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Education > Education Policy and Reform

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Academic Freedom and the Social Responsibilities of Academics in Tanzania Cover

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Academic Freedom and the Social Responsibilities of Academics in Tanzania

When the Dar es Salaam Declaration on Academic Freedom and Social Responsibility of Academics came up in the early 1990s, African higher-education systems were in a serious, multi-dimensional and long-standing crisis. Hand-in-hand with the imbalances and troubles that rocked and ruined African economies, the crisis in the academia was characterised by the collapse of infrastructures, inadequate teaching personnel and poor staff development and motivation. It was against this background that the questions of academic freedom and the responsibilities and autonomy of institutions of higher-learning were raised in the Dar es Salaam Declaration. In February 2005, the University of Dar es Salaam Staff Association (UDASA), in cooperation with CODESRIA, organised a workshop to bring together the staff associations of some public and private universities in Tanzania, in order to renew their commitment to the basic principles of the Dar es Salaam Declaration and its sister document - the Kampala Declaration on Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility. The workshop was also aimed at re-invigorating the social commitment of African intellectuals. The papers included in this volume reflect the depth and potentials of the debates that took place during the workshop. The volume is published in honour of Chachage Seithy L. Chachage, who was an active part of the workshop but unfortunately passed away in 2006.

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Accountability-Based Reform

The Impact on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Stephanie W. Cawthon Psychology Program, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Texas, Austin, TX.

For years, school reform efforts targeted either students in regular education or those with special needs, but not both. As a result of the No Child Left Behind legislation (NCLB) and its focus on accountability, administrators established policies that would integrate the needs of students who previously were served under separate frameworks. Using the NCLB structure as a starting point, Stephanie W. Cawthon’s new book Accountability-Based Reforms: The Impact on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students discusses key assumptions behind accountability reforms. She specifically examines how elements of these reforms affect students who are deaf or hard of hearing, their teachers, and their families. Cawthon begins by providing a brief introduction to the deaf education context, offering detailed information on student demographics, settings, and academic outcomes for deaf students. She then outlines the evolution of accountability-based education reforms, following with a chapter on content standards, assessment accommodations, accountability as sanctions, and students with disabilities. The remaining chapters in Accountability-Based Reforms closely examine educational professionals, accountability, and students who are deaf or hard of hearing; school choice policies and parents; and deaf education and measures of success. Each chapter presents an overview of an important component of accountability reform, available research, and how it has been implemented in the United States. These chapters also offer recommendations for future action by educators, parents, researchers, and education policymakers.

Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times Cover

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Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times

Bilingual Education and Dominican Immigrant Youth in the Heights

Lesley Bartlett and Ofelia Garcia

Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times documents the unusually successful efforts of one New York City high school to educate Dominican immigrant youth, at a time when Latino immigrants constitute a growing and vulnerable population in the nation’s secondary schools. Based on four and a half years of qualitative research, the book examines the schooling of teens in the Dominican Republic, the social and linguistic challenges the immigrant teens face in Washington Heights, and how Gregorio Luperón High School works with the community to respond to those challenges. The staff at Luperón see their students as emergent bilinguals and adhere to a culturally and linguistically additive approach. After offering a history of the school’s formation, the authors detail the ways in which federal No Child Left Behind policies, New York State accountability measures, and New York City’s educational reforms under Mayor Bloomberg have complicated the school’s efforts. The book then describes the dynamic bilingual pedagogical approach adopted within the school to help students develop academic Spanish and English. Focusing on the lives of twenty immigrant youth, Bartlett and García also show that, although the school achieves high completion rates, the graduating students nevertheless face difficult postsecondary educational and work environments that too often consign them to the ranks of the working poor.

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After Brown

The Rise and Retreat of School Desegregation

Charles T. Clotfelter

The United States Supreme Court's 1954 landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education, set into motion a process of desegregation that would eventually transform American public schools. This book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of how Brown's most visible effect--contact between students of different racial groups--has changed over the fifty years since the decision.

Using both published and unpublished data on school enrollments from across the country, Charles Clotfelter uses measures of interracial contact, racial isolation, and segregation to chronicle the changes. He goes beyond previous studies by drawing on heretofore unanalyzed enrollment data covering the first decade after Brown, calculating segregation for metropolitan areas rather than just school districts, accounting for private schools, presenting recent information on segregation within schools, and measuring segregation in college enrollment.

Two main conclusions emerge. First, interracial contact in American schools and colleges increased markedly over the period, with the most dramatic changes occurring in the previously segregated South. Second, despite this change, four main factors prevented even larger increases: white reluctance to accept racially mixed schools, the multiplicity of options for avoiding such schools, the willingness of local officials to accommodate the wishes of reluctant whites, and the eventual loss of will on the part of those who had been the strongest protagonists in the push for desegregation. Thus decreases in segregation within districts were partially offset by growing disparities between districts and by selected increases in private school enrollment.

Aiding Students, Buying Students Cover

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Aiding Students, Buying Students

Financial Aid in America

Rupert Wilkinson

From the first scholarship donated to Harvard in 1643 to today’s world of “enrollment management” and federal grants and loans, the author gives a lively social and economic history of the conflicting purposes of student aid and makes proposals for the future. His research for this book is based on archives and interviews at 131 public and private institutions across the United States. In the words of Joe Paul Case, Dean and Director of Financial Aid, Amherst College, “Wilkinson has mined the archives of dozens of institutions to create a mosaic that details the progress of student assistance from the 17th century to the present. He gives particular attention to the origins of need-based assistance, from the charitable benevolence of early colleges to the regulation-laden policies of the federal government. He gives due consideration to institutional motive—he challenges the egalitarian platitudes of affluent colleges and questions the countervailing market and economic forces that may imperil need-based aid at less competitive institutions. By drawing on scores of personal interviews and exchanges of correspondence with aid practitioners, Wilkinson fleshes out recent decades, helping the reader to understand new trends in the provision of aid.”

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Alone in the Mainstream

A Deaf Woman Remembers Public School

Gina A. Oliva

The Ambiguous Embrace Cover

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The Ambiguous Embrace

Government and Faith-Based Schools and Social Agencies

Charles L. Glenn

This is a time of far-reaching change and debate in American education and social policy, spurred in part by a rediscovery that civil-society institutions are often better than government at meeting human needs. As Charles Glenn shows in this book, faith-based schools and social agencies have been particularly effective, especially in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable. However, many oppose providing public funds for religious institutions, either on the grounds that it would threaten the constitutional separation of church and state or from concern it might dilute or secularize the distinctive character of the institutions themselves. Glenn tackles these arguments head on. He builds a uniquely comprehensive and persuasive case for faith-based organizations playing a far more active role in American schools and social agencies. And, most importantly, he shows that they could do so both while receiving public funds and while striking a workable balance between accountability and autonomy.

Glenn is ideally placed to make this argument. A leading expert on international education policies, he was for many years the director of urban education and civil rights for the Massachusetts Department of Education, and also serves as an Associate Minister of inner-city churches in Boston. Glenn draws on all his varied experience here as he reviews the policies and practices of governments in the United States and Europe as they have worked with faith-based schools and also with such social agencies as the Salvation Army and Teen Challenge. He seeks to answer key theoretical and practical questions: Why should government make greater use of faith-based providers? How could they do so without violating First Amendment limits? What working relationships protect the goals and standards both of government and of the organizations that the government funds? Glenn shows that, with appropriate forms of accountability and a strong commitment to a distinctive vision of service, faith-based organizations can collaborate safely with government, to their mutual benefit and that of those they serve. This is a major contribution to one of the most important topics in political and social debate today.

Assessing Deaf Adults  Cover

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Assessing Deaf Adults

Critical Issues in Testing and Evaluation

Judith L. Mounty and David S. Martin, Editors, Foreword by Oscar P. Cohen

Historically, deaf and hard of hearing people have demonstrated various levels of competence in a multitude of professions, but they also have experienced discrimination and oppression. In five critical sections, this volume responds to the tidal wave of high-stakes testing that has come to dominate educational policy and qualification for various occupations. It provides a digest of relevant research to meet the testing challenge, including work done by educational researchers, legal experts, test developers, and others. Section I frames the contexts facing deaf and hard of hearing individuals and those who test them, including a telling historical perspective. In Section II, chapters explore how deaf and hard of hearing candidates can meet the rigors of test-taking, how to level the playing field with a new approach to assessment, and what to consider to develop fully accessible licensing tests. The final chapter in this part examines the psychometric properties of intellectual assessments when used with deaf and hard of hearing people. Administrative issues constitute Section III, beginning with legal considerations related to equity testing for deaf adults. An exploration of the potential of sign language interpretation in the testing environment follows. Section IV provides case studies of deaf and hard of hearing adults from a variety of professions, including certification testing for therapeutic recreation, preparation strategies for university students, and ways to maximize access to licensure for social workers. A separate chapter addresses the impact of recent federal mandates on assessment of deaf and hard of hearing teachers and teaching candidates. The final section summarizes the current situation and presents recommendations to manage it, concluding with an epilogue on directions for the future.

Because of Race Cover

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Because of Race

How Americans Debate Harm and Opportunity in Our Schools

Mica Pollock

In Because of Race, Mica Pollock tackles a long-standing and fraught debate over racial inequalities in America's schools. Which denials of opportunity experienced by students of color should be remedied? Pollock exposes raw, real-time arguments over what inequalities of opportunity based on race in our schools look like today--and what, if anything, various Americans should do about it.

Pollock encountered these debates while working at the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights in 1999-2001. For more than two years, she listened to hundreds of parents, advocates, educators, and federal employees talk about the educational treatment of children and youth in specific schools and districts. People debated how children were spoken to, disciplined, and ignored in both segregated and desegregated districts, and how children were afforded or denied basic resources and opportunities to learn. Pollock discusses four rebuttals that greeted demands for everyday justice for students of color inside schools and districts. She explores how debates over daily opportunity provision exposed conflicting analyses of opportunity denial and harm worth remedying. Because of Race lays bare our habits of argument and offers concrete suggestions for arguing more successfully toward equal opportunity.

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Besieged

School Boards and the Future of Education Politics

edited by William Howell

School boards are fighting for their survival. Almost everything that they do is subject to regulations handed down from city councils, state boards of education, legislatures, and courts. As recent mayoral and state takeovers in such cities as Baltimore, Chicago, and New York make abundantly clear, school boards that do not fulfill the expectations of other political players may be stripped of what few independent powers they still retain. Teachers unions exert growing influence over board decision-making processes. And with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, the federal government has aggressively inserted itself into matters of local education governance. B esieged is the first full-length volume in many years to systematically examine the politics that surround school boards. A group of highly renowned scholars, relying on both careful case studies and quantitative analyses, examine how school boards fare when they interact with their political superiors, teachers unions, and the public. For the most part, the picture that emerges is sobering: while school boards perform certain administrative functions quite well, the political pressures they face undermine their capacity to institute the wide-ranging school reforms that many voters and local leaders are currently demanding.

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