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IJER Vol 4-N3

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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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13 Articles

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Mega Planning: A Framework for Education

ePub

ROGER KAUFMAN

Professor and Director

Center for Needs Assessment and Planning

The Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL 32306-2022

Strategic planning has attracted sincere attention among serious educators. In some form or another, most organizations attempt it. Unfortunately, most efforts have been longer on intentions than on useful results. One by-product of conventional strategic planning is that educational reform actions have been more directed toward superficial alterations rather than “deep change” (Kaufman and English, 1979).

This article defines a basic framework for educational strategic planning.1 This approach suggests a fundamental frame of reference for strategic planning–a Mega-planning focus—which better assures that both learners and society are well served. This process identifies ways to provide the rational data base for defining educational interventions, including responsive and responsible curriculum and learning experiences. If educational reform is to be effective, it best be based upon the primary client and beneficiary of reform being the society, not just educators and learners in school.

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Mega Planning: A Simulated Re-Invention of U.S. Public Schools

ePub

KURT ROWLEY

Center for Needs Assessment and Planning, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2022

MARILYN HUDZINA

Department of Instruction and Curriculum, College of Education,

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2053

Given the rapidly changing nature of society, it is becoming increasingly difficult to reach consensus over the design requirements for our multifaceted public school system. Technological advances are making many current schooling practices obsolete. New paradigms of school design have been suggested such as the systematic, formal design of school systems (Reigeluth and Garfinkle, 1994; Banathy, 1991, 1992). Some writers propose that school as a social institution is obsolete (Perelman, 1992; Branson, 1987). One suggestion in the debate about obsolete practices in education is to shift the discussion from methods of education to focus on the desired results or outcomes of the educational system (Kaufman, 1992b).

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Reconceptualizing Restructuring for School Effectiveness and School Improvement

ePub

CLIVE DIMMOCK

Graduate School of Education

The University of Jtestem Australia

Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia

Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, governments of different political complexions in many developed countries and states rushed to embrace school system restructuring (Beare and Boyd, 1993). The variation in vigour and enthusiasm with which restructuring policies were implemented reflected in part, at least, the strength of political will to adopt and embed new practices and cultures in education systems. This political will has also influenced the particular direction, nature, and form that restructuring has taken. Where restructuring is driven and underpinned by a strong political ideology, as in New Zealand and England and Wales, for example, with an emphasis on competition and market forces as main reform strategies, restructuring has tended to assume more extreme forms (Thomas, 1993; Macpherson, 1993). By contrast, in Western Australia and some other Australian states, where a strong political ideology has been absent to date, restructuring has proceeded more slowly, generally more cautiously, and certainly less radically.

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Parents and Educational Reform in the UK

ePub

FELICITY WIKELEY

School of Education, University of Bath

Claverton Down Bath, England 7AY

MARTIN HUGHES

School of Education, University of Exeter

Heavitree Road, Exeter, England EM 2LU

The education system in England and Wales is currently experiencing one of the most far-reaching and radical programme s of reform ever seen. A series of Education Acts has resulted in innovations such as a national curriculum; standardised assessment of all children aged seven, eleven, and fourteen years; a new system for funding schools in which 75% of the per capita costs “follow” the child; local management of schools whereby a large percentage of the funding controlled by the Local Education Authorities (LEA, i.e., school district) is devolved directly to the schools, and increased opportunities for parental choice. Entirely new categories of schools have been created, such as City Technology Colleges and grant-maintained schools which are no longer accountable to a locally elected body (the LEA), but receive their funding directly from the central government. Such developments are regularly reported in the media, together with claims and counterclaims from politicians and others about their likely effect on educational standards. A further feature of this debate is the claim that these changes have been done in the name of parents.

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The Development of School Supervision in China

ePub

JINGLIN* and YUMING ZHAO**

Administration and Policy Studies in Education

McGill University

3724 McTavish Street

Montreal, PQ, Canada H3A IY2

A new development under the educational structural reform in China is the re-emergence of a school supervision system. By the time it was re-established in 1986, supervision activities in China’s schools had been completely halted for two decades. However, today, there is a supervision office in every educational level, from the State Education Commission in Beijing to the provinces, cities, prefectures, and local counties, with supervisors working with local schools in an organized manner. This change is impressive indeed. In the summer of 1993, one of the authors went to China and there, she conducted interviews with school supervisors, visited supervision offices in city and county bureaus of education, and collected a whole series of journals published by a provincial office of school supervision in South China. The monthly journal published since 1986 covers a wide range of topics, dealing with issues on school supervision at the provincial as well as the national level. Based on these and other sources, this article provides an overview of a new educational phenomenon in China: school supervision.

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How Superintendents and School Board Members View School Restructuring

ePub

LARRY L. DLUGOSH*and WAR D SYBOUTS

College of Education

1204 Seaton Hall

P.O. Box 880638

University of Nebraska.

Lincoln, NE 68588-0638

Reforming education is not a new topic in the United States. From the time of Thomas Jefferson and Horace Mann through the twentieth century, with the leadership of persons like John Dewey and President Elliott of the National Education Association, efforts have been made to reform and improve the educational system of our nation. The Progressive Education Movement of the 1930s, the NASSP Trump Plan of the 1950s and 1960s, and the emergence of federal categorical funding are illustrations of continued efforts to improve education and, ultimately, our society.

“The first stirrings of a new wave of educational reform,” according to McCune (1987), “became visible in the early 1980s when state leaders, primarily governors, were beginning to experience slowdowns in their state’s economies,” (p. 1). The popular press fed the fires of interest as a prelude to the publishing of A Nation At Risk (The National Commission on Excellence, 1984), which was followed by “report after report from diverse national commissions calling for reforms in the nation’s schools to stem what was described as a rising tide of mediocrity,” (Green, 1987, p. 3). The authors of the reports addressed subjects from economic competitiveness to teacher empowerment, as well as the preparation of citizens to live in an ever-changing social and political environment. Then, as now, the environment in which the schools were allowed to operate was rapidly becoming post-industrial, technology rich, and information driven. Society was changing and many observers and politicians raised the question, “Could the public schools change in significant ways to better prepare new generations for the new world?”

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Constraining and Facilitating Aspects of Site-Based Management in Urban Schools

ePub

ULRICH C. REITZUG*and BEVERLY E. CROSS**

Enderis Hall, 629

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI 53201

Site-based management, the decentralization of decision-making authority from school boards and school district central offices to individual schools, is one of the major policy initiatives of the school reform era. In some states, legislatures have mandated the implementation of site-based management for schools and school districts (e.g., Kentucky and Oregon). In other states (e.g., Wisconsin), legislatures have provided incentives to encourage adoption of site-based management or have taken other measures to promote its usage. Additionally, numerous other schools and districts throughout the country have implemented some form of site-based management.

Site-based management (SBM) is grounded in assumptions that (a) decisions made at schools are likely to be more responsive to specific, individual school contexts than to standardized decisions made at the district level and mandated for individual schools; (b) teachers, parents, and students are more likely to respond positively to decisions that they have been involved in making than to those made by individuals at higher levels of the organizational hierarchy; and (c) democratic governance is more moral and humanistic than autocratic or dictatorial forms of governance. The intent of site-based management is to stimulate “significant change in educational practice” (David, 1989, p. 45) by permitting stakeholders to modify policies and restructure practices traditionally mandated from centralized levels of the organization to be more applicable to local conditions.

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The Twenty-First Century Professor: A Search for Community

ePub

CORNELL THOMAS

Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Foundations and Administration, School of Education,

Texas Christian University, P.O. Box 32925, Fort Worth, TX 76129

DOUGLAS J. SIMPSON

Texaas Christian University, Professor, Department of Educational Foundations and Administration, School of Education,

Texas Christian University, P.O. Box 32925, Fort Worth, TX 76129

Most, perhaps all, of us want to feel good about ourselves and the organizations where we work. We want to respect ourselves, our colleagues, and the collectives within which we spend much of our lives. In fact, our desire for respect, trust, and equal membership in an organization is often just as important as the financial benefits that we receive. Closely allied with the concept of respect is the notion of having input into the decisions and directions of an organization. Contributing to the daily and long-term directions of the workplace is, at least for large numbers of us, an intrinsic part of what it means to be respected, trusted, and treated as an equal. Likewise, it is an important factor in educational reform in all kinds of institutions. Unfortunately, it seems that many educational institutions are designed to or have evolved until they detract from a sense of well-being, partnership, and collegiality. They are frequently places that do not satisfy or even seek to satisfy our need for community and collegiality. Since we think community, collegiality, and diversity are values that are worth enjoying and pursuing and are values that both increase one’s satisfaction with and effectiveness in an institution, we think it is worth obtaining a better understanding of these values and examining briefly ways of promoting them (Barth, 1990). In order to accomplish these goals, our focus is upon several concepts related to the subject, some obstacles to collegiality, community, diversity, and reform, and a partial foundation for the development of these values.

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The Internationalist

ePub

Peter McLaren

Associate Professor of Education

University of California, Los Angeles

College of Education

Los Angeles, CA 90024-1521

Concepción M. Valadez has been involved with scholarly, technical, and policy aspects of bilingual education for the past twenty-five years. A graduate of Stanford University in linguistics and education, she is on the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is the coordinator of the Bilingual/Cross-cultural teacher credential program. Her primary personal, professional, and scholarly agenda is promoting equitable access to quality educational services for students marginalized for reasons of race, language, ethnicity/culture, or economics. In addition to the extensive work she does in the United States, with its Indian Nations, and its territories, she also works with schools, parent groups, and government agencies in a wide range of other countries, including Mexico, Paraguay, Brazil and Spain. A current project is the study of language policies in new and developing democracies. Among the many leadership positions she has held in professional associations is that of Vice Chair of the Division Social Context of Education, American Educational Research Association.

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Counterpoint

ePub

Henry A. Giroux

Waterbury Chair Professorship in Secondary Education

College of Education

Pennsylvania State University

Chambers Building

University Park, PA 16802

The United States appears, for many of us, to be going through one of the most startling and potentially dangerous historical junctures this country has faced since the tumultuous “Red Scare” of the 1920s. The signs are evident at all levels of society. At the local level, fear and racial hatred appear to be inspiring a major backlash against the gains of the civil rights movement as affirmative action is openly attacked and anti-immigration sentiment and legislation sweep the nation. At the state level, financial cutbacks and the restructuring of the labor force have weakened unions and vastly undercut social services for the most vulnerable, including women with infants, children of the poor, and older citizens who rely on medicare and other such benefits. Across the nation, we are witnessing increased racial violence and discrimination. This includes well-organized attempts by conservatives to limit the rights and gains made by women as well as to increase acts of violence against gays, lesbians, and racial minorities. Similarly, racial and gender discrimination are being accompanied by an increase in cultural censorship coupled with attack on those public sites instrumental in fighting AIDS, poverty, and the destruction of the environment.

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Instruction

ePub

John M. Jenkins

Department of Educational Leadership

Norman Hal, Room 2403

College of Education

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL 32611

Some people never learn anything because they understand everything too quickly.

–Alexander Pope

During the 1960s, a comedian named Flip Wilson was a household name. Part of his comedic repertoire was to assume the identity of a female character named Geraldine. In that role, Wilson would often say “What you see is what you get.” Little did Wilson suspect that imbedded within this witty pronouncement was a summary of the work of a growing number of physicists. The new physicists began to suspect that Newtonian physics had been in the driver’s seat too long. Their approach to physics looked at the world in terms of a field of activity or fields of activity rather than as a billiard table of cause and effect. In fact, they concluded that in a world that was interconnected, cause and effect was hard to discern.

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Legal

ePub

Todd A. DeMitcbell

Assistant Professor of Educational Administration

College of Liberal Arts

University of New Hampshire

Durham, NH 03824

The schoolhouse gate once served as a boundary marker identifying an often troubled society outside the gate and a protected environment inside the gate. This oasis in a culture of violence is being increasingly encroached upon by the presence of drugs, alcohol, and weapons in our schools’ corridors. Drug use and violence in our schools have become major problems prompting parents, educators, and politicians to demand that our schools be made safe. A study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research found that illegal drug use by junior and senior high school students increased in 1993 over 1992 reversing a decreasing usage trend that extended back to 1979 (Bjorklun, 1994). A 1993 Harvard School of Public Health survey found that one in twenty-five children age ten to nineteen had taken a handgun to school during the school year (Sommerfeld, 1993). A 1993 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 24% of the high school students surveyed said that they were offered, sold, or given an illegal drug at school in the previous year (Hostetler, 1995). In response to the prevalence of drugs and weapons in our schools, Congress, in 1986, passed the Drug-Free Schools and Community Act, gun-free zones were established around schools by many states as well as by the federal government, and the national Goals stated that every school in America will be free of drugs and violence. Zirkel (1994) has pointed out that society’s response has been “a warlike view of alcohol, drugs, and violence in the schools” (p. 729).

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College

ePub

Richard P. Manatt

Professor of Educational Administration

College of Education

Iowa State University

N226 Lagomarcino Hal

Ames, IA 50011-3190

The GOALS 2000: Educate America Act checks are in the mail! All but five states have taken advantage of the opportunity; they are New Hampshire, Ohio, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming. Some applicants, like Iowa, were reluctant, claiming that the proposed National Education Standards and Improvement Council would infringe on local control of curricula. Others, Illinois for example, were so far along in the process because of state improvement efforts (in this case the Illinois Goals Assessment Program) that they were able to offer implementation grants to some districts in the first year. Most state departments of education created Requests For Proposals that centered on planning grants for June 1995-July 1996 with the expectation that implementation grant applications were to follow.1

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