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:   |  Manu. Number: MANU-1805-08-0004.R1

Published online: July 23, 2018  |   Number of Views: 297  |  Number of Download: 1090


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

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.

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