An Analysis Of The Relationship Between Federal Education Legislation And Identifiable Economic, Political Or Social Crises In The United States
Robinson, William Harry
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The problem. The problem was to determine whether the Congress of the United States, throughout its history, had enacted major federal education legislation as a response to a major economic, political or social crisis. Procedures. Data were gathered on major federal education legislation and major economic, political and social crises occurring in the United States from 1776 to 1976. From these data, lists were constructed of major federal education legislation and of each type of major crisis. The lists of all major economic, political and social crises were combined and compared with the list of major federal education legislation. The purpose of this comparison was to determine if major federal education legislation was enacted when some form of crisis was occurring in the United States. The data gathered from this comparison were used to test the hypothesis. Additional analyses were conducted to determine if major federal education legislation was enacted when a particular type of crisis had occurred. This was accomplished by comparing each list of crises with the list of major federal education legislation. Two other analyses were completed by using the composite list of crises and the list of major federal education legislation. The analyses were to determine if when major federal education legislation was enacted some type of crisis was occurring in the United States, and if there was a relationship between crises and federal education legislation occurring simultaneously in history. Findings. There were twenty-seven dates in the United States from 1776 to 1976 when major federal education legislation was enacted. These twenty-seven dates encompassed forty-two education acts. Sixty-one major crises occurred in the United States from 1776 to 1976. Eighteen of these were economic crises, eighteen were political and twenty-five were social. The investigation reveals: thirty-four percent of the time when a major economic, political or social crisis occurred, major federal education legislation was enacted. Additional analyses of data reveal: eleven percent of the time a major economic crisis occurred, major federal education legislation was enacted; fifty percent of the time a major political crisis occurred, major federal education legislation was enacted; forty percent of the time a major social crisis occurred, major federal education legislation was enacted. Also, eighty-one percent of the time when major federal education legislation was enacted, a major crisis of some type was occurring; thirty-seven percent of the time major federal education legislation was enacted the legislation had a relationship with a crisis occurring at the same time. Conversely, eleven percent of all crises that occurred had a relationship with major federal education legislation enacted at the same time. Two-thirds of all major federal education legislation occurred from 1956 to 1976. Conclusions. The federal government does not use major economic, political or social crises as a basis for enacting major federal education legislation. Three additional conclusions were drawn from the study. When a crisis exists at the same time major federal education legislation is enacted, the crisis is most likely to be concerned with war or national defense. There is no apparent established procedure for identifying needed federal education legislation; the federal government has become increasingly involved in education. Recommendations. An investigation should be made to determine background causes for major federal education legislation. Current attitudes and intentions of the federal government in education need to be determined. It is imperative that educators and their organizations, as well as the Congress, develop methodology for identifying needed education legislation and procedures for implementation. The public should be aware of all costs, benefits and limitations of proposed major federal education legislation
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