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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2001): Education - Overseas

CHARTER SCHOOL AUTHORIZERS: PUBLIC AGENTTS FOR HOLDING CHARTER SCHOOLS ACCOUNTABLE

S. Vergari

Education and Urban Society, vol. 33, 2001, p. 129-140

Argues that more attention should be given to those charged with granting school charters. Discusses the different types of charter school authorizers, their roles and responsibilities with respect to accountability, and the political factors that complicate the accountability process.

CHARTER SCHOOL LEADERSHIP

B. Dressler

Education and Urban Society, vol. 33, 2001, p. 170-185

Article looks at the daily responsibilities and challenges of leadership in charter schools. Based on results of a survey of charter school principals in Colorado, author notes that most of the principals had prior experiences as a principal or in a related leadership position in a traditional state school. Many also had formal training in an educational leadership programme. Thus, contrary to opponents' fears of unqualified personnel leading schools, the majority of charter school principals in Colorado are veteran educators.

A FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING CHARTER SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY

G. Garn and C. D. Cobb

Education and Urban Society, vol. 33, 2001, p.113-128

Authors use three models of accountability (bureaucratic, performance and market) as a lens through which to explore different state policies on charter school accountability in Arizona, Kansas and Minnesota. They argue that states which blend multiple methods of accountability do a better job keeping all constituents informed about charter school performance, without sacrificing autonomy or innovation.

NATURAL SELECTION OF AN INTELLECTUAL ARISTOCRACY

A.Shlaes

Financial Times, Mar. 20th 2001, p. 23

Argues that America's standardised admission test (SAT) for university entrance has proved a great democratising force, despite its being under attack for discriminating against minorities.

THE POLITICAL CONSTRUCTION OF ACCOUNTABILITY: WHEN RHETORIC MEETS REALITY

L. D. Furarelli

Education and Urban Society, vol. 33, 2001, p. 157-169

Asserts that accountability in charter schools is largely a political issue, and not a technical, instrumental question as the rhetoric suggests. Drawing on student performance data and interviews with key state policy makers, concludes that viewing accountability in charter schools as a technical issue ignores the larger political considerations driving the movement.

A PROBLEM SOLVING STRATEGY FOR GIFTED LEARNERS IN SOUTH AFTICA

H. v. R. van der Horst

Gifted Education International, vol. 15, 2000, p. 103-110

A policy of mainstream education for all learners, including gifted learners, has been accepted by the South African Department of Education. Article proposes a strategy of problem solving in the teaching of gifted students as a possible way of differentiating the national curriculum in order to optimise their learning.

SUPPORTING GIFTED STUDENTS IN HONG KONG SECONDARY SCHOOLS: SCHOOL POLICIES AND STUDENTS PERSPECTIVES

Pang Ming Fai

Gifted Education International, vol. 15, 2000, p. 80-96

To date, policies in Hong Kong towards supporting gifted students have focused on school-based provision and enrichment programmes. With regard to the former, evidence from the author's case studies suggests that schools have not developed clear policies for the support of the gifted. With regard to the latter, while enrichment programmes provide gifted students with positive learning experiences, they also contribute to their growing dissatisfaction with mainstream schooling. This reinforces the need for mainstream schools to support the gifted within school, especially those who have attended enrichment courses.

TEACHER AUTONOMY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN CHARTER SCHOOLS

J. R. Crawford

Education and Urban Society, vol. 33, 2001, p. 186-200

Comparing teacher autonomy in traditional state schools and charter schools in Colorado and Michigan, author found that, contrary to expectations, teachers in charter schools may have less autonomy than their traditional state school counterparts. He found no significant difference in teachers' perceptions of autonomy in traditional state schools and charter schools. In addition, teachers in state schools believed they had more opportunities to participate in decision-making than their charter school counterparts. Findings suggest that teachers in charter schools may not be benefiting from the "autonomy for accountability" bargain promised by the movement.

"WHADDYA MEAN, YOU WANT TO CLOSE MY SCHOOL?"

F. M. Hess

Education and Urban Society, vol. 33, 2001, p. 141-156

Observes that less than 1% of charter schools have ever been closed or not had their charters renewed due to poor performance. Suggests that charter school accountability might be fruitfully understood as a political phenomenon.