The Politics of Higher Education Reform

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Center for Education Policy Analysis

Kirst (2010) describes the evolution of policies in K-12 education that have “reached beyond the classroom door to alter what students are taught.” Not only has there been no such reform in higher education, but such changes seem even now to be unthinkable. Yet, to make major changes in higher education around the goals of progress, learning and completion, states and the nation as a whole may need to contemplate policies that would impact higher education in previously unheard-of ways. The purpose of this paper is to describe the political landscape for higher education and to discuss the implications of some major theories of policy making for making major changes in higher education policy.

Higher Education policy, higher education funding, rational choice theory, higher education reform