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Drew University

Political Science Department
36 Madison Ave.
Madison, NJ 07940

Current Projects

Negotiated Settlement: Policy Feedback and the Implementation and Reauthorization of NCLB
This project will build on my earlier work by examining how the ambitious and controversial expansion of federal power in schools has reconfigured educational politics and practice in the U.S.  It will examine ongoing efforts at both the state and federal level to restructure administrative institutions and relationships, create new political alliances, and reframe public debates over school reform.  The book will provide an in-depth analysis of the inter-governmental negotiations over the implementation of NCLB and their impact on the Congressional debate over the law’s reauthorization.  The evolution of federal education policy will be used to shed light on the contours of 21st century American politics, the dynamics of contemporary federalism, and the ability of reformers to sustain major policy changes over time.


Education Governance for the 21st Century: Overcoming the Structural Barriers to School Reform (Co-Edited with Paul Manna, College of William and Mary)
Co-sponsored by the Center for American Progress and the Fordham Institute
The past twenty years have witnessed major challenges to long-standing forms of K-12 education governance in the United States. The country’s tradition of local control of schools has been challenged by persistent racial and socio-economic achievement gaps and the poor performance of American students compared to their international peers. Several new actors, institutions, and approaches to schooling have begun to offer alternatives that would reshape how our schools are managed and financed. Education governance is in a moment of profound transition. Although long-standing institutions such as state agencies and local school boards persist, the relationships among them, their leaders, the politicians that oversee them, the interest groups that pressure them, and their own respective responsibilities are all in flux. The federal government has altered its role from funder to change agent. New delivery systems (e.g. charter schools, virtual schools) fit awkwardly if at all into the old structures. The moment is ripe for a comprehensive assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of what remains of the old, what has emerged of the new, and what alternative configurations would produce better educational outcomes for children. This edited volume aims to provide a roadmap for adapting the country’s 19th and 20th century governance structures for public education to the changed demands of the 21st century.  Confirmed contributors: Jeff Henig (Columbia), Cindy Brown (Center for American Progress), Checker Finn (Fordham), Ken Wong (Brown), Paul Hill (Washington), Sir Michael Barber (Tony Blair's education advisor), Rick Hess (AEI), Barry Rabe (Michigan), Katie McDermott (UMass), Mike Mintrom (Auckland), and Ken Meier (Texas A&M).