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Chapter 9: Policy for Quality and Equality: Toward Genuine School Reform

Key Terms and Concepts:

Five Key Elements of a well-functioning teaching and learning system: o Meaningful learning goals achieved by well grounded common expectations of learning, developed by professional associations and curriculum experts, that are used to inform high-quality standards, curriculum, and assessments of student learning in each state. o Intelligent, reciprocal accountability systems focused on guaranteeing students competent teaching and adequate learning opportunities. o Equitable and adequate resources that provide a level playing field for all students and an adequate opportunity to achieve the learning standards. o Strong professional standards and supports for all educators, including fully subsidized, high-quality preparation, mentoring, and professional development throughout the career, with rewards and supports for teachers and principals who devote their careers to serving high-need students. o Schools organized for student and teacher learning , designed to allow teams of professionals to create a coherent curriculum Standards of Practice: Professional accountability aims to ensure educators competence through rigorous preparation, certification, selection, and evaluation of practitioners, as well as continuous professional learning and peer review of practice. Standards of Schools: Schools need to offer a coherent curriculum focused on higher-order thinking and performance across subject areas and grades, time for teachers to work intensively with students to accomplish challenging goals, opportunities for teachers to plan with and learn from one another, and regular occasions to evaluate the outcomes of their practice. Standards for the System: It is critical that state and federal efforts to recognize success and remedy failure be based on thoughtful educationally sound means for identifying schools that are succeeding or failing. They should ensure that necessary resources, ranging from qualified teachers to curriculum materials, are put in place where schools are failing. Accountability: The administration of tests and the attachment of sanctions to low test scores. o If education is actually to improve and the system is to be accountable to students, accountability should be focused on ensuring the competence of teachers and leaders, the quality of instruction, and the adequacy of resources. Opportunity to Learn Standards: The opportunity to learn the curriculum assessed in state standards, access to resources needed for success in the curriculum, such as teachers who are well qualified to teach the curriculum, appropriate curriculum materials, technology, and supportive services, and access to other resources needed to succeed in school and life.

Summary: This chapter provides insight to the steps the United States need to take in order to reach the level that other high achieving schools are at. There are five key elements to assist in

achieving this, meaningful learning goals, intelligent, reciprocal accountability systems, equitable and adequate resources, strong professional standards and supports for all educators, and schools organized for students and teacher learning. There are several changes that needed to be done. If the United States continues to work on revamping the No Child Left Behind, providing adequate resources, improving the quality of teachers, and offering a coherent curriculum that focuses on higher order thinking, then the United States may successfully reach the intended goals of President W. Bush and Clinton.

Quotes: We believe in the importance of preparing students to live and succeed in global economy. We dont think that the mastery of basic skills is sufficient for this goal. What we need is an education system that teaches deep knowledge, that values creativity and originality, and that values thinking skills. This, unfortunately, is not the path on which we are now embarked (Antonio Cortese and Diane Ravitch, 282).

The federal government should provide support to enable states to develop systems, incorporating focused standards developed by professional subject-matter experts and associations, which provide a foundation for thoughtful curriculum guidance and useful assessments (298).

Where systems are focused on providing information and supporting improvement rather than allocating sanctions, governments can set higher standards and work with schools to achieve them, rather than having to focus tests at a low level that pulls the system backward and deflects attention to managing the sanctions, rather than propelling schools forward (293).

Agree/Disagree/Missing: We think it is very important to have meaningful goals set towards standards, curriculum, and assessments. The United States would benefit greatly from higher order thinking tests, better quality teachers, and more adequately funded resources. The United States understands that in order to become a higher achieving country these goals must be met, however, the United States continues to experience a decline in the education system. We believe that the five key elements are good steps we can take in reaching this goal.

Article: How Schools Change Reforms: Redefining Reform Success and Failure, CUBAN 1998
The Gary Plan In 1906, Superintendent William Wirt introduced an educational innovation called The Platoon School that hundreds of school districts adopted in the next decade. The Platoon School foreshadowed the modern elementary school. Productive education for both white-collar and blue-collar employees

Gary remodeled elementary school held children from kindergarten through the twelfth grade Administrators divided students into two platoons (groups) that would alternate o Example: One platoon would be in classroom or auditorium while the other platoon would be in basement where there would be woodworking, printing, and other shops or upstairs in music, art, and play rooms; or outside on the playground Worked with several teachers with blend of academic, practical, recreational, and aesthetic experiences throughout the school day Parents (typically non-English speaking immigrants) were encouraged to attend classes at night to learn to read and write English, hear lectures and learn industrial skills. (Involved whole community of Gary in the school) Work-study-play-community school arrangement: a revolutionary shift in school organization and curriculum 1918 educational experts funded a study of the Gary schools. It praised some aspects of the platoon plan but raised serious questions about quality of academic word and poor student performance on achievement tests. As a consequence, national interest in the Gary Plan decreased and the innovation virtually disappeared. Cuban begs the question as to whether the Platoon School was a success because it helped shape the modern day elementary school or asked if it was a failure because few present-day school reformers wouldnt recognize the reform due to its disappearance after poor review.

Key Terms and Concepts: Effective Schools: A two-decade old reform initially aimed at big-city elementary schools, that was eventually transformed into a national crusade. A federal paper, funded by the U.S. Office of Education and written by James Coleman, a prominent education researcher, was written to discuss the effectiveness of American education. Effective Schools Research emerged in response to this controversial paper. Effectiveness Standard: Primary standard used by most policy makers, media editors, administrators, and researchers, where they ask whether a programs intended goals were achieved. Have they done what they said they were going to do and can they prove it? o Example: For the last quarter-century the effectiveness standard has been used for schools to examine what students have learned in school and do after graduation by using proxy measures for both such as student test scores, rates of college attendance, and other numerical indicators Popularity Standard: The second standard that public officials use in evaluating success. The spread of innovation, and its hold on the imagination of voters and professional educators, becomes an important criterion since fashionableness easily translates into political support for top policymakers endorsing the reform. Fidelity Standard: How well the innovations mirrored what reformers intended. Aims at assessing the fit between the initial design, the formal policy, the subsequent program it spawns, and its implementation. Places great importance on implementers. o Example: If federal government funds a bilingual program because its proven to be effective elsewhere, state and local implementers must follow original design of program as they put it into practice or else the desired outcome will not be achieved.

Standard of Adaptiveness: Practitioner derived standard. Taking an innovation and not implementing it as precisely as reformers intended. o Example: Teachers modifying to add inventiveness, instead altering standards of determining effectiveness Longevity Criterion: Ask whether the reforms have endured. A program that survives is a signal of achievement. This standard of durability helps to determine success or failure. Quotes: Because schools change reforms as much as reforms change schools, judging an innovations success or failure is no easy task.

How can a school reform be judged successful by one group and tossed out as a miserable defeat by another?

What emerged as crucial in evaluating school reforms is what criteria are being used to make judgments, whose criteria they are, and how schools change reforms as they are implemented. the journey of school reform is a story of constant adaptation that ultimately undermines the common criteria generally used to judge success and failure. Summary: Cuban used three common criteria used by policymakers (effectiveness, popularity, and fidelity) and two less common ones used by practitioners (adaptability and longevity) and applied them to the two-decade-old Effective Schools school reform to evaluate effectiveness. Cuban uses the historical example of The Gary Plan (Platoon Schools) to depict the ambiguity of evaluating the success of school reforms. If elite reformers can come to know how schools have changed reforms in the past, they can then come to understand the factors that shape the success and failures of American schools today. They will not only get smarter in designing, implementing, and evaluating programs but will become more accountable for what happens in schools. Policy elites must design a hybrid that combines old and new ideas and encourages adaptations and improvements in reform. They must move away from the usual thumbs-up or thumbs-down verdict on reform and instead point to improvements.

Agree/Disagree/Missing: We agree with Cubans assessment of evaluating reforms because today the political stakes for students, parents, and practitioners are high as the president of the US, government officials, and media are constantly seeking to reform the nations schools. Unfair evaluations and the rejection of imperfect reforms has proven to be a waste of potentially successful ideas. Before rejecting imperfect reforms, evaluators should instead propose improvements and help to guide the reform in a successful manner.

Media Watch

Activity One: Solve part one and part two for the following problem with your group and decide which method of testing is more effective:

Carl bikes home from school at 4 oclock. It takes about a quarter of an hour. In the evening hes going to to school because the class is having a party. The party starts at 6 oclock. Before the class party starts, Carl has to eat dinner. When he comes home, his grandmother, who is also his neighbor, calls. She wants him to bring in her mail before he bikes over to the class party. She also wants him to take her dog for a walk, then to come in and have a chat.

Part One: Answer the following Sweden external assessment question; What does Carl have time to do before the party begins? Write and describe below how you have reasoned.

. a. b. c. . a. b. c. . a. b. c.

Part Two: Answer the multiple choice questions below. 1. What mode of transportation did Carl use to get to and from school? a. a car b. roller blades c. a bike d. the bus 2. How much time does Carl have between the time he gets home from school and the time the party starts? one hour two hours three hours four hours 3. Choose the task that Carls grandmother did not ask him to complete. brush her dog take her dog for a walk bring in her mail have a chat 4. How long does it take Carl to get from his school to his house? 15 minutes 20 minutes 30 minutes 40 minutes

Activity Two:

Get into 5 groups of 6 or 7. Come up with ideas of how the United States can incorporate your assigned key element as described from Darling Hammond on page 279-281. Then each group with present their ideas to the class.