The Education Iron Triangle

Martin R. West, Michael Henderson and Paul Peterson
Year of publication: 
The Forum: Vol. 10: Iss. 1, Article 5

Do teachers and the public disagree on education reform? We use data from a nationally representative survey conducted in 2011 to identify the extent of the differences between the opinion of teachers and the general public on a wide range of education policies. The overall cleavage between teachers and the general public is wider than the cleavages between other relevant groups, including that between Democrats and Republicans. At least with respect to patterns of opinion on education reform, school politics is largely a conflict between producers within the system and consumers outside it – a classic iron triangle theme.