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IJER Vol 4-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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13 Articles

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Teachers’ Perceptions of Parental Involvement

ePub

TOM O’DONOGHUE and STEPHEN O’BRIEN

The Graduate School of Education

The University of Western Australia

Nedlands, Western Australia 6009

Since 1987, the Western Australian (WA) public education system has experienced considerable restructuring. Among the changes is the fact that parents in public schools now enjoy a 50 percent representation on school decision-making boards. This observation provided the stimulus for the following paper which is organised in three parts. First, the treatment of parental involvement in school decision making in the education literature from the 1960s to the present, is considered. Second, the background to current educational restructuring and parental involvement in school decision making in Australia is examined. Finally, the findings of a case study which sought to access the thinking of primary school teachers in a school district in WA about parental involvement in school decision making, is reported.

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The Purpose and Processes of Educational Systems

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WILLIAM L. JOHNSON* and ANNABEL M. JOHNSON**

Ambassador University

Big Sandy, TX 75755

Perhaps there are no more fundamental educational reform topics than those pertaining to propositions regarding the purpose of educational systems and the processes of administering those systems. Today, there is a rich historical literature that addresses the first proposition. And, there is an expanding organizational productivity literature that applies to the processes of administering educational systems. Policymakers and practitioners alike are keenly interested in propositions pertaining to the purpose and processes of educational systems. They also want to know how to evaluate the various process reforms advocated by writers and reformers in the past decade.

The Purpose of Educational Systems

Many well-known leaders and educational writers have credited the legends of national education as the great success stories of American democracy. Indeed, the roots of Western public education reach far back into our heritage. Plato wrote in The Laws that education should be compulsory and public. Aristotle stated in his Politics that the state was a plurality that should be united and made into a community by education.

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Estimating Future Teacher Supply: Any Policy Implications for Educational Reform?

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HYUN-SEOK SHIN

Department of Education

Han Nam University

133 Ojung-dong Daeduck-ku

Taejon, South Korea

How many new teachers will be needed in American schools in the next decade? Wtll there be enough qualified teachers? The answers to these questions are important to various actors in the educational system. For example, school board members need answers in order to evaluate whether teacher salaries are adequate to attract qualified teachers. Superintendents need information about the characteristics of college students to be teachers, in order to attract qualified teachers to their schools. Educational policymakers also need information with which to assess the quality of teacher education programs. The primary mechanism for answering these questions is teacher supply and demand models.

The most frequently cited projections of teacher supply and demand, including numerical projections of the size of the impending teacher shortage or surplus, employ the National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES) national teacher supply and demand model (Murnane, Singer, and Willet, 1988). Unfortunately, the NCES model’s projections of teacher shortage and surplus have proven unreliable in predicting the size and timing of supply and demand imbalances (National Research Council, 1987). The NCES model focuses on a single quantity (that is, the overall attrition rate defined as the percentage of teachers in public schools in the U.S. in one year who are not teaching the next year) to determine teacher career persistence. Moreover, this model assumes that the attrition of teachers in their careers is the same for teachers with different subject matter specialties. It also assumes that attrition rates do not change over time, and that teachers who leave teaching do not return (Murnane, Singer, and Willet, 1988).

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A Focus on Student Learning: The Self-Study/School Improvement Process

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JOHN S. BACKES

Center for Teaching and Learning

The University of North Dakota

P.O. Box 7189

Grand Forks, ND 58202-7189

School improvement is founded on collaborative work structures, shared decision making, redesigned teacher responsibilities, reallocated resources, and improvements in the process of teaching and learning (Murphy, 1991). Accountability for student success presents an emerging dynamic for school improvement. Lieberman (1991) observes that making schools genuinely accountable for student learning will require involving teachers in the development of methods and models of assessment that accurately measure what students know and are able to do.

Darling-Hammond (1992) cites three components for school accountability. These include: 1) a set of policies that support good teaching and learning, 2) methods for regularly eliciting information to show how a school is performing with all students, and 3) mechanisms for ongoing rethinking and improving practice. This article describes research related to the effectiveness of past efforts at school improvement as well as the evolution of the self-study/school improvement process in the state of North Dakota. Darling-Hammond’s three components provide a backdrop for discussion of this evolutionary process.

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Standing at the Crossroads: British Teacher Education in the 1990s

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JOHN BLEWITT

Senior Lecturer: Higher Education Department

Harrogate College

Hornbeam Park

Harrogate HG2 8QT UK

Introduction

The only thing that has been certain about British education in the last ten to fifteen years has been change. This change has encompassed curriculum design, modes of assessment, delivery methods, values, vocationalism, teacher training, contracts of employment, funding mechanisms, the power of the state, the role of teacher unions, etc. Nothing has escaped and the change continues to be rapid. Many are alarmed at the changes which are often ill thought out and ill conceived. Significant changes have been initiated by politicians and others who have no liking for the liberal education establishment in the universities (particularly in the Teacher Education Colleges) or the progressive ideas and practices of many teachers in the schools and colleges. In fact, British education is currently experiencing a serious crisis of confidence and identity following a shift of power from teachers to the Government and its attendant Quangos (Quasi Autonomous now Government Organisations) whose memberships are primarily composed of political appointees. Until quite recently, the Further Education Colleges and the Polytechnics (now the “new universities”) were responsible to the elected Local Education Authorities who largely funded them. Today they are funded centrally, via a Quango, having the status of a corporate body. They are responsible for their own finances and are expected to act like and adopt the ethos of private business. The “older” universities are in a similar position. The schools still under Local Authority control have much more responsibility for their budgets than previously. The “Local Management of Schools” means the headteacher is now in effect the managing director. Principals of colleges and vice chancellors of universities are now chief executives valuing skills in business management rather than an understanding of education. The ethos, culture, and working practices of British education are undergoing immense changes. Old values conflict with new. A tension exists between public service and private enterprise. Some institutions are going under as a result of senior management incompetence and, in one case, corruption. Many others are standing at the crossroads.

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Multiple Perspectives: A Narrative of Special Education Alternatives

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LYNN H. DOYLE

Department of Administrative Leadership

School of Education

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI 53201

The Emergence of Special Education to Its Current State

Special education is the most profound form of tracking in American education today. Collaboration, whether it is part of the Regular Education Initiative (REI) or full inclusion model, is one mechanism toward eliminating the dichotomy between regular and special education. But, successful collaboration is limping along on a case by case basis because of special education’s inability to view alternatives to its elaborate categorical structures and bureaucratic practices.

Research has shown that grouping students by race, gender, ethnicity, and ability level is harmful and inequitable, not only for students, but for the educational system as a whole (Oakes, 1985). Nonetheless, education in the United States operates two separate tracks, the regular track and the special education track. Each has its own classification system, students, staff, funding, administrators, delivery of service, and teacher training programs (Stainback and Stainback, 1984). Proponents of REI and inclusion tell us that collaboration between staff members, parents, and students is one of the most critical components for assimilation of special education students into regular classrooms to be successful (Lipsky and Gartner, 1989; Pugach, 1988; Stainback and Stainback, 1984).

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A Study of School-Based Management in Selected Southern States

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JERRY J. HERMAN

Department of Education Leadership, School of Education, The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35407-0302

JANICE L HERMAN

School of Education, Educational Leadership, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama 35294

VICKI S. OLIVER

Principal, Stemley Road Elementary School, Talladega City Schools, Alabama

Three major thrusts characterize school-based management leadership trends: the ability to envision and to get others to envision the “what should be” future state for the schools; the ability to empower others in meaningful decision making; and the ability to be a strategic and operational planner. This view is supported in the literature and research, and reflects the need for leaders to set general directions and to create optimum environments and structures for learning. The leadership requirements for successful school-based management require, in actuality, a multidimensional model, in which the school site personnel and stakeholders operate synergistically as they lead their schools (Herman and Herman, 1993a). The radical transformation of school governance through school-based management will require multiple leadership roles and interactions, as a brand new system of operating schools is implemented.

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University Reconfiguration: Implications of Faculty’s Perspective on Organizational Change, Learning, and Values

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GORDON S. GATES

Department of Educational Administration and Supervision

College of Education

Washington State University

Pullman, WA 99164–2136

It was just under a decade ago that universities experienced drastic reductions in state funding as the economy suffered recession and as student enrollment declined. During that time, university administrators engaged in a policy of retrenchment (Hardy, Langley, Mintzberg, and Rose, 1983; Dallam and Hoyt, 1983; Olswang, 1987). Retrenchment and reconfiguration are again surfacing as serious issues in the university environment, nationally and internationally, as university budgets are significantly reduced by government funding sources (Harman, 1986; Anderson, 1990; Alewell, 1990; Gumport, 1993).

To understand decision processes involving budget relocation, strategic planning, and market alignment, theorists and researchers have focused upon administrative leaders in universities experiencing instability (Hardy, 1988; Hardy, 1990; Schmidtlein, 1990; Slaughter, 1993). Lawson and Ventriss (1992) discuss decisions that result in organizational renewal as emerging from a process of learning; organizational learning. Further, effective decisions and management of universities are discussed as occurring through administrations’ envisioning, articulating, and sharing mission, goals, and values to organizational members (McKelvie, 1986; Schmidtlein, 1990; Alvesson, 1992; Parker, 1986; Brown and Sommerlad, 1992; Kennerley, 1992; Lawson and Ventriss, 1992). Mission, goals, and values are identified as contributing to an organization’s culture (Schein, 1992; Linstead and Grafton-Small, 1992; Hatch, 1993). Thus, much of the literature concentrates on administrations’ actions and resulting organizational performance, leaving key aspects of the change process involving faculty and their perceptions outside of the analysis (Neumann, 1992). Therefore, this study proposes to explore organizational learning and how faculty construct, experience, and interpret the organization’s culture in higher education institutions reconfiguring organizational finances, structure, and mission.

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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

William G. Tierney is Professor and Director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis at the University of Southern California. Prior to coming to USC, he was a professor of education and senior scientist in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Tierney received a master’s degree from Harvard University and holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in administration and policy analysis. His research interests pertain to leadership, decision making, change and innovation, and issues of equity. The results of his research have appeared in higher education and anthropological journals. Some of his books are: Curricular Landscapes, Democratic Vistas: Transformative Leadership in Higher Education (1989); Official Encouragement, Institutional Discouragement: Minorities in Academe—The Native American Experience (1992) and Building Communities of Difference: Higher Education in the 21st Century (1993). He has recently published (with Estela Bensimon) Rethinking Promotion & Tenure: Culture and Socialization in Academe, which pertains to the problems and challenges junior faculty face in academe. Tierney brings with him both administrative experience as an academic dean at a Native American community college in North Dakota, and cross-cultural insight from Peace Corps work in Morocco, as well as from recently having spent a year in Central America as a Fulbright Scholar.

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Counterpoint

ePub

Henry A. Giroux

Waterbury Chair Professorship in Secondary Education

College of Education

Pennsylvania State University

Chambers Builting

University Park, PA 16802

There appears to be an enormous deadlock in developing a critical debate over cinematic and media representations of violence. This is evident in the public furor that emerged when Bob Dole, the Senate Majority Leader, appearing at a fund raising event recently in Los Angeles, condemned certain Hollywood filmmakers for debasing United States culture with images of graphic violence and “the mainstreaming of deviancy.” Dole specifically condemned films such as Natural Born Killers and True Romance as “nightmares of depravity” drenched in grotesque violence and sex. Speaking for a Republican party that has increasingly moved to the extreme right, Dole issued a warning to Hollywood: “A line has been crossed—not just of taste, but of human dignity and decency. . . . It is crossed every time sexual violence is given a catchy tune. When teen suicide is set to an appealing beat. When Hollywood’s dream factories turn out nightmares of depravity.” Dole’s remarks were less an insightful indictment of the culture of violence than a shrewd attempt to win the hearts and minds of Christian conservatives and those in the general public who are fed up with the culture of violence but feel helpless in the face of its looming pervasiveness. While it is commendable that Dole has taken a stand regarding the relationship between Hollywood representations of violence and its impact in society, he fails to address a number of issues necessary to engage critically the culture of violence in this country.

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Instruction

ePub

John M. Jenkins

Department of Educational Leadership

Norman Hall, Room 2403

College of Education

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL 32611

I start with the premise that the fanction of leadership is to produce more leaders, not followers.

—Ralph Nader

Most national and state documents which address the goals of education include a statement about lifelong learning. The thought is that students who develop lifelong learning skills will be able to maintain a sense of economic stability as employment responsibilities change and as new jobs replace current ones. It is often said that a student in school today will likely change jobs at least five times before retiring from the work force.

Lifelong learning skills can also have implications for one’s social development. As a naval officer, I still remember the billboard at the entrance to the Oceana, Virginia, Naval Air Station which contained a marvelous quote from Thomas Jefferson, “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” In the military context, this quotation has one meaning, but it can also be applied to the need for an educated citizenry in a democracy. Regardless of their choice of profession, vocation, or occupation, all members of our society have responsibilities to understand the present social context and its implications for the continuance of the quality of life in our society. In a democracy, everyone has civic responsibilities.

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Legal

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Todd A. DeMitcbell

Assistant Professor of Educational Administration

College of Liberal Arts

University of New Hampshire

Durham, NH 03824

That they [school boards] are educating the young for citizenship is reason for scrupulous protection of Constitutional freedoms of the individual, if we are not to strangle the free mind at its source and teach youth to discount important principles of our government as mere platitudes.

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943)

Does a school district violate a student athlete’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure when it authorizes random urinalysis as a condition of participation in its extracurricular programs? The United States Supreme Court on June 26, 1995 decided on a vote of 6–3 that Vernonia School District’s drug testing policy does not offend the student athlete’s rights under the Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendments and is, therefore, constitutional.

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College

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Richard P. Manatt

Professor of Educational Administration

College of Education

Iowa State University

N226 Lagomarcino Hall

Ames, IA 50011-3190

Herbert Strasser *

As an Army NCO, a public school administrator, a private consultant, and as a college professor, this editor has been a boss for over forty years. In the American scheme of things, bosses are to get people to “do more than they want to do, different things than they want to do, and help them like it!” In the main, I like being a boss. However, performance evaluation has not been particularly easy for me. Yet, evaluating and improving the performance of employees is the essence of being a boss. Faculty evaluation is particularly hard to do in higher education.

I’ll never forget the academic vicepresident who interviewed me at the end of a long hard day of trying to convince graduate students, professors, department executive officers, and deans, that I was the person they were seeking for a tenure-track position in educational administration. He said, “Dick, if we hire you, what will be your research thrust?”

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