Medium 9781475815986

IJER Vol 3-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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ROSALIE GIACCHINO-BAKER

Associate Professor

Dept. of Secondary and Vocational Education

California State University San Bernardino

5500 University Parkway

San Bernardino, CA 92407-2397

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Lan Xang, Land of a Million Elephants, is at yet another crossroads in its history. Two bridges lead out of the capital city of Vientiane across the Mekong River–one to the past and the other to the future. Education could provide the only link between the two.

The first bridge, leading to Don Chan Island, is visual proof of the endurance of traditional values over a colonial legacy. Its solid concrete supports have outlasted the presence of the French who built it as a public service project during the period when they controlled the country, from 1893 to 1949. The wooden planks of the bridge are in disrepair, as is most of the infrastructure of this country that has just recently begun to open its doors after the Pathet Lao take-over of the government in 1975. Gaping holes in the flooring are patched at irregular intervals by concerned individuals when passage becomes difficult or dangerous. The traffic on the bridge, however, doesn’t stop.

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Peter McLaren

Peter: Your work interests me a great deal because it is decidedly transdisciplinary and intersects with a number of pertinent themes and issues that continue to be of singular importance in the struggle for economic, social and cultural justice. Let me begin by asking you a general question, Lisa. What, in your opinion, are currently some of the most pressing concerns for Asian Pacific Americans?

Lisa: That’s a question that has many answers, and answers that have many different conditions. If you segment out the larger Asian Pacific American population by ethnic groups, you will get a very different answer than segmenting this population by socioeconomic class or by gender. For some of the most recent immigrants, like the Vietnamese, issues of economic opportunities, bilingual education, and adequate social services are important. For more established groups, like many Chinese Americans or Japanese Americans, encountering “glass ceilings” in career advancement is an issue. Asian Pacific Americans are such a diverse group. Generational issues are also important.

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