In this article, Harvey Kantor and Robert Lowe explore the progression of American social policy and its relation to educational reform from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal to President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The authors assert that this progression has been marked by the federal government's gradual divestment in public social provisions, and that the potential for NCLB to deliver on its promise of improved achievement of all students is limited by the erosion of the social and economic supports that are key components of educational success. Kantor and Lowe conclude that while NCLB intensifies the importance placed on education at the federal level, it contributes at the same time to the diminution of political support for a more expansive view of public social provision.

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