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June 06 , 2011

From A Nation at Risk to No Child Left Behind

National Education Goals and the Creation of Federal Education Policy


Distinguished historian and policy analyst Maris Vinovskis examines federal K12 education policies, beginning with the publication of A Nation at Risk and focusing on the National Education Goals, America 2000, Goals 2000, and No Child Left Behind.In addition to discussing key policy debates, he also addresses the practical aspects of implementing and evaluating school and classroom reforms. Drawing on the author’s unique experiences working in the Department of Education during both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations, this important book:

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  • Examines the changing social, economic, and family contexts of education and schooling.

  • Assesses the strengths and weaknesses of national education goals, standards-based reforms, and the role of accountability.

  • Evaluates key policies such as increased federal spending, comprehensive White House education packages, and research-based education strategies.

  • Critiques NCLB and recommends more realistic expectations and policies for the successful education of all children.

Maris A. Vinovskisis the University of Michigan Bentley Professor of History, ISR Research Professor, and Professor at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He was a member of the congressionally mandated Independent Review Panels for Goals 2000 and No Child Left Behind.

“No historian has done more than Maris Vinovskis to deepen our understanding of the development of federal education policy in the past 25 years. Now, in From A Nation at Risk to No Child Left Behind, he ranges across policy ideas, party loyalties, political maneuvering, as well as the implementation and impact of federal policies. This book is unprecedented and indispensable.”

Carl Kaestle, Professor Emeritus, Brown University

“In this masterful and authoritative account, Maris A. Vinovskis utilizes his multiple talents as an educator, historian, social scientist, and policy analyst to chart the meandering paths of federal educational policy since the Reagan revolution. This book belongs on the shelf of anyone who wants to understand why so many children are still left behind.”

William J. Reese, Professor of Educational Policy Studies and History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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