||In the same year, a public school teacher in St. Paul, Minnesota, Joe Nathan, produced a book titled, Free to Teach,11 which provided a firsthand account of the frustrations, from an educator’s perspective, with the state of public education. A general thesis of his book claimed, “public education should provide better opportunities for teachers and parents to create new kinds of public schools”.12 Nathan’s sentiment was representative of the eventual push for school choice and captured the attention of many in policy and education circles, most notably, Governor of Tennessee, Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Alexander was a policy entrepreneur in the realm of school-choice. Alexander quickly hired Nathan to mobilize his fellow Governors to work specifically on education policy through the National Governors Association in 1983, which culminated in seven task forces and a national tour to hear the concerns of teachers and parents on the ground.
As the hearings progressed through 1984, Governor Alexander and Governor Clinton continued to hear a salient message delivered by teachers and school administrators across the country, that schools would be willing to take more responsibility for their results, if they were given some flexibility from federal regulations. As a result, Governor Alexander appropriately titled this groundbreaking report, Time for Results.13 According to Nathan, “The governors concluded that carefully designed public systems that encourage choice among alternatives were central to efforts to increase student achievement, reduce the number of school dropouts, and increase the authority of teachers.”14