Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2020 Issue »

    Authority and Control

    The Tension at the Heart of Standards-Based Accountability

    Jack Schneider and Andrew Saultz
    In this essay, Jack Schneider and Andrew Saultz offer a new perspective on state and federal power through their analysis of authority and control. Due to limitations inherent to centralized governance, state and federal offices of education exercised little control over schools across much of the twentieth century, even as they acquired considerable authority. By the 1980s, however, such loose coupling had become politically untenable and led to the standards and accountability movement. Yet, greater exertion of control only produced a new legitimacy challenge: the charge of ineffectiveness. State and federal offices, then, are trapped in an impossible bind, in which they are unable to relinquish control without abdicating authority. Schneider and Saultz examine how state and federal offices have managed this dilemma through ceremonial reform, looking at two high-profile examples: the transition from No Child Left Behind to the Every Student Succeeds Act, and states’ reaction to public criticism of the Common Core State Standards.

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    Andrew Saultz is an assistant professor of educational policy and director of the PhD Program in Education and Leadership at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. He researches the politics of education, public opinion, and educational federalism. His work has been published in the Educational Researcher, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Policy, American Journal of Education, and Publius: The Journal of Federalism. Prior to his graduate work in educational policy, Saultz taught high school social studies in Michigan and served on the Okemos School Board.

    Jack Schneider (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8983-2679) is an assistant professor of education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the author of four books, the latest of which is A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School (New Press, 2020). His work has appeared in scholarly outlets like the Journal of Teacher Education and the Journal of Education Policy as well as in popular outlets like The Atlantic and the Washington Post. Schneider is a co-editor of History of Education Quarterly, a co-founder of the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment, and a co-host of the education policy podcast Have You Heard.
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    Fall 2020 Issue

    Abstracts

    The Learning of Teaching
    A Portrait Composed of Teacher Voices
    Irene A. Liefshitz

    Book Notes

    Why Trust Science?
    Naomi Oreskes

    International Aid to Education
    Francine Menashy

    Youth and the National Narrative
    Marie Lall and Tania Saeed

    How the Other Half Learns
    Robert Pondiscio

    Making Up Our Mind
    Sigal Ben-Porath and Michael Johanek

    Suddenly Diverse
    Erica O. Turner