The purpose of this manuscript is to summarize the major provisions of four salient national government initiatives and relate each one to an “essentialist” political agenda that is based on the essentialist philosophy or theory of education. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, A Nation at Risk, America 2000/Goals 2000, and No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 are reviewed to denote a trend that projects the national government as a dominant player in public educational reform. Evidence is offered, by way of primary source documents, to establish a link between the four aforementioned actions and the essentialist way of thinking. Readers should note that although education is traditionally and primarily a function of the states by way of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the national government exerts significant influence in deciding what should constitute that "education" for school-age children in the U.S. today. Furthermore, most states are following the national government’s lead in advocating educational reform.
Kessinger, Thomas A.
"Efforts Toward National Educational Reform: An Essentialist Political Agenda,"
Mid-Western Educational Researcher: Vol. 20:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/mwer/vol20/iss2/4