High School Journal

The High School Journal
Volume 89, Number 1, October-November 2005


    Hamann, Edmund T.
  • Systemic High School Reform in Two States: The Serendipity of State-Level Action
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    Subject Headings:
    • Educational change -- Maine.
    • Educational change -- Vermont.
    • Education and state -- United States -- States.
      Maine and Vermont have been national leaders in state-level coordination of high school reform. Both recently developed almost interchangeable, new, voluntary, statewide frameworks that describe multiple ways high schools should change. Both frameworks—Promising Futures (Maine Commission on Secondary Education 1998) and High Schools on the Move (Vermont High School Task Force 2001)—were published in book form and include extensive bibliographies grounding their claims that they are research based. Both frameworks recommend principles and practices for improving high schools for all students. Both frameworks were drafted primarily by leading local educators with only modest support from experts based beyond the state's boundaries. Despite these similarities, the strategies for implementing these frameworks in each state have varied and, because of this, the two frameworks' prospects of having enduring favorable impact also appear to vary. Using historical and ethnographic methods to conduct two policy implementation case studies, this paper describes both framework's development and then focuses on early implementation. Together the cases illustrate how more than an adequate whole-school reform framework is necessary to raise the prospect of enduring high school improvement. They also illustrate the potential of anthropological inquiry to the study of educational policy development and implementation.
    Debray, Elizabeth H.
  • A Comprehensive High School and a Shift in New York State Policy: A Study of Early Implementation
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    Subject Headings:
    • Educational accountability -- New York (State) -- New York -- Case studies.
    • Educational tests and measurements -- New York (State) -- New York -- Case studies.
    • Educational change -- New York (State) -- New York -- Case studies.
    • Education and state -- New York (State)
      The article is about the early phase of implementation of a New York state testing policy in two academic departments in an urban, comprehensive high school. It describes and analyzes a high school's failure to construct a coherent internal accountability system when encountering an external high-stakes testing policy. Drawing on interviews with teachers and administrators conducted over a period of one year, the article explores two aspects of the school's implementation of the state policy: what actions were being undertaken in these two departments; and the perceptions and understandings of the teachers and administrators within the organization. The organizational consequences of changing the stakes for graduation for a high school serving almost all disadvantaged students are discussed.
    Sheffield, Eric C.
  • Service in Service-Learning Education: The Need for Philosophical Understanding
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    Subject Headings:
    • Student service -- Philosophy.
    • Mutualism.
    • Solidarity.
      In this piece, the author argues that service-learning has been overly defined and because of that, it is in danger of becoming meaningless. He further argues that one way to recover service-learning from the wasteland of definition-making and thereby improve both its understanding and practice is by applying philosophical inquiry to the various conceptions that make up service-learning. The author then offers an example of how such philosophical research might lead to clarity through a discussion of how the service aspect of service-learning should be viewed and how that view would impact its practice.
    DeCastro-Ambrosetti, Debra.
    Cho, Grace.
  • Synergism in Learning: A Critical Reflection of Authentic Assessment
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    Subject Headings:
    • Educational tests and measurements.
    • Learning, Psychology of.
      Assessing students' knowledge has always been a difficult task, especially in today's climate of standards driven curriculum. Challenges to educators include meeting content standards, assessing students' progress and focusing on diverse learning styles, as well as preparing students for work and life beyond schools. To meet these challenges, educators need to employ more authentic instructional approaches than the traditional knowledge-based curricula. However, this may result in educators becoming burdened with creating multiple assignments. Using innovative student-generated projects as models for assessment, the authors will demonstrate their successful and easily implemented strategy for meeting these demands. Furthermore, the authors will discuss the creative process of developing and implementing this strategy for the classroom.
    Kubitschek, Warren N.
    Hallinan, Maureen T.
    Arnett, Stephanie M.
    Galipeau, Kim S.
  • High School Schedule Changes and the Effect of Lost Instructional Time on Achievement
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    Subject Headings:
    • Schedules, School -- United States -- Case studies.
    • Academic achievement -- United States -- Case studies.
    • High school attendance -- United States -- Case studies.
      High school students who change their class schedules after the start of the school year may miss class time before their schedules are finalized. This loss of class time is expected to lead to a loss of learning opportunities, and thus to lower student achievement. We examine a school with an unexpectedly large number of such schedule changes. Contrary to our expectation, students who were not in class because they were changing schedules had achievement equal to students who were in class, even when the students changing schedules missed many days of class. While this indicates that students were not penalized for schedule changes, it also suggests that all students had reduced opportunities to learn.

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