Carrots, Sticks, and the Bully Pulpit

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

Edited by Frederick M. Hess and Andrew P. Kelly
paper, 352 Pages
Pub. Date: January 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-121-5
Price: $33.00

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This timely book brings together a remarkable group of authors who examine the federal role in education policy and reform during the past fifty years.


This thoughtful volume avoids ideological posturing and instead asks important questions about what the federal government can and cannot do well in supporting education. The cast of contributors is top-notch and with enough differences in focus and perspective to make for a stimulating collection that you’ll want to read in full. — Jeffrey R. Henig, professor of political science and education, Teachers College, Columbia University

With this book, Rick Hess and Andrew Kelly have brought together a diverse group of researchers and policy analysts on a topic that is critical, improving K–12 education. Carrots, Sticks, and the Bully Pulpit will be a crucial resource for lawmakers, policy makers, and anyone interested in improving the quality of education in America. — Jeb Bush, chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education and former governor of Florida

A must-read for every education policy maker in the field, especially every state education leader who is directly affected by federal education policies and actions. As we chart an important course to follow on No Child Left Behind, it is imperative that we recognize the past—since ‘what’s past is prologue.’ — Paul G. Pastorek, chief counsel, EADS North America, former superintendent of education, Louisiana

Carrots, Sticks, and the Bully Pulpit is a must-read for any lawmaker who wants to understand the history of federal education policy and its implications for our schools, as well as for any teacher who wonders why the classroom they entered with optimism and hope has become so mired in paperwork and bureaucracy. — Robert Scott, commissioner of education, Texas

Is an excellent, coherent and cohesive book (rare for an edited volume in education) that fills a void in the school improvement literature. — Nina Buchanan, Teachers College Record

The writing is fresh and informed—and marks an essential read for any eduwonk wishing to engage more productively in this timely conversation. — Lauren Johnson, Education Gadfly

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About the Editors

Frederick M. Hess is resident scholar and director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). In addition to his Education Week blog “Rick Hess Straight Up,” he is the author of influential books on education, including The Same Thing Over and Over (Harvard University Press, 2010), Education Unbound (ASCD, 2010), Common Sense School Reform (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Revolution at the Margins (Brookings Institution Press, 2002), and Spinning Wheels (Brookings Institution Press, 1998), as well as the coeditor of the new volumes Stretching the School Dollar (Harvard Education Press, 2010) and Customized Schooling (Harvard Education Press, 2011). His work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Education Review, Social Science Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, American Politics Quarterly, Chronicle of Higher Education, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership, US News and World Report, Washington Post, and National Review. Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, on the review board for the Broad Prize in Urban Education, and on the boards of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, 4.0 Schools, and the American Board for the Certification of Teaching Excellence. A former high school social studies teacher, he has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University, and Harvard University.

Andrew P. Kelly is a research fellow in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and is a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on higher education policy, congressional policy making, and political behavior. As a graduate student, Kelly was a National Science Foundation interdisciplinary training fellow and a graduate student instructor. Previously, he was a research assistant at AEI, where his work focused on the preparation of school leaders, collective bargaining in public schools, and the politics of education. His research has appeared in Teachers College Record, Educational Policy, Policy Studies Journal, Education Next, Education Week, Forbes, and various edited volumes. He is a coauthor of the AEI reports Diplomas and Dropouts: Which Schools Actually Graduate Their Students (and Which Don’t) (2009) and Rising to the Challenge: Hispanic College Graduation Rates as a National Priority (2010).