Until now, the influence of states on U.S. education policy received little attention. Through the States’ Impact on Federal Education Policy Project (SIFEPP), the evolving role of states in shaping federal education policy affecting grades pre-K through 12 since the mid-twentieth century is being documented. 

The Project has connected state and national education leaders with archivists to ensure the record of education policy, and supported sustainable connections between the two communities are preserved and  accessible. The policymakers themselves are repositories of stories and wisdom. The interviews presented here enrich the written accounts of education policy during this dynamic and critical period. Our narrators helped shape the course of education policy in the United States over the past decades. We invite you to learn from their unique experiences and perspectives.

To the Reader

The printed transcripts are a lightly edited record of the original oral history interviews conducted and produced by Oral Historian Anita Hecht, Life History Services, in collaboration with New York State archives. The transcripts are accompanied by a digitally audiotaped oral history interview, as well as a narrative biographical summary of the narrator, both housed at the New York State Archives.

Oral history interviews contain first-person accounts of historical events, individual experiences, and significant memories. In this spirit, please understand that these interviews do not attempt to recount “absolute truth.” Instead, they intend to relate the stories that hold meaning for the particular narrator. Interviews are not always chronological or complete with regards to specific data. Accuracy is always the goal, though there may be corrections, and certainly additions, to any oral history.

With generous support from:

Gordon M. Ambach

The New York Community Trust – Wallace Foundation Special Projects Fund