By Susan Follett Lusi
Utilizing case reports of 2 types of statewide tuition reform, this ebook examines the function of nation departments within the reform procedure. It info how those departments of schooling carried out their reform plans, and the consequences in their offerings on either the dep. and the universities.
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Extra info for The role of state departments of education in complex school reform
It is uncertain because this kind of far-reaching change has never before been attempted in the history of education reform. It is not clear how, or indeed if, this kind of reform can be brought about. This new work is more akin to innovationuncertain, knowledge-intensive, and with a steep learning curve (Kanter, 1988). Little is known, by SDE staff or anyone else, about how to establish a coherent policy system that promotes and supports the redesign of teaching and learning in schools, enabling all students to learn ambitious content knowledge.
While discussions of standards-based, systemic reform à la Smith and O'Day persist, they are accompanied by discussions of choice, contracts, and charter schoolsproposals that might well weaken the role of the state if broadly implemented. In addition, SDEs have increasingly become the target of the current trend of reducing government and increasing local control (see for example Harp, 1995, pp. 1, 13, and Lindsay, 1995, p. 12). These debates are far from resolved. The case studies that follow are important regardless of the outcome of the national debate on systemic reform, for it will remain the case that schools need to change fundamentally and that, given the structure of our current education system, the actions of state departments can either facilitate or impede that change.
Political system was specifically designed to frustrate central power. Authority in education was divided among state, local, and federal governments by an elaborate federal system, and it was divided within governments by the separation of powers. These divisions were carefully calculated to inhibit the coordinated action of government, and they gained force from the country's great size and diversity. (p. 5) They further argue that past attempts at strengthening the linkages between policy and practice through increased central control have met with only limited success and have only worked to increase the political fragmentation of the education system.