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Education, Equity, and the States by Sara E. Dahill-Brown
Publication Date: 2019-02-26
Education, Equity, and the States examines how variations in state governance determine how federal initiatives are implemented and makes recommendations for approaching reform from this perspective. The book defines the key ways in which state policy environments differ from one another, illustrates how those differences matter, and encourages reformers to account for these disparities to achieve more sustained and equitable improvement.
Drawing on original research, Sara E. Dahill-Brown highlights three major factors that differ from state to state: the number of districts (fragmentation); the degree to which education governance is separated from other political issues (exceptionalism); and how much state legislation tends to impinge on local autonomy (local control). She examines the historical and political trends that have shaped differences among the states and how they affect the impact of education reforms.
By identifying typical patterns in state governance, Dahill-Brown suggests ways to work with varying governance structures to lead to more successful and equitable outcomes. Dahill-Brown argues that reformers at every level must routinely assess the appropriateness of their consensus-building and collaboration strategies. With the increasing importance of states in education, her work makes a notable contribution to our understanding of the landscape of education reform.