23 SES 09 B, Policy Learning/Borrowing
This paper argues that US K-12 policies are driven by a fear-of-falling-behind discourse that has contributed to establishing a national school discourse by amalgamating standards-based education discourse with previously dominant civil rights discourse. The resulting policy format is driven by the keywords fear of falling behind and closing achievement gap. Reports that discursively link economic growth and school results with reference to comparative testing scores produce fear and concern that the US is losing its leading role in the world (Finn Jr., 1993; Kosar, 2005; Rhodes, 2012). Standards-based education discourse thus presents the dream of finding via statistics, comparative surveys of states and rigorous focus on evidence-based educational research the benchmarks and best practices that will bring the US students in the lead, which appears very similar to European developments (Hamilton, Stecher, & Yuan, 2008; McGuinn, 2016; Krejsler, 2017(forthcoming). To understand the dynamics of these developments in policy discourse it becomes imperative to understand how state and local education authorities take up these issues concerning performance and equity (Anagnostopoulos et al., 2013; Department, 2009; Manna, 2010; Rhodes, 2012). The federal government has been a key player in pushing this policy process, in continuous struggles with states. By comparing three sufficiently different states (California, Texas, and Wisconsin), and drawing upon Foucauldian understandings of discourse in analyses of policy documents, interviews and policy literature, the authors demonstrate that the complexities of different state contexts must be appreciated to understand the forces that shape ambivalent balances between federal and state/local levels. Furthermore, as in Europe, the standards-based education discourse defines education policies in terms of templates that align while simultaneously spurring competition among states (Rhodes, 2012). Nonetheless, the transition from NCLB to the Every Student Succeeds Act (December 2015), which devolves more decisions back to states, illustrates that these developments towards national integration of education policy may have come to a halt, at least temporarily. This paper demonstrates that one cannot talk of a linear road towards national standards, while simultaneously pointing to increasing similarities in K-12 education discourse among states that participate in national/federal initiatives and mutually adapt to each other, as demonstrated by the California, Texas, and Wisconsin cases. The continued practice of standardized assessments only perpetuates these achievement comparisons. The current policies thus remain strong weaponry in the coming struggle about how ESSA will possibly recalibrate the balances between the federal and state levels (McGuinn, 2016).
*Anagnostopoulos, D., Rutledge, S., Bali, V. (2013). State Education Agencies, Information Systems, and the Expansion of State Power in the Era of Test-Based Accountability.Educational Policy, 27(2), 217-247. *Finn Jr., C. (1993). We Must Take Charge: Our schools and our future. N.Y: Free Press. *Hamilton, L. S., Stecher, B. M., Yuan, K. (2008). Standards-Based Reform in the United States: History, Research, and Future Directions. Retrieved from RAND Corporation, Washington D.C.: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/reprints/2009/RAND_RP1384.pdf *Kosar, K. R. (2005). Failing Grades: The federal politics of education standards. Boulder CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. *Krejsler, J.B. (2017a/forthcoming). Imagining School as Standards-Driven and Students as Career-Ready! A comparative genealogy of US federal and European transnational turns in education policy. In: Teacher Education and the Common Good: International Perspectives. Eds. N. Hobbel & B. Bales. N.Y: Routledge. *Manna, P. (2010). Collision Course: Federal education policy meets state and local realities. Washington D.C.: CQ Press. *McGuinn, P. (2016). From No Child Left Behind to the Every Student Succeeds Act. Publius: The Journal of Federalism(June 2016), 24. doi:10.1093/publius/pjw014 *Rhodes, J. H. (2012). An Education in Politics: The origin and evolution of No Child Left Behind. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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