Politics and Public Education
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One of the most significant trends of the past several decades has been the emergence of education as one of the most frequently discussed issues in the political forum. The public education system works its way into many areas of politics such as:
- Teachers Unions
- Federal Government Funding for Public Education
- Equality in Public Education - Mainstreaming and Inclusion in Classrooms
- Charter Schools
- Voucher Programs
- Student and Community Rights
Politicians at the local, state, and national level have come to recognize the importance with which their constituents regard the issue of education, and as such, have seized upon it as a reliable Politics and Public Education to create excitement and sharply focus attention during campaigns.
Politics, Public Education and Education Policy
Unfortunately, however, the increased prominence of education as a Politics and Public Education in the political discourse has not resulted in a concomitant degree of policy activity in this area. Indeed, there have been few wide-ranging education policies enacted at the national level over the past several decades.
One of the most urgent issues, that of the funding of the public education system, has received very little attention by lawmakers. However, one area that both state and federal lawmakers have afforded a great deal of effort in is that of accountability. In fact, the majority of significant education-related policies that have been implemented in the last several decades have been focused upon ensuring the adequate performance of our nation’s schools and the educators and administrators that staff them.
Over the past several decades, politicians searching for a plausible explanation for the problems apparent within the nation’s public schools have seized upon a deficient workforce of educators as the probable cause. The National Education Association says that although the actual cause of the difficulties experienced by the nation’s schools are clearly much more nuanced, complex, and multi-layered than this rather facile oversimplification, the “deficient educators” theory has served a beneficial purpose for political actors seeking to convey an image of “getting tough” and “cracking down” upon shortcomings within the system.