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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2000): Education - Overseas

A CHILDHOOD FREE OF KNOWLEDGE? REFLECTIONS ON GERMAN EDUCATIONAL POLICY FOR THE EARLY YEARS

D. Elschenbroich

International Journal of Early Years Education, vol.7, 1999, p.259-264

Article contends that educational expectations towards pre-school education in Germany have been low for over two decades. Particularly in the 1980s during a period of stable economic growth, policy for nursery education was primarily discussed in terms of childcare, in order to allow more mothers to enter the labour market. Recently, however, the educational potential of the early years has been re-visited in a lively debate.

THE MARKETIZATION OF EDUCATION IN SINGAPORE: PROSPECTS FOR INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

L. Lim and J. Tan

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.3, 1999, p.339-351

The marketization of education in Singapore has produced features within the education system that emphasize school autonomy and competition among schools. Schools are under pressure to attract students who will be assets in terms of contributing to higher rankings in the league tables. Students who do not contribute to a higher ranking for their schools are likely to be considered to be liabilities. Marketization is pressuring to regular education system to excluded students with disabilities who may not perform well academically.

THE DYNAMICS OF IMPLEMENTING VET REFORMS AND LIFELONG LEARNING IN KOREA

Chon San Ihm

Journal of Education and Work, vol.12, 1999, p.309-321

The present reform efforts in Korea reflect a major change in VET policy. Changes proposed imply a major shift from a rigid and uniform central control of secondary schooling to a less coercive set of policies for creating a more 'open' school system. The proposed new system would be provided with alternatives to offer more choice and make vocational education more attractive to potential students. At the same time new programmes are being developed to support lifelong learning and to retrain the unemployed.

THE EDUCATION QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE: ONTARIO'S RESPONSE TO THE NEED FOR EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY AND IMPROVEMENT

J. M. Green and R. M. Jones

International Studies in Educational Administration, vol.27, 1999, p.55-61

Ontario's Education Quality and Accountability Office, which is responsible for a variety of programmes designed to enhance accountability and the quality of education in the province, was established in 1996. Article outlines the background to the establishment of the agency; its mission, values, activities and assessment approaches; and some preliminary information about what the office has learned from its first round of assessment and reporting.

PREPARING FOR THE NEXT RUNG: ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING AND EDUCATIONAL REFORM IN SINGAPORE

S. Gopinathan

Journal of Education and Work, vol.12, 1999, p.295-308

Paper examines new developments in the global and regional economics and the reforms being enacted in Singapore's education system to meet the demand for innovative, creative and skilled labour in the next millennium.

PRINCIPALS AND SCHOOL RESTRUCTURING: CONCEPTUALISING CHALLENGES AS DILEMMAS

C. Dimmock

Journal of Educational Administration, vol.37, 1999, p.441-462

Study aims firstly to chronicle the perceived dilemmas of a group of Australian principals striving to come to terms with school restructuring. Secondly, relying on empirical data, it develops a typology of dilemmas. Findings suggest two main types of dilemmas:

  • general, values-based personal-professional dilemmas called "states of mind"
  • specific, practical organisational dilemmas.

An example of the first is tension felt by principals between their roles as educational leaders and corporate managers. Examples of the second category of dilemmas relating to specific issues are these arising from the introduction of performance appraisal for teachers, and disposition of scarce resources.

SCHOOL SELECTION AS A PROCESS: THE MULTIPLE DIMENSIONS OF RACE IN FRAMING EDUCATIONAL CHOICE

S. Saporito and A. Lareau

Social Problems, vol.46, 1999, p.418-439

Paper uses quantitative and interview data from a population of eighth graders in the North western USA to examine the influence of race on the schools families select. Results show that white families assiduously avoid schools with a higher percentage of African American students. In contrast, African American families do not show a similar sensitivity to race; instead they tend to select schools with lower poverty rates. No evidence was found that the school choice programme was effective in decreasing segregation in urban areas.

WELFARE REFORM AND HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT PATTERNS FOR CHILDREN

D. K. Orthner and K. A. Randolph

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.21, 1999, p.881-900

Data were gathered from a longitudinal study of parents and children affected by welfare reform in the 1990s in North Carolina. Results showed that children growing up in poverty are at high risk of dropping out of school, irrespective of the welfare and work patterns of their parents. High school students whose parents are continuously employed or who move off of welfare and do not return are less likely to drop out of school, but even they are at substantially higher risk of leaving school than their middle class counterparts. To the extent that current welfare reform initiatives promote more consistent employment among disadvantaged parents or reduce returns to public assistance, it would appear that their children are more likely to stay in school.

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