Education reform and accountability issues in an intergovernmental context

Michael Mintrom, Sandra Vergari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Since the early 1980s, widespread expressions of concern about public education in the United States have been accompanied by various proposals for improving public school performance. This article develops a conceptual framework for analyzing education reform and accountability issues in an intergovernmental context. The writers then identify and discuss common themes in five prominent education reform efforts in the United States: (1) the promulgation of specific goals and requirements for public schools; (2) the introduction of open-enrollment plans; (3) the establishment of charter schools; (4) the encouragement of private contracting for the delivery of school services; and (5) the development of public and private voucher programs. While diverse, each of these efforts involves a deliberate attempt to change the accountability mechanisms in the delivery of education, and all have been affected by intergovernmental politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-166
Number of pages24
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes

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