Abstracts for Monday, February 17

12:00-12:30

Amy Schaffman, Keep Calm and Carry On?: Looking at WWII Great Britain’s Overseas Evacuations
In response to the threat that Hitler would try to invade Britain, British parents sought a course of action to send their children out of harm’s way either to the United States or the Commonwealth Countries. Initially, only the rich could afford to do so. This angered the lower class, engendering a government initiative known as the Children Overseas Reception Board or CORB.  CORB arranged for 2,664 children to find temporary refuge in such Commonwealth countries as Canada, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand, as well as in the United States. This program came to an abrupt halt after the sinking of the vessel, The City of Benares, on 17 September 1940, which killed 77 of the 90 CORB children on board, thereby, confirming fears that foreign evacuation was more dangerous than the Blitz. This thesis will attempt to gauge WWII Britain’s value system by examining the institutional and political interplay between these overseas evacuations, the restrictions and legislation imposed on and by the host countries, and Britain’s public reaction to the operation.

4:30-5:30

Keenan Kelly, Fixing Failing Schools: How States and Localities Implement Federal Reforms
Under the Adequate Yearly Progress section of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), schools that consistently failed to reach state designed levels of proficiency were required to implement at least one reform from a slate of federally prescribed options. Although much work in the education and political science community has been done to investigate the federal and state impact of NCLB, little work has been done on local governance. It addresses the following question: Are there state-level factors that make some localities more likely than others to act assertively in reforming struggling schools? It can provide state actors with insight into how their state’s dynamics influence education reform, and given the instability of federal education reform, this study could possibly aid future decisions on NCLB reauthorization.

Ashley NapierDiffusion of Revocation: The Movement Away from the Common Core State Standards
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS), released in 2010, represented a new push to standardize curriculum across states and to promote college and career readiness in schools. The federal government’s Race to the Top grant program indirectly created strong incentives for states to adopt the CCSS, and 46 states and the District of Columbia adopted the standards. Since their adoption, many states have shown signs of moving away from the CCSS through bills introduced in state legislatures. This paper seeks to examine this movement away from the CCSS and to answer the following research question: what are the factors that are leading states to show signs of backing away from these standards that they have adopted? This paper addresses internal and external factors that could lead to this outcome, including states’ motivation to move away from the CCSS and the legislative obstacles that states may face in this process.