President Obama and Education Reform: The Personal and the Political

"Depending on whom you ask, Barack Obama is either championing or destroying America’s public schools." -- Robert Maranto and Michael Q. McShane in President Obama and Education Reform: The Personal and the Political

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 4th, 2012

In their new book President Obama and Education Reform: The Personal and the Political (Palgrave-MacMillian 2012), education policy experts Michael Q. McShane of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Robert Maranto of the University of Arkansas offer a comprehensive account of President Obama's mold-breaking education agenda.  Some analysts contend that the president has gone too far in reforming the system, while others argue that he has not gone far enough. What’s clear is that President Obama has done more for the cause of reform than almost any Democrat before him, challenging entrenched interests - and his political base - along the way.

President Obama's reforms have:

  • Advocated for school choice, teacher evaluation, and alternative pipelines into teaching, reforms traditionally supported by conservatives.
  •  
  • Leveraged new forms of federal spending, such as the competitive state-level grant program Race to the Top.
  •  
  • Stopped short of the goals of many education reformers, as the administration opposed the successful and popular school voucher program in Washington D.C., and distributed close to $100 billion of no-strings-attached money to states as part of the stimulus.
  •  

Read more about the book here

"No president in modern history has made better use of the leverage that the federal government can bring to education reform than a former community organizer named Barack Obama. In President Obama and Education Reform, Robert Maranto and Michael Q. McShane look at the conditions - and tradeoffs - that led Obama to unleash unprecedented change in America's public schools." - Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform; author of Cheating Our Kids: How Politics and Greed Ruin Education

"Maranto and McShane get the point that most analysts miss: this is a period of immense creativity in education policy and practice, and the Obama Administration is a major force." - Paul T. Hill, Research Professor, Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington

Michael Q. McShane (michael.mcshane@aei.org) is research fellow at AEI and a former high school teacher. Robert Maranto (rmaranto@uark.edu) is the 21st Century Chair in Leadership at the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas.  Both scholars can also be reached through lauren.aronson@aei.org (202.862.5904).

For additional help, other media inquiries, or to reserve AEI's in-house TV studio or ISDN facilities, please contact:

TV Jesse Blumenthal jesse.blumenthal@aei.org / 202.862.4870

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Print or Web Jesse Blumenthal jesse@aei.org / 202.862.4870, Michael Pratt at michael.pratt@aei.org / 202.862.5823, or Veronique Rodman at vrodman@aei.org / 202.862.48

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About the Author

 

Michael Q.
McShane
  • Michael Q. McShane is a research fellow in education policy studies at AEI. He is the coeditor, with Frederick Hess, of "Common Core Meets Education Reform" (Teachers College Press, 2013). He is also the coauthor of "President Obama and Education Reform: The Personal and the Political" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012). His analyses have been published widely in technical journals and reports including Education Finance and Policy. He has contributed to more popular publications such as Education Next, The Huffington Post, National Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He began his career as an inner-city high school teacher in Montgomery, Alabama.


    Follow Mike McShane on Twitter.

  • Phone: 202-862-5838
    Email: Michael.McShane@aei.org

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