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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 1999): Education - UK - Higher

BLAIR'S REVOLUTION FOR LEARNING

J. Carvel
Guardian, March 8th 1999, p. 1

The government is planning a huge expansion of universities over the next eight years to ensure that at least 50% of young people under 30 participate in higher education. The students would be encouraged to secure academic qualifications through short courses combined with longer periods of part-time study undertaken without interrupting their careers.

THE DEARING REPORT AND STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

A. Hurst
Disability and Society, vol. 14, 1999, p. 65-83

Paper describes attempts to inform and influence Dearing's National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education. Then considers the Committee's recommendations for future policy which are directed specifically to disabled people, the implications for disabled people of the general recommendations, and the supplementary report on students with disabilities.

FAILING COLLEGES FACING CLOSURE

R. Smithers
Guardian, Feb. 18 1999, p. 9.

Reports that failing further education colleges that do not make significant improvement will be closed down in the latest government drive to improve standards. Colleges causing the most concern will be issued with a football-style early warning through a 'yellow card', followed by a 'red card' if they fail to demonstrate adequate progress. This could lead to colleges being closed down and re-opened under a new team of governors.

UNIVERSITIES OFFERED CASH BAIT FOR POORER STUDENTS

J. O'Leary
Times, March 5th 1999, p. 8

Universities are to receive a 5% 'premium' for every student they recruit from poor areas to try to ensure that an extra 45,000 higher education places go to groups under-represented on campuses.

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL RESEARCHER: REFORMATION OF IDENTITY IN THE RESEARCH MARKET PLACE

J. Ozga
International Studies in Sociology of Education, vol. 8, 1998, p. 143-153.

Article considers the nature and impact of managerialism in higher education with particular reference to research. Managerialism is addressed primarily as a transmission system of economic rationalism into the body politic of the university. In this culture, competitiveness is assumed to improve performance and only the financial calculation of benefit is recognised.

QUALITY STANDARDS AND CONTROL IN HIGHER EDUCATION: WHAT PRICE LIFE-LONG LEARNING?

P. Broadfoot
International Studies in the Sociology of Education, vol. 8, 1998, p. 155-179.

Argues that as the current organisation and character of higher education are reinforced by the application of various kinds of external quality assessment, so the power of the 'categoric' assessment discourse is reinforced and change becomes correspondingly more difficult. While lifelong learning and increased educational participation are broadly perceived as desirable goals, the fundamental changes required for their realisation in practice are inhibited by the current dominance of 'performance' ideology and its associated 'categoric' assessment discourse.

EDUCATION - OVERSEAS

EFFECTIVENESS OF SCHOOL CHOICE: THE MILWAUKEE EXPERIMENT

J. P. Greene, P. E. Peterson and J. Du
Education and Urban Society, vol. 31, 1999, p. 190-213

School choice or voucher plans in which parents can use public funds to select the public or private school their children attend have been promoted as a means to improve the quality and efficiency of educational services. The evidence in this article about the school choice experiment in Milwaukee provides an opportunity to learn more about the effects of voucher programmes.

HIGH EXPECTATIONS: AN ACTION PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTING GOALS 2000

F. C. Lunenberg and B. J. Irby
Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press, 1999

Gives an overview of education reform movements in the US over the past 50 years. Discusses the establishment of eight education goals to encourage lifelong learning, which were enacted into US law as Goals 2000. Each chapter first reviews one of the 8 goals, then discusses specific ways in which the goal can be implemented.

OUTCOMES FOR ACCOUNTABILITY IN CURRICULUM PLANNING IN AUSTRALIA

L. Brady
International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 13, 1999, p. 25-30.

Outcomes have replaced objectives as the major label expressing educational intent in Australia. The practice of overt, assessible indicators of student achievement is not new, as it was embedded in behaviourally stated objectives, but one legacy of the national curriculum has been more frequent and uniform use of outcomes in planning by teachers. This use of outcomes in schooling is consistent with a government platform of economic reform which is expressed in the development of work-related competencies. Such benchmarks of achievement in schooling and the world of work are the means of ensuring accountability.

PARENTS WHO GET WHAT THEY WANT: ON THE EMPOWERMENT OF THE POWERFUL

D. Birenbaum-Carmeli
Sociological Review, vol. 47, 1999, p. 62-90

Paper explores parent-educator power relations in the era of parent participation, focusing on a powerful parent group. Traces this organised participation and its impact on teachers' standing and on weaker members of the community. By employing terms of civil participation and social integration these parents legitimised the prioritisation of their own children's interests, while oppressing less powerful parents, teachers and principals. The paper is based on fieldwork carried out in an Israeli neighbourhood from 1987 to 1991.

REINVENTING URBAN EDUCATION IN TEXAS: CHARTER SCHOOLS, SMALLER SCHOOLS AND THE NEW INSTITUTIONALISM

L. D. Fusarelli
Education and Urban Society, vol. 31, 1999, p. 214-224.

In response to criticisms of large urban schools, charter schools have been promoted as a vehicle to restructure urban education by creating schools that are smaller, less bureaucratized and more attuned to local needs. In 1995, the Texas legislature authorised the creation of charter schools. A charter school is defined as an autonomous, publicly funded entity that operates on the basis of a contract between the group that operates the school and a sponsor, usually the local school district or state education agency. The charter specifies how the school is to be operated and the educational outcomes by which it is to be judged.

SCHOOL ENTERPRISE BARGAINING AND THE NEED FOR QUALITATIVE RESEARCH: SOME REFLECTIONS FROM AUSTRALIA

T. A. O'Donoghue and S. Clarke
International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 13, 1999, p. 45-56

Article focuses on the phenomenon of enterprise bargaining in education by outlining the policy context within which it has been taking place and the need for research aimed at understanding participants' perceptions of it and their experience of the bargaining process. Then examines the micropolitical approach to engaging in such research. Enterprise bargaining presents opportunities for individual organisations to negotiate agreements defining terms and conditions most appropriate to their circumstances.

SCHOOL TAKEOVERS AND ENHANCED ANSWERABILITY

R. C. Hunter and J. Swann
Education and Urban Society, vol. 31, 1999, p. 238-254

In the past 15 years several states have employed a new educational reform strategy whereby state government, in a process known as state takeovers, replaces locally elected and hired school administration officials in problem districts and assumes managerial responsibilities. It is argued that state takeovers are detrimental because they do not address the systemic problems that impede quality education in the affected school systems.

EDUCATION AND NEW HEGEMONIC BLOCS: DOING POLICY THE 'RIGHT' WAY

M. W. Apple
International Studies in Sociology of Education, vol.8, 1998, p. 181-202.

Author analyses the formation of a new hegemonic bloc that is pushing education in particular rightward directions in the US. The tense alliance includes various factions: neo-liberals, neo-conservatives, authoritarian populists and a particular fraction of the upwardly mobile new middle class.

MARKET AS METAPHOR IN CENTRAL AND EAST EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION

V. Tomusk
International Studies in Sociology of Education, vol. 8, 1998, p. 223-239.

Article discusses the role of labour markets, markets for degrees and qualifications and the market for educational services in higher education reforms. The downsizing of the state has shifted many of its previous functions to random, often external agents. Formerly unified higher education systems and even institutions are broken into segments each pursuing their own short term goals.

TUITION VOUCHERS IN THE UNITED STATES: LET THE BATTLES BEGIN

P. J. Weber and V. E. Gabbert
Education and the Law, vol. 10, 1998, p. 153-163.

Article looks at the historical, political, constitutional and public policy issues that are part of the current debate on the use of voucher systems to finance education in the US.

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