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Matthew J. Cunningham

Fiorina’s Masters Dissertation On Education: Decidedly Un-Conservative

[Cross-posted from]

"My research has taken me on a frequently unpredictable, always fascinating, odyssey. Like most good journeys, I did not end up quite where I thought I would, nor did I take the path I thought I might. Where I had anticipated concluding that business must play an ever-growing role if we are to adequately address the education concerns of our nation, I have ended by deciding that although business can and must play a vital role, it also must be necessarily limited. Where I began as a proponent of “States’ Rights” in education, I have ended by believing that we will never meet our own expectations of public education unless the federal government is willing to play a consistent, long-term role; unless education truly becomes a matter of national policy, not just a matter of national rhetoric."

These words were written by Carly Fiorina in the introduction to her 1989 doctoral dissertation for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which came into this blogger’s possession a short time ago. Later this afternoon, I will post here at Red County the entire dissertation.

Entitled “The Education Crisis: Business and Government’s Role In Reform,” the 159-page document lays out the then-34 year-old Fiorina’s thoughts on reforming high school education. I haven’t finished reading the document, but the intellectual journey of her research paper led her to advocate for what could be characterized as at least a limited federalization of public education – a stance at odds with her self-declared conservatism. Frankly, her words sound like mainstream Democratic education rhetoric.

You can read the rest of this post here.