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

ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT FOR INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS ACTIVITIES: RESPONSES TO THE "NEW ACCOUNTABILITY".

J.F. Welsh and J. Metcalf

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 25, 2003, p 183-193

Responsibility for quality assurance in higher education in the USA falls on decentralised system of accrediting agencies. Higher education institutions accredited by one of the six accrediting agencies in the USA must demonstrate that they have designed and implemented acceptable processes for institutional effectiveness improvement. Article reports research exploring the nature of administrative support for institutional effectiveness initiatives. Results show that administrators are more likely to support such activities when:

  • the primary motivation for undertaking them is internal improvement not external reporting;
  • they lead to initiatives that are implemented by the institution;
  • the administrators are directly involved in the activity itself.

BASIC EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA: FROM FINANCE REFORM TO WORLD BANK PROJECTS

C. Wang and M. Bergquist

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 17, 2003, p303-311

Education reform in China since the 1980s has left local authorities, communities and households with full responsibility for the costs of school operation and expansion. County councils. town councils and villages (or urban districts) are now responsible for financing senior secondary education, junior secondary education and primary education respectively.

COMPREHENSIVE URBAN HIGH SCHOOL: ARE THERE BETTER OPTIONS FOR POOR AND MINORITY CHILDREN?

T.J. Ilg and J.D. Massucci

Education and Urban Society, Vol. 36, 2003, p.63-78

The article examines four models for secondary education (magnet schools, school reform models, small high schools and Catholic high schools) and their impact on student achievement in the US urban setting.

THE EVER-WIDENING GYRE: FACTORS AFFECTING CHANGE IN ADULT EDUCATION GRADUATE PROGRAMS IN THE UNITED STATES

J. Milton and others

Adult Education Quarterly, vol.54, 2003, p.23-41

Study aimed to develop an understanding of recent changes that have occurred in the size of adult education graduate programmes in the USA. Three factors (programme integration, responsiveness to change and leadership) that contributed to changes in the numbers of students and faculty in graduate programmes were measured through qualitative interviews and quantitative survey data. Results showed that viable programmes have strong leadership, are well integrated into the university and are responsive to change both within the institution and in society.

"FIRST AND FOREMOST THE CHURCH OFFERS ITS EDUCATIONAL SERVICE TO THE POOR": CLASS, INEQUALITY AND CATHOLIC SCHOOLING IN CONTEMPORARY CONTEXTS

G. Grace

International Studies in Sociology and Education, Vol. 13, 2003, p. 35-53

The article explores the role of the Catholic Church in providing education to the poor and oppressed, tracing traditional Catholic education before considering the Church's schooling in the present day. It discovers that Catholic schools differ dramatically across the world depending on local power structures, class, cultural conditions and economic and race relations. In conclusion, the article calls for further research into the power relations of the Catholic Church.

GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO STUDENT THREATS OF VIOLENCE

D. G. Cornell

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 41, 2003, p.705-719

A spate of school shootings in the USA triggered the introduction of draconian zero tolerance school discipline policies and the widespread dissemination of guidelines for identifying potentially dangerous students by means of warning signs. Article proposes threat assessment as an alternative to these approaches. It describes the development of guidelines for investigating and resolving pupil threats of violence. Threat assessment permits school administrators to make reasonable judgements about the seriousness of a threat, to resolve most threats quickly and efficiently, and to reserve more labour-intensive procedures for the most serious threats.

A META-ANALYSIS OF GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED TRAINING PROGRAMS

D. H. Greenberg, C. Michalopoulos, and P. K. Robins

Industrial and Labor Relations Review, vol.57, 2003, p.31-53

Study used meta-analysis to synthesise findings from 31 evaluations of 15 government-funded training programmes for the disadvantaged operated in the USA between 1964 and 1998. On average, the earnings effects of the training programmes have been largest for women, quite modest for men, and negligible for youths. Results also suggest that the programmes have not become more effective over time, and their effects have not tended to be large. Classroom skills training was found to have been effective in increasing earnings, while basic education was not. No evidence was found that more expensive training programmes performed better than cheaper ones.

THE NATURE OF URBAN SCHOOL POLITICS AFTER BROWN: THE NEED FOR NEW POLITICAL KNOWLEDGE, LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS

R. C. Hunter and S. Donahoo

Education and Urban Society, Vol. 36, 2003, p.3-15

The Supreme Court decision in the case of Brown v Board of Education ended segregation in urban schools in the USA. The article discusses the political nature of urban school districts and the job of urban school superintendents since the Brown decision. It begins by examining demographic changes that have occurred in many urban areas. It goes on to look at the influence that "white flight", federal and state education policy, and school take-overs have on the political nature of big-city school districts and their leadership. It concludes with a brief overview of the role parents play in the new policics of urban education.

ONGOING INEQUALITY IN A "KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY": PERCEPTIONS AND ACTIONS

K. Te Riele and S. Crump

International Studies in Sociology and Education, Vol. 13, 2003, p. 55-75

The article examines the perceived need for students to gain more and better qualifications with the advent of the "knowledge economy". Two research projects within secondary schools reveal that students, as well as their parents and teachers, consider that qualifications do not necessarily provide them with knowledge they required to succeed in their chosen career, but rather act as a "screening tool" to help employers distinguish between growing numbers of candidates. Social inequality in the education system, which in turn affects students' employment prospects, is also examined. The article concludes with the hope that the career aspirations of the students involved in the study would be achieved through their commitment to education.

POST-SCHOOL VOCATIONAL TRAINING INITIATIVES FOR YOUNG ADULTS IN GREECE: THE CASE OF IEKS (VOCATIONAL TRAINING INSTITUTES)

G. K. Zarifis

Research in Post-Compulsory Education, Vol. 8, 2003, p.153-178

Vocational Training Institutes (IEKs) were set up in Greece in 1992 to improve the training of the middle-echelon workforce with the aim of enabling the country to compete effectively within the EU. The article looks at the organisational structure of the IEKs, their relationship with the formal education system and the labour market, their target groups and the types of training programmes offered. Finally, it considers the future prospects of a system that, ten years after its establishment, has not yet proved its value.

PRIVATE HIGHER EDUCATION IN MALAYSIA: STUDENTS' SATISFACTION LEVELS AND STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS.

M. S. Sohail and M. Saeed

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, Vol. 25, 2003, p173-181

Because of economic problems since the Asian crisis of 1997, Malaysia has devised innovative ways of encouraging students to stay in their own country instead of taking courses overseas. One approach has been for private colleges to offer courses through twinning arrangements with foreign universities. Study analyses the level of student satisfaction with these courses

REFORMING PAKISTAN'S EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM: THE CHALLENGE OF THE MADRASSAS

R. Looney

Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, vol. 28, 2003, p.257-274

Westernised middle- and upper-class families in Pakistan send their children to mainly nondenominational private schools. The poor have to choose between inadequately funded state schools and the Madrassas (Islamic religious schools). Author argues that these are a fount of Islamic fundamentalism in that country, and a possible source of recruits to Islamic terrorist organisations. Describes various attempts by the government to regulate the Madrassas.

REGULATING SAFE SCHOOL COMMUNITIES: BEING RESPONSIVE AND RESTORATIVE

B. E. Morrison

Journal of Educational Administration, Vol.41, 2003, p689-704

Advocates a restorative justice approach to school violence. Restorative justice in schools needs to be introduced across three levels of regulatory intervention. Primary, secondary and tertiary. The primary level of intervention involves teaching all pupils conflict resolution techniques to enable them to sort out differences in respectful and caring ways. The second level of intervention involves encouraging pupils to bring problems and concerns about bullying, teasing etc., to a classroom circle for joint discussion and resolution. The tertiary level of intervention uses restorative justice conferencing to address serious incidents of harm by gathering the people most affected by the wrong-doing together to talk about how the incident impacted on them and the best strategy for moving ahead.

SCHOOL CHOICE AND THE SOCIAL MARKET IN NEW ZEALAND: EDUCATION REFORM IN AN ERA OF INCREASING INEQUALITY

L. Gordon

International Studies in Sociology of Education, Vol. 13, 2003, p. 17-34

The article investigates school choice, and the social, economic and political processes that surround it. The school choice policy, introduced in 1990, meant that funding went directly to each individual child, rather than being shared out between schools. The study reveals that social and economic factors have a huge impact on school choice, adversely affecting many schools, with the result that children from low-income families find it virtually impossible to get into the best schools. The article concludes that the policy has not only fostered educational inequality but also economic inefficiency - the worst of both worlds.

THREE FUTURES FOR UNIVERSITY PROVISION: THE SOCIAL JUSTICE MARKET, STATE CAPITALISM AND PRIVATE FOR-PROFIT UNIVERSITIES

M. Sinclair

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, Vol. 25, 2003, p 161-171

Argues, from an Australian perspective, that a private for-profit approach to university provision is likely to allow greater access for more students to quality university education at lower cost than is state university provision.

WESLEY ELEMENTARY: A BEACON OF HOPE FOR AT-RISK STUDENTS

S. Pollard-Durodola

Education and Urban Society, Vol. 36, 2003, p.94-117

The article identifies the nine factors that contributed to the academic success of Wesley Elementary School in Houston, Texas. These are:

  • strong instructional leadership by the principal
  • a core reading and maths programme that emphasises basic skills
  • a safe and structured school environment
  • high expectations of both teachers and pupils
  • frequent and systematic evaluation of teachers and pupils
  • a well planned curriculum that addresses student needs
  • innovative staff development
  • a plan for preventing academic problems
  • a common vision
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