Excellence in Education: The States Take Charge

Excellence in Education: The States Take Charge

Excellence in Education: The States Take Charge

Excellence in Education: The States Take Charge

Excerpt

This timely book is a product of AEI's 1984 Public Policy Week, an annual gathering of scholars, policy analysts, policy makers, and business leaders. Before an audience of two hundred and fifty participants, Governors Lamar Alexander (R.-Tenn.) and Charles Robb (D.-Va.), California superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Honig, and Florida state Senator Jack Gordon were asked by AEI's Education Policy Studies program to address the question of how the states were responding to the education excellence "movement."

No better qualified panel could have been assembled to discuss the issues of education excellence at the state and local level. Each member has played a leading role in his own state and is nationally recognized as a leader in education reform. And each holds distinctive and provocative ideas about the meaning of the excellence movement and how it should be treated. In preparation for that session, AEI's Denis P. Doyle and Terry W. Hartle prepared a paper that outlined what state governments had already accomplished and described the challenges that lay ahead. This volume is an expanded and revised version of that paper.

Excellence in Education: The States Take Charge represents a new emphasis for the American Enterprise Institute. Its focus on the states rather than the federal government reflects the changing domestic realities of the 1980s. The domestic policy role of Washington, which not long ago was accelerating, is giving way to the states. The change is occurring for two reasons. First, federal budget pressure is diminishing the capacity of the federal government to be all things to all people.

Second, and more important, the states today are at once more competent, more skillful, and more sophisticated than at any time in our history. They are doing more in education because they have the institutional competence to do so; they have the resources and they have the will. It is a potent combination.

This development is of the utmost importance in the 1980s because it is becoming clear that Washington cannot accomplish all that it set out to do in the sixties. Federal policy in too many areas . . .

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