This timely and important book is both critical and constructive. As educational policy becomes one of our major political backgrounds and the connection between politics and policy is both underscored and criticized, Mary Lee Smith and her associates take their criticism one decisive step further, examining the transitive relation between politics and actual classroom practice. They show that educational policy serves as political propaganda directed at an electorate desperate for change. They refocus current educational debates, casting them in their true partisan light while demonstrating how the public can recognise symbolic policies and participate in the creation of policy that truly serves the public good.
Mary Lee Smith is Professor in the Department of Education Leadership and Policy Studies at Arizona State University and the Director of Southwest Education Policy Studies in Phoenix, Arizona. She has spoken at local schools and educational agencies nationwide on the topics of grade retention and mandated assessment.