Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Arts (DA)


Department of Public Administration and Policy

Content Description

1 online resource (xii, 513, R-43, A-2, B-3, C-1, D-7, E-3 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Yvonne Harrison

Committee Members

Bruce Miroff, Kathryn Schiller


School improvement programs, Educational accountability, Teachers

Subject Categories

Political Science | Public Administration | Public Policy


Most of our hopes and dreams for public education rely on how well teachers teach, and major federal education policies often need teachers to serve as their primary implementers. Yet we know very little about how teachers' responses to federal education policies affect their teaching, their identity and their motivations. Research on "policy feedback" recognizes that policy targets derive important lessons from public policies and political discourse, but there are gaps in terms of how, when and why relationships within organizations, institutions, or communities mediate these effects on policy implementers and citizens. This dissertation uses cultural policy analysis, and in-depth, semi-structured interviews with teachers, to examine how the public framing of policy problems, policy targets, and solutions under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has impacted teachers' political and social experiences, behaviors and identities. The primary goal is to understand the effects of NCLB on teaching, learning, and policy implementation. However, by interviewing teachers from a wide variety of backgrounds and schools, this dissertation also provides insight into how public policies and political discourse interact with teachers' backgrounds, and the racial and socio-economic backgrounds of their students, to mitigate or exacerbate the effects of public policies on children's educational outcomes and the democratic social purposes of schools.