Evidence, Politics, and Education Policy

Evidence, Politics, and Education Policy

Lorraine M. McDonnell and M. Stephen Weatherford
paper, 328 Pages
Pub. Date: September 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-516-5
Price: $35.00

Add to Cart

cloth, 328 Pages
Pub. Date: September 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-517-2
Price: $66.00

Add to Cart

In Evidence, Politics, and Education Policy, political scientists Lorraine M. McDonnell and M. Stephen Weatherford provide an original analysis of evidence use in education policymaking to help scholars and advocates shape policy more effectively. The book shows how multiple types of evidence are combined as elected officials and their staffs work with researchers, advocates, policy entrepreneurs, and intermediary organizations to develop, create, and implement education policies.


This book is not just a must-read, but a must-use for any researcher studying or entering into the world of public policymaking. Theoretically driven, empirically compelling, and wise, it is a ten-year tour de force that captures the interplay of participants, incentives, and evidence, and shows how research ideas, facts, and findings can matter. — Felice J. Levine, executive director, American Educational Research Association

Here, finally, is a definitive examination of evidence strategically applied to politics. The brilliantly developed test case is in education, but the theoretical reach is broader. This is an essential read for any case where politics, policy, and evidence are in the mix. — Kenneth Prewitt, Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs and special advisor to the president, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

This comparative case study analysis offers incredibly detailed insight into the art of policymaking. The potential audience for this type of book ranges from college students with political aspirations to community organizers, to newly elected public officials with a range of policy platforms, to educators and social scientists learning to navigate the complicated process of constructing and implementing policy. — Teachers College Record

More Less

About the Authors

Lorraine M. McDonnell is a professor emerita of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to coming to UCSB, she was a senior political scientist at RAND. Her research focuses on the politics of elementary and secondary education policies and their institutional effects. In recent studies, she has examined the politics of student standards and testing, particularly their historical role in federal policy and the policy feedback they generate among political interest groups, and has used them as a lens for understanding the role of research and other evidence in policy decisions. Her publications have focused on a range of topics, including teacher unions, the education of immigrant students, and the role of citizen deliberation. She served for seven years on the National Research Council’s Board on Testing and Assessment, and was a member of the NRC’s Advisory Committee for the Division of the Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. She is a past president of the American Educational Research Association and a member of the National Academy of Education.

M. Stephen Weatherford is a professor emeritus of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, a former associate dean of social science and chair of the political science department. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and private foundations, and has ranged over questions of representation, political trust, political economy and the politics of education policy. His writings have focused on presidential leadership in economic policy, the way presidents’ economic understanding set the agenda, and how presidents have drawn on research and policy ideas in seeking to persuade Congress and the public to support their national goals. On education, his research has investigated the school desegregation controversies of 1970s and 1980s, how parents and local activists have sought to employ deliberative processes to influence the governance of public K–12 education, and the way formal research and other evidence is integrated into the educational policy process.

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Other books in Education Policy

STEM Education Reform in Urban High Schools

Margaret A. Eisenhart and Lois Weis

Other books in Education Policy

Other books in Education Policy

Jim Crow’s Pink Slip

Leslie T. Fenwick

Books From This Author