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Lessons learned: how parents respond to school mandates and sanctions

  • Lesley Lavery (a1)
Abstract

Over the past three decades, a reform movement bent on improving schools and educational outcomes through standards-based accountability systems and market-like competitive pressures has dominated policy debates. Many have examined reform policies’ effects on academic outcomes, but few have explored these policies’ influence on citizens’ political orientations. In this study, using data from an original survey, I examine whether and how No Child Left Behind’s accountability-based architecture influences parents’ attitudes towards the government and federal involvement in education. I find little evidence that diversity in parents’ lived policy experiences shapes their political orientations. However, the results of a survey experiment suggest that information linking school experience to policy and government action may increase parents’ confidence in their ability to contribute to the political process. Understanding whether and under what conditions parents use public school experiences to inform orientations towards the government can improve the design of future reforms.

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Journal of Public Policy
  • ISSN: 0143-814X
  • EISSN: 1469-7815
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