ECI Interdisciplinary Journal for Legal and Social Policy
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Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2160-3065
Published by Texas Southern University [1 journal]
- Getting To Excellence: What Every Educator Should Know About Consequences
of Beliefs, Attitudes, and Paradigms for the Reconstruction of an
Academically Unacceptable Middle School
Authors: James A. Johnson et al.
Abstract: In this chapter a discussion of a salient dimension of the external environment in which today’s educators find themselves practicing – the policy context - is presented. Critical elements of this discussion include a truncated history of the encroachment on local control of the schools and the ensuing standardized-tests-based accountability and standardized testing movement. We also pay some attention to growing efforts to push back against these movements. We conclude this chapter with perspectives of a set of scholarly informants on quality, equity, and adequacy. Our effort in this chapter is to trace the political distance traveled from education defined by the diverse beliefs, values, attitudes and paradigms specific to the New England, Middle, and Southern colonies to the current emphasis on standardized-tests-based accountability, standards, and testing as they impact or fail to impact quality, equity, and adequacy – the context in which the Willie Ray Smith, Sr. Science and Medical Technology Magnet Middle School was previously branded academically unacceptable but now academically acceptable.
PubDate: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 11:00:56 PST
- Urban Education Reform- Case Study: North Forest Independent School
Authors: Jay K. Aiyer et al.
Abstract: Education reformers and advocates have conducted extensive studies and produced significant research around various models of school turnaround and reform. As a case study for policy in relation to models for school district turnaround, we will explore Houston’s North Forest Independent School District (NFISD). The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, as a study of policy we will retroactively explore the key factors that led to the proposed closure of NFISD. Second, using existing strategies of school turnaround, we will explore potential models of reform that may be applied to NFISD. Third, we will discuss biases and recommendations concerning a proposed annexation of NFISD by the Houston Independent School District (HISD) and how those biases and recommendations could potentially influence policy and ultimately increase student achievement.
PubDate: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 11:00:55 PST
- Education Reform and the Political Safeguards of Federalism
Authors: Elizabeth J. Sharma
Abstract: The passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2001 sparked widespread controversy over the federal government’s proper role in public education. Opponents criticized the legislation as an unprecedented federal intrusion on state and local governments’ policymaking authority. Whereas previous incarnations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) required local schools and districts to comply with detailed rules about how to spend categorical funds, federal moneys were never before made contingent on a rigorous testing and accountability regime. By requiring annual testing and tying federal funding to student outcomes, the new legislation signaled a shift in the federal government’s role vis à vis subnational governing bodies. This shift in authority led some to question whether state and local governments’ structural protections from federal overreaching are dead—at least in the field of public education. In The Political Safeguards of Federalism, Herbert Wechsler argued that because states’ rights are preserved through the legislative process, the Supreme Court need not intervene to protect states from federal regulatory intervention. The legislative process shelters state autonomy, Wechsler argued, by ensuring that federal legislation must gain the approval of the Senate, which is responsive to state interests, the House, whose congressional districts are dictated by state legislatures, and the president, who depends on states through the Electoral College system. According to critics, congressional acquiescence in President George W. Bush’s drive for top-down standards-based reform (SBR) demonstrates the failure of these traditional safeguards. Beginning in the 1990s, the Supreme Court stopped deferring to federal regulatory authority and began striking down legislation it deemed overly intrusive. According to the Court, national political institutions had failed to protect state interests, thus necessitating a more robust role for the judiciary in preserving the delicate balance between state and federal interests. Because federal legislators are under pressure to solve pressing national problems but are not responsible for implementation, they will inevitably pass the buck to state representatives by voting for coercive, unfunded mandates. Bipartisan support for NCLB brought together the likes of Representative Tom DeLay, a fierce opponent of federal intervention who once sought to eliminate the Department of Education, and liberal Democrats such as Senator Edward Kennedy, lending support to the Supreme Court’s more aggressive stance. It could be argued that federal representatives arrived at a legislative compromise without seriously considering NCLB’s impact on a broad spectrum of state and local constituents. In response to mounting criticism of Wechsler’s theory, Dean Larry Kramer has developed an alternative version of the political safeguards framework. He posits that the political party system itself protects states from federal intrusion because each party has representatives operating at multiple layers of government, all of whom are mutually dependent. According to this theory, representatives at the national level must respond to local and state concerns in exchange for political support, thus producing a natural check on federal encroachment. Dean Kramer further characterizes the proliferation of bureaucratic agencies beginning with the New Deal as an additional political safeguard of federalism. Like national political parties, regulatory agencies link federal, state, and local administrators together because the federal government relies on administrators at lower levels of government to implement policy. Dean Kramer’s revived political safeguards theory has interesting implications for the education field because of the unique role that politics and bureaucracy have played in the promulgation and implementation of federal education legislation. In this paper, I will apply Kramer’s political safeguards thesis to four educational reform movements: a New Deal Youth Program, administrative progressivism, the ESEA, and the modern standards-based reform (SBR) movement culminating in NCLB. Specifically, I will draw on educational reforms of these four periods to explore the extent to which bureaucracy and the party system can successfully mediate disputes over the division of power between local, state, and federal government.
PubDate: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 11:00:54 PST
- From Colonization to R.E.S.P.E.C.T.: How Federal Education Policy Fails
Children and Educators of Color
Authors: Christopher B. Knaus et al.
Abstract: In this paper, we argue that national education policy has maintained educational inequality through continually avoiding the very causes of inequality. While a steady stream of re-formulated educational policy mantras lead educators to continually shift curriculum and assessment tools, these efforts ignore the unexamined racism that shapes schooling in the U.S. This paper frames federal policy efforts as designed to continue to benefit White educators (and educators of color aligned to White interests), while justifying educational inequality, measured loosely by false notions of academic achievement. These policy efforts promote economic inequality, promote racialized ideals of what an educator and educational leader should “look” and “act” like, and situates efforts that empower students, communities, and/or educators of color as threats that must be silenced. We conclude with policy implications that fundamentally shift the nature of who should develop, implement, and evaluate a national education policy agenda.
PubDate: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 11:00:52 PST
- How (and Why) NCLB Failed to Close the Achievement Gap:Evidence from North
Authors: Roslyn Mickelson et al.
Abstract: Recent state and national policy changes for public education are premised upon the idea that high-stakes tests can improve student outcomes and close achievement gaps. Opponents maintain that such policies fail on both counts. Using a unique longitudinal dataset from North Carolina, we find that high-stakes tests have failed to close achievement gaps associated with social class and race, and that the persistence of these gaps is related, at least in part, to academic tracking. Such findings add to the questions being raised about such policies as No Child Left Behind.
PubDate: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 11:00:50 PST
- Behavioral Changes for African Americans To Improve Health, Embrace
Culture, and Minimize Disparities
Authors: Dashiel J. Geyen Ed.D; M.P.H.
Abstract: In spite of significant advances in the prevention, diagnoses, and treatment of most chronic diseases, there is evidence that racial and ethnic people of color tend to receive lower quality of care and less preventive interventions than the majority members of a community. While our health system should improve its efforts at addressing and reducing disproportionality in health care, African Americans can make behavioral changes through diet and exercise that will reduce their susceptibility to chronic illnesses. This article first reviews the prevalence, disparities, and characteristics of chronic diseases impacting the African American population. Second, it discusses culturally connected practices associated with the management, treatment, and prevention of chronic diseases among African Americans; more specifically, it explores cultural relevance as it pertains to diet and physical exercise. This paper outlines a process of behavioral change that will assist African Americans in transitioning to a healthier life style. Finally, it argues that African Americans can embrace behavioral changes to promote better health while continuing to embrace the richness of their culture.
PubDate: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 11:55:12 PST
- Educational Genocide: Examining the Impact of National Education Policy on
African American Communities
Authors: Christopher B. Knause et al.
Abstract: This paper clarifies the cumulative impact of the current national education policy on African-American children, which ultimately aims to limit local control of urban schools. The authors argue that urban schools in the United States are increasingly required to rely upon temporary teachers who are trained to implement a curriculum focused on standardized testing. The No Child Left Behind Act and the current Duncan administration’s approach to closing (and re-opening) schools combines to further exclude low-income community involvement in local schools. These efforts to control the development, hiring, and evaluation of local educators further expands educational racism that silences African-American students through biased notions of literacy and by the increased prioritization of math and science without regard to culturally responsive approaches. The paper ultimately argues that staying the course of current efforts will continue to negatively impact African-American communities, in particular through excluding African-American students from meaningful educational opportunities, while cultivating high dropout rates.
PubDate: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 11:55:11 PST
- Proposal to Reduce Recidivism Rates in Texas - 2010 Update
Authors: Marcia Johnson Professor et al.
PubDate: Fri, 08 Apr 2011 09:43:35 PDT
- In Support of Reasonable Humanistic Education
Authors: D. Vantrice Oates Ed.D.
PubDate: Fri, 08 Apr 2011 09:43:33 PDT
- The Status of Dialogue Journal Writing as a Methodology for the Literacy
and Language Development of African American Students
Authors: Ingrid Haynes-Mays Ph.D. et al.
PubDate: Fri, 08 Apr 2011 09:43:30 PDT
- The Quality of Education for African Americans in Houston
Authors: Kimberly McLeod Ph.D.
PubDate: Fri, 08 Apr 2011 09:43:28 PDT
- Entre Nous. A Critical Appraisal of Science Outcomes of Schooling for
African American Children and Youth Enrolled in the Houston Independent
Authors: James A. Johnson Ph.D. et al.
PubDate: Fri, 08 Apr 2011 09:43:26 PDT