Educational Leaders as Policy Actors and Equity Advocates

Authored by: Andrea E. Evans

Handbook of Research on Educational Leadership for Equity and Diversity

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415657457
eBook ISBN: 9780203076934
Adobe ISBN: 9781135128432


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In her 2009 AERA Presidential Address, Lorraine McDonnell reminded us that schools function as political institutions and that a central question concerning the study of the politics of education should be how well schools function as democratic political institutions (McDonnell, 2009). Acknowledging the critical consequences inherent in this political institution, she compels researchers of educational policy to consider examining the ways in which policies create new politics. These “new politics” happen at all levels, federal, national, and local, and involve policy characteristics, institutional structures and rules, interpretive effects, and differential mobilization of interests. She suggests that it is only by understanding the politics created by policy that we can come to know and address the ways in which specific interests get served (or not), who gets to participate in the political process (or who does not), how resources get allocated, and who benefits (or loses) from this process (McDonnell, 2009).

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