School Choice Or Best Systems

Author: Margaret C Wang
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135661804
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book addresses one of the most urgent questions in American society today, one that is currently in the spotlight and hotly debated on all sides: Who shall rule the schools--parents or educators? School Choice or Best Systems: What Improves Education? presents an overview of research and practical applications of innovative--even radical--school reforms being implemented across the United States. These fall along a continuum ranging from "parental choice" to "best systems." At the one extreme are schools of choice, which allow parents to choose and even govern schools for their children. These include charter schools, traditional private and parochial schools, schools that are privately governed but publicly funded through vouchers, and those that are funded by private scholarships provided by both corporations and wealthy individuals. At the other extreme are centralized state or district systems, based on reform initiatives and new systems of education that have been developed in response to views of citizens and legislators that schools can do much better. These schools, which specify uniform goals, policies, and programs for each school, are highly innovative systems based on research or representing advanced thinking about "what works," and have attracted wide interest. Important questions related to schools of choice and best systems are addressed: How can we choose among schools of choice and best systems? Among the various approaches within each of these alternatives? How can we understand their guiding principles and operational practices? What results do they produce? How can we evaluate their claims? In choosing among the alternatives, how should issues of student achievement, accountability, costs, feasibility, and equity be factored in? This volume brings together leading researchers and education leaders who have carried out the latest studies and advances in the field, providing a forum for them to set forth the arguments and evidence that will be most helpful in making choices for tomorrow's schools. It does not provide a single "right" answer--values and preferences differ across parents, schools, districts, and states. However, there are benefits for all from seeing the rigorous research, challenging thinking, and alternate points of view this volume presents.

The Death and Life of the Great American School System

Author: Diane Ravitch
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465097995
Format: PDF
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A passionate plea to preserve and renew public education, The Death and Life of the Great American School System is a radical change of heart from one of America’s best-known education experts. Diane Ravitch—former assistant secretary of education and a leader in the drive to create a national curriculum—examines her career in education reform and repudiates positions that she once staunchly advocated. Drawing on over forty years of research and experience, Ravitch critiques today’s most popular ideas for restructuring schools, including privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability, and the feckless multiplication of charter schools. She shows conclusively why the business model is not an appropriate way to improve schools. Using examples from major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, and San Diego, Ravitch makes the case that public education today is in peril. Ravitch includes clear prescriptions for improving America’s schools: leave decisions about schools to educators, not politicians or businessmen devise a truly national curriculum that sets out what children in every grade should be learning expect charter schools to educate the kids who need help the most, not to compete with public schools pay teachers a fair wage for their work, not “merit pay” based on deeply flawed and unreliable test scores encourage family involvement in education from an early age The Death and Life of the Great American School System is more than just an analysis of the state of play of the American education system. It is a must-read for any stakeholder in the future of American schooling.

School Choice

Author: Mercedes K. Schneider
Publisher: Teachers College Press
ISBN: 0807774243
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Proponents of market-driven education reform view vouchers and charters as superior to local-board-run, community-based public schools. However, the author of this timely volume argues that there is no clear research supporting this view. In fact, she claims there is increasing evidence of charter mismanagement—with public funding all-too-often being squandered while public schools are being closed or consolidated. Tracing the origins of vouchers and charters in the United States, this book examines the push to “globally compete” with education systems in countries such as China and Finland. It documents issues important to the school choice debate, including the impoverishment of public schools to support privatized schools, the abandonment of long-held principles of public education, questionable disciplinary practices, and community disruption. School Choice: The End of Public Education? is essential reading for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the past and future of public education in America. Book Features: Provides a comprehensive historical account of the origins of vouchers and charters. Includes accounts of intriguing historical experiences. Examines the defunding of neighborhood public schools in favor of often underregulated charters. Reveals charter school “churn” that often follows the closing of a mismanaged charter. Provides a cogent counternarrative to the claim that charters are necessary for America to compete globally. “How fortunate that we have another soon-to-be classic from Mercedes Schneider that informs and empowers us all for the fight back!” —Joyce E. King, Georgia State University “Schneider provides a must-read for anyone, especially educators, interested in the future of public education.” —Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, Louisiana State University “Outstanding! Powerful! This is the most interesting and best-researched book on school choice I've ever read.” —Julian Vasquez Heilig, California State University

ReEnvisioning Education and Democracy

Author: Ruthanne KurthSchai
Publisher: IAP
ISBN: 1607527065
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The fate of public education and therefore the future of our democracy is at risk. Powerful forces are eroding commitment to public schools and weakening democratic resolve. Yet even in deeply troubling times, it is possible to broaden social imagination and empower efforts toward systemic progressive reform. This book is an invitation for widespread participation in a complex process—reenvisioning education and democracy. To reenvision—to envision and then envision again—is to join with others in imagining new possibilities and bringing these into existence. Reenvisioning is a radically social process. Although distinct and varied individual contributions are required, transformative visions cannot be advanced through the agency of one charismatic person, or bound by one influential perspective. The process of reenvisioning, like all forms of democratic living and learning, draws energy and insight when connection and communion are sustained across dimensions of difference. Reenvisioning is an intensely creative and exploratory process. It is not accomplished through careful construction of “best laid plans” aimed at attaining certainty and control. Reenvisioning is instead experienced and evolved by preparing for, and then acting on, informed and strategic glimpses. These brief and fleeting impressions—multimodal and multisensory, incomplete and ambiguous, always in motion—offer potentials, but no definitive answers. Reenvisioning is a profoundly ethical and aesthetic process, centered in prospects for social justice, compassion, reform, and renewal. Social movements are rarely motivated by commitments to narrow objectives aimed at solving specific problems. Across time and cultures we are drawn to persons and processes, to ideas and images, that call us back to remember our highest principles, and move us forward to respond with acts of integrity and grace. Recurrent themes of beauty and power—here mirrored in chapter titles—inspire, guide, and liberate collective vision and principled action. Reenvisioning, although accessible to all, remains largely undeveloped and underutilized. Our collective ability to realize progressive aspirations for education and democracy can be significantly enhanced by integrating the process of reenvisioning with other, more familiar, educational and political reform strategies.

School Choice and the Question of Accountability

Author: Emily Van Dunk
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300127979
Format: PDF
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This timely book refocuses the debate about school choice programs with a nonpartisan assessment of the nation’s largest and longest-running private school voucher program—the high profile Milwaukee experiment—and finds that the system undercuts the promise of school choice. The authors argue that the Milwaukee experiment has not resulted in the one element necessary for school choice to be effective: an accountability system in which good schools thrive and poor schools close. They show that most ingredients of a robust market are missing. Well-informed consumers (parents) are not the norm. State fiscal incentives are counterproductive, and competition among public and choice schools is difficult to discern. They conclude that school choice could succeed if certain conditions were met, and they offer guidelines to strengthen accountability and repair the voucher system.

The Urban School System of the Future

Author: Andy Smarick
Publisher: R&L Education
ISBN: 1607094789
Format: PDF
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For more than two generations, the traditional urban school system—the district—has utterly failed to do its job: prepare its students for a lifetime of success. Millions and millions of boys and girls have suffered the grievous consequences. The district is irreparably broken. For the sake of today’s and tomorrow’s inner-city kids, it must be replaced. The Urban School System of the Future argues that vastly better results can be realized through the creation of a new type of organization that properly manages a city’s portfolio of schools using the revolutionary principles of chartering. It will ensure that new schools are regularly created, that great schools are expanded and replicated, that persistently failing schools are closed, and that families have access to an array of high-quality options. This new entity will focus exclusively on school performance, meaning, among other things, our cities can thoughtfully integrate their traditional public, charter public, and private schools into a single, high-functioning k-12 system. For decades, the district has produced the most heartbreaking results for already at-risk kids. The Urban School System of the Future explains how we can finally turn the tide and create dynamic, responsive, high-performing, self-improving urban school systems that fulfill the promise of public education.

Reinventing America s Schools

Author: David Osborne
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1632869934
Format: PDF, ePub
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From David Osborne, the author of Reinventing Government--a biting analysis of the failure of America's public schools and a comprehensive plan for revitalizing American education. In Reinventing America's Schools, David Osborne, one of the world's foremost experts on public sector reform, offers a comprehensive analysis of the charter school movements and presents a theory that will do for American schools what his New York Times bestseller Reinventing Government did for public governance in 1992. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the city got an unexpected opportunity to recreate their school system from scratch. The state's Recovery School District (RSD), created to turn around failing schools, gradually transformed all of its New Orleans schools into charter schools, and the results are shaking the very foundations of American education. Test scores, school performance scores, graduation and dropout rates, ACT scores, college-going rates, and independent studies all tell the same story: the city's RSD schools have tripled their effectiveness in eight years. Now other cities are following suit, with state governments reinventing failing schools in Newark, Camden, Memphis, Denver, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Oakland. In this book, Osborne uses compelling stories from cities like New Orleans and lays out the history and possible future of public education. Ultimately, he uses his extensive research to argue that in today's world, we should treat every public school like a charter school and grant them autonomy, accountability, diversity of school designs, and parental choice.