Government accountability reports and public education policy: studying political actors' decision-making

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Education
Department Education Leadership & Policy
Author Salazar, Timothy Ross
Title Government accountability reports and public education policy: studying political actors' decision-making
Date 2013-08
Description This study asks how government accountability reports are used to influence public education policy. Government accountability reports, called "audits" in Utah, prove to be useful tools for examining education policy. Using a collective case study design examining Utah's Class Size Reduction (CSR) policy, government accountability reports demonstrate that a systematic review of request, report, and result is an effective means for identifying policy narratives. These government accountability reports showed that over 10 years Utah's State Office of Education and local school districts repeatedly failed to comply with Utah Statutes requiring accounting for CSR appropriations. Repeated findings of data integrity and poor accounting did not lead to political action by state legislators. Despite repeated negative findings about CSR expenditures legislative appropriations were maintained even during two economic downturns. Evidence in this study suggests that these reports result from a breakdown in communication between agency officials and the Legislature. Government accountability reports do not appear to have any more influence on policy decision-making than other sources of policy information. However, these sources of information are financed with public dollars, and political actors' dissatisfaction with agency responses does not justify the cost of unused reports.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Class-size reduction; Education policy; Government accountability report; Political actors
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Timothy Ross Salazar 2013
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 3,790,765 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/2567
ARK ark:/87278/s600398z
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2013-11-26
Date Modified 2018-03-14
ID 196143
Reference URL
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