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

ADVOCATING IN SCHOOLS FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES: WHAT'S NEW WITH IDEA

S.J. Altshuler and S. Kopels

Social Work, vol.48, 2003, p.320-329

The US Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was amended in 1997 and its regulatory provisions came into force in October 1999. Article provides information about the requirements of the law and the impact of the changes on the educational rights of disabled children. Changes discussed include:

  • expansion of categories of children with disabilities;
  • new requirements for mobile, homeless or culturally diverse populations and participants in the individualised education programme process;
  • payment for private school placements for disabled children;
  • provision of social work services in the schools.

DISPARITIES IN EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES AND OUTCOMES: WHAT DO WE KNOW AND WHAT CAN WE DO?

G. Maruyama

Journal of Social Issues, vol. 59, 2003, p.653-676

In a US context, article examines disparities in educational opportunities and outcomes based on ethnicity and poverty. It illustrates ways in which social scientists can be involved in shaping educational practices and policies, focusing on the types of skills that are useful and ways of thinking about the types of collaboration that are needed. Skills discussed are methodological as well as substantive. For collaboration, the model described is that of action research. Approaches are illustrated with personal examples drawn from collaborations with urban state schools.

DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION

F. Fletcher-Campbell and others

International Journal of Educational Management, vol.17, 2003, p.220-233

Article discusses the impact of different funding mechanisms for special educational needs drawing on data from the USA, the Netherlands and the UK. The strategic behaviours generated by different approaches to funding allocation are considered, and the degree to which any particular strategy can influence the inclusion of pupils with special educational needs is assessed.

AN EXAMINATION OF CHARTER SCHOOL EQUITY

N.G. Wamba and C. Ascher

Education and Urban Society, vol.35, 2003, p.463-476

Many charter schools have arisen in urban areas of the USA and appear to enrol more minority ethnic and low-income children. Despite the equity provisions contained in charter school law, they have not overcome the problem of racial segregation in education. Racially segregated schools imply unequal allocation of resources, with predominantly white schools being better funded, which results in unequal academic outcomes.

AN INSTITUTION IN CHANGE: A PRIVATE INSTITUTION IN TRANSITION

I. McRoy and P. Gibbs

International Journal of Educational Management, vol.17, 2003, p.147-154

In preparation for EU accession, plans are being drawn up to turn some of the existing private higher education institutions in Cyprus into universities. Article draws on insights from the experience of UK polytechnics moving to university status to help a private Cypriot institution draw up an action plan for implementing its own transition from college to university.

LIBERTARIAN EDUCATION AND ITS LIMITATIONS

A. Gezerlis

Democracy and Nature, vol.9, 2003, p.237-245

Article presents, and offers a critique of, the views prominent libertarians have supported on questions of the functions and significance of educational institutions in modernity and of the nature of "non-authoritarian" education.

PARTICIPATION VIA COLLECTIVE ACTION IN GOVERNMENT AND NGO SCHOOLS IN PAKISTAN

S.R. Khan

Development in Practice, vol.13, 2003, p.361-376

Parent-teacher associations (PTAs) or school management committees (SMCs) are an important way of promoting parental involvement in school reform in Pakistan. Field visits, a literature review and a small sample survey were used to explore the status of SMCs/PTAs established by provincial governments and NGOs in Pakistan. Concludes that power differentials between parents, teachers and officials will need to be ironed out if participation is to become effective.

POLITICAL RESPONSIVENESS AND EQUITY IN PUBLIC EDUCATION FINANCE

B.D. Wood and N.A. Theobald

Journal of Politics, vol.65, 2003, p.718-738

Public education finance in the USA is heavily decentralised and relies on local tax revenues supplemented by allocations by the state government from general funds. However, there are wide variations in funding per pupil across the country, ranging in 1996 from $4,946 in Utah to $9,907 in New Jersey. Article explains this variation in terms of the political leanings of a given state's citizens. States with conservative citizens and institutions are less likely to supplement the revenues of deprived school districts in the name of equity than states with liberal citizens and institutions. Judicial mandates are generally unsuccessful in producing more equal allocations, but are more successful in states with receptive (i.e. liberal) citizens and institutions.

SCHOOL REFORM MODELS AND SPECIAL EDUCATION

M.-S. Koh and J.S. Robertson

Education and Urban Society, vol.35, 2003, p.421-445

Article analyses the responses of special needs teachers to a survey of the impact of three school improvement models adopted in Memphis, Tenn. Teachers reported that there was increased inclusion and social interaction for special needs pupils as well as some accommodation for their learning needs. Weaknesses identified in implementation included a fast-paced curriculum and lack of modifications for students with special needs. Although these school reform models promise to improve learning for all, the special education teachers gave mixed views on whether their implementation was of great benefit to their pupils.

TEACHER SHORTAGES IN URBAN SCHOOLS: THE ROLE OF TRADITIONAL AND ALTERNATIVE CERTIFICATION ROUTES IN FILLING VOIDS

J.C. Ng

Education and Urban Society, vol.35, 2003, p.380-398

Article first examines traditional approaches to teacher training in the USA through university-based certification programmes. These can sustain negative perceptions of urban schools, and make trainee teachers reluctant to accept the challenge of working with minority ethnic children from low-income families. Goes on to examine alternative certification programmes as a means of producing more teachers possessing qualities helpful for working in urban schools. Concludes that staff shortages in urban schools will not be ended unless certain organisational issues are addressed.

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