Districts, local education authorities, and the context of policy analysis

Karen Seashore Louis (Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Publication date: 28 June 2013



The purpose of this paper is to present the author's commentary on the special issue of Journal of Educational Administration entitled “Systemwide reform: examining districts under pressure”.


The author gives her personal opinions, draws upon her recent experiences in the national study of US district leadership for school improvement, recent engagement with one specific US district's improvement efforts and work with colleagues in Europe on how a nation's culture mediates global policy trends.


One striking feature is the degree to which the language of “New Public Management” (is suffused within all of the papers).


The author notes that each paper peels a layer of the opaque onion of systemic school reform initiatives in the USA and was struck by the papers’ insight into current policy and administrative dilemmas facing districts in the USA – and also by their uniquely American perspective.



Seashore Louis, K. (2013), "Districts, local education authorities, and the context of policy analysis", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 51 No. 4, pp. 550-555. https://doi.org/10.1108/09578231311325695

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