Douglas S. Reed is a professor at Georgetown University where he teaches and writes about education politics and policy-making, as well as civil rights.  He also directs the Education, Inquiry and Justice Program.  His interests include education reform, equality in education, and the nature of educational governance.  He is the author, most recently, of Building the Federal Schoolhouse, published by Oxford University Press.

Parker Gray School, Alexandria VA, 1920s

Recent Publications

Building the Federal Schoolhouse:  Localism and the American Education State

My new book explores how federal educational policy initiatives intersect with the long-standing commitments to localism in American education. It argues that the "education state" that has been built over the past 50 years of federal reform efforts is the product of persistent clashes between local political commitments and federal ambitions.  

Elementary and Secondary Education Act  at 50 and Beyond:  

This issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, co-edited by myself, Katie McDermott and David Gamson, brings together political scientists, historians, policy scholars, economists, and sociologists to understand how changes in political institutions, the economy and social contexts have shaped the ability of the  Elementary and Secondary Education Act to redress poverty through the expansion of educational opportunity.


Current Projects

I am currently working on a range of projects, predominantly focused on the politics of education and the organizational changes needed to achieve lasting and just education reform.

Common Core Politics: POlicy Feedback and Political Pushback

Homework:  Educational Rights of English Learners and Policy Alternatives


Selected Earlier Works

On Equal Terms:  The Constitutional Politics of Educational Opportunity 

This book examines the effects and politics of state constitutional litigation campaigns to equalize educational resources and the political reactions to state supreme court decisions striking down school finance plans.

Popular Constitutionalism: Toward a Theory of State Constitutional Meanings

This article explores the fluid and dynamic nature of state constitutional meanings and how political re-definitions of those meanings provide insights into the nature of constitutional commitments.  It explores these issues in the context of state constitutional battles over gay marriage and state initiative campaignsagainst gay rights

Education, Inquiry  and Justice

Georgetown students and faculty have long worked to expand educational opportunity, particularly in Washington, DC classrooms. Through research, teaching and community engagement, the Georgetown community has sought to ensure educational justice for all students.  In 2012, the University created the Education, Inquiry and Justice program as a Minor in Georgetown College.  This program, which I direct, takes the teaching arts as central to the liberal arts and seeks to equip all students -- whether they plan to teach or not -- with an understanding of the nature of inquiry, the dynamics of learning and how social and political structures shape a child's opportunities to learn.

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