Teacher Education in America: Reform Agendas for the Twenty-First Century

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Send us a new image. Is this product missing categories? Add more categories. Review This Product. Welcome to Loot. Checkout Your Cart Price. In other words, Hollywood and public-employee unions are just as liberal as advertised, but the allegedly right-wing ranks of K—12 education reformers turn out to be every bit as one-sided in their partisanship Figure 2. Some readers may wonder whether education reform leans toward Democrats simply because everyone in K—12 education is a Democrat. In a word: Nope. For instance, Education Week polling reports that just 41 percent of educators identify as Democrats, with 27 percent identifying as Republicans and 30 percent as independents.

These results paint a surprising picture of education reform: one of a movement dominated by Democratic partisans. Indeed, it is fair to wonder how these depictions have become so detached from the reality of who populates the world of education reform.

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Given the paucity of Republicans or of individuals inclined to support Republican candidates , it is no great surprise that school reform seems to reflect the politically progressive impulses of the contemporary left. These risks are heightened by reformers laboring under the mistaken impression that their coalition is politically and ideologically diverse—when the data suggest it is not. More so than in many major policy areas, K—12 policy is shaped at the state and local level. Especially given that two-thirds or more of the states are conservative or politically contested—including such reform bellwethers as Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, and Tennessee—reform suffers to the extent that it struggles to anticipate and address Republican concerns or speak credibly to Republican audiences.


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Indeed, unencumbered by Republicans in their midst, school reformers have found themselves energetically embracing aggressive progressive stances on hot-button issues such as immigration, tax policy, and gun control. Meanwhile, given the ongoing resistance to reform from prominent Democratic constituencies, a Democrats-only reform coalition faces a natural ceiling on its prospects.

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All this matters for at least three reasons. First, that education reform appears to be populated by Democrats raises obvious questions about the political and ideological breadth of the movement. A coalition whose staff and scholars are so identified with one political party is likely to suffer when forging bipartisan coalitions, finding new converts, or anticipating and addressing opposition concerns. Reform advocates who support a Democratic Party that is lurching left may not know or care how their proposals and rhetoric are perceived by those in the center or on the right.

Second, that major foundations allocate their funds in this manner is noteworthy. After all, the Gates and Walton foundations spend a lot of time developing comprehensive strategies, surveying their grantee portfolios, and seeking ways to advance their agendas in a variety of political contexts. Despite such efforts, they have few Republican-leaning organizations in their grantee mix. The answer may shed light on the dynamics of educational philanthropy and, perhaps, on why so many of its efforts have encountered rough sailing.

Third, it is remarkable to see how far the reality is from the commentary about K—12 school reform. Observers of the national conversation would never imagine that school reform is just as left-leaning as such liberal bastions as Hollywood and public-employee unions. Reform critics, for ideological and tactical reasons, have opted to describe Democratic reform organizations as right-wing.

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Journalists and analysts have accepted these charges at face value, helping frame public discourse about schools and schooling. We suspect these assertions have also fostered not only confusion among the public but also miscalculations made by reformers and public officials. A movement whose membership is so thoroughly partisan will suffer when forging bipartisan coalitions and winning converts. This is doubly true in a time of deep political polarization.

Put simply, a movement for education reform this monochromatically blue is an unhealthy movement. How Democrats have come to so heavily dominate education reform—and why this state of affairs has gone unremarked—are questions that require further analysis and reflection. Whether one is moved to cheer these findings or jeer them, those questions are fascinating, timely queries that deserve serious scrutiny going forward.

Jay P. Greene is distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. Frederick M. Hess is director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior editor of Education Next. User Agreement Privacy Policy. Kuh challenged institutions of higher education to ensure that all students engage in at least one of these high-impact practices within the context of their majors. Assessment and feedback. Psychologists have long demonstrated the positive impact of providing feedback as a mechanism for enhancing performance Kluger and DeNisi ; Schmidt and Bjork Faculty began to recognize that the performance of many students was enhanced when they received early and frequent feedback as opposed to the standard midterm and final examination grades.

To some degree, the assessment movement in the country gained momentum as a function of the Involvement in Learning report calling attention to the importance of frequent assessments of learning accompanied by authentic feedback. After years of inattention to the articulation and assessment of student learning outcomes by many faculty, the academy began to study and to implement in systematic ways the programming that might result in enhanced student academic achievement.

At the same time, accrediting bodies and governmental agencies reinforced this movement in the drive to strengthen accountability. Given the paradigm shifts and structural changes that have evolved in higher education since , it is not surprising that educators and policy makers have strategically envisioned ways of maximizing efficiencies and introducing courses for college credit in high school that will give students a head start on reaching their degree goals Kleiner and Lewis One effort, the national Early College High School Initiative, has begun to make headway in increasing the educational attainment of students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds as well as from low-income families Nodine In most early colleges, high school students enroll in some classes on college campuses that include college students as well.

Teacher Education in America

Ideally, students are provided with support services from their high school to help ensure their success, and partnerships between high schools and universities help facilitate seamless transitions between high school and college. Webb and Mayka recently reported that early college high schools now operate in twenty-eight states, enrolling over fifty thousand students. Many of these students are from underrepresented groups. In —10, 70 percent of the students enrolled in early college schools were students of color, and 59 percent were eligible for free or reduced lunch.

The college-going rate of early college high school students is quite impressive given these demographics: of students who graduated from an early college school in , , or , 73 percent were enrolled in a postsecondary educational setting, as compared with the national college-going rate of 63—69 percent.

The early college model is excellent, particularly when students are enrolled in college classes on college campuses. Students who are prepared for such enrollment are well served. The aspirations for the early college model go well beyond dual credit. Nancy Hoffman, a vice president at Jobs for the Future, the national nonprofit that has guided the early college initiative since , indicates that first-generation students gain the insight that they are as entitled as any student to go to college if they are prepared.

Through the experience of doing some college work, they also gain evidence that they can succeed. Thus, the principal benefit of the early college model is that it helps ensure students have the preparation and the persistence to succeed pers. Yet caution is warranted. Too often, dual credit may be awarded for high school courses taught by high school instructors without sufficient attention to replication of expectations and learning Peters and Mann While there is salutary attention to a seamless and collaborative system of P—20 education, the awarding of college credit to high school students must also be associated with parallel expectations for student learning and academic achievement.

The rigorous methodologies used to assess early colleges are often not in place. Though the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships serves as a national accrediting body that provides measurable criteria for assessing quality in concurrent enrollment programs, the standards may be difficult for institutions to meet without additional resources. States may impose caps on tuition charged for dual credit and waive tuition for students qualifying for free and reduced-price lunch , making it difficult for institutions to create infrastructure to support the faculty site visits, alumni surveys, and end-of-term student assessments that are necessary for ensuring high quality.

State mandates for accepting such credit have to be coupled with assessment of student learning, and the significant enhancements to the student learning experience in college must somehow inform the work of instructors who teach dual-credit courses. It is too early to determine the ultimate impact of dual-credit enrollment on two-year and four-year degree completion rates.

And it is too early to assess the learning and academic achievement as programs are increased. There have been considerable challenges associated with aligning curricula to ensure that student learning outcomes for courses taken in high school are comparable to corresponding college courses. Matthews asserts that we need policies that insist upon a seamless educational experience for students as they move from secondary through postsecondary education, but these are only beginning to be developed.

Indeed, some students may not be willing to enroll in a first-year seminar given that the maximum number of level courses has already been distributed into their degree plans. Why have it at all? From this perspective, whittling away at that number early in the educational process is a mark of efficiency—as well, perhaps, as a mechanism for improving social justice. However, little consideration is given to the intellectual development that should ultimately be produced through the completion of a college degree.

Ideally, we need to extend the high-impact practices that have begun to define the college experience down into high schools. Many early college units do this, but early college is not illustrative of most dual-credit programming.

Teacher Education in America: Reform Agendas for the Twenty-First Century by Lucas, Christopher J

This is particularly important, given that the results of such educational practices have been disproportionately beneficial for low-achieving and minority students Brownell and Swaner The attention campuses have paid to the first-year experience, especially in terms of the first-year seminar and learning communities, has resulted in students making the transition to successful university study as measured both by engagement and by student success. Yet students arriving with a good deal of dual credit miss that transition to successful university study. What is the answer? One possibility is to ensure that the high school experience is an early college experience, preferably located on a college campus.

While this may be ideal for some high school students, it is not geographically or financially feasible on a large scale. Another solution is for campuses to develop learning communities and first-year seminars that are appropriate for high school students who have earned dual credit. Students could participate in learning communities in which they receive support for developing cognitive strategies e.

How can we make the senior year of high school more like college? This is a primary mission of the early college model.

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