The Pennsylvania State University
Cover for the book Congress and the Classroom

Congress and the Classroom

From the Cold War to "No Child Left Behind" Lee W. Anderson
  • Copyright: 2007
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-03223-8
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-03224-5

Winner of a 2008 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

“A solid contribution. This book brings the well-documented expansion in the federal education role together in a usefully systematic way, with the ideological rationale for each installment explored individually and in the aggregate.”
“This timely study contributes to our understanding on the evolution of federal involvement in public schools. The author makes extensive use of original Congressional sources to illuminate the tension between the liberals and the conservatives through several legislative episodes leading to the No Child Left Behind legislation.”
“Anderson, an independent education researcher, provides an excellent political history of No Child Left Behind.”
“Lee Anderson’s analysis of the relationship between federal education policies and political ideologies is thoroughly researched, judiciously analyzed, and clearly presented.”

Few pieces of legislation in recent years have caused as much public controversy as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This book analyzes the passage of this law, compares it to other federal education policies of the last fifty years, and shows that No Child Left Behind is an indicator of how and why conservative and liberal ideologies are gradually transforming. This is a fascinating story about the changing direction of politics today, and it will intrigue anyone interested in the history and politics of education reform.

The No Child Left Behind Act, proposed by conservative politicians, was approved by Congress in order to make states more accountable for their education systems and to hold all children to high academic standards. Until quite recently, conservative politicians were protesting federal involvement in schools. Today we find quite the opposite. Starting with the National Defense Education Act of 1958, Anderson weaves a detailed story of political evolution that is engaging, informative, and timely.

Lee W. Anderson is an independent researcher in education policy.



List of Tables

Introduction: Conservatives and Liberals Go to School

1. How the Camel’s Nose Got in the Tent: Historical Precedents for Federal Aid to Education

2. Was It Really About Sputnik? The National Defense Education Act of 1958

3. Lyndon Johnson’s “Billion-Dollar Baby”: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965

4. Civil Rights and Unfunded Mandates: The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975

5. The House That Jimmy Built: The U.S. Department of Education

6. Standards-Based Reform Meets Federal Education Policy: The Goals 2000 Educate America Act

7. The No Child Left Behind Act and the Federal-Control Threat

8. Where Is Federal Education Policy Taking Us?



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