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IJER Vol 5-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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STEPHEN L. JACOBSON *

Associate Professor of Educational Administration

Graduate School of Education

State University of New York at Buffalo

471 Baldy Hall

Buffalo, NY 14260

Introduction

For at least the past two decades, education has been the subject of increased public scrutiny and debate. Conventional wisdom about the appropriate role of education within the economic, political, and social fabric of society is being questioned and challenged. Strongly held, but potentially competing, public values such as equity and excellence, efficiency and choice, have been contested in the policy recommendations of wave after wave of school reform. Attempting to reconcile rapidly changing policy perspectives with the “sacred norms” of school practice has become the bane of educational leaders, particularly principals, because it is at the schoolhouse that the “rubber” of public policy meets the “road” of educational practice. Principals are being asked (or, more often, told) to “reform” and/or “restructure” their schools.

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Rudolfo Chávez Chávez and Peter McLaren

Associate Professor of Education

University of California, Los Angeles

College of Education

Los Angeles, CA 90024-1521

Rudolfo Chávez Chávez is Professor and Associate Department Head in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at New Mexico State University. He teaches multicultural education and curriculum courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His recent writing includes: a coedited book, The Leaning Ivory Tower: Latino Professors in American Universities (SUNY Press, 1995) with Ray Padilla; co-authored chapter titled “Multicultural Education: Landscape for Reform in the 21st Century” for the Handbook of Research for Teacher Laucation (1996) with F. Hidalgo and J. Ramage; a co-authored chapter “Dilemmas of a Multicultural Education” in the volume Laucating Americans in a Multiethnic Society, Third Laition (1995); and a monograph titled Multicultural Laucation in the Everyday: A Renaissance for the Recommitted (1996). Over the last ten years he has sought opportunities to work with Central and South American colleagues working primarily on curriculum and instructional methodology and educational reform.

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Book Review

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Larry E. Frase

Professor of Educational Administration

College of Education

San Diego State University

4949 Westminster Terrace

San Diego, CA 92116

The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning

Ryan Watkins, Don Triner and Roger Kaufman

The first reading of The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning could cause even the casual planner to stop and reflect. For individuals and organizations that have invested resources into strategic planning, the title alone may strike fear. And, Mintzberg’s conclusions are largely correct. However, in our opinion he did not go far enough. Professor Mintzberg offers a searing critique of classical and conventional strategic planning and planners. His identified fallacies of so-called strategic planning are unerringly true. He describes the three fallacies as: (1) predetermination–planners’ belief that future prediction is possible, Mintzberg reminds them it is not, (2) detachment–get away from the organization to see clearly, and (3) formalization — formalized planning is good, more formal is better. It is our conclusion that The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning really criticizes strategic planning in its conventional form. The models addressed, in spite of the names, actually prescribe tactical or even operational planning and are not useful in strategic planning. On this basis, the author is undeniably on the right track. But planning frameworks that address positive societal contributions (Mega-Level planning) seem to rise above the criticisms of Mintzberg and were not addressed in his analysis.

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