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Medium 9781475815870

Legal

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

Todd A. DeMitcbell

Department of Education

College of Liberal Arts

Morrill Hall

University of New Hampshire

Durham, NH 03824–3595

For two days in October of 1989, 313,000 persons in Chicago took part in a major school reform effort. Those individuals voted to elect 5,420 members of Local School Councils in 542 public schools (Hess, 1991). This election was the cornerstone of the Chicago School Reform Act (P. A. 85-1418), which was intended to improve the education of the city’s youth. However, on November 30th of 1990, the Supreme Court of Illinois declared this election process unconstitutional.

The reform legislation that resulted in the Chicago School Reform Act was based on the premise that strengthening the democratic control process would result in improved schools. The Act called for a fundamental restructuring of the governance process. The intent was that each local public school in Chicago elect a ten person Local School Council (LSC). Increased authority for school decisions would be granted to this body with the Board of Education of the entire district retaining many of its general powers and responsibilities. This new school council would be responsible for electing a principal for a four-year term, adopting a budget, and devising a school improvement plan. Therefore, the governance pattern that characterized most American schools was restructured with substantial amounts of power being transferred to the new LSC.

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Medium 9781475815870

Diversity: A “Correct” Action for Universities

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

JOHN N. MANGIERI

Provost and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs

University of New Orleans, LA 70148

Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines diversity as “the condition of being different” [1]. What a remarkably clear and innocuous definition for such a complex and controversial concept!

That this disparity exists is indeed indicative of the debate about diversity on our nation’s campuses. Green points out instances where “ ‘diversity’ connotates passive coexistence” of multiple ethnic and racial groups within a university [2]. Critics contend that diversity is counterproductive to academic quality and academic freedom. Reginald Wilson, an advocate, states, “The inclusion of diverse voices in the educational dialogue is vital to the search for truth: that is its only purpose” [3]. Woodward, in a review of D’Souza’s book, Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus, offers a dramatically different view-point of diversity than Wilson. He contends that advocates of diversity have “proved themselves willing to silence speakers and professors, abuse standards of scholarship, curriculum, and admissions, and impose conformity or silent submission on campuses” [4].

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Medium 9781475815870

Assault on the Bureaucracy: Restructuring the Kentucky Department of Education

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

BETTY E. STEFFY

Department of Educational Administration and Supervision

College of Education

University of Kentucky

111 Dickey Hall

Lexington, KY 40506-0017

Most politicians and the general public hold the view that educational bureaucracies are part of the problem in reforming or improving public education (Elmore, 1991; Lewis, 1989). The scorn heaped upon state education agencies is legion in the field. Such agencies have historically struggled to provide leadership and technical assistance to local education agencies and to enforce state law and regulations (Goens & Clover, 1991). They have been handicapped by low salaries, the lack of professionalism within the ranks (partly created by political appointments without regard to professional competence or experience), and the lack of adequate funding (Murphy, 1982). The most dramatic “solution” to the “bureaucracy problem” occurred in Kentucky where the state education agency was summarily abolished when Governor Wallace Wilkinson signed into law the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA).

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Medium 9781475815870

Instruction

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

John M. Jenkins

Director, P. K. Yonge Lab School

College of Education

University of Florida

1080, S.W. 11 St.

Gainesville, FL 32611

As the rhetoric increases toward the need for restructuring our schools, let us not lose sight of the fact that schools exist for the education of students. Any recommendation to restructure must, by its nature, begin and end with the learner. This is, after all, the raison d’etre for schools as institutions.

The notion of having a teacher in the school who knows each student educationally as a total human being is not new. It was part of Helen Parkhurst’s Dalton Plan in 1921, and subsequently a key ingredient of both secondary school reform in the Eight Year Study in the 1930s and the National Association of Secondary School Principal’s Model Schools Project in the 1970s. This teacher was known as a teacher adviser who was assigned the responsibility of monitoring a student’s progress through school.

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Medium 9781475815870

College

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

Richard Manatt

Professor of Educational Administration

College of Education

Iowa State University

Ames, IA 50010

Launching a new column in a new journal requires what a minister calls a few “centering” or framing ideas. Some seasoned professors might consider reforming education colleges an oxymoron. Perhaps education colleges can’t be reformed. They seem to be so resistant to change. Perhaps we’ve never really been serious about reform. We always seem so tentative, so cautious. An old Russian proverb reads: “You can’t cross a chasm in two leaps!” Perhaps we need to make that one big jump? In this issue we’ll examine vision, the problems that call for reform, and some of the proposed reform initiatives for the 1990s. In later columns I’ll examine some of the more promising reform initiatives in depth.

Deans, provosts, chancellors, and university presidents are supposed to have “vision.” Like George Bush, many find the “vision thing” elusive. Vision is not a secret power nor is it the exclusive province of politicians. Vision means having a clear idea of what you want the future to be for your business, college, university, or state and having a coherent notion of how to bring it about. The vision of a dean or a university president is most often mentioned in their stump speech as they seek a new position, or as they follow their entry plan as they go through their inaugural year in a new position. During that time supporters praise “grand strategy” while critics lament “harsh tactics.”

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Medium 9781475815870

Will They Sue? Will They Win? The Legal Audit of Curriculum

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

PERRY A. ZIRKEL

College of Education

Lehigh University

111 Research Drive

Mountaintop Campus

Bethlehem, PA 18015-4793

Because of an upsurge in litigation in our society and in the schools, there has been an increasing emphasis placed on “preventive law” (Zirkel, 1985).

The idea of “preventive law” is that the legal profession and its clients should look to consultation and planning rather than on litigation for a solution to many legal issues. By using “preventive law” the number of potential cases is reduced (Brown, 1950).

The Legal Audit, a term borrowed from the accounting profession, has rather recently been advocated for corporate law. Such a process would provide a systematic review of the legal affairs of the corporation against a set of legal standards. The same process is applicable to school districts.

Merle McClung, then of The Education Commission of the States (ECS) advocated a four-step model to assess potential educational innovations on a 1 to 5 scale of legal vulnerability (McClung, 1981). This preliminary idea has been fully developed into a legal audit of curriculum in the schools. The purpose behind the legal audit of curriculum is to provide school administrators with a procedure to systematically review local policies and practices before they become involved in litigation by showing them the potential likelihood a suit would be successful against them.

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Medium 9781475815870

National Standards for School Administrators

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

SCOTT D. THOMSON

Executive Secretary

National Policy Board for Educational Administration

4400 University Drive

Fairfax, VA 22030-4444

The National Policy Board for Educational Administration, an umbrella organization of ten national groups, was founded to improve the preparation and certification of educational leaders. Specific goals include: (1) developing and disseminating new preparation and professional development programs, (2) establishing a national certifying board for professional candidates, and (3) increasing the recruitment and placement of women and minorities in positions of school leadership.

Governance for the National Policy Board is provided by a 20 person board of directors, the presidents and executive directors of the ten sponsoring associations, all of whom represent academicians or practitioners in the field of educational leadership1.

A chorus of critics have documented the deficiencies typical to programs for preparing school leaders: content driven, theory dominated, skill deficient, unrelated to problems of practice, and incorporating obsolescent delivery systems. Despite a broad displeasure with programs, especially among superintendents and principals, only a few universities have launched serious design changes. Resistance to program revision remains strong.

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Medium 9781475815870

The Last of the Breed in Kentucky: An Interview with John Brock

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

BETTY E. STEFFY

Department of Educational Administration and Supervision

College of Education

University of Kentucky

111 Dickey Hall

Lexington, KY 40506-0017

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. John Brock was elected to serve as State Superintendent of Public Instruction in Kentucky in 1987 for a four-year term. His official duties were drastically altered as a result of the passage of KERA (Kentucky Educational Reform Act). While there will still be the constitutional office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction, nearly all of the duties have been shifted to an appointed Commissioner of Education, Dr. Tom Boysen, formerly San Diego County Schools Superintendent in California. As such, Dr. Brock is the last State Superintendent to hold the full duties embodied in that constitutional office in the Bluegrass State. John Brock was interviewed by IJER co-editor Betty E. Steffy in Frankfort, Kentucky.

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Medium 9781475815870

Can the Frog Become a Prince? Context and Change in the 1990s

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

ROBERT L. LARSON

College of Education

University of Vermont

Dept. of Organization Studies

Waterman Building

Burlington, VT 05405-0160

In this article we will examine the current societal and educational context for change in public schools, noting the real conditions that affect most schools today–conditions that create formidable roadblocks to reforming or restructuring the organization. We will look at the “two culture” phenomenon whereby politicians and critics of schools operate at one level and practitioners at another level; we will look at some ramifications of that phenomenon–including the fact that many policymakers and many critics do not appear interested in the problems that schools face nor in learning the solutions from research and practice.

We will also take a brief tour of the change literature, illustrating that we now know a lot about the processes, that that knowledge is in a form that is available and instructive to practitioners, and that most schools are capable of effecting considerable innovations that can lead to real improvement. However, the literature also illustrates that there is no one approach that is a sure approach in changing any school. Each setting is unique and often constrained considerably by local conditions within and without the organization. Recent findings from research and practice show that some new approaches to school improvement appear to be more effective than former ones, but that, in all likelihood, they will facilitate evolutionary rather than transformational change in schools.

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Medium 9781475815870

The Knowledge Base for Educational Productivity

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

HERBERT J. WALBERG

University of Illinois at Chicago

Department of Education

522 North Euclid Avenue

Oak Park, IL 60302

For educational reform to work, it should be guided by an encompassing view of research and practice. Although single studies may be useful in evaluating effective practices, they may be too narrowly focused on one or two practices or confined to peculiar conditions and contexts. Educators need a broad knowledge base from surveys and experiments conducted in the U.S. and other countries. To contribute to this base, this article summarizes several thousand small-scale psychological experiments on classroom learning and analyses of large-scale national surveys of about 250,000 students in elementary and secondary schools in the U. S. and other countries.

A chief concern in education is to better serve “atrisk” students who score relatively poorly on achievement tests in the standard schools subjects. Poor achievement, indeed, was one of the precipitating factors in the bold restructuring of the Chicago Public Schools. It is therefore worthwhile considering the reasons why such objective tests are indicators of risk and its likely consequences.

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Medium 9781475815870

Potomac Panorama

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

William E. Henry 1

Executive Director

Montgomery County Public Schools

19737 Greenside Terrace

Montgomery Village, MD 20879–1902

For years we’ve had two recurring “C” words in our vocabulary. Only one of them, however, warranted a capital “C” for Choice, as in abortion–anti or pro. A woman either does, or does not, have a Choice to terminate a pregnancy within court-defmed parameters.

The other “c,” while rattling around in some educational journals for years, and in countless think-tank papers churned out for education reformers, governors, legislative bodies, and for just pure intellectual stimulation, was never accorded the status of full-fledged capitalization. It rarely showed up in mainstream publications or rhetoric, generally was reserved for debates and mostly esoteric discussions, and then was put back on the shelf until the next forum was held.

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Medium 9781475815887

Which America 2000 Will Be Taught in Your Class, Teacher?

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

LESLEY H. BROWDER, JR.

College of Education

HQstra University

Hempstead, NY 11550

In April of 1991, President George Bush and Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander unveiled the Republican administration’s new education plan, America 2000: An Education Strategy–a strategy designed to “jump-start” our nation’s schools toward “educational excellence.” Initially, reports Denis Doyle (1991), there was an enthusiastic reception toward the plan nationwide, especially “beyond the beltway of Washington, D.C.,” where “education policy analysts in exile” since Democrat Jimmy Carter’s administration “heaped (disdain) on it”–a plan, Doyle describes, as “vigorous, optimistic and upbeat” using the federal role to mobilize public opinion and to focus national energy.

But the exiled Educational Establishment, particularly the National Education Association with a history of staking its political bets on liberal Democratic presidential candidates and groups that support what Gilbert Sewall (1991) calls “older education agendas” of “interests . . . jealously guarded” as well as the eternal cry for “more money for everyone, thank you,” hastily mounted a campaign to undermine the proposed plan. An example of this opposition appears in Voices from the Field (1991), a publication of thirty collected “expert” responses to America 2000. The “experts” produce two token supportive “voices” and twenty-eight, say, “other voices,” ranging in tone from skeptical to outright hostility (like Gary Orfield’s comment that “America 2000 is not a plan for American education, but a plan for re-electing the President”).

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Medium 9781475815887

College

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

Richard P. Manatt

How do you improve, reform, or restructure a public college of education from outside? How do you reduce unnecessary duplication, downsize or, to use the jargon of business, right size a state-wide system of university-based colleges of education? The recent attempt in Iowa to “carve up” the higher education pie using the services of a big eight auditing firm provides an informative, and in some ways, surprising set of answers.

Iowa is a relatively small state in terms of people (2,925,665, according to the census of 1980 when this story begins). Throughout the decade of the 1980s, the state lost population, in part because of a devastating farm depression and in part because the west and southwest have better conditons in terms of both climate and job opportunities. The state has lots of elbow room; it ranks 25th among the states in size with 56,290 square miles. Iowa has mostly white people; it is 96.6 percent white according to the 1990 census.

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Medium 9781475815887

Legal

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

Todd A. DeMitchell

Education Week (9/25/91) reported that at least one dozen principals ousted by the newly elected Local School Councils in Chicago have filed complaints with the federal Equal Opportunity Commission regarding their dismissal. The principals allege that the Local School Councils made up of parents, community members, and teachers have violated their rights guaranteed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.1 The principals believe that they were discriminated against when they lost their positions. The Local School Council (LSC) is an elected body with the power to hire a principal. The Chicago Board of Education, although, still retains many of its general powers. Given this split in authority-the LSC hires and adopts a budget, but the Board has the power to tax, issue bonds, and to enter into contracts–whom do the principals sue? Do they sue the LSC who made the employment decision and allegedly violated the principals’ rights? Do they sue the Board who was not a party to the employment decision but controls the purse strings? If the principals sue the LSC and win, who pays? If the Board is sued and they lose, should the Board have the right to monitor the decisions of the LSC if those decisions carry a potential financial burden to the Board of Education? These thorny but important questions will occupy our attention as we explore the legal challenges of restructuring; the often forgotten part of the dialogue regarding our reform efforts.

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Medium 9781475815887

Corporate America’s Prescription for Public Education – An Interview with Robert Wehling of Procter and Gamble

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub

FENWICK W. ENGLISH

Professor

Educational Administration

College of Education

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY 40506

English: How did you end up in education and what is your interest in it?

Wehling: I got interested in education by having six children, which is what gets many of us involved in education, sooner or later. My six girls went to school in Wyoming, Ohio. As a parent, I tried to be supportive. That got me involved in going to the school. I tried to spend at least one day a year with each kid going to their classes. That got me involved in school activities. I chaired a few levy and bond issue campaigns. Once you get involved, one thing leads to another and you never get out.

I then became a member of a citizens advisory committee that worked with the school board on a number of issues. That led to running for the board of education. I spent eight years on the Wyoming Board of Education including a couple of years as President. During that time I also spent two years on the Great Oaks Vocational Board, and a couple of years on the Southwest Ohio Regional School Boards Association Executive Committee.

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