Why bother studying the federal politics of education? Today, the question seems a little obtuse, what with the recent outpouring of studies on the topic. But when Gerald Sroufe posed the question in 1994, it was not in jest. The federal government supplied six to eight percent of school funding; it neither operated public schools (with rare exception) nor had it a significant a role in choosing what was taught in them. So, was the politics of education really worthy of scholars’ time?
Sroufe answers this question emphatically in the affirmative. His first argument holds that the study of federal education politics furthers the conceptual analysis of politics. Continue reading