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This chapter provides a historical review of U. S. education policy from its earliest inception to the present day with a focus on policy developments in the 21st century that have influenced the growth and development of online and blended education and those that we can foresee will have the greatest impact moving forward. 21st century policies are synthesized into themes of Online and Distance Learning, Accountability, Innovation and Reform, and Teacher Preparation.

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This document was originally published by ETC Press in the Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning. This work is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 license. Details regarding the use of this work can be found at: