International Association of Educators   |  ISSN: 1949-4270   |  e-ISSN: 1949-4289

Original article | Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research 2018, Vol. 13(2) 6-24

Applying Policy Theories to Charter School Legislation in New York: Rational Actor Model, Stage Heuristics, and Multiple Streams

Kelsey Hood Cattaneo

pp. 6 - 24   |  DOI: https://doi.org/10.29329/epasr.2018.143.1   |  Manu. Number: MANU-1805-08-0004.R1

Published online: July 23, 2018  |   Number of Views: 202  |  Number of Download: 758


Abstract

With renewed calls for charter schools by Donald Trump’s new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, a review of dominant policy theories and their usefulness in analysing policy decision making once again becomes relevant. This paper evaluates the policy case, of the adoption of Charter School Legislation in New York in the late 1990s, making use of Allison and Zelikow’s (1999) example of evaluation of a policy case through multiple lenses. Through the meso-, micro- and macro-level perspectives of the Rational Actor Model, Stage Heuristics, and Kingdon’s Multiple Streams policy theories, we may be able to discern whether they accomplish their intended goal: To provide a perspective of the policy making process.  Once the theories are described, they are each applied to Charter School Legislation of New York in 1998. Working through each lens, this paper describes the policy process, potential actors, and influencers with support of historical data, and draws conclusions about the usefulness of each theory for education policy. Ultimately, lack of transparency in the policy process make outside analysis assumption-laden and more subjective than an objective science. This paper calls for a more transparency at the decision-making level, and integration of more complex lenses into the policy sciences which may better inform education policy students and experts in the field.

Keywords: Charter Schools, Policy Analysis, Decision Making, Policy Formation, Rational Actor Model, Kingdon Multiple Streams, Stage Heuristics


How to Cite this Article?

APA 6th edition
Cattaneo, K.H. (2018). Applying Policy Theories to Charter School Legislation in New York: Rational Actor Model, Stage Heuristics, and Multiple Streams. Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research, 13(2), 6-24. doi: 10.29329/epasr.2018.143.1

Harvard
Cattaneo, K. (2018). Applying Policy Theories to Charter School Legislation in New York: Rational Actor Model, Stage Heuristics, and Multiple Streams. Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research, 13(2), pp. 6-24.

Chicago 16th edition
Cattaneo, Kelsey Hood (2018). "Applying Policy Theories to Charter School Legislation in New York: Rational Actor Model, Stage Heuristics, and Multiple Streams". Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research 13 (2):6-24. doi:10.29329/epasr.2018.143.1.

References
  1. Allison, G. T., & Zelikow, P. (1999). Essence of decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. [Google Scholar]
  2. Anderson, J. (2011). Public Policymaking: An Introduction. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. [Google Scholar]
  3. Arrow, K. (1950). "A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare," Journal of Political Economy 58, no. 4 (August): 328-346. [Google Scholar]
  4. Barr, N. (2012). Economics of the Welfare State. Oxford University Press. [Google Scholar]
  5. Braybrooke, D., & Lindblom, C. E. (1963). A strategy of decision: Policy evaluation as a social process. New York: Free Press of Glencoe. [Google Scholar]
  6. Baumgartner, F. R., & Jones, B. D. (1993). Agendas and instability in American politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Google Scholar]
  7. Belfield, C., and Levin., H. (2005) Privatizing Educational Choice: Consequences for Parents, Schools, and Public Policy. London: Paradigm Publishers. [Google Scholar]
  8. Benoit, F. (2013). Public Policy Models and Their Usefulness in Public Health: The Stages Model. Montréal, Québec: National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy. [Google Scholar]
  9. Brewer, G. D., & DeLeon, P. (1983). The foundations of policy analysis. Pacific Grove, Calif: Brooks/Cole Pub. Co. [Google Scholar]
  10. Brewer, Garry D. (1974). “The Policy Sciences Emerge: To Nurture and Structure a Discipline.” Policy Sciences. Vol. 5, No. 3 (September): 239-244. [Google Scholar]
  11. Buchanan, J. M. & Tullock, G. (1962). The Calculus of Consent: The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. [Google Scholar]
  12. Cairney, P., & Jones, M. (2015). Kingdon's Multiple Streams Approach: What Is the Empirical Impact of this Universal Theory?. Policy Studies Journal, 44(1), 37-58.  [Google Scholar]
  13. Chubb, J., & Moe, T. (1990). Politics, Markets and American Schools. Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institute.  [Google Scholar]
  14. deLeon, P. (1999) "The Stages Approach in the Policy Process: What Has It Done? Where Is It Going? In Paul A. Sabatier, ed. Theories of the Policy Process. Boulder, Colo.: Westview. [Google Scholar]
  15. Fryer, R. (2012). Learning from the Successes and Failures of Charter Schools, in The Hamilton Project. Washington, D.C.  [Google Scholar]
  16. Forester, J. (1984). “Bounded Rationality and the Politics of Muddling Through,” Public Administration Review, 44(1).  [Google Scholar]
  17. Friedman, M., & Friedman, R. D., (2002) Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Google Scholar]
  18. Gershberg, A., Gonzalez, P. A., & Meade, B. (2012). “Understanding and Improving Accountability in Education: A Conceptual Framework and Guideposts from Three Decentralization Reform Experiences in Latin America”. World Development v. 40(5), p.1024-1041.  [Google Scholar]
  19. Gruber, J. (2007). Public Finance and Public Policy. Worth Publishers, Incorporated.   [Google Scholar]
  20. Habermas, J. (1984). The theory of communicative action. Boston: Beacon Press. [Google Scholar]
  21. Hausman, D. & McPherson, M. (1996). Economic Analysis, Moral Philosophy, and Public Policy. Cambridge University Press. New York, NY. [Google Scholar]
  22. Henig, J. (2009). Spin Cycle: How Research is Used in Policy Debates: The Case of Charter Schools. Russell Sage Foundation.  [Google Scholar]
  23. Hirschman, A. (1982).  Shifting Involvements. Princeton: Princeton University Press. [Google Scholar]
  24. Howlett, M., Ramesh, M. & Perl, A. (2009). Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems. New York: Oxford University Press. [Google Scholar]
  25. Ladd, H. (2002) “School Vouchers: A Critical View”. Journal of Economic Perspectives, Fall, p. 3-24.  [Google Scholar]
  26. Lasswell, H. D. (1956). The Decision Process. College Park: The University of Maryland Press. [Google Scholar]
  27. Lindblom, C. E. (1959). The science of muddling through.  [Google Scholar]
  28. Lipsky, M. (2010). Street-level bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the individual in public services. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. [Google Scholar]
  29. Kingdon, J. W. (2003). Agendas, alternatives, and public policies. New York: Longman. [Google Scholar]
  30. Mashaw, Jerry L., (1985). 'Prodelegation: Why Administrators Should Make Political Decisions', Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization. 81-100. [Google Scholar]
  31. Mintz, A., DeRouen, K. R., & Cambridge University Press. (2014). Understanding foreign policy decision making. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Google Scholar]
  32. New York City Department of Education. (2015). Annual Comprehensive Review Report for Opportunity Charter School. New York: Department of Education. [Google Scholar]
  33. New York State Department of Education. (2015). The State of New York's Failing Schools. Albany, NY.: Office of Governor Cuomo. [Google Scholar]
  34. New York City Department of Education. (2018). “What are Charter Schools - About Charters”. Schools.nyc.gov. http://schools.nyc.gov/community/charters/about/what.htm [Google Scholar]
  35. Ostrom, E. (2000). Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(3), 137-158. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2646923 [Google Scholar]
  36. Ostrom, E. (2002). "Policy Analysis in the Future of Good Societies." The Good Society: A PEGS Journal 11(1):42-48. [Google Scholar]
  37. Parsavand, S.  (1998). “Pataki pushes charter schools”. The Gazette. March 11, 1998  [Google Scholar]
  38. Peters, B. G. (2015). Advanced introduction to public policy. [Google Scholar]
  39. Pressman, J. L., Wildavsky, A. B., & Oakland Project. (1973). Implementation: how great expectations in Washington are dashed in Oakland: Or, Why it's amazing that Federal programs work at all, this being a saga of the Economic Development Administration as told by two sympathetic observers who seek to build morals on a foundation of ruined hopes. Berkeley: University of California Press. [Google Scholar]
  40. Ravitch, D. (2010). The death and life of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. New York: Basic Books. [Google Scholar]
  41. Sabatier, P. A. (2007). Theories of the Policy Process. 2nd Edit. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.  [Google Scholar]
  42. Simon, H. (1986). “Rationality in Psychology and Economics,” The Journal of Business, 59(4). [Google Scholar]
  43. Stone, D. (2012). Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making, 3rd Edition, WW. Norton. [Google Scholar]
  44. Williams, L. & Liff, B. (1997). “Charters Make Sense for New York, Pataki Sez”. NY Daily News. January 13, 1997.  [Google Scholar]
  45. Wohlstetter P., Wenning, R., & Briggs, K. L. (1995).  “Charter Schools in the United States: The Question of Autonomy”. Educational Policy Vol. 9 No. 4.  December 1995 page 331-335. [Google Scholar]
  46. Zott, L. (2012).  School Funding. Farming Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press. [Google Scholar]