount ever at the discretion of an education secretary. The author argues that if the federal government gets tough, Race to the Top might work. (Contains 1 figure and 1 table.)
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001