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A Policy History of Standards-Based Education in America


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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5 Hawaii, a Case Study (1991–present)


· 5 · hawaii, a case study (1991–present) In this chapter I will sketch the political context that made Hawaii one of the early adopters of this model, a context that also guided successive iterations of standards by Hawaii in the years that followed. Finally, I will summarize the literature evaluating Hawaii’s standards by external experts and the recent status accorded it as a triumphant underdog in Race to the Top. Although Hawaii is typically recognized as the “50th state” in the United States of America, the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawaii was never extinguished, legally, politically, or morally. “King Kamehameha III es- tablished Hawaii’s public school system in 1840” (Hawaii Department of Education, March 31, 2014, para. 13). It “is the ninth- largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational district in the country” (Duncan and Abercrombie, 2014, para. 3). Hawaii is the only school district in the nation that is simultaneously (in statutory language) the “statewide educa- tion agency” and “local education agency” (United States Department of Education, 2012, p. 3). It is also the only state that provides almost all of the state and local share of its education financing from general revenue provided by state income taxes. It is “comprised of 255 schools and 33 char- ter schools, and serves more than 185,000 students” (Hawaii Department of Education, 2014, para. 13). 86 a policy history of standards-based education in america Hawaii engaged with the standards- based education reform model earlier than most states. To...

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