Learning From Standards Deviations: Three Dimensions for Building Education Policies That Last

Cynthia Coburn, in her 2016 article in the American Journal of Education—“What’s Policy Got to Do With It?”—states that the field of policy implementation suffers from the propensity to learn the same lessons over and over again. This repetition of mistakes stems from a failure to account for predictable patterns in how policies become unpopular. Through an analysis of 52 interviews with state, regional, and district officials in California, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, C-SAIL's Adam K. Edgerton investigates the decline in the popularity of K–12 standards-based reform. Edgerton consolidates existing policy implementation theories and describe three important dimensions—detail, drive, and durability—for understanding how standards and associated policies “succeed” or “fail.” Using these dimensions, he reveals how policy design and implementation choices can strengthen or weaken standards-based education policies.

Authors: 
Adam K. Edgerton
Year of Publication: 
2019
Teaser: 

Through an analysis of 52 interviews with state, regional, and district officials in California, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, Adam K. Edgerton investigates the decline in the popularity of K–12 standards-based reform.