The End of Exceptionalism in American Education

The End of Exceptionalism in American Education The Changing Politics of School Reform

Jeffrey R. Henig
cloth, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: January 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-512-1
Price: $49.95

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Pub. Date: January 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-513-8
paper, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: January 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-511-4
Price: $29.95

Add to Cart

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Over the past fifty years, the “special status” of education decision-making has been eroded. Once the province of local and state school boards, decisions about schools and schooling have begun to emerge in every level and branch of government. In The End of Exceptionalism in American Education, Jeffrey R. Henig traces the roots of this tectonic shift in school governance.


In this elegantly argued treatise, the ever-thoughtful Jeff Henig makes a powerful case that a fundamental shift in the organization, funding, and evaluation of schooling is altering the scope and nature of American education. This is a book that every policy maker, reformer, and advocate for change would be wise to heed. — Frederick M. Hess, resident scholar and director of education, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

The intensity of education reform creates a climate of seeming chaos. Jeff Henig, a brilliant policy analyst, deftly shows us which way the wind is actually blowing. His analysis of the growing shift of educational governance from school boards to general purpose institutions is fascinating and has compelling implications for the future. — Paul Reville, Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The End of Exceptionalism in American Education is an integrated, coherent analysis of the entire changing ecology for school governance. It provides a new perspective that transcends the old paradigm of centralization versus decentralization. — Michael W. Kirst, president, California State Board of Education, and professor emeritus, education and business administration, Stanford University

Henig’s skillful analysis demonstrates that institutions matter—a perspective often missing from studies of education policy. The result is a masterful overview of executives, legislatures, and courts from Washington, DC, to city hall and their role in shaping policy choices and mobilizing diverse interests. — Lorraine M. McDonnell, professor of political science, University of California, Santa Barbara

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About the Author

Jeffrey R. Henig is professor of political science and education at Teachers College and professor of political science at Columbia University.

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Table of Contents

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Unaccompanied Minors

Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj

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From the Ivory Tower to the Schoolhouse

Jack Schneider, foreword by Larry Cuban

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Improving the Odds for America's Children

Edited by Kathleen McCartney, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, and Laurie B. Forcier; foreword by Congressman George Miller; afterword by by Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president, Children’s Defense Fund