Award Date

12-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Gene Hall

Second Committee Member

James Hager

Third Committee Member

Linda Quinn

Fourth Committee Member

James Crawford

Number of Pages

252

Abstract

Policy analysis helps to develop a greater understanding of societal problems and provide possible solutions for elected and non-elected government decision makers. Ultimately, the product of analysis is advice relating to public decisions and informed by social values. In light of the pressures placed on education by policy-makers concerning implementation of educational reform there are surprisingly few studies concerning the changing role of the federal government from a historical perspective. Looking at the past, with the present in mind, reminds us that the current shape of education was not inevitable.

This qualitative dissertation study analyzes the evolution of the intentions of policies chosen and adopted during three critical eras of education reform in the United States. By exploring the way each policy came into existence and then evaluating some of the consequences of each policy this study will provide a deep understanding that educational reform does not happen overnight but over a period of time. The second purpose of this study is to delineate apparent disconnections between the making-of-policy and its implementation by school leaders. The questions guiding this study are: (1) Why were Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society, and George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind education policies chosen and not others? (2) What is the definition of accountability for each of the policies chosen? (3) What systematic changes have taken place due to the enactment of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society, and George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind education policies? (4) What are the apparent causes for the disconnect between the making of policy and implementation of the policy by school leaders?

Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal brought about the notion of social responsibility among the American people. These social responsibilities have had a lasting impact on policies enacted on behalf of society and public education. This change became the basis for the subsequent exploration of the relationships between Roosevelt's notions of social responsibility, Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society's Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind Act. The notion of social responsibility among the citizens of the United States also explains the trends and progress of American education as an entitled social responsibility.

This study is potentially significant for the following reasons: The first is it contributes to the development of a greater understanding of societal problems and possible solutions for elected and non-elected government decision makers. It also may provide assistance to decision makers in projecting costs and potential benefits of a policy. It may expand the sense of possibilities for future policies. Finally, by looking at the past in relation to the present we are reminded that the current shape of education was not inevitable. By looking at the events that have shaped education we can better see the path education has taken. This analysis may even expand the sense of possibilities for future economic and accountability policies of education. The historical record shows that the choices are not simply about economics and accountability; they also are related to the shape and spirit of public provision.

The review of the literature and primary sources of research highlight the many challenges facing policy related to education reform. The second purpose of this study was to delineate the disconnect between the making-of-policy and its implementation by school leaders in each case changes in policy across the three periods of time left many educators disconnected between the making of a policy and implementation of the policy. By explaining each policies existence and then evaluating the policies it is hoped that this study will contribute to a deep understanding that educational reform does not happen overnight but over a period of time.

Keywords

Education and state; Educational change; Educational leadership; ESEA 1965; History; No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; School administrators; School management and organization; United States. National Youth Administration

Disciplines

Educational Leadership | Education Policy | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation

Language

English


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