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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2003): Education - Overseas

ACADEMIC RECOVERY IN LOS ANGELES

T Harvey

Working Brief, issue 144, May 2003, p.21-22

Examines 'Options for Youth' (OFY), a successful programme for academic recovery of high school drop-outs in and around Los Angeles. The programme is based on individually tailored programmes of study using independent study packs and one-to-one tutorials. Finds success is due to one-to-one tuition, using personalised programmes of study, the absence of school rules and peer pressure, giving students personal responsibility and making them feel acknowledged and valued. Suggests that a similar scheme could work in the UK.

EQUITY AND ENTREPRENEURIALISM: THE IMPACT OF TAX INCREMENT FINANCING ON SCHOOL FINANCE

R Weber

Urban Affairs Review, vol. 38, 2003, p.619-641

Many US municipalities have adopted entrepreneurial approaches to economic development. These approaches involve alliances with private businesses and include tools such as venture capitals funds and tax increment financing (TIF). If these entrepreneurial strategies lead to a rise in property values and hence in property based taxes, then all jurisdictions dependent on such taxes benefit. Article analyses the impact of TIF on school districts' fiscal health in Cook County, Illinois. Findings suggest that more intensive use of TIF negatively affects the property tax revenues of state schools. However a proportion of the budget shortfalls appears to be relieved by increases in state school aid.

FEES FOR GERMANY?

H Pidd

Guardian Education, May 27th 2003, p.9

Berlin universities are having to turn away students for lack of money. Thousands of students and staff from Berlin's three universities protested last week against threatened £143m educational budget cuts over the next four years.

FRENCH OBSESSION WITH LE BAC UNDER THREAT FROM STRIKE

J Henley

The Guardian, May 30th 2003, p.17

Fears are mounting in France that the country's annual academic ordeal, the baccalaureate exams, will face serious disruption from an accelerating campaign of one-day strikes by teachers.

A LESSON IN DISCONTENT FOR PARIS ON PENSIONS

R Graham

Financial Times, May 21st 2003, p.10

France's teaching community, the biggest single group in the civil service, led a nationwide protest on Monday over plans to curb pension privileges.

(See also Financial Times, May 28th 2003, p.22)

PARENTS AS GOVERNORS AND PARTNERS IN SCHOOLS

J Heystek

Education and Urban Society, vol.23, 2003 p.328-351

Investigates parents' involvement in South African schools. This research shows that parents have limited involvement in schools that were formerly Black only schools. Identifies the reasons for this and finds Black parents do not see the education of their children as their responsibility.

POLICY INITIATIVES TO IMPROVE URBAN SCHOOLS: AN AGENDA

W L Bainbridge, T J Lasley, S M Sundre

Education and Urban Society, vol. 35, 2003 p.292-299

Looks at the problem of how to improve urban schools in America. Reviews initiatives in schools and suggests 14 research based strategies that have a role in school reform.

RECONSTITUTION: THREE YEARS LATER: MONITORING THE EFFECT OF SANCTIONS ON CHICAGO HIGH SCHOOLS

G A Hess

Education and Urban Society, vol. 35, 2003 p.300-327

Describes the process of reconstitution at seven inner-city high schools in Chicago. Reconstitution meant staff had to re-apply for their jobs. Some current staff were re-appointed, some were fired and some new staff were appointed. The main aims of the process were to improve academic results and to enhance interaction amongst students and between students and teachers. Finds reconstitution was not a very successful improvement strategy.

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