The literature on political control of bureaucracy reveals that bureaucracies are highly responsive to political forces. This paper argues that the political control literature misses evidence from other academic literature that bears directly on this phenomenon. Specifically, researchers need to consider the values of the bureaucracy in any effort to assess the degree of political control. An empirical test is presented using a data set from public education. Results show bureaucratic values to be far more influential in explaining bureaucratic outputs and outcomes than political factors. These findings suggest that a reinterpretation of previous empirical research is urgently in order.