EDF 2005
Chapter 3
Challenges of School Reform
Change: Educators’ Constant
Is change comfortable?
Education changed by social and political
Rate of change is fast
Cultural changes (ethnicities, languages)
Backgrounds & abilities
Technological changes
Discussion: Affluent vs. non-affluent homes – Public school
Education as a political platform
Teachers MUST stay informed…
Systemic Reform
A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational
Reform (National Commission on Excellence in
Education, 1983)
Education in past was excellent
Education now is poor – settling for mediocrity
Data does not support this document
Debates on educational improvement – Who decides?
Is accountability necessary?
What about standardization? – Is there such a thing?
What do low scores indicate?
Systemic Reform
Definition: Responding proactively to
multiple issues
Outcome goals
School choice
Redesigning teacher responsibility and
Implementing federal Comprehensive School
Reform Demonstration programs
Systemic Reform
Outcome Goals
Emphasize results or effects of instruction
Former emphasis on Input Goals
Isn’t it more realistic to focus more on what is
coming out of schools rather than what is being put
into them?
Input is important, but outcome determines
School Choice
Allowing parents to decide what school is
best for their children rather than going to
the one in their attendance zone
Proponents conclude:
Product (students’ education) will be made
better through competition for clients (learners)
Schools can focus on one area rather than
Diversity can spread schools too thin with effective
Schools cannot possibly respond to all needs of all
School Choice
Learners from low-income families can avoid
“mediocre” schools
Families will have increased interest because
they are actively involved
Competition leads to improved quality
Students will be at an advantage because the
school they are in has been chosen to fit their
School Choice
Voucher Plans
Monies allocated for students moves with that
Debates arise over public vs. private
schooling using the voucher system
School Choice
Voucher Plans
Provide a way for parents and students to find a
balance between public and private benefits
People can make decisions rather than decisions
being made for them
For competition to thrive, alternatives should
include public and private schools
People in lower socio-economic environments will
have same opportunities as others
School Choice
Voucher Plans
Parents will focus more on issues rather than quality of
Culture of school
Beliefs about teachers and staff
Test scores
Alternative schools will be created to meet needs of lowincome families
When vouchers are used, religious schools are the dominant
Vouchers (public tax monies) are used to pay for private
Eventually, public schools will have only “leftovers”
School Choice
Charter Schools
Semiautonomous public schools
Free from excessive regulation
Same arguments as voucher plans
More cost-effective due to control of money
Money is taken away from school system
Supporters exaggerate problems with the school systems
Research has shown less satisfaction with
charter schools???
School Choice
Open-Enrollment Plans
Similar to voucher plans without tax dollars
being given directly to parents
Administration has final say to maintain
control over racial balance, etc.
Magnet Schools
Focus on a particular theme (science, arts)
Entry requirements
Redesigned TeacherCompensation Schemes
Knowledge and Skills-Based Pay
Salaries are beginning to increase as a result
of need and accountability
Teacher performance can lead to salary
Merit Pay
Should academic performance of students
determine salary increases of teachers?
Comprehensive School Reform
Demonstration Programs
Read on your own (P. 71-72)
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Public Law 107-110 (2002)
Basic principle is ACCOUNTABILITY
Outlines what all students should learn at each
grade level based on state standards
Schools required to meet AYP standards
 Progress in all subgroups
Provides data – Data leads to accountability –
Accountability leads to parent options
Highly qualified teachers
AYP Reports: http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org/default.asp
School-Business Partnerships
Others taking interest in schools
Stakeholders with input
Colleges and universities
Developers? – Reciprocated?
Tech-Prep Programs – Vocational Ed.
School-to-Work Opportunities Act
Full-Service Schools
Bringing all support services to one location
The one stop shop approach – “Wal-Mart
philosophy of service” (Mabry, 2006)
Day-to-day education and instruction
After-school care
Medical and dental services
Adult education for parents
Family and social services support
Legal services
Substance abuse treatment
Counseling services
Emergency treatment
(Wagner, 2000)