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Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools

In 1965, the federal government authorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), cementing their involvement in public education for the next 50 years. Jack Jennings, author of the new Harvard Education Press title Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools: The Politics of Education Reform, was witness to the evolution of federal policy, working closely with Congress, first as a subcommittee staff director and then as general counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor. "I've watched the federal role in education develop from almost nothing to a significant influence in education," he says.

In this edition of the Harvard EdCast, Jennings, founder and former CEO of the Center on Education Policy, reflects on the history of the federal government's involvement with education reform, and discusses its most notable changes to policy.

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The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts, available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. Hosted by Matt Weber, the Harvard EdCast is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.


An education podcast that keeps the focus simple: what makes a difference for learners, educators, parents, and communities

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