Associate Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs, Brown University
Ambitious standards, like the Common Core, aim to fundamentally reconfigure teaching and learning in American public schools. Yet, teacher surveys suggest minimal changes in instructional practices. Achieving national aims in federalist systems ultimately depends on subunits having sufficient capacity. How might economic volatility, the configuration of educational support services, and partisan politics create barriers to the capacity needed to support ambitious teaching and learning? Using survey experiments, interrupted time series analysis, and findings from 155 semi-structured interviews, we identify the implications of economic volatility, the organization and distribution of nonprofit educational services, and ideas embedded in cross-state public opinion for the terrain of instructional support.