The question of who governs our schools seems to be a simple one, easily answered by referring to the local school board, which is often responsible for making important decisions about budgets, personnel, and curriculum. Such an answer, however, doesn't adequately consider the constellation of governmental and nongovernmental forces that coalesce to shape educational policy and the ways in which educational decisions are made. Today, the center of power and authority in school decision making no longer resides with local school boards, but rather with state and federal governments. Historically, this has not always been the case, yet power has slowly been shifting away from local districts for the past thirty years. This move away from local control accelerated in the 1990s and has raised ...

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