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IJER Vol 25-N4

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The mission of the International Journal of Educational Reform (IJER) is to keep readers up-to-date with worldwide developments in education reform by providing scholarly information and practical analysis from recognized international authorities. As the only peer-reviewed scholarly publication that combines authors’ voices without regard for the political affiliations perspectives, or research methodologies, IJER provides readers with a balanced view of all sides of the political and educational mainstream. To this end, IJER includes, but is not limited to, inquiry based and opinion pieces on developments in such areas as policy, administration, curriculum, instruction, law, and research.
IJER should thus be of interest to professional educators with decision-making roles and policymakers at all levels turn since it provides a broad-based conversation between and among policymakers, practitioners, and academicians about reform goals, objectives, and methods for success throughout the world.
Readers can call on IJER to learn from an international group of reform implementers by discovering what they can do that has actually worked. IJER can also help readers to understand the pitfalls of current reforms in order to avoid making similar mistakes. Finally, it is the mission of IJER to help readers to learn about key issues in school reform from movers and shakers who help to study and shape the power base directing educational reform in the U.S. and the world.

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4 Articles

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If You Build It, Will They Come? Educational Leadership Program Coordinators’ Perceptions of Principal Preparation Redesign in Illinois . . .

ePub

If You Build It, Will They Come? Educational Leadership Program Coordinators’ Perceptions of Principal Preparation Redesign in Illinois

Donald G. Hackmann

Joel R. Malin

ABSTRACT: This qualitative study examined the impacts of Illinois principal preparation program restructuring mandates on programs and faculty, from the perspectives of 14 faculty program coordinators who facilitated the revisions. Findings disclosed that coordinators, coping with considerable ambiguity and stress, were crucially positioned to lead their faculty through submission and implementation processes. Although program coordinators tended to describe compliance-driven, rather than mission-driven, restructuring, most perceived the changes as positively impacting programming in their respective institutions. However, precipitously declining student enrollments are perceived as a serious threat and have contributed to coordinators’ decisions to engage increasingly in policy advocacy.

KEYWORDS: leadership preparation, educational leadership, principal preparation, qualitative research

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Teacher Efficacy Calibration in Education Reform: WhenHighly Efficacious Teachers Don’t Spell “Implement” . . .

ePub

Teacher Efficacy Calibration in Education Reform

When Highly Efficacious Teachers Don’t Spell “Implement”

David E. Favre

Stephanie L. Knight

ABSTRACT: This article provides a theoretical conceptualization of teacher efficacy calibration to explain instances when highly efficacious teachers fail to implement the pedagogical innovations prescribed by education reforms. We first examine the theoretical foundations for teacher efficacy calibration and its importance for successful implementation in educational reform. A reinterpretation of data from prior phases of our ongoing research into Qatar’s K-12 far-reaching reform efforts provides specific support for the importance of teacher efficacy calibration accuracy in achieving expected implementation fidelity. Recommendations are offered to professional development programs and policymakers to promote conditions that facilitate teacher efficacy calibration precision.

KEYWORDS: teacher efficacy calibration, education reform, implementation fidelity, teacher professional development

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The Influence of Grade Span on Student Achievement in Florida: A Quantitative Investigation . . .

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The Influence of Grade Span on Student Achievement in Florida

A Quantitative Investigation

Jerry Johnson

Francis Godwyll

Shane Shope

ABSTRACT: The creation—through both new construction and reconfiguration of enrollments in existing facilities—of schools with broader grade spans is increasing in Florida and elsewhere in the United States. The extant literature reports increased fiscal efficiency resulting from the approach, but the potential influence on student outcomes is largely unexplored. This article reports on a completed quantitative study investigating the influence of grade-span configurations on student achievement among Florida public schools (n = 3,523). Results are interpreted to suggest that broader grade spans (e.g., K-8 versus K-5) might represent a viable policy option for administrators and policymakers seeking improved academic outcomes.

Keywords: grade-span, student achievement, school size

The primary intent of the study is to disclose and characterize the presence and distribution of various grade-span configurations among public schools in Florida and to investigate whether student achievement is associated with grade span. The number of schools with K-8 and other broader-than-typical grade configurations is growing among Florida’s 74 public school districts, including some of its largest and highest performing. St. Johns County School District has one K-8 school currently in operation and is bringing two more online in the 2014–2015 school year (Schoettler, 2012). Hernando County School District opened a new K-8 building in 2008 (Brown, 2008), and Orange County School District is set to open a new K-8 building in the Fall of 2016 and another in 2017 (Roth, 2013). Construction of buildings serving broader grade spans is trending, with districts citing lower operation costs, higher achievement, lower discipline referrals, and smoother transitions from grade to grade. Situated within this context and attentive to the relevant literature, the study considers the policy implications that can be drawn from the findings.

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Pendulum Swings in Educational Policymaking: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effects of Federal and State Policymaking onPoorer School Districts in Michigan . . .

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Pendulum Swings in Educational Policymaking

A Quantitative Analysis of the Effects of Federal and State Policymaking on Poorer School Districts in Michigan

Dana D. Dyson

ABSTRACT: Reforms in American public education have not resolved the wide academic performance gap between students. Officials respond by developing reforms, that is, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waivers. The Waivers modified the more controversial aspects of ESEA/NCLB, which imposed a strict compliance deadline. This was a difficult task for many and an impossible one for the poorest school districts. Using factor analysis and logistic regression, this study provides a methodology for generating data to explain variation in student performance in Michigan school districts associated with organizational, school, financial, and social characteristics.

Keywords: school districts, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESEA No Child Left Behind, NCLB, poverty, community, funding, flexibility waivers

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