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9780262230940

Reforming Special Education Policy Implementation from State Level to Street Level
Reforming Special Education Policy Implementation from State Level to Street Level
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  • ISBN-13: 9780262230940
  • ISBN: 0262230941
  • Publisher: MIT Press

AUTHOR

SUMMARY

Focusing on Massachusetts' innovative special education reform law, Chapter 766, Reforming Special Educationtraces the complex processes through which an ostensibly universalistic and equitable policy can produce a biased distribution of public benefits favoring affluent clients. Reforming Special Educationexamines three Massachusetts school systems and seven schools within those systems to determine whether laws formulated to alter practices in educating children who are deaf, blind, retarded, and physically handicapped actually result in fair and uniform treatment of children with special needs, or whether they just create more work for school personnel. The book discusses individual and community wealth as factors in the allocation of funds. Despite Massachusetts' "equalizing formula," it points out that rich districts often fare better than poor ones because they have the resources and sophistication necessary to challenge funding decisions. The book also reveals that bureaucrats who are charged with carrying out the changes are victimized by new laws which, for lack of resources, they cannot hope to put into effect. Because the street-level bureaucrats, front-line personnel, develop informal means of coping with these problems and with their jobs, they distort the policy they are charged with implementing and become policy makers in their own right. Weatherley concludes that policy initiatives must take into account potential effects on the daily work routines of those charged with implementing them. These findings have dramatic implications for all human service bureaucracies where front-line staff interact with the public-hospitals, police departments, public welfare and employment offices, mental health centers and lower courts. Students of public policy, educators, social workers, or anyone involved in public service employment will find this a scholarly, yet highly readable account of the organizational constraints to bureaucratic reform.Weatherley, Richard A. is the author of 'Reforming Special Education Policy Implementation from State Level to Street Level' with ISBN 9780262230940 and ISBN 0262230941.

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