Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Mary E. Huba

Second Advisor

Norman L. Boyles


The purpose of this study was to use the model of Policy Design to identify factors that contributed to the development of Iowa's Educational Excellence Program. Interviews with policy makers and a review of relevant documents were used to reconstruct the development of the program;The results indicated that the program was the result of a confluence of four events: The movement to raise teachers salaries, the education reform movement, the emergence of a more collaborative attitude among policy makers, and the availability of windfall revenues. Further analyses indicated that the values of teachers, education, politics, local control, reform, and efficiency shaped the development of the program. The program was also affected by a number of individuals and agencies/organizations. Development of the program did not follow traditional procedures. The Governor invited lobbyists from the Department of Education and the two most powerful education associations to collaborate in the development of a 100 million dollar program;The theoretical framework of the program assumed that the quality of education was being compromised by the quality of the teaching force, and that low salaries were compromising the quality of the teaching force. Raising teachers salaries would improve the states ability to recruit, retain, and continuously improve the quality of the teaching force and, therefore, improve the quality of education in the state. Capacity building provisions and inducements were used to raise teachers salaries. A mandate to generate student achievement information was included to provide accountability and to guide professional development activities;Analyses identified inconsistencies between all elements of the program s design (context, instruments, and theoretical framework). The design of the program was similar to policy learning designs. The most unique characteristic of the program was the emphasis on local accountability. Finally, the design was affected by the way the problem and solution were structured, characteristics of the individuals involved in the design process, the level of consensus among policy makers, and the availability of resources;Implications of policy learning designs for establishing an optimal balance between state and local authority and the importance of values to the design process are explored.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Diane Lee Schnelker



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

178 pages