The Past, Present, and Future of No Child Left Behind
Speaker: Patrick McGuinn
Date: November 16, 2007
Time: 12:30 PM
Patrick McGuinn, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Drew University
Patrick McGuinn, a former Miller Center Fellow, is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Drew University. His first book, No Child Left Behind and the Transformation of Federal Education Policy, 1965–2005 (University Press of Kansas, 2006), was named Choice "Outstanding Academic Title" for 2006. A few of his other publications include "Swing Issues and Policy Regimes: Federal Education Policy and the Politics of Policy Change" in Journal of Policy History (Spring 2006), "The National Schoolmarm: No Child Left Behind and the New Educational Federalism" in Publius (Winter 2005), and "Freedom From Ignorance? The Great Society and the Evolution of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act," in The Great Society and the High Tide of Liberalism.
The 2002 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law dramatically reshaped the federal role in K–12 education in the United States and its reauthorization is currently being debated in Congress. The implementation of NCLB has been difficult and contentious but much of the journalistic and scholarly coverage has underestimated the source, strength, and stability of the political coalition that originally pushed for passage of the law and which appears likely to sustain federal activism in education for the long term. For much of American history, the principle of federalism exerted a powerful restraining influence on the size and character of the federal role in education-but that time appears to have passed. Regardless of whether NCLB ultimately improves schools or student achievement, the law has created a new educational federalism in the United States.