Teach Truth to Power: How To Engage in Education Policy

MIT. Feb. 2022. 248p. ISBN 9780262543224. pap. $30. ED
Garcia (Mary Lou Fulton Teachers Coll., Arizona State Univ.), who has served as the Associate Superintendent of Public Instruction of Arizona and on the Arizona State Senate Education Committee, observes that academics “stand on the outside of the policy process—by design.” He discusses ways that his academic colleagues can use their expertise to influence policy and how to shape their approach so that politicians will listen. Garcia emphasizes that politicians are generalists who want to know what they should do and why; they are much less interested in the research process that fascinates academics. He stresses the importance of building personal relationships over time and notes that policy messages need to be presented succinctly, in terms that politicians can easily use to explain their ideas to constituents. Garcia’s clear, careful prose clarifies the goals and process of shaping policy and enlivens a didactic tone with anecdotes from his experience in government.
VERDICT Garcia effectively illustrates how scholars in education can use their work to influence policy makers; his book will also help advocates in other fields.
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