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IJER Vol 24-N2

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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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7 Articles

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Unintended Consequences: Ohio’s Required Retake of the Teacher Licensure Exam for Teachers in Low-Performing Schools

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Unintended Consequences: Ohio’s Required Retake of the Teacher Licensure Exam for Teachers in Low-Performing Schools

Michael W. Firmin

Ruth Lowrie Markham

Stephen S. Gruber

ABSTRACT: We address Ohio’s newly enacted House Bill 153, which requires teachers in low-performing schools to retake the teaching licensure exam. Although we believe that the state legislature was well intended in passing the law, we also believe that the law is dangerous—it should not be enacted in any further states, and it should be repealed in Ohio. We articulate the classical hallmarks of vocational disciplines that qualify to use the term “profession.” Furthermore, we advocate that Ohio’s requiring experienced licensed teachers to retake the certification test affronts education’s claim to possess status in belonging to a profession, thereby putting it in danger of being downgraded to the status of a “craft.”

Sometimes decisions made with the best of intentions result in unintended consequences. This often occurs in the realm of educational policies instituted on local, state, and federal levels. In the present article, we argue that Ohio’s newly implemented law, House Bill 153 (HB 153), is such a case. This law requires public school content area teachers to retake their state licensure qualifying exams if they teach in Ohio’s lowest-performing schools. This is the first state in the nation to implement such a relatively drastic step as an attempt to improve student learning.

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Special Education Teacher-Training Programs in the United States and Turkey: Educational Policies and Practices and Their Repercussions on the Supply and Demand for Special Education Teachers in Turkey

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Special Education Teacher-Training Programs in the United States and Turkey: Educational Policies and Practices and Their Repercussions on the Supply and Demand for Special Education Teachers in Turkey

Ricardo Lozano

Yasemin Yildiz

ABSTRACT: Educational institutions vary dramatically in their levels of development and implementation of teacher-training programs in special education. This comparative study observes the differences between teacher-training programs in this area between two universities in the United States and Turkey. The study presents legislations at the international, national, and local levels concerning special education. The study continues with an overview of teacher-training programs offered by these two institutions and highlights their characteristics regarding special education. The study provides policy recommendations regarding increasing the demand for special education teachers in Turkey.

Historical Background on Education for All Initiatives: From Global to Local

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Education Law in the Brazilian Legal System

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Education Law in the Brazilian Legal System

Nina Ranieri

ABSTRACT: The right to education in the Brazilian legal system is not an abstract provision. On the contrary, it consists of a set of objective and consequent determinations that may be applied to situations and circumstances that happen in social development, through jurisprudential and doctrinal integration. This article examines the specific legal nature of the right to education in Brazil and its effects.

No other public interest shall require such a special form from State than education.1

Education is a category of subjective and fundamental right, which has the purpose of ensuring interests and needs identified as being vital and therefore fundamental. It constitutes one of the social rights in the second generation of human rights, which are performed through the factual or regulatory action of the state. The contents of social rights include not only its guarantee and promotion—such as the right to organization and procedure and to nonreversal of legal positions already reached and others—but also the prohibition of excess and insufficient protection, expressing a postulate or protection, which increases, in the case of education, by its nature of subjective right.

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Investigating the Gaps Among Policy, Teacher Education, and Practice in Multigrade Education in Bhutan

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Investigating the Gaps Among Policy, Teacher Education, and Practice in Multigrade Education in Bhutan

Charles Kivunja

Ahmed Bawa Kuyini

ABSTRACT: Multigrade pedagogy has been used in Bhutan for more than two decades as a means of accelerating universal primary education. The study from which this article emerges used interviews, document analysis, and observations to investigate the gaps among policy, teacher education, and practice in multigrade education in Bhutan. These gaps exist because government intention to train teachers and deploy them in multigrade classrooms lags far behind policy initiatives. We found that, currently, many teachers are either untrained or trained only in monograde pedagogy and are poorly resourced. Although the Ministry of Education has a policy to use multigrade teaching to achieve universal primary education, our research found a gap between policy intentions and practice in implementing multigrade teaching at the classroom level.

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A Critique of Knowledge-Based Economies: A Case Study of Singapore Education Stakeholders

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A Critique of Knowledge-Based Economies: A Case Study of Singapore Education Stakeholders

Vicente Chua Reyes Jr.

S. Gopinathan

ABSTRACT: This article critically examines the sense-making processes of key stakeholders of Singapore’s education: a historically dominant city-state, highly-qualified teachers, and high-performing students. The article interrogates the Teaching Schools Learning Nation policy initiative deployed toward achieving a knowledge-based economy. The article uses micropolitics in exploring issues that stakeholders face in the midst of globalization. Findings from research at the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice at the National Institute of Education support key arguments. In exploring sense-making processes, the article uncovers paradoxical interpretational responses of stakeholders implementing the Teaching Schools Learning Nation policy, providing a critique of the city-state’s knowledge-based economy ambitions.

The question we are facing now is, to what extent is the educational endeavor affected by processes of globalization that are threatening the autonomy of national educational systems and the sovereignty of the nation-state as the ultimate ruler in democratic societies? At the same time, how is globalization changing the fundamental conditions of an educational system premised on fitting into a community, a community characterized by proximity and familiarity?

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Toward Collective Learning in Schools: Exploring U.S. and Israeli Teachers’ Perceptions of Collective Learning From Success

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Toward Collective Learning in Schools: Exploring U.S. and Israeli Teachers’ Perceptions of Collective Learning From Success

Chen Schechter

ABSTRACT: Whereas collective learning has mostly been centered on detecting and solving problems and overcoming failures, this study explores U.S. and Israeli teachers’ perceptions of the determinants of collective learning from faculty members’ successful practices. Data were collected via face-to-face interviews with 35 U.S. and 61 Israeli elementary, middle, and high school teachers. Data analysis revealed the following determinants of collective learning from successes: the management role, differing definitions of success, disciplinary division, and the learning culture. Implications for generating collective learning in schools, as well as future possible research avenues, are discussed.

It’s done informally. I think we talk about what’s gone well or what success we have had in the past. But I don’t think it is formalized. I don’t think it is something that’s used to set further directions.

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High Stakes, Student Achievement, and Elementary Principals’ Job Satisfaction: An Empirical Study of the Reform State of California

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High Stakes, Student Achievement, and Elementary Principals’ Job Satisfaction: An Empirical Study of the Reform State of California

Maiyoua Vang

ABSTRACT: Recognizing the inherent tension of leading for change amid the current reform environment, this study focused squarely on the relationship between public elementary school principals’ perceptions of job satisfaction and student achievement data from high-stakes, test-based accountability measures. To quantify this relationship, the present study regressed principals’ satisfaction ratings on building-level achievement, principal characteristics, and organizational characteristics. Results from the regression procedure indicated that the variables addressed failed to control for principals’ self-ratings of job satisfaction. Research implications are provided in light of these findings.

Principals’ leadership practice has been identified as being critical to school success (Fullan, 2001, 2003; Marzano, Waters, & McNulty, 2005; Reeves, 2000; Sergiovanni, 2006). As never before, this leadership position is increasingly mediated by test score–driven policy initiatives formulated within the context of increasing school accountability. Although prior state reform initiatives inspired by federal proposals were already well under way (Chatterji, 2002; Cohen, 1995; Linn, 1998), President George W. Bush’s amendment and reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB),1 effectively codified the spirit of test-based accountability in evaluating schools (Linn, 2006).

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