Education Governance for the Twenty-First Century

Overcoming the Structural Barriers to School Reform

Paul Manna, Patrick McGuinn
Release Date: January 18, 2013

A Brookings Institution Press with the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the Center for American Progress publication America’s fragmented, decentralized, politicized, and bureaucratic system of education governance is a major...

America’s fragmented, decentralized, politicized, and bureaucratic system of education governance is a major impediment to school reform. In this important new book, a number of leading education scholars, analysts, and practitioners show that understanding the impact of specific policy changes in areas such as standards, testing, teachers, or school choice requires careful analysis of the broader governing arrangements that influence their content, implementation, and impact.

Education Governance for the Twenty-First Century comprehensively assesses the strengths and weaknesses of what remains of the old in education governance, scrutinizes how traditional governance forms are changing, and suggests how governing arrangements might be further altered to produce better educational outcomes for children.

Paul Manna, Patrick McGuinn, and their colleagues provide the analysis and alternatives that will inform attempts to adapt nineteenth and twentieth century governance structures to the new demands and opportunities of today.


Education Governance in America: Who Leads When Everyone Is in Charge?, Patrick McGuinn and Paul Manna

The Failures of U.S. Education Governance Today, Chester E. Finn Jr. and Michael J. Petrilli

How Current Education Governance Distorts Financial Decisionmaking, Marguerite Roza

Governance Challenges to Innovators within the System, Michelle R. Davis

Governance Challenges to Innovators outside the System, Steven F. Wilson

Rethinking District Governance, Frederick M. Hess and Olivia M. Meeks

Interstate Governance of Standards and Testing, Kathryn A. McDermott

Education Governance in Performance-Based Federalism, Kenneth K. Wong

The Rise of Education Executives in the White House, State House, and Mayor’s Office, Jeffrey R. Henig

English Perspectives on Education Governance and Delivery, Michael Barber

Education Governance in Canada and the United States, Sandra Vergari

Education Governance in Comparative Perspective, Michael Mintrom and Richard Walley

Governance Lessons from the Health Care and Environment Sectors, Barry G. Rabe

Toward a Coherent and Fair Funding System, Cynthia G. Brown

Picturing a Different Governance Structure for Public Education, Paul T. Hill

From Theory to Results in Governance Reform, Kenneth J. Meier

The Tall Task of Education Governance Reform, Paul Manna and Patrick McGuinn


Paul Manna is associate professor in the Department of Government and the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy at the College of William & Mary. Patrick McGuinn is associate professor of political science and education at Drew University.