The Convergence of K–12 and Higher Education

The Convergence of K–12 and Higher Education Policies and Programs in a Changing Era

Edited by Christopher P. Loss and Patrick J. McGuinn
paper, 304 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-982-2
Price: $34.00

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Pub. Date: October 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-984-6

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In The Convergence of K–12 and Higher Education, two leading scholars of education policy bring together a distinguished and varied array of contributors to systematically examine the growing convergence between the K–12 and higher education sectors in the United States. Though the two sectors have traditionally been treated as distinct and separate, the editors show that the past decade has seen an increasing emphasis on the alignment between the two. At the same time, the national focus on outcomes and accountability, originating in the K–12 sector, is exerting growing pressure on higher education, while trends toward privatization and diversification—long characteristic of the postsecondary sector—are influencing public schools.


K12 and higher education policy in the United States have historically been disconnected from one other and poorly aligned. By encouraging us to think of the K16 system as a single pipeline—and highlighting policies and programs that are working to bridge the two sectors—Loss and McGuinn’s volume outlines a promising research and policy agenda for the future. This book is essential reading for practitioners, researchers, and policy makers. — Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education, 2009 to 2016

There are long-lasting and deep organizational, political, and cultural chasms between the systems of K12 education and higher education. The Convergence of K12 and Higher Education uses multiple concepts and angles to illuminate much recent progress, limitations, and the uncertain future for bringing K–12 and higher education much closer together. — Michael W. Kirst, professor emeritus, Stanford University

The Convergence of K–12 and Higher Education is a fascinating, lucid, and timely interdisciplinary overview of the complex synergies and powerful forces that are dismantling the walls that have long separated K12 and higher education. This book should become the go-to reference for anyone concerned with the great American education system. — Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, Wasserman Dean and Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA, and coauthor, Learning a New Land: Immigrant Students in American Society

Loss and McGuinn deliver a much-needed perspective on the state of the educational landscape, from K-12 to college, and how these discrete systems are merging. — Mark E. Deschaine, School Administrator

Overall, Loss and McGinn's book successfully launches a robust analytic platform for cross-sectoral policy analysis, arguing that in our era of the Common Core and College for All, educational policy thinking that limits itself to either side of the sectoral divide is impoverished. Efforts to make sense of the ever-expanding array of educational actors and providers will greatly benefit from the insights collected in this volume. — Teachers College Record

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About the Editors

Christopher P. Loss is an associate professor of higher education and history and a Chancellor Faculty Fellow (2016–18) at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. He earned PhDs in US history and in higher education at the University of Virginia. Loss’s first book, Between Citizens and the State: The Politics of American Higher Education in the 20th Century (Princeton University Press, 2012) won the 2013 American Educational Research Association Outstanding Book Award. He has published articles and essays in the Journal of American History, Journal of Policy History, Social Science History, History of Education Quarterly, Journal of Military History, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed, among others. Loss has held fellowships at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, the Brookings Institution, and, most recently, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is at work on a new book project, Front and Center: Academic Expertise and its Challengers in the Post-1945 United States. He was the recipient of Peabody College’s teaching award in 2010.

Patrick J. McGuinn is a professor of political science and education and serves as chair of the Department of Political Science at Drew University. He holds a PhD in government and a MEd in education policy from the University of Virginia and has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University, and the Miller Center for Public Affairs. His first book, No Child Left Behind and the Transformation of Federal Education Policy, 1965–2005 (University Press of Kansas, 2006), was honored by Choice as an outstanding academic title. He is also the coeditor of Education Governance for the 21st Century: Overcoming the Structural Barriers to School Reform (with Paul Manna, Brookings Institution Press, 2013). McGuinn has published many academic articles and book chapters and has produced a number of policy reports for the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for American Progress, the New America Foundation, and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He is a regular commentator on education policy and politics in media outlets such as Education Week, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the NJ Star Ledger and has been recognized as one of the nation’s top edu-scholars by Education Week for the past six years. He is a former high school social studies teacher and the father of four daughters attending public school.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

About the Contributors

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