Straitjacket: How Overregulation Stifles Creativity and Innovation in Education

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Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2013 - Education - 154 pages
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Public schools have been placed in a straitjacket over the past 30 years through overregulation as a result of the growing power of the federal government over public education, expanding court decisions, state government legislation, school board policies and procedures, and the media's influence on public opinion. The straitjacket of centralized control and coercive approaches to the problems that public education is facing is not the solution, but actually is part of the problem. And where achievement is lower than desired this book brings attention to the root cause - lack of student preparation so that more resources can be put into catching these kids up, rather than into more tests, more curriculum development, and more administrative staff needed to comply with all of this complexity and growing regulations. We must break out of our straitjacket and give schools more flexibility in finding creative and innovative ways to address the needs of students, changing times, and professional expectations--not shackle them through regulatory mandates, closed thinking, and defective accountability processes.

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About the author (2013)

George A. Goens, Ph.D. is a former school superintendent and an author, dynamic leader, recognized educator, and featured speaker. He is the author of six books including Mastering School Reform, Getting the Most from Public Schools: A Parent's Guide, Soft Leadership for Hard Times, Leadership for Turbulent Times, Letters on the Promise of Living, and The Promise of Living. You can find George online at

Philip A. Streifer, Ph.D. is former superintendent of schools in Bristol and Avon, Connecticut and Barrington, Rhode Island. He also served as Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Connecticut, where he directed the Executive Leadership Program and was major advisor to over twenty completed doctoral students. He has published books and articles on assessment, school improvement and evaluation. He serves on the Board of Directors for the North West Evaluation Association ( and is a Regent at the University of Hartford, CT. His prior books are Using Data to Make Better Educational Decisions and Tools and Techniques for Effective Data-Driven Decision Making. Dr. Streifer is President and CEO of EDvisualize, LLC:

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