Congress and the Classroom
From the Cold War to "No Child Left Behind"
By Lee W. Anderson
(Penn State University Press, Hardcover, 9780271032238, 214pp.)
Publication Date: June 2007
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Few pieces of legislation in recent years have caused as much public controversy as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This book analyzes the passage of this law, compares it to other federal education policies of the last fifty years, and shows that No Child Left Behind is an indicator of how and why conservative and liberal ideologies are gradually transforming. This is a fascinating story about the changing direction of politics today, and it will intrigue anyone interested in the history and politics of education reform.
The No Child Left Behind Act, proposed by conservative politicians, was approved by Congress in order to make states more accountable for their education systems and to hold all children to high academic standards. Until quite recently, conservative politicians were protesting federal involvement in schools. Today we find quite the opposite. Starting with the National Defense Education Act of 1958, Anderson weaves a detailed story of political evolution that is engaging, informative, and timely.