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Policy Regimes

Policy Regimes

College Writing and Public Education Policy in the United States

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Tyler S. Branson


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
226 pages, 6 x 9.25

Writing Research, Pedagogy, and Policy


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About the Book

Engaging education policy from kindergarten to college
Author Tyler S. Branson argues that education reform initiatives in the twentieth century can be understood in terms of historical shifts in the ideas, interests, and governing arrangements that inform the teaching of writing. Today, policy regimes of “accountability” shape education reform programs such as Common Core in K-12 and Dual Enrollment in postsecondary institutions. This book reopens the conversation between policy makers and writing teachers, empirically describing the field’s institutional/historical relationship to policy and the ways teachers work on a daily basis to carry out policy. Federal and state accountability policy significantly shapes classrooms before teachers even enter them, but Branson argues the classroom is where teachers leverage disciplinary knowledge about writing to bridge, partner with, support, and sometimes resist education policies. 
Branson deftly blends policy critique, archival analysis, and participant observation to offer the first scholarly treatment of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Washington Task Force as well as a rare empirical study of a dual enrollment course offered in a high school. This book’s macro-and-micro-level analysis of education policy reveals how writing teachers, researchers, and administrators can strengthen their commitments to successfully teaching their students across all levels of education, while deepening their understanding of the ways education policy helps—and hinders—those commitments. 


Tyler S. Branson, an assistant professor of English at the University of Toledo, has published essays in the journals College Composition and Communication and WPA: Writing Program Administration and in the edited collection The Cambridge Handbook of Service Learning and Community Engagement.


Policy Regimes is a powerful argument for focusing on the ways that policy and writing studies do—and can—shape one another. It is invaluable for anyone who wants to understand how policy shapes our teaching lives and how to make thoughtful, meaningful change in writing education.”—Ryan Skinnell, author of Conceding Composition: A Crooked History of Composition’s Institutional Fortunes
“Through his astute analyses of archival material, contemporary public documents, and classroom encounters, Tyler S. Branson shows us, in a way we’ve never seen before, how writing policy is promulgated, enforced, challenged, engaged, and lived. Without giving easy answers, Branson deepens our understanding of how writing policy works and how we might, in turn, work policy. This important book will be widely read by scholars and teachers in writing studies, education, and policy studies.”—Chris W. Gallagher, author of College Made Whole: Integrative Learning for a Divided World
“In dialogue not only with historical documents but also with the scholars who have interpreted those events and documents, Branson makes clear what his contribution adds at each step. This book provides a profoundly useful new frame for thinking about the successes and challenges of education reform in writing, and helps us to deepen our understanding of past successes and failures as we strategize for the future.”—Amy J. Lueck, author of A Shared History: Writing in the High School, College, and University, 1856-1886