In the past fifteen years, presidents from two parties, supported by parents, teachers, and civic leaders have tried - and generally failed - to increase student achievement through federal policymaking. Supposedly pathbreaking legislation to "leave no child behind" has hardly made a dent in the problem. What is going on? Kevin R. Kosar delves into the political maneuvering behind the crafting of federal education standards. Drawing on a wealth of evidence, Kosar makes a strong case for vigorous federal action to raise standards. Then, turning to the "real world" of Washington, he shows how politics has thwarted smart policy - and how we are left with the present milquetoast reforms, which talk tough but deliver little. He concludes with sober proposals for education policies that, while not aiming at perfection, have a chance of surviving political attacks from both the right and the left.
Kevin R. Kosar, Ph.D., is a researcher and writer in Washington, DC.
His first book was Failing Grades: The Federal Politics of Education Standards (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2005). Kosar's writings have appeared in Presidential Studies Quarterly, Public Administration Review, The Weekly Standard magazine, and elsewhere.
Kosar's second book is Whiskey: A Global History (London: Reaktion, October 2010). Kosar also is the founder and editor of AlcoholReviews.com, a review of beers, spirits, and wines that has been online since 1998.
For Kosar's full biography and list of publications, please surf to http://www.kevinrkosar.com.