Paul Manna

Associate Professor
Department of Government and the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy
College of William & Mary

Mail: Department of Government, College of William & Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187
Shipping: 10 Morton Hall, Department of Government, College of William & Mary, 100 Ukrop Way, Williamsburg, VA 23185

email: / phone: 757-221-3024 / fax: 757-221-1868



Welcome. I'm an Associate Professor in the Department of Government at William & Mary, where I'm also the Undergraduate Coordinator for the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy. I'm interested in American politics, public policy, federalism, and applied research methods.  My work focuses primarily on education policy and politics. Here's my vita. You also can find an abbreviated summary of my work at my Scholars Strategy Network page.

Attention baseball fans: Be sure to take a few swings at Presidential Baseball and Oyez Baseball.

For current and former students: Need a recommendation letter?


Current and recent teaching

Fall 2013
GOVT 391 Quantitative Methods
GOVT 455 Education Policy and Politics
PUBP 602 Quantitative Methods I

Spring 2014
GOVT 351 Bureaucracy
PUBP 101 Survey of Public Policy

Honors students 2013-14
Elizabeth Pelletier. "Learning in harm's way: Neighborhood violence and school performance." Public Policy Program.
Keenan Kelley. "Fixing failing schools: How states and localities implement federal reforms." Dept. of Government.


Peer-reviewed books

Paul Manna and Patrick McGuinn. eds. 2013. Education Governance for the Twenty-First Century: Overcoming the Structural Barriers to School Reform. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, in partnership with the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the Center for American Progress.

Video of the book release event at the Center for American Progress on March 22, 2013.

See a summary of the book in the Brookings fall 2012 catalog on p. 8.

December 1, 2011 conference discussion of draft chapters. Session 1: Challenges. Session 2: Traditional Institutions in Flux. Session 3: Alternative Approaches. Session 4: The Way Forward.



Paul Manna. 2011. Collision Course: Federal Education Policy Meets State and Local Realities. Washington, DC: CQ Press.

Video interview of me discussing the book as a College of William & Mary Book of the Month.

Review in Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 2012

Review in Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 2012

Review in Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 2011

Review in Education Next, 2011

Review in Federal Education Policy History [on-line], 2011




Paul Manna. 2006. School's In: Federalism and the National Education Agenda. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. Part I.

Review in Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 2009

Review in Perspectives on Politics, 2007

Review in Political Science Quarterly, 2007

Review in Education Next, 2007

Review in Teachers College Record, 2006

Review in Education Week, 2006

Articles and other writings (peer-reviewed)

Paul Manna. 2013. Centralized governance and student outcomes: Excellence, equity, and academic achievement in the U.S. states. Policy Studies Journal 41(4): 682-705

I blogged about the artcle's results here: "The centralization of education governance has mixed results for student achievement across U.S. states." London School of Economics and Political Science USAPP blog, February 25, 2014.

A summary of the results was published as a Scholars Strategy Network key findings brief in December 2013: Can New Forms of Governance Improve America's Schools?

Paul Manna and Timothy Harwood. 2011. Governance and educational expectations in the U.S. states. State Politics & Policy Quarterly 11(4): 483-509.

Paul Manna and Laura L. Ryan. 2011. Competitive grants and educational federalism: President Obama's Race to the Top program in theory and practice. Publius: The Journal of Federalism 41(3): 522-546. On-line appendix.

Reprinted in Federalism and Education Policy. Publius: The Journal of Federalism Virtual Issue. January 2012.

Paul Manna. 2011. Education: Federal government programs and issues. Oxford Bibliographies [On-line]. New York: Oxford University Press.

Paul Manna. 2008. Federal aid to education: Premises, effects, and major lessons learned. Paper for the Center on Education Policy for its project on Rethinking the Federal Role in Elementary and Secondary Education. November.

The paper has an accompanying source appendix, annotating the studies that were reviewed.

An abridged version was published as: Paul Manna. 2009. Strong federal policies benefit local districts. Phi Delta Kappan 90(8): 568-571.

John J. Coleman and Paul Manna. 2007. Above the fray? The use of party system references in presidential rhetoric. Presidential Studies Quarterly 37(3): 399-426.

Arnold F. Shober, Paul Manna, and John F. Witte. 2006. Flexibility meets accountability: State charter school laws and their influence on the formation of charter schools in the United States. Policy Studies Journal 34(4): 563-587.

Paul Manna. 2006. Control, persuasion, and educational accountability: Implementing the No Child Left Behind Act. Educational Policy 20(3): 471-494.

Sally Roever and Paul Manna. 2005. Could you explain my grade? The administrative and pedagogical virtues of grading sheets. PS: Political Science and Politics 39(2): 317-320.

Paul F. Manna. 2002. The signals parents send when they choose their children's schools. Educational Policy 16(3): 425-447.

John J. Coleman and Paul F. Manna. 2000. Congressional campaign spending and the quality of democracy. Journal of Politics 62(3): 757-789.

Paul F. Manna. 2000. How do I know what I say I know? Thinking about Slim's Table and qualitative research design. Endarch: Journal of Black Political Research, Spring: 19-29.

Book chapters and articles (not peer-reviewed)

Paul Manna. 2012. State education governance and policy: Dynamic challenges, diverse approaches, and new frontiers. Peabody Journal of Education 85(5): 627-643.

Paul Manna and Jennifer Wallner. 2011. Steppingstones to success or a bridge too far? The federal role in educational accountability. In Frederick M. Hess and Andrew P. Kelly (eds.), Carrots, Sticks, and the Bully Pulpit: Lessons from a Half-Century of Federal Efforts to Improve America's Schools. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Paul Manna. 2008. Introduction: The education data landscape. In Marci Kanstoroom and Eric Osberg (eds.), A Byte at the Apple: Rethinking Education Data for the Post-NCLB Era. Washington, DC: Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Paul Manna and Michael J. Petrilli. 2008. Double standard? "Scientifically based reasearch" and the No Child Left Behind Act. In Frederick M. Hess (ed.) When Research Matters: How Scholarship Influences Education Policy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Paul Manna. 2007. NCLB in the states: Fragmented governance, uneven implementation. In Frederick M. Hess and Chester E. Finn, Jr. (eds.) No Remedy Left Behind: Lessons from a Half-Decade of NCLB. Washington, DC: AEI Press.

Paul Manna. 2006. Teachers unions and No Child Left Behind. In Jane Hannaway and Andrew J. Rotherham (eds) Collective Bargaining in Education: Negotiating Change in Today's Schools. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Paul Manna. 2004. Leaving no child behind. In Christopher T. Cross, Political Education: National Policy Comes of Age. New York: Teachers College Press.

Paul Manna. 2002. Issue Briefs on "Education" and "Economy, budget, and taxes." In The Reporter's Source Book: 2002 Election Edition. Philipsburg, MT: Project Vote Smart.

Book reviews (not peer-reviewed)

Paul Manna. 2011-2012. Review of Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer, Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America's Classrooms (Cambridge University Press, 2010). The American Review of Politics 32 (Winter): 360-362.

Paul Manna. 2007. The Great Society in education: A persistent national consensus? Review of Gareth Davies, See Government Grow: Education Politics from Johnson to Reagan (University Press of Kansas, 2007). The Forum 5(3): on-line.

Paul Manna. 2007. Review of The Era of Education: The Presidents and the Schools 1965-2001, by Lawrence J. McAndrews (University of Illinois Press, 2006). Presidential Studies Quarterly 37(2): 372-373.

Paul Manna. 2007. Review of No Child Left Behind and the Transformation of Federal Education Policy, 1965-2001, by Patrick J. McGuinn (University Press of Kansas, 2006). Political Science Quarterly 122(1): 176-177.

Paul Manna. 2006. Review of Government Matters: Welfare Reform in Wisconsin, by Lawrence Mead (Princeton University Press, 2004). Governance 19(4): 682-684.

Other publications (not peer-reviewed)

Paul Manna and Keenan Kelley. 2012. Redefining the federal role in education: Advice for the winner of next week's election. Education Week. October 31.

Paul Manna, Keenan Kelley, and Frederick M. Hess. 2012. Implementing Indiana's "Putting Students First" agenda: Early lessons and potential futures. Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute.

Paul Manna. 2010. The three Rs of Obama's Race to the Top Program: Reform, reward, and resistance. America's Quarterly. Fall. 112-117.

Paul Manna. 2010. Competitive Grant Making and Education Reform: Assessing Race to the Top's Current Impact and Future Prospects, Education Stimulus Watch Special Report No. 5. Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute. October.

Paul Manna. 2010. Networked governance in three policy areas with implications for the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Paper for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute for its project on Common Standards: Tackling the Long-Term Questions. June. See also my responses to specific questions from Fordham about Common Core governance.

Paul Manna. 2010. Guest-blogger on Education Week's Rick Hess Straight Up blog. June 21, "Teacher Voice and Race to the Top"; June 23, "States to the Races"; and June 25, "Time Warp on Teacher Evaluation."

Paul Manna. 2007. Starting Fresh in Low-Performing Schools: Empowering Teachers. Chicago: National Association of Charter School Authorizers.

Paul Manna and Teresa Gorbett. 2005. We are all accounable. Virginia Gazette. October 5, 20A.

Paul Manna. 2005. States set school standards. Virginia Gazette. July 9, 18A.

Paul Manna. 2003. Student strike or activism lite? Badger Herald. March 3, 6.

Paul Manna. 2002. Charities not limitless. Capital Times. March 11, 6A.

John J. Coleman and Paul F. Manna. 1999. Study shows campaign spending is a silver lining in the fund-raising cloud. Wisconsin State Journal. October 31, p. 3B.

Paul F. Manna. 2001. Researcher's notes. Data Program and Library Service (DPLS) News. February.

Wendy Houlihan, Cathy Annelin, Nancy Ayres, Foy Baillie, and Paul Manna. 1996. Interdisciplinary Core Program at the Traverse City Senior High. Proceedings of the Third Annual Model Schools Conference. Schenectady, NY: International Center for Leadership in Education.

Recent conference papers and presentations

Paul Manna. 2010. The No Child Left Behind Act and educational accountability in the United States. Presented at the Conference on Understanding New Accountability Regimes: Canada in Comparative Perspective. University of Toronto, Canada.

Paul Manna and Amanda Guthrie. 2008. Leadership continuity and educational performance in the American states. Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. Chicago.

Paul Manna and K.C. Tydgat. 2008. Gatekeepers to the classroom: The influence of state teacher standards boards on state teacher policy. Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans.

Paul Manna and Anneliese Dickman. 2006. Parent feedback and the behavior of private schools participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. Presented at the 28th Annual Research Conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management,  Madison, WI, November.

Paul Manna. 2006.  How governance of K-12 education influences policy outputs and student outcomes in the United States.  Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, September.

Paul Manna. 2006. Conductor, schoolmarm, or struggling substitute teacher? Explaining the changing federal role in education. Presented at the Policy History Conference, Charlottesville, VA, June.

Paul Manna and Diane O'Hara. 2005. State governance and educational outcomes in the United States. Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April.

Paul Manna. 2004. State governance, policy, and education performance in the United States. Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, September.

Paul Manna. 2004. Management, control, and the challenge of leaving no child behind. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April. Full results.

Grading sheets examples

American politics examples

Comparative politics examples

  • Midterm exam from an undergraduate introduction to comparative politics class. Grading sheet.Short paper from an undergraduate introduction to comparative politics class. Assignment. Grading sheet.
  • Literature review from an undergraduate seminar on comparative politics. Assignment. Grading sheet.