Carrots, Sticks, and the Bully Pulpit
Sobering Lessons from a Half Century of Federal Efforts to Improve America's Schools

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Since the 1960s, the federal government has become increasingly involved in K-12 education, altering the federal-state-local division of labor. Yet, while we often debate the merits of particular federal initiatives or whether policies "work," we have spent far less time considering what a half century of federal involvement has taught us about which goals and policies Uncle Sam can effectively pursue, and what we can learn from his missteps and successes. Over the past fifty years, what have we learned about the nature of a smart, sensible federal role in K-12 schooling?

AEI resident scholar and director of education policy studies Frederick M. Hess and AEI research fellow Andrew P. Kelly have commissioned a dozen papers to examine concrete lessons learned from looking back on the past fifty years of federal involvement in K-12 schooling. At this AEI conference, panelists will present their findings and explore implications for the federal role in K-12 school reform going forward.
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About the Author

 

Frederick M.
Hess

 

Mark
Schneider

 

Andrew P.
Kelly

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