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Policy >> Reform

Articles
by Celia Anderson, Erika Bullock, Beverly Cross & Angiline Powell — 2017
In this analytic essay, the authors consider the challenges to implementing culturally relevant pedagogy in a hyper-reform urban setting. The authors use Memphis as a particular context to outline these challenges and offer a framework describing the conceptual shifts that would support culturally relevant pedagogy in this context and others like it.

by Thomas Smith, Marisa Cannata, Lora Cohen-Vogel & Stacey Rutledge — 2016
This introduction frames this yearbook on high school reform, implementation, and scale, and outlines why it is important to understand these perspectives. The four main sections of the issue are introduced and situated within the existing research literature.

by Leslie Siskin — 2016
This paper explores a distinctive aspect of International Baccalaureate’s effort to scale up in Title I schools. The effort reflects what we call mutual adaptation in action.

by Sam Stringfield, David Reynolds & Eugene Schaffer — 2016
Data from a 15-year, mixed-methods study of all 11 secondary schools in one British local authority demonstrate the value of adopting High Reliability Organization principles.

by Donald Peurach, Sarah Lenhoff & Joshua Glazer — 2016
This analysis examines developmental evaluation as an approach to analyzing school improvement networks as “learning systems” able to produce, use, and refine practical knowledge in large numbers of schools.

by David Meens & Kenneth Howe — 2015
This article examines the NCLB Act and its underlying reform agenda of increased “accountability” and “choice” in light of its consequences for education policymaking and democratic education.

by Tina Trujillo & Michelle Renée — 2015
This article evaluates the tensions with democratic education inherent in the federal School Improvement Grant program’s market-based school reforms. The paper culminates in a set of recommendations that are intended to re-center the purposes of public education for low-income students, students of color, and local communities in developing more equitable, democratic school turnarounds.

by Harvey Kantor — 2015

by Kathleen Nolan — 2015
This article develops the concept and provides an illustrative portrait of teachers’ care-based resistance practices in the context of neoliberal school reform. Data presented come from a critical ethnographic study of policy enactment in an urban high school experiencing high levels of school reform.

by Gretchen Brion-Meisels — 2015
Drawing on data from two qualitative studies, this chapter argues that both school organizations and individual students will benefit from centering youth voices in student support systems. To do this, the author shares data from adolescents’ narratives that demonstrate how young people’s voices might (re)shape the central practices of school-based support processes.

by Tom Dolan, Brian Christens & Cynthia Lin — 2015
Community organizing efforts employ different types of research as they seek to address community issues. This chapter details the evolving use of research in a youth organizing effort in San Bernardino, CA that has addressed issues in schools, the educational system, and the broader community. We examine the youth organizers’ use of organizing research and youth participatory action research (YPAR) and the contributions of each form of research to the organizing effort.

by Jerusha Conner & Sonia Rosen — 2015
This chapter explores how youth organizers have injected themselves into education policy conversations in Philadelphia, asserting their agency and using their voices to shape how policymakers view them as well as the problems that confront them.

by David Tandberg, Nicholas Hillman & Mohamed Barakat — 2014
Performance-based funding programs have become a popular state policy strategy for increasing college completions, among other things. This study asks, To what extent does the introduction of performance funding programs impact two-year degree completion among participating states? Using a difference-in-differences technique, we find that the program had no effect on average and mixed results for the individual states. We conclude that the policy is not a “silver bullet” for improving community college completions.

by Wayne Au & Joseph Ferrare — 2014
Using social network analysis, critical policy studies, and literacy theory, this study analyzes the network of policy actors involved in the campaign to pass a charter school initiative in the state of Washington. This study finds that through a combination individual donations and the support to key local organizations provided by their affiliated philanthropic organizations, a small group of wealthy individuals leveraged a disproportionate amount of influence over the direction and outcome of the charter school initiative in the state of Washington, particularly relative to the average Washington voter.

by David Berliner — 2013
This paper points out that the most popular current school reforms offered have failed to accomplish their goal because they fail to understand the fundamental problem of American schools, namely, income inequality and the poverty that accompanies such inequality. Prescriptions to fix our schools cannot work if the diagnosis about what is wrong with them is in error.

by Jeffrey Henig — 2013
This article, part of a special issue of TCR, considers the political dimensions of validity questions as raised by a keynote address and panel discussion originally held at Teachers College in March 2012.

by Laura Desimone — 2013
This study addresses the question: How do educators describe their responses to standards-based reform? We draw on interview data from 60 teachers in 32 schools, in 10 districts in 5 states. Our analysis addresses the following key debates that surround standards and accountability policy: 1) the extent to which previously “left behind” students are receiving better instruction, 2) whether teachers and principals feel accountable to student achievement in a way that fosters positive behavior change, 3) how teachers describe “teaching to the test,” and when and if this is good or bad for teachers and students, and 4) the extent to which educators describe standards-based reforms as fostering desirable changes in pedagogy and/or the content of instruction.

by Fred Janssen, Hanna Westbroek, Walter Doyle & Jan van Driel — 2013
Many attempts to reform teaching fail to be enacted in most classrooms. The purpose of this paper is to present a bridging methodology for connecting pedagogical innovations to the practical demands of teaching.

by Jal Mehta — 2013
This article considers three movements across the 20th century that sought to reform schools through standards, tests, and accountability, identifies similarities in the ways in which higher status epistemic communities have been repeatedly able to purvey technocratic logics that overwhelm a weakly professionalized educational field, and suggests that educators need to organize themselves into a stronger profession if they want to improve outcomes and free themselves from the whims of external actors.

by Martin Scanlan & Peter Miller — 2013
This study examines the genesis of a neighborhood educational opportunity zone: a geographically defined area where a disproportionately large population of traditionally marginalized children and families are clustered and resources are intensely focused to respond to the concomitant needs. Guided by sociocultural learning theory, we examine how communities of practice influence the learning among the adults in a neighborhood educational opportunity zone.

by Joshua Cowen & Jacob Fowles — 2013
This article presents a case study of teacher bargaining contracts over a 30-year historical period. Examining several areas of current interest, including salary schedules, transfer and assignment policies, teacher evaluation, dismissal, and working conditions, the analysis reveals very little change in more than three decades.

by Joshua Klugman — 2013
From 2000 to 2002, the state of California attempted to expand access to Advanced Placement subjects for students attending public schools. This study shows this intervention succeeded in expanding the AP curricula and enrollments at disadvantaged schools; however, schools serving affluent communities broadened their AP offerings at the same (if not faster) rate, resulting in effectively maintained inequalities in AP access.

by Richard Pring — 2013
The last few decades have seen many attempts to “reform” education across the world. Those reforms have been spurred on by the perceived low standards, by the number of young people who are seen to be educational failures, and by the need for a “skilled workforce” if our respective countries are to compete successfully in an ever more global and competitive economy.

by William Penuel, Kenneth Frank, Min Sun, Chong Kim & Corinne Singleton — 2013
This article examines how the effects of institutions on teaching practices can be mediated by social networks within schools. The study focuses on teachers’ responses to policies developed from the National Reading Panel’s recommendations for teaching reading.

by Ramón Martínez & Karen Quartz — 2012
This article examines a reform effort initiated by a coalition of educational leaders and community-based organizations in Los Angeles as a means of providing high-quality public school options for students in an underserved community. Based on interviews with school district, community, union, and other educational leaders, this study explores how various political actors collaborated to bring about unprecedented education reform in the nation’s second largest school district, highlighting both the promise and challenge of community organizing for school reform.

by Ben Kirshner & Kristen Pozzoboni — 2011
This qualitative study, based on youth participatory action research, discusses counternarratives articulated by students in response to the closure of their low-performing urban high school.

by Thandeka Chapman & René Antrop-González — 2011
This article takes a closer look at choice and charter school reforms as a means to addressed unresolved issues of racial segregation in urban school districts. Using the lens of critical race theory, the authors examine the outcomes of market theory reforms as solutions to inequitable schooling practices.

by Hugh Mehan, Lea Hubbard & Amanda Datnow — 2010
This chapter explains and expands on the co-construction perspective using examples from studies the authors have conducted on educational reform. They begin by contrasting the technical-rational and co-construction perspectives on school reform. They then describe how their formulation of co-construction takes into account issues of power and authority. The authors then elaborate on the perspective by presenting different cases of co-construction of reforms by actors at different levels of the educational system.

by Dana Mitra — 2009
By examining 13 programs aimed at increasing student voice in school reform, this article examines conditions that enable and constrain the sustainability of this challenging form of educational change. The data indicate that the persistence of an effort after the initial influx of funds and support disappears and usually requires ongoing support from an intermediary organization—an organization located outside the auspices of school walls.

by Paul Heckman & Viki Montera — 2009
In this article, we argue that schooling and school reform in the 21st century continues to be approached as if it were a flatworm capable of replicating itself. These reform efforts in today’s No Child Left Behind environment reify static ideas about schooling, resulting in organizational entropy. Instead, we present the process of Indigenous Invention as one that holds promise in moving our schools from entropy to renewal. Indigenous Invention grows from new conceptions of learning, cognition, and development, and our work in schools and communities during the past 16 years. We end with a discussion of the crucial values, dispositions, and conditions that have been identified for promoting Indigenous Invention. Indigenous Invention provides educators opportunities to imagine and invent new practices and schools called for in this “flat world.”

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