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A Policy History of Standards-Based Education in America

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Boyce Brown

A Policy History of Standards-Based Education in America is a narrative history of the development of standards-based education in the United States over the last several decades, from the perspective of anarchist cultural studies. There have been other books on the evolution of federal education policy, but few have struck the right balance between describing how it actually happened while still providing a theoretical framework, and none have kept the focus specifically on standards-based education. These related books have also rightly noted the great diversity of players, factions, interest groups, and organizations that helped move federal education policy from «equity», to «excellence», to «accountability» over the last four decades. This book goes on to make the original claim (using a rigorous analysis of the historical record) that big business was the primary empirical driver behind standards-based education and «global economic competitiveness» was the primary ideological driver. Finally, the book concludes by interrogating the implicit claims embedded within global competitiveness ideology; that the present international economy will continue as it has indefinitely, which is mathematically impossible. Unless things change quickly, this planet is heading toward economic, environmental, and geostrategic shocks of the very first order of magnitude. An eco-pedagogy for anarchist bioregions might be part of the solution.
The leading markets for this book will be major public and Division 1 research university libraries and university courses in education policy, education law, education history, political science, and public policy.

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Acknowledgments xi Chapter 1. Introduction 1 Chapter 2. The Uneasy Alliance between the Corporate Elite and the Movement Conservatives (1970s) 7 Chapter 3. A Nation at Risk and a Decade of Reports (1980s–1990s) 33 Chapter 4. Federal Education Policy Conflicts over Standards-based Education during the Bush and Clinton Years (1988–2000) 59 Chapter 5. Hawaii, a Case Study (1991–present) 85 Chapter 6. No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and Common Core 109 Chapter 7. Conclusion 149 References 173

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