Toward a Theory of Literary Nationhood
The educational system in the United States is notoriously decentralized, especially in comparison with those of most industrialized nations of Europe and Asia. The United States Constitution leaves education as a function of state governments, and in all states other than Hawaii, state educational authority is further delegated to school districts. As a result, federal education policy has been largely a matter of incentives and persuasion rather that mandates, with the notable exception of the federal courts' enforcement of constitutional rights on states and localities.
In elementary and secondary education, policy initially took the form of funding for particular categorical programs, such as vocational and compensatory education. By providing money for particular educational activities, federal policy makers hoped to encourage state legislatures and school districts to revise their educational policies and practices. But money alone has rarely been the exclusive federal strategy for changing the educational system. Such incentives have consistently been accompanied by rhetorical efforts to create a popular demand for specific educational changes, usually capitalizing on public anxieties about prevailing national problems. Thus, federal incentive programs were usually represented as part of a larger effort to achieve a variety of national goals, ranging from political stability and industrial development to national defense and the elimination of poverty.
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Publication information: Book title: Educational Leadership: Policy Dimensions in the 21st Century / Edited by Bruce Anthony Jones. Contributors: Bruce Anthony Jones - Editor. Publisher: Ablex. Place of publication: Stamford, CT. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 107.
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