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Education > Education Policy and Reform

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Educating Scholars Cover

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Educating Scholars

Doctoral Education in the Humanities

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Despite the worldwide prestige of America's doctoral programs in the humanities, all is not well in this area of higher education and hasn't been for some time. The content of graduate programs has undergone major changes, while high rates of student attrition, long times to degree, and financial burdens prevail. In response, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 1991 launched the Graduate Education Initiative (GEI), the largest effort ever undertaken to improve doctoral programs in the humanities and related social sciences. The only book to focus exclusively on the current state of doctoral education in the humanities, Educating Scholars reports on the GEI's success in reducing attrition and times to degree, the positive changes implemented by specific graduate programs, and the many challenges still to be addressed.

Over a ten-year period, the Foundation devoted almost eighty-five million dollars through the GEI to provide support for doctoral programs and student aid in fifty-four departments at ten leading universities. The authors examine data that tracked the students in these departments and in control departments, as well as information gathered from a retrospective survey of students. They reveal that completion and attrition rates depend upon financial support, the quality of advising, clarity of program requirements, and each department's expectations regarding the dissertation. The authors consider who earns doctoral degrees, what affects students' chances of finishing their programs, and how successful they are at finding academic jobs.

Answering some of the most important questions being raised about American doctoral programs today, Educating Scholars will interest all those concerned about our nation's intellectual future.

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Education Governance for the Twenty-First Century

Overcoming the Structural Barriers to School Reform

edited by Paul Manna and Patrick McGuinn

America's fragmented, decentralized, politicized, and bureaucratic system of education governance is a major impediment to school reform. In this important new book, a number of leading education scholars, analysts, and practitioners show that understanding the impact of specific policy changes in areas such as standards, testing, teachers, or school choice requires careful analysis of the broader governing arrangements that influence their content, implementation, and impact.

Education Governance for the Twenty-First Century comprehensively assesses the strengths and weaknesses of what remains of the old in education governance, scrutinizes how traditional governance forms are changing, and suggests how governing arrangements might be further altered to produce better educational outcomes for children.

Paul Manna, Patrick McGuinn, and their colleagues provide the analysis and alternatives that will inform attempts to adapt nineteenth and twentieth century governance structures to the new demands and opportunities of today.

Contents:

Education Governance in America: Who Leads When Everyone Is in Charge?, Patrick McGuinn and Paul Manna

The Failures of U.S. Education Governance Today, Chester E. Finn Jr. and Michael J. Petrilli

How Current Education Governance Distorts Financial Decisionmaking, Marguerite Roza

Governance Challenges to Innovators within the System, Michelle R. Davis

Governance Challenges to Innovators outside the System, Steven F. Wilson

Rethinking District Governance, Frederick M. Hess and Olivia M. Meeks

Interstate Governance of Standards and Testing, Kathryn A. McDermott

Education Governance in Performance-Based Federalism, Kenneth K. Wong

The Rise of Education Executives in the White House, State House, and Mayor's Office, Jeffrey R. Henig

English Perspectives on Education Governance and Delivery, Michael Barber

Education Governance in Canada and the United States, Sandra Vergari

Education Governance in Comparative Perspective, Michael Mintrom and Richard Walley

Governance Lessons from the Health Care and Environment Sectors, Barry G. Rabe

Toward a Coherent and Fair Funding System, Cynthia G. Brown

Picturing a Different Governance Structure for Public Education, Paul T. Hill

From Theory to Results in Governance Reform, Kenneth J. Meier

The Tall Task of Education Governance Reform, Paul Manna and Patrick McGuinn

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Education Reform and the Limits of Policy

Lessons from Michigan

Michael F. Addonizio and C. Philip Kearney

The authors use Michigan as a laboratory to examine a set of commonly implemented reforms in an attempt to answer three key questions: 1) What is the nature of these reforms? 2) What do they hope to accomplish? and 3) How successful have they been?

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Educational Interpreting

How It Can Succeed

Elizabeth A. Winston, Editor

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Elusive Equity

Education Reform in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Edward B. Fiske and Helen F. Ladd

Elusive Equity chronicles South Africa's efforts to fashion a racially equitable state education system from the ashes of apartheid. The policymakers who came to power with Nelson Mandela in 1994 inherited and education system designed to further the racist goals of apartheid. Their massive challenge was to transform that system, which lavished human and financial resources on schools serving white students while systematically starving those serving African, coloured, and Indian learners, into one that would offer quality education to all persons, regardless of their race.

Edward Fiske and Helen Ladd describe and evaluate the strategies that South Africa pursued in its quest for racial equity. They draw on previously unpublished data, interviews with key officials, and visits to dozens of schools to describe the changes made in school finance, teacher assignment policies, governance, curriculum, higher education, and other areas. They conclude that the country has made remarkable progress toward equity in the sense of equal treatment of persons of all races. For several reasons, however, the country has been far less successful in promoting equal educational opportunity or educational adequacy. Thus equity has remained elusive.

The book is unique in combining the perceptive observations of a skilled education journalist with the analytical skills of an academic policy expert. Richly textured descriptions of how South Africa's education reforms have affected schools at the grass-roots level are combined with careful analysis of enrollment, governance, and budget data at the school, provincial, and national levels. The result is a compelling and comprehensive study of South Africa's first decade of education reform in the post-apartheid period.

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Employment Growth from Public Support of Innovation in Small Firms

Albert N. Link and John T. Scott

Link and Scott provide a statistical assessment of the employment growth associated with public support of R&D in small, entrepreneurial firms through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. While on the surface the SBIR program is generally intended to stimulate innovation leading to commercialization, and this is how government and scholars have historically judged the program, Link and Scott suggest that it may be assessed from a different perspective. To them, the extent to which long-term job creation results from public support of R&D should be evaluated.

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The End of Consensus

Diversity, Neighborhoods, and the Politics of Public School Assignments

Toby L. Parcel

One of the nation's fastest growing metropolitan areas, Wake County, North Carolina, added more than a quarter million new residents during the first decade of this century, an increase of almost 45 percent. At the same time, partisanship increasingly dominated local politics, including school board races. Against this backdrop, Toby Parcel and Andrew Taylor consider the ways diversity and neighborhood schools have influenced school assignment policies in Wake County, particularly during 2000-2012, when these policies became controversial locally and a topic of national attention. The End of Consensus explores the extraordinary transformation of Wake County during this period, revealing inextricable links between population growth, political ideology, and controversial K–12 education policies.

Drawing on media coverage, in-depth interviews with community leaders, and responses from focus groups, Parcel and Taylor's innovative work combines insights from these sources with findings from a survey of 1,700 county residents. Using a broad range of materials and methods, the authors have produced the definitive story of politics and change in public school assignments in Wake County while demonstrating the importance of these dynamics to cities across the country.

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Endangering Prosperity

A Global View of the American School

foreword by Lawrence H. Summers. Eric A. Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson, and Ludger Woessmann

The relative deficiencies of U.S. public schools are a serious concern to parents and policymakers. But they should be of concern to all Americans, as a globalizing world introduces new competition for talent, markets, capital, and opportunity. In Endangering Prosperity, a trio of experts on international education policy compares the performance of American schools against that of other nations. The net result is a mixed but largely disappointing picture that clearly shows where improvement is most needed. The authors' objective is not to explain the deep causes of past failures but to document how dramatically the U.S. school system has failed its students and its citizens. It is a wake-up call for structural reform. To move forward to a different and better future requires that we understand just how serious a situation America faces today.

For example, the authors consider the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international mathematics examination. America is stuck in the middle of average scores, barely beating out European countries whose national economies are in the red zone. U.S. performance as measured against stronger economies is even weaker —in total, 32 nations outperformed the United States. The authors also delve into comparative reading scores. A mere 31 percent of U.S. students in the class of 2011 could perform at the "proficient" level as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) program, compared with South Korea's result of 47 percent. And while some observers may downplay the significance of cross-globe comparisons, they should note that Canadian students are dramatically outpacing their U.S. counterparts as well.

Clearly something is wrong with this picture, and this book clearly explicates the costs of inaction. The time for incremental tweaking the system is long past —wider, deeper, and more courageous steps are needed, as this book amply demonstrates with accessible prose, supported with hard data that simply cannot be ignored.

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Enhancing Diversity

Educators with Disabilities

Ronald J. Anderson, Clayton E. Keller, and Joan M. Karp, Editors

“This is a unique, timely, and relevant book that addresses the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of persons with disabilities who seek and achieve entry into professional life as educators. The contributors examine the importance of support services, the critical barriers to successful performance, and conclude by recommending actions that, if implemented, have the potential to facilitate entry into the field of education and create more and better opportunities for persons with disabilities.” --From the Foreword by Robert R. Davila, Former President, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC The 43 million people with disabilities form this country’s largest minority group, yet they are markedly under-employed as educators. Enhancing Diversity: Educators with Disabilities paves the way for correcting this costly omission. Editors Anderson, Karp, and Keller have called upon the knowledge of 19 other renowned contributors to address the important issues raised in Enhancing Diversity, including the place of disability in discussions of diversity in education, research on educators with disabilities that validates their capabilities, and information on the qualifications desired in and the demands made of education professionals. Legal precedents are cited and explained, and examples of efforts to place disabled educators are presented, along with recommendations on how disabled individuals and school administrators can work toward increased opportunities. Interviews with 25 disabled educators discussing how they satisfactorily fulfill their professional requirements completes this thoughtful-provoking book.

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Ethical Considerations in Educating Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Kathee Mangan Christensen, Editor

The education of deaf or hard of hearing children has become as complex as the varying needs of each individual child. Teachers face classrooms filled with students who are culturally Deaf, hard of hearing, or postlingually deaf. They might use American Sign Language, cochlear implants, hearing aids/FM systems, speech, Signed English, sign-supported speech, contact signing, nonverbal communication, or some combination of methods. Educators who decide what tools are best for these children are making far-reaching ethical decisions in each case. This collection features ten chapters that work as constructive conversations to make the diverse needs of these deaf students the primary focus. The initial essays establish fundamental points of ethical decision-making and emphasize that every situation should be examined not with regard for what is “right or wrong,” but for what is “useful.” Absolute objectivity is unattainable due to social influences, while “common knowledge” is ruled out in favor of “common awareness.” Other chapters deal with the reality of interpreting through the professional’s eyes, of how they are assessed, participate, and are valued in the total educational process, including mainstream environments. The various settings of education for deaf children are profiled, from residential schools to life in three cultures for deaf Latino students, to self-contained high school programs. Ethical Considerations in Educating Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing offers an invaluable set of guidelines for administrators and educators of children with hearing loss in virtually every environment in a postmodern world.

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