Privatizing Schooling and Policy Making: The American Legislative Exchange Council and New Political and Discursive Strategies of Education Governance

Gary Anderson, Liliana Montoro Donchik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this article, we examine the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as an example of a unique node within larger policy networks composed of new policy entrepreneurs (e.g., venture philanthropists, think tanks, private “edubusinesses” and their lobbyists, advocacy organizations, and social entrepreneurs). These new policy networks, through an array of new modalities of governance and political and discursive strategies, have come to exert an impressive level of influence on public policy in the last 30 years in the United States. We describe and analyze several model education bills that ALEC has promoted and describe the political and discursive strategies ALEC employs. We found that these strategies, which are employed by corporate leaders and largely Republican legislators, are aimed at a strategic alliance of neoliberal, neoconservative, libertarian, and liberal constituencies with the goal of privatizing and marketizing public education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-364
Number of pages43
JournalEducational Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016



  • educational reform
  • governance
  • policy formation
  • politics of education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this