An Education in Politics: The Origin and Evolution of No Child Left Behind

Terry M. Moe
Content Type
Journal Article
Political Science Quarterly
Issue Number
Publication Date
Summer 2014
Academy of Political Science
On substantive grounds, Jesse H. Rhodes's An Education in Politics is yet another detailed account of the history and politics of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the watershed federal legislation adopted in 2001 that sought to bring accountability to the nation's schools. Rhodes's approach, however, is explicitly theoretical—a very good thing—and his aim is to contribute to the "institutional theory of change." Claiming that other scholars of political institutions have tended to focus either on the "agency of political entrepreneurs" or the "institutional constraints" that limit them, he argues for a unified approach that brings the two together into proper balance. His solution is a theory of "institutionally bounded entrepreneurship," which he formulates early in the book and then employs to structure the historical analysis that follows.
Education, Politics