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Medium 9781475815993

Articles

International Journal of Educational Reform Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

AUSTIN D. SWANSON

Graduate School of Education

State University of New York at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY 14260-1000

Numerous books and professional journal articles have been written over the past decade comparing the educational reform initiatives taking place concurrently throughout the developed world (e.g., Lawton, 1992; Edwards and Whitty, 1992; Beare and Boyd, 1993; Ball, 1993; Hancock, Kirst and Grossman, 1983). Observers have found it particularly curious that, despite marked differences in the ideological orientations of governments in power, there is a remarkable similarity in the nature of reforms being attempted.

English reforms have been of particular interest to Americans because of common language and similar cultural heritage and because most of the reforms being discussed for implementation in the United States have already been implemented in England one way or another (Walford, 1992). British reforms, which are being given careful consideration in the United States and are being implemented on a small scale in some places, include national (state) standards and national (state) assessment, school-based management, school–based budgeting, family choice of schooling, and “opting out,” i.e., a school disassociating itself from the Local Education Authority (LEA) and linking directly with the national (state) government.

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Medium 9781475811513

Political Risk-Taking: Leading Literacy Education in an Era of High-Stakes Accountability

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

ROSE M. YLIMAKI

ABSTRACT: In the current accountability environment, many school districts have mandated test preparation courses, canned programs, and otherwise limited teacher risk-taking in all but very high-performing schools. This article further suggests that extant literature on risk-taking as part of educational change is no longer sufficient for understanding risk-taking in the current political environment. The author uses findings from a multicase study that investigated what happens in school districts that makes educators willing to take risks and resist the pressures of current accountability policies to redefine risk-taking as a political act. Through the use of interview data, field notes, and literature, the study describes four conditions that support political risk-taking in the current accountability context.

If I don't stand up for what we believe about learning and the work teachers have done, then what am I doing in a job called director of curriculum and learning? No, it isn't easy when a government policy states that another view about learning must replace that of the district or when you have schools designated by the state as needing improvement because their special education students scored low on the state tests. But if you have the guts and the supportive relationships to stand up for what we've come to understand from the best literacy research available, you have what you need to take risks and enable risk-taking and creativity in classrooms. (Curriculum director, Spring 2003)

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Medium 9781475816389

The Organization and Administration of Special Services: Variations, Tensions, and Possibilities

International Journal of Educational Reform Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Lynn H. Doyle

Educational administrators are spending considerably more time and effort on issues involving special services for disadvantaged and special needs students than they have in the past (Burrello, 2003). In light of current school improvement initiatives to improve the academic success for all students, it is likely that this will even increase. Passage of No Child Left Behind and changes in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) indicate Congress’s commitment to reform teaching and learning. These laws now mandate that at-risk students and students with disabilities be included in high-stakes testing. Mandates such as these provide not only challenges, but also opportunities for local school districts to look at past practices differently and create new possibilities to restructure teaching and learning. If ever there was a time for administrators to be visionaries who can see new ways to use special services, it is now.

The array of special services is vast, and the manner in which these services are organized differs from district to district and from school to school (Zepeda & Langenbach, 1999). When discussing special services, educators typically mean those services that fall under three umbrella categories: (a) special education, (b) related services, and (c) pupil services (also called pupil personnel services or student services). Although special education typically refers to the 13 disability areas identified in IDEA, related services and pupil services are less clear. Related services are defined as:

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Medium 9781475819533

More Than a Read-Aloud: Preparing and Inspiring Early Childhood Teachers to Develop Our Future Scientists

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub

JULIA T. ATILES, JENNIFER L. JONES, AND JAMES A. ANDERSON

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of professional development on teachers’ knowledge of teaching science and sense of efficacy regarding the teaching of science. In addition, the study explores the association between knowledge of teaching science and efficacy regarding the teaching of science. Participants included 28 early childhood teachers from seven school districts, predominantly rural with high incidence of poverty. Results indicate gains in teachers’ knowledge of teaching science and their sense of efficacy after participating in professional development. Implications include the need to integrate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) content and language arts curricula into early childhood classrooms.

There is a strong need for quality STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teachers, particularly in the K–12 levels. Prepare and Inspire: K–12 Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for America’s Future, a report to President Obama (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2010), suggests that a new strategy is necessary to stay on the cutting edge of STEM education in our schools. This strategy should prepare and inspire students regarding science and mathematics. The council also recommends that teacher preparation should include not only STEM content knowledge but also the ability to implement STEM concepts seamlessly throughout the curriculum.

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Medium 9781475824384

IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Edward J. Daly III
Jaymi Shroder
Amy Robinson

These implementation guidelines are restricted to the procedures used in the investigation by Daly, Shroder, and Robinson (this issue). For a description of this approach to selecting academic interventions for a broader variety of problems, see Witt, Daly, and Noell (2000).

1.  Identify the level at which the child is currently being instructed.

2.  Choose three passages at the difficulty level at which the child is being instructed and two passages from one grade level below the current instructional level. The latter two passages are for the easier materials (EM) conditions. Be sure to choose passages to which the child has not been or will not be exposed.

3.  Randomly assign the three instructional level passages to one condition—baseline, repeated readings (RR), or listening passage preview (LPP). Randomly assign the easier passages to the remaining two conditions—EM/LPP/RR and EM.

4.  You will need student copies of the passages, examiner copies of the passages, a clipboard, a stopwatch, and a pen.

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