History and Educational Policymaking

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Maris A. Vinovskis

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In this book an eminent scholar and policymaker analyzes the lessons history can teach those who wish to reform the American educational system.

Maris Vinovskis begins by tracing the evolving role of the federal government in educational research, providing a historical perspective at a time when there is some movement to abolish the U.S. Department of Education. He then focuses on early childhood education, exploring trends in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He examines the troubling history of the Follow Through Program, which existed from 1967 to 1994 to help Head Start children make the transition into the regular schools, and he reviews the development of the Even Start Program, which works to improve the literacy of disadvantaged parents while providing early childhood education for their children. He discusses changing views toward the economic benefits of education and critically assesses the validity and usefulness of the idea of systemic or standards-based reform. Finally he develops a conceptual framework for mapping and analyzing education research and reform activities.

Maris A. Vinovskis holds the Bentley Chair in History at the University of Michigan. He has been involved in federal policymaking, most recently as research adviser and consultant to the Office of Educational Research and Improvement. He is also a member of the National Academy of Education.


“An interesting, intelligent, and clearly written book about the role of history in informing educational policymaking.”—David Labaree, author of How to Succeed in School Without Really Learning




ISBN: 9780300184174
Publication Date: November 30, 2011
352 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Education, Society, and Economic Opportunity

A Historical Perspective on Persistent Issues

Maris A. Vinovskis

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