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Education > Education Policy and Reform

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Envisioning the Faculty for the Twenty-first Century

Moving to a Mission-Oriented and Learner-Centered Model

Edited by Adrianna Kezar and Daniel Maxey

The institution of tenure—once a cornerstone of American colleges and universities—is rapidly eroding. Envisioning the Faculty for the Twenty-First Century weighs the concerns of university administrators, professors, adjuncts, and students in order to investigate whether there are ways to modify the existing system or promote new faculty models without shortchanging students or cheapening the mission of academia. It also examines the opportunities these systemic changes might create, offering universities a guide for responding to the rapidly evolving needs of an increasingly global society.

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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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The Ethics and Politics of Speech

Communication and Rhetoric in the Twentieth Century

Pat J. Gehrke

The Ethics and Politics of Speech interrogates the ethical, political, and philosophical assumptions of American communication studies.  It examines essays, conference proceedings, and archival documents across the 20th century to generate a new approach to the ethics and politics of communication. 

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Excellence and Equity

The National Endowment for the Humanities

Stephen Miller

Since its establishment in 1965 the National Endowment for the Humanities has distributed many millions of dollars in grants. Has the money been well spent? What impact have the Endowment's programs had on the academic community, the schools, and the public at large?

In this first book-length study of the Endowment, Stephen Miller offers a trenchant analysis of the agency's origins, its accomplishments, and the criticisms leveled against it. In the political maneuvering that led to its establishment, Miller sees a basic misunderstanding between those in academia who lobbied for NEH and those in Congress who were its most enthusiastic supporters. The inevitable result was a confused mandate that has made the work of the Endowment and the policies of its four chairmen the focus of congressional and public criticism.

One group of critics has found NEH too elitist -- awarding too many grants to scholars at a few major universities. Others have regarded it as too populist -- expending too much on organizations that have little to do with the humanities. Still others regard its programs as simply a waste of the taxpayers' money.

Excellence and Equity explores the continuing political controversy surrounding NEH and its chairmen and assesses in detail its impact on the humanities in four major program areas: research, teaching, preservation, and public programs. The book concludes with recommendations for restructuring the Endowment, for revising its review procedures, and for improving the process by which its chairman is selected. Only through such changes, Miller argues, can we hope to foster humanistic scholarship in the coming decades.

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Excellence for All

How a New Breed of Reformers Is Transforming America's Public Schools

Jack Schneider

By the early twenty-first century, a startling consensus had emerged about the overall aim of American school reform. In an era of political discord, and in a field historically known for contentiousness, the notion of promoting educational excellence for all students was a distinct point of bipartisan agreement. Shaped by a corps of entrepreneurial reformers intent on finding “what works” and taking it to scale, this hybrid vision won over the nation’s most ambitious and well-resourced policy leaders at foundations and nonprofits, in state and federal government, and in urban school districts from coast to coast. “Excellence for all” might, at first glance, appear to be nothing more than a rhetorical flourish. Who, after all, would oppose the idea of a great education for every student? Yet it is hardly a throwaway phrase. Rather, it represents a surprising fusion of educational policy approaches that had been in tense opposition throughout the twentieth century—those on the right favoring social efficiency, and those on the left supporting social justice. This book seeks to understand why the “excellence for all” vision took hold at the time it did, unpacks the particular beliefs and assumptions embedded in it, and details the often informal coalition building that produced this period of consensus. Examining the nation’s largest urban school districts (Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York), the author details three major reform efforts in chapters titled “The Right Space: The Small Schools Movement”; “The Right Teachers: Teach for America”; and “The Right Curriculum: Expanding Advanced Placement.”

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From Class to Identity

The politics of education reforms in former Yugoslavia

Jana Bacevic

Jana Bacevic provides an innovative analysis of education policy-making in the processes of social transformation and post-conflict development in the Western Balkans. Based on case studies of educational reform in the former Yugoslavia - from the decade before its violent breakup to contemporary efforts in post-conflict reconstruction - From Class to Identity tells the story of the political processes and motivations underlying each reform. The book moves away from technical-rational or prescriptive approaches that dominate the literature on education policy-making during social transformation, and offers an example on how to include the social, political and cultural context in the understanding of policy reforms. It connects education policy at a particular time in a particular place with broader questions such as: What is the role of education in society? What kind of education is needed for a ‘good’ society? Who are the ‘targets’ of education policies (individuals/citizens, ethnic/religious/linguistic groups, societies)? Bacevic shows how different answers to these questions influence the contents and outcomes of policies.

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From Integration to Inclusion

A History of Special Education in the 20th Century

Margret A. Winzer

Since Margret A. Winzer wrote her landmark work The History of Special Education, much has transpired in this field, which she again has captured in a remarkable display of scholarship. Winzer’s new study From Integration to Inclusion: A History of Special Education in the 20th Century focuses chiefly on the significant events of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries in the United States and Canada. Its key dynamics consist of a retrospective overview of the paradigms that emerged from and shaped special education; a critical assessment of past progress and reform, including failures and disappointments; and an analysis of the theoretical diversity within the discipline. In this stand-alone volume, Winzer juxtaposes the historical study of disability and of special schooling and service provision with reference to broader social systems, protocols, and practices. She documents how prevailing emotional and intellectual climates influence disability and schooling, and also takes into account the social, political, and ideological factors that affect educational theory and practice. Winzer recognizes that reform has been the Zeitgeist of the history of special education. Crucial problems such as defining exceptional conditions and separating them from one another were formulated in contexts organized along moral, theological, legislative, medical, and social dimensions. Many of these reforms failed for various reasons, which Winzer thoroughly explains in her study. Most of these reforms evolved from the long and honorable pedigree that the field of special education has possessed since its earliest antecedents, now admirably brought up to date by this outstanding work.

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From Schoolhouse to Courthouse

The Judiciary's Role in American Education

edited by Joshua M. Dunn and Martin R. West

From race to speech, from religion to school funding, from discipline to special education, few aspects of education policy have escaped the courtroom over the past fifty years. Predictably, much controversy has ensued. Supporters of education litigation contend that the courts are essential to secure student (and civil) rights, while critics insist that the courts distort policy and that the mere threat of litigation undermines the authority of teachers and administrators.

From Schoolhouse to Courthouse brings together experts on law, political science, and education policy to test these claims. Shep Melnick (Boston College) and James Ryan (University of Virginia School of Law) draw lessons from judicial efforts to promote school desegregation and civil rights. Martha Derthick (University of Virginia), John Dinan (Wake Forest University), and Michael Heise (Cornell Law School) discuss litigation over high-stakes testing and school finance in the era of No Child Left Behind. Richard Arum (New York University), Samuel R. Bagenstos (Washington University Law School), and Frederick M. Hess (American Enterprise Institute) analyze the consequences of court rulings for school discipline, special education, and district management. Finally, editors Joshua Dunn and Martin R. West probe the tangled relationship between religious freedom, student speech, and school choice.

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Game of Loans

The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt

Beth Akers

College tuition and student debt have been rising at an alarming rate for decades, and these trends have raised serious questions. Game of Loans draws on new evidence to explain why such fears are misplaced--and how the popular myth of a looming crisis has obscured the real problems facing student lending in America. Beth Akers and Matthew Chingos cut through the sensationalism and misleading rhetoric to make a convincing case that college remains a good investment for most students. Persuasive and compelling, Game of Loans moves beyond the emotionally charged and politicized talk surrounding student debt and offers a set of sensible policy proposals that can solve the real problems in student lending.

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Getting Choice Right

Ensuring Equity and Efficiency in Education Policy

edited by Julian Betts and Tom Loveless

This second volume from the National Working Commission on Choice in K-12 Education examines the connections between school choice and the goals of equity and efficiency in education. The contributors—distinguished university professors, high school administrators, and scholars from research institutions around the country—assess the efficiency of the educational system, analyzing efforts to boost average achievement. Their discussion of equity focuses on the reduction of racial and religious segregation in education, as well as measures to ensure that "no child is left behind." The result is an authoritative and balanced look at how to maximize benefits while minimizing risks in the implementation of school choice. The National Working Commission on Choice in K-12 Education was established to explore how choice works and to examine how communities interested in the potential benefits of new school options could obtain them while avoiding choice's potential harms. In addition to the editors, commissioners include Paul T. Hill and Dan Goldhaber (University of Washington), David Ferrero (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), Brian P. Gill and Laura Hamilton (Rand), Jeffrey R. Henig (Teachers College, Columbia University), Frederick M. Hess (American Enterprise Institute), Stephen Macedo (Princeton University), Lawrence Rosenstock (High Tech High, San Diego), Charles Venegoni (Civitas Schools in Chicago), Janet Weiss (University of Michigan), and Patrick J. Wolf (Georgetown University).

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