Presentation july 7

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Presentation july 7

  1. 1. EFFECTS ON POLICY AND SCHOOL BOARDS
  2. 2. Privatising education, privatising education policy, privatising educational research: network governance and the „competition state‟ Stephen Ball
  3. 3. Overview  Paper addresses aspects of the privatisation of public sector education  Examines the forms of privatisation taking place of, in, and through education policy both nationally and internationally  Gives context to rhetoric such as “partnership” with respect to corporate logistics of expansion, diversification, integration and profit, and relates these commercial developments to changes in the state itself
  4. 4. Three Layers of Policy and Privatisation  Organisational recalibration  Colonisation of the infrastructures of policy  Global reach of education business
  5. 5. ORGANISATIONAL RECALIBRATION, ‘SELLING’ IMPROVEMENT AND MEDIATING POLICY
  6. 6. Retailing of Policy Solutions and Improvement to Schools  Policy is sold as a retail commodity through: ◦ Continuing professional development ◦ Consultancy ◦ Training ◦ Support and programme services
  7. 7. Examples in the UK  New Labor education policies offered business opportunities – “selling school improvement”  Government policy of zero tolerance for underperformance so “failing schools” must be remediated  “Turnaround services” marketed to school to meet targets  Provided at a price to make policy manageable to schools and teachers  Companies sell practical approaches to new policy ideas (i.e. personalised learning)
  8. 8. Examples in the United States  Policies such as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) pressures public sector to use private services  Four main functions to educational privatisation: ◦ Test development and preparation ◦ Data analysis and management ◦ Remedial services ◦ Content area specific programming
  9. 9. The „Sales Pitch‟  Offer „ready made‟ solutions  Selling the „necessities of change‟  Use words such as „coaching‟, „collaborative‟, „transformative‟, “innovative”  Provide “consultants” or “advisors”  “Savior Discourse”: Companies present themselves as working for the public good and saving the public sector from itself (making education better)  Private providers present a sense of urgency to change and to change quickly (scaremongering)  Presented as a necessity to accommodate to the requirements of policy
  10. 10. The Result  Districts feel pressure to use these services to meet targets  Outside vendors become able to exert political influence over local accountability reforms  These products change relationships within the workplace and make them more like those in other public and private sector organisations (more like „the firm‟)  Politics and business become embedded in the institutional culture  Failure becomes a business opportunity
  11. 11. THE COLONISATION OF INFRASTRUCTURE OF POLICY
  12. 12. A Hidden Layer of Privatisation  Representatives of the private sector work within the government to create policy texts and ideas as part of the „policy creation community‟  These policy products („statework‟) are then exported to private providers and agencies who disseminate new policy discourses in report writing, evaluation, advice, consultancy and recommendations
  13. 13. „Statework‟ Advisors Evaluators Philanthropy Service Delivery ResearchersBrokers “Partners” Committees Auditors
  14. 14. Scope (UK)  Office of Government Commerce (2005): consultant spending rose 42% in the past year to a total of 1.76 billion  Some private consultancies now focus entirely on public sector contracts due to the huge fees  Department of Education and Skills (DfES) increased spending on private consultants from £5 million to £22 million in three years without considering using its own staff  DfES was told by a committee to reduce spending on consultants but so far has not
  15. 15. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC)  Largest firm of accountants and management consultants in the UK with over 16 000 partners and staff in 37 offices worldwide  Embedded and intertwined in the education state with multiple roles, relationships and responsibilities  Act as suppliers of services, commissioners, brokers
  16. 16. PWC‟s “Grid of Power/Influence”  Involvement in 44 different aspects of work in relation to education policy  Specific examples include: ◦ DfES teachers workload study ◦ School workforce remodelling toolkit ◦ Building better performance ◦ Part of Education Funding Strategy Group
  17. 17. PWC Involvement and Roles
  18. 18. The Result  Private sector is part of, and doing the work of, the state  Profit and Product - many of the reports and recommendations create new opportunities for more business  Relationships become „totally inscribed in general and essential transformations‟  Stream of solutions, best practice, evidence, etc., are developed which tend to privilege further privatisation and business models.  Continuing to expand and provide opportunities for influence and profit for educational businesses  Foucault (1979), “apparently innocent, but profoundly suspicious”
  19. 19. THE GLOBAL REACH OF EDUCATION BUSINESS
  20. 20. Globalisation  Education businesses seek to expand into new market opportunities internationally especially when local market growth is modest  Increasing international opportunities for educational businesses (especially US and UK)
  21. 21. UK International Activity  New York School District applies English Inspection Model ◦ Cambridge Education provides services to lead school review programme ◦ Worth over $6 million per year ◦ Learned about CE from Michael Barber (consultant)  Cambridge Education also working with: National Government of Thailand, Provincial governments in China, Education Ministry in Hong Kong, California, New Orleans, Papua New Guinea, Eritrea, Bangladesh, Cambodia
  22. 22. US International Activity  Salisbury School in north London hired Edison Schools to increase GCSEs grades and scores in national tests for 14 yr olds ◦ Edison Schools is the largest private operator of state schools in the US ◦ 3 year contract worth over £1 million ◦ Took over management of the school ◦ Called it a „radical step‟ to outsource the management of a community school to a private business
  23. 23. The Result  “Policy Entrepreneurship”  Policy Transfer: Western ideas of organisation, education, leadership become embedded in local policy systems  Regulatory Re-territoralisation: ◦ increases political power and control as well as creates infrastructure that is friendly to future business opportunities.  “Re-colonialisation” – private sector is built into the system from the start in many developing countries.
  24. 24. DISCUSSION POINTS
  25. 25. Selling Improvement  Do you have any personal experiences with private sector involvement? (i.e. What products or services have been marketed to you?)  What benefits or problems could you foresee with private involvement in your district or school?
  26. 26. Colonisation of Infrastructure of Policy  How do you determine if an organisation’s purpose is to benefit education as opposed to being profit oriented?  To what extent should private sector be part of making policy decisions at a state level?  Can a private enterprise be trusted to advocate for policies that are in the best interests of students?
  27. 27. Globalisation  Is it ethical for private sector to be involved in policy decisions that impact the creation of educational systems in developing countries?
  28. 28. Three Decades of Choice in Edmonton Schools Alison Taylor Jessie Mackay
  29. 29. Overview  Article considers the role of a school board in structuring provision and its relationship with „consumer groups‟  Examines two overall questions: ◦ How does a school board that is well known for its alternative programs and high levels of student mobility manage choice processes? ◦ How does it engage with different „consumers‟ in establishing alternative programs?
  30. 30. In Support of Choice:  Introduction of market mechanisms will make schools more responsive to parental demand and will raise standards.  Prevents system from being dominated by unions, professional organizations and other interests  Challenges bureaucracy and makes the system responsive to parents  “Markets” transfer power from producers (the system) to consumers (the parents)
  31. 31. Does this increase responsiveness?  Government and school systems generally control the entry of new providers (choice schools), resources, curriculum, transportation, policies regarding access  Schools often end up choosing the students (permanent „seller‟s market‟).  Social class advantages are reproduced. Not all schools and parents have equal access to choice. The elite segments of population get more choice, while the bottom segment of the market doesn‟t have the same opportunity.
  32. 32.  Racialized choices may be encouraged. School differences may have more to do with attempts to change the socioeconomic and ethnic student mix than with innovation  In the UK, schools who are „losing market share‟ are encouraged to provide choice programs, but lack the resources. They must increase diversity without adding costs
  33. 33. Context: Edmonton Public Board  Opened school boundaries in 1973 which allowed student mobility  Outlined provisions for alternative options in 1974 with a belief that providing choice meets the needs of a pluralistic society  School Act was changed in 1988 to allow alternative programs that emphasized a particular language, culture, religion or subject matter
  34. 34. Timeline of Alternative Programs  1980: 11 alternative programs  1980-1995: four more programs added  1995 – 2005: twenty-two more programs added (150% increase!)
  35. 35. Requesting an Alternative Program  According to the district: ◦ Presented by parents, staff or community ◦ District ensures that the program complies with criteria ◦ Department makes a recommendation  According to some within the district: ◦ “We don‟t have a clear definition in policy” regarding establishment. ◦ Seems to be a policy to have no policy  District staff initiated over 1/3 of schools: Perhaps alternatives create demand rather than vice versa  Tensions are often created regarding staffing etc.
  36. 36. Three Programs as Case Study  Awasis ◦ Created to meet the needs of Edmonton‟s Aboriginal children and families  Victoria School ◦ K to 12 arts focus ◦ Was formerly Victoria Composite High School prior to declining enrolment  Logos Christian Program ◦ Alternative program with a Chrisitan emphasis
  37. 37. Awasis  Idea born from a school trustee who approached their domestic employee (who was First Nations) about the idea  Wrote the proposal along with a university professor so it would sound well educated  At various stages, trustees questioned whether it would be against policy, segregate native students, wondered if the students were „at a comparable level‟ to the system
  38. 38. Awasis  Only once (1999) wanted to influence staffing when there was a tension between the Cree people and the Awasis administrators  Support was not always strong. District questioned spending large amounts of money on a small population  This type of school does not attract greater numbers, as does an arts- based school
  39. 39.  Inclusion/exclusion was an issue – Awasis students were seen as outside of the local community because they were bussed. Local councilors felt that there was more vandalism, assault, robbery for this reason  The expanded junior high site was closed due to finances, poor achievement and community relations.  Executive director of Edmonton Metis and Family Services questioned whether the expanded program was set up for failure from the start
  40. 40. Victoria  Principal with ties to the arts community developed the vision  No evidence of parent representatives in the proposal  Proposal included a summary of enrolments by program and suggested that they should move away from a trades focus in order to attract „more capable‟ students in the area  Became part of a plan to revitalize the area
  41. 41.  Board report noted that reduction in vocational students would have a positive impact and assist in the task of improving school effectiveness  Transformation was essentially uncontested/ little debate
  42. 42. Logos  Trustee approached a former principal to work on a proposal for Christian program  Wrote proposal with two university professors, one experienced in Christian alternative programs  A lawyer and a parent joined with them to form the board of the Logos alternative program  Used a fiscal argument to show the board was losing money to home, private, separate schools  Used a legal discourse based upon minority rights, suggestion that Christians were
  43. 43.  Pointed to other religious schools (Talmud Torah)  Wanted significant input into selecting the principal and staff  Admittance requires signing a contract – does this eliminate „problem children‟?  Non-Christian parents worried about it affecting the „regular‟ program
  44. 44. Synthesis  Discourses about policy evolve over time  Awasis and Logos show the shift from creating schools that meet the needs of marginalized youth towards those that appeal to consumer preferences and attract high performers  Most advocates are not „ordinary parents‟ but have personal knowledge or access within the system  District control over the establishment of alternative programs can mitigate the risk of shifting demographics. (i.e. EPSB superintendant commented that many schools were placed downtown where the population has diminished)
  45. 45.  The district established a programs department to deal with the demands of parent groups  The level of support from the district was much different in the case of Awasis as compared to Victoria and Logos
  46. 46. Advantages of Public Markets  Responsive to diversity  Gain market share through appearance of innovation and responsiveness  Encourage parent involvement  Shift responsibility and accountability for student outcomes to the family  Increase the district‟s ability to respond to demographic changes
  47. 47. Tensions  What degree and kind of diversity is desirable in a public system?  On one hand, districts promote themselves as innovative and responsive, but on the other, they attempt to allocate resources across schools efficiently  Some bureaucratic rules must exist to ensure equal access to opportunity and quality standards; this constrains the market  Schools may seek programs that attract the top students  Schools are supposed to differentiate for individual students, so how does that fit in?
  48. 48. DISCUSSION POINTS
  49. 49. Choice and Public Schooling  Within a public school board, how much choice is appropriate?  Why do most people choose a regular program instead of a school of choice?  Do these alternative programs conflict with the idea of personalised learning and differention?
  50. 50. Purpose and Equity  What is the real purpose of alternative programs? Do they meet a need or create a need?  Do alternative programs provide choice or are they intended to increase enrollment and create a particular demographic ‘mix’?  As they are now, is the process for creating and enrolling in an alternative fair and equitable? Why or why not? What might improve this?
  51. 51. Standards, Accountability, and School Reform Linda Darling-Hammond
  52. 52. Overview  Authors examine the outcomes of various approaches to the standards- based reform movement as well as the unintended consequences of high- stakes testing  Examines the issue of accountability in terms of improving teaching and learning
  53. 53. Alternate Views on High-Stakes Testing Let‟s Do It!! Maybe Not…  High stakes testing should be used to make decisions that have consequences for teachers and students (i.e. merit pay, recognition, extra funds)  Promotes accountability  Will mobilize resources for student learning  High stakes tests simply certify student failure more visibly  High stakes tests are often imposed without addressing inequalities in access to qualified teachers  Narrows curriculum  Pushes low achievers into special Ed (for funding reason)  Selective admission
  54. 54. Types of Accountability Political Legal Bureaucratic Professional Market
  55. 55. Accountability Attempts  Ending social promotion through testing (Retention): ◦ More misbehaviour ◦ More dropouts ◦ Misreporting of test scores (higher and lower) ◦ Retained students did not do better the next year ◦ Lower self-concept ◦ Does not address issues of teaching and learning (i.e. Repeating the same steps again still won‟t improve learning)  Substantial research says this does not work
  56. 56. Inequalities  Two thirds of minority students attend predominately minority schools  Urban districts tend to get less resources  Teachers with high income tend to be in low-minority, high achieving areas
  57. 57. Institutional Responses to Testing  Most schools rely on year-to year comparisons rather than longitudinal studies of the same population  Attempts to skew data (i.e. exclude certain individuals, etc.)  Student selection – get rid of low achievers, attract high achievers  Capable staff don‟t want to take risks
  58. 58. More Effective Strategies  Enhance preparation and PD for teachers  Redesign school structures for intensive learning (i.e. team teaching, smaller numbers of students)  School-wide and classroom performance assessments  Targeted supports and services when needed
  59. 59. Connecticut - Improvement By:  Standards-based PD, and high standards (performance assessments) for teachers  Assessment of students‟ higher-order thinking and performance skills  Student assessments can NOT be used to determine promotion/graduation  Pressure for schools to improve but not rewards/punishments for results  Investments: improved teacher salaries and equalized funding so all districts could attract quality staff  Scholarships and forgivable loans for teacher candidates  High standards for teaching licenses; required Master‟s degree for continuing license
  60. 60. New York School District #2  Focus on ongoing, intensive PD  Focus intensely on a few curricular strands that are expected to have a long- term impact  Teams of principals and teachers work together on district wide curriculum and staff development issues – Shared Expertise  Accountability in terms of meeting objectives for instructional improvement  Management defined as helping teachers to do their work
  61. 61. Professional Accountability (NY)  High stakes in terms of hiring and retaining teachers/principals, NOT punishing students who don‟t succeed  Uncomfortable for some, but created a positive professional culture
  62. 62. New Haven, CA  Tightened teacher evaluation  Held administrators accountable for assessing teachers AND providing supports for teachers to meet expectations  Redesigned hiring process (not so last- minute)  Focus on retention: LOTS of support for new teachers, mentors, support teams, PD opportunities, 90 minutes/ week to plan collaboratively  Decided to create highly qualified teachers instead of spending on an array of special programs
  63. 63. New Haven Standards & As‟mts  Clearly articulated performance standards with clear descriptions of seven different performance levels  Criterion-based parent reporting system, including Special Ed and ELL  Three strands of assessments  Database system to pull together info about students to use in program planning
  64. 64. Accountability & Success  Accountability is about IMPROVING student learning (not just measuring) ◦ Ensure teachers have knowledge and skill ◦ Provide structures that support high quality teaching and learning ◦ Create processes for assessment that are formative  Accountability only occurs when a useful set of processes exists for interpreting and acting on the information in educationally productive ways  Policy decisions should rest on whether or not they improve teaching and learning
  65. 65. DISCUSSION POINTS
  66. 66. Do you agree or disagree with the idea that accountability should be based upon the teacher/school’s ability to meet instructional goals (assuming the instructional goals are appropriate and effective)?

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