The federal government in 2030 foots more of the total bill for public education than ever before. National standards and tests in core academic subjects are used in all but a handful of states; a substantial share of federal money is allocated to states based on student outcomes; and the feds have increased spending on education data gathering and research and development by an order of magnitude. State legislatures, in turn, have shifted power away from dysfunctional school boards and are empowering parents and the public at large to exercise more control over their local schools. On the surface, these changes represent the culmination of a century-long trend toward more centralized control of U.S. public education. Yet this latest round of centralization has yielded more variety in governance arrangements and more responsiveness to local needs throughout the nation's school system. In short, it has revitalized educational federalism.




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