The Risky Business of Education Policy  book cover
1st Edition

The Risky Business of Education Policy

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after September 10, 2021
ISBN 9780367622466
September 10, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
192 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Risky Business of Education Policy focuses commentary and analysis on some of the most pressing policy challenges facing public school educators and those invested in a healthy, vibrant public-school system. The book shares insights and makes recommendations from leading scholar-practitioners, namely from educational leadership and science education, on ways to ponder, navigate, and challenge serious policy issues. The chapters present an important policy topic and critical analysis of a pertinent education reform policy topic from the authorial perspective of experienced educators leading the preparation of future school leaders and teachers.

Through fast paced, user-friendly chapters, contributors grapple with an education reform policy issue of the day, reflecting what is contentious territory while wading through it. These educational researchers also make evidence-informed practical recommendations for educators and policymakers on how to better approach the policy challenges presented, so public education can be improved for all children. Each chapter contains stimulating ideas, useful information, and practical tips for school practitioners, higher education faculty, and constituent groups.

Table of Contents


Foreword: Education Policy Reform: A Tale of Haunting

Morna McDermott McNulty



Christopher H. Tienken and Carol A. Mullen

1 Corporate Networks’ Grip on the Public School Sector and Education Policy

Carol A. Mullen

2 Neoliberalism as a Policy Ventriloquist: Deconstructing the Discourse of Corporate America for its Public Schools

Fenwick W. English

3. Threats to Meaningful Reform of Civic Education

Patricia H. Hinchey and Pamela J. Konkol

4. Brown versus Board Did Not Work: Finding a New Pathway to Educational Justice

Ryan W. Coughlan

5. Charter Schools’ Impact on Public Education: Theory versus Reality

Julia Sass Rubin and Mark Weber

6. OECD, PISA, and Globalization: The Influence of the International Assessment Regime

Svein Sjøberg

7. Students as the Missing Actor in Education Reform

Yong Zhao and Jim Watterston

8. We Come from Everywhere: Innovating Bi/Multilingual Principal Preparation Programs

Soribel Genao

9. Evaluating the Different SIDES of Education Policies: A Practical Policy Analysis Framework for School Leaders

Christopher H. Tienken

Editors and Contributors


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Christopher H. Tienken, EdD, is an associate professor of education leadership, management, and policy. He is the author of more than 85 publications. His recent books include Cracking the Code of Education Reform: Creative Compliance and Ethical Leadership (Corwin Press, 2020) and The School Reform Landscape Reloaded: More Fraud, Myth, and Lies (Rowman and Littlefield2021).

Carol A. Mullen, PhD, is Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Virginia Tech. A twice-awarded US Fulbright scholar, she has authored over 190 publications and 27 academic books, including Canadian Indigenous Literature and Art (Brill, 2020); Revealing Creativity (Springer, 2020); Creativity Under Duress in Education? (Springer, 2019); and Handbook of Social Justice Interventions in Education (Springer, in press).


The Risky Business of Education Policy is illuminating! Leading scholars provide current perspectives on education policy research and analysis to help anyone responsible for developing, leading, or implementing policy recognize the basis for such an agenda, the lack of research behind such policies, and the consequences.  Readers, especially those responsible for policy implementation, will come away better prepared to challenge ill-begotten agendas that harm rather than help schools and society prepare students for a complex world.


Kenneth Mitchell, EdD

Associate Professor

Manhattanville College

Editor, AASA Journal of Scholarship and Practice 


This book should be required reading for current and aspiring school leaders. The authors of The Risky Business of Education Policy expose the layers of neo-liberal educational policymaking that has systematically contributed to the corporatization of children and educators, as well as the general degradation of democracy and equity. This volume will help support school leaders with evidence-based practices and strategies essential to confronting the commodification of education in schools.

Luke Stedrak, EdD

Associate Professor and Hibernia National Bank Endowed Professor

College of Education

Southeastern Louisiana University.