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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 1999): Education - Overseas

AN ANALYSIS OF FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE STUDENT PERFORMANCE: A FRESH APPROACH TO AN OLD DEBATE

S. Jaggia and A. Kelly-Hawke

Contemporary Economic Policy, vol. 17, 1999, p. 189-198

Uses the 1992 Massachusetts Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test scores from 4th, 8th and 12th grade students to measure student performance. Results indicate that family background and community stability are the main factors influencing student performance. Data suggest that higher levels of spending have no consistent or systematic relation with student performance.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS? : EDUCATING ECONOMICS IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING

J. Kenway

Journal of Education and Work, vol. 12, 1999, p. 157-178

Argues that vocational education and training in Australia have been impoverished by a combination of rationalisation (mostly involving government spending cuts), marketisation, and corporatisation (i.e. application of business management principles to education). Article offers an alternative framework which provides VET policy-makers with an ethical base rather than technical formulae for decision-making. VET qualifications frameworks can and should include emancipatory and life politics as well as technical competencies.

THE MARKETISATION OF GUIDANCE SERVICES IN GERMANY, FRANCE AND BRITAIN

T. Rees, W. Bartlett and A. C. Watts

Journal of Education and Work, vol. 12, 1999, p. 5-20.

The development of a learning society depends upon individuals being able to make informed choices about education, training and employment opportunities. This gives a new impetus to the role of adult guidance services. Article compares developments in Britain, France and Germany, focusing in particular on the trend towards marketisation of adult guidance services.

SLEIGHT OF HAND : THE POLITICAL SUCCESS AND ECONOMIC FAILURE OF JOB TRAINING POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES

G. Lafer

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 20, 1999, p. 139-150

For the past 20 years job training has been promoted as the US Federal Government's primary labour market policy for improving the employment of opportunities of low-income Americans. Author suggests that training has failed to alleviate poverty. In fact, US training policy seems to function less as an economic policy designed to address unemployment than as a political strategy for insulating both private employers and public officials from the popular backlash against downsizing.

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