Medium 9781475816648

IJER Vol 20-N1

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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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A Comparison of Chinese and American Vocational Students’ Viewpoints on International Education

ePub

Yuping Wang

Carolyn Talbert-Johnson

ABSTRACT: The lack of intercultural competencies among secondary preservice and in-service students is one of the most significant issues facing education today. As schools, colleges, and university programs attempt to embrace the increasingly diverse student populations, mission statements have been revised and diversity initiatives designed to reflect support for a more inclusive philosophy for graduating interculturally competent students. There remains an unmet need, however, to expand American students’ international experiences while ensuring that all candidates participate in a quality experience that promotes awareness of cultures, languages, world issues, global dynamics, and human choices. This study compared Chinese and American vocational students’ viewpoints on their international experiences and their impact on the development of intercultural competencies.

With the increasing interaction among peoples of the worlds, skills in cross-cultural communication, intercultural competence, and the need for knowledge and understanding of people of other cultures have become critical to survival (Merryfield, 1994). It is not surprising that the study of international education has moved from a purely theoretical and conceptual approach to a more analytical approach, a sign that international education has not only gained importance as a field of study but also become an important part of many vocational schools and university curricula throughout the world (Van Hoof & Verbeeten, 2005). As more schools are demanding an international experience in their programs, it is evident that empirical research is needed to improve the quality and effectiveness of the programs offered.

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School District Leadership Stability: The Relationship Between the Stability of a Board of Education and the Superintendent

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Paul Williams

Anna Maria Tabernik

ABSTRACT: Board of education membership changes that are numerous or frequent appear to cause some level of disruption to the educational process in a school district. A board of education that is changing can be vulnerable to special interest groups. The purpose of this study is to determine the interrelationships among the following five variables and board of education membership stability: (1) changes in student scores on the Ohio tests of achievement, (2) changes in the district’s operational millage rates, (3) changes in the number of staff conflicts and anxiety, (4) changes in the percentage of enrolled minority students, and (5) changes in overall student enrollment.

Board of education membership changes that are numerous or frequent appear to cause some level of disruption to the educational process in a school district. A board of education that is changing, relatively new, or unsure of its membership can be vulnerable to special interest groups. This type of school board may not be able to provide leadership, direction, or goals for the school district. Members may pursue changes in policy to promote the values and aspirations of a small vocal minority.

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Exploring the Competitive Effects of Charter Schools

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Dick M. Carpenter II

Paul M. Medina

ABSTRACT: Central to the debate over school choice has been the question of how public schools respond to market-based competition. Many choice advocates suggest that competition can spur public schools to become more effective and efficient, but the evidence regarding the effect of competition from charters is comparably sparse and mixed. This article contributes to that literature by examining the relationship between competition, in the form of charter schools, and public school district effectiveness and technical efficiency. The investigation uses stochastic frontier analysis to analyze 6 years of statewide data in Colorado. Results indicate that charter competition appears to spur greater achievement in public schools but not greater efficiency.

Central to the debate over school choice has been the question of how public or government schools react to market-based competition. Many choice advocates suggest that competition can lead to educational reform by spurring public schools to become more effective (Friedman, 1962; Norquist, 1998). For almost 20 years, public schools in the United States have operated in an increasingly competitive market with the advent and growth of the charter school sector. However, the question of competitive effects from charter schools has received comparably light scholarly attention (Lubienski, 2006). Instead, most scholarship has tended to focus on the relative merits of different types of schools, issues of segregation or stratification, student achievement in charter schools, and the comparison of charters to noncharter public schools (Carnoy, Jacobsen, Mishel, & Rothstein, 2005; Eberts & Hollenbeck, 2001; Finnigan et al., 2004; Goldstein, 2005; Greene, Forster, & Winters, 2003; Gronberg & Jansen, 2001; Hoxby, 2004; KPMG Consulting, 2001; Miron & Horn, 2002; Miron & Nelson, 2000, 2002; Nelson, Rosenberg, & VanMeter, 2004; Roy & Mishel, 2005; Solmon, Park, & Garcia, 2001). When the potential benefits and costs of competition have been raised, such consideration has tended to be theoretical or of the case study orientation.

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Social Upheaval and School Reform

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Brian R. Beabout

Helga Stokes

Eleoussa Polyzoi

Alison Carr-Chellman

ABSTRACT: This analysis of postupheaval educational change examines the extent to which massive changes in a school system’s sociocultural environment lead to changes in the structure and practice of schooling. Framed broadly within systems theory and complexity theory, this examination of two cases of postupheaval educational change—post-1989 Czech Republic and post-Katrina New Orleans—reveals striking similarities. In each case, school systems witnessed immediate decentralization and increased outside influence. Also in each case, some groups were able to successfully leverage social upheaval into positive educational change. These groups appear to have been successful when they had a coherent vision of a new system already in place when upheaval struck or if they had particular aspects of the old system that they sought to rectify. A discussion of the theoretical implications for educational change in highly turbulent social contexts and recommendations for reformers in New Orleans conclude the article.

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