Education, Equity, and the States

Education, Equity, and the States How Variations in State Governance Make or Break Reform

Sara E. Dahill-Brown
paper, 336 Pages
Pub. Date: February 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-272-0
Price: $34.00

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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.


Too often we talk about teachers, kids, and the feds as if they existed, alone, in a schoolhouse deep in the woods. Sara Dahill-Brown's adroit book shows how the politics of school districts, state legislatures, school boards, and state commissioners permeate students' experiences. I can think of no better map of contemporary American education. — Arnold F. Shober, associate professor of government, Lawrence University

Education, Equity, and the States is engagingly written and has an intellectual heft and ambition that will garner significant attention within the education policy community. Dahill-Brown tackles the neglected issue of how state-level institutions and cultures drive much of the variation in educational policy in the United States and helps us see important patterns in our policy diversity. — Douglas S. Reed, director, Program in Educational Transformation, Georgetown University

...the author helps readers understand the constant tension between federal and local demands, where states have significant influence to use their position in working toward a more equitable educational system, particularly for the most marginalized. — J. L. Newman, Choice

Its fresh perspectives on educational governance structures will interest contemporary education reformers and researchers at all levels who desire to make significant and lasting changes within the complex and decentralized landscape of American public education. — Timothy A. Drake and Jennifer DeNeal, Teachers College Record

Impeccably researched and well-crafted, Dahill-Brown’s work should be read by all those working directly in the education sector, particularly those in the U.S. Department of Education and those employed at the state level. — Publius: The Journal of Federalism

Education, Equity, and the States provides readers with the information necessary to successfully navigate the complex and varied terrain of educational governance structures and systems and ultimately elucidates how these can and do impact educational policy in disparate ways from state to state. — Education Review

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About the Author

Sara E. Dahill-Brown is an associate professor in the politics and international affairs department at Wake Forest University. She is an alumna of Utah’s public schools and a recovering Texas middle school teacher. She has worked as a researcher and volunteer in the school systems of Wisconsin, where she earned her doctorate, and North Carolina, where she now lives. Her writing has appeared in the Russell Sage Journal of the Social Sciences, Studies in Educational Evaluation, and Politics and Policy.

Table of Contents


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