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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Politics and Education Reform from 1965 to 2016
by Stralek, Lynzi, Ed.D., Northern Arizona University, 2018, 159; 10787064
Abstract (Summary)

The intervention of the federal and state governments in education across the United States strengthened at the deployment of the ESEA in 1965 and has continued to increase. Architects of these reforms included individuals and organizations with political affiliations and lack the necessary credentials to construct meaningful reform that would impact academia at a national level. Dichotomous perspectives on the idealized educational direction amongst political parties stimulated additional complications on reform platforms, lessening the likelihood of enhanced student outcomes. These disparities resulted in misguided and inconsistent messages as promoted with affiliated relationships between political campaigns and media outlets to the American public, as well as relationships with private businesses and the promotion of charters and privatized education, and government-sponsored academic improvement organizations. American education has been recurrently expended for purposes beyond improving national academia and has the results to prove it.

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between federal education initiatives and the impacts of the reforms (Elementary and Secondary Education Act, A Nation at Risk, America 2000, Goals 2000, No Child Left Behind, and Race to the Top) on the achievement gap as noted in comprehensive follow-up reports of the initiatives. This study was conducted using the comparative-historical analysis method to investigate the results of six historical education reforms and the impacts on levels of student achievement data, specifically highlighting areas most commonly referenced within reforms and campaigns, the failing schools that serve high populations of minorities, and low-income families. Further analysis considered linguistic patterns embedded in the acts, and the reoccurrence and regularity of stated objectives. The outcomes of this study indicated consistent student data levels amongst various age ranges (9, 13, and 17) from the implementation of the ESEA in 1965 through the employment of RTTT in 2016. The regulated student data found within this study suggests that no reform is singularly responsible for impacting student data and making the optimistic academic gains as proclaimed within the acts.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Papa, Rosemary
Commitee: Brown, Dr. Ric, Emanuel, Dr. Gary, Hughes, Dr. Thomas
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education Policy, Education
Keywords: Charter schools, Education policy, Education reform, Privatized education, Public schools
Publication Number: 10787064
ISBN: 978-0-438-01472-5
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