Education reforms under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), introduced by the Bush administration, have been hotly debated in the United States. Since the 1990s, standard-based education reforms have been developed in many states aiming principally to close the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students. However, an assertive technique of policy implementation by using sanctions and rewards under NCLB has caused considerable confusion in the practical field of education. It is important to consider the kinds of education policy problems that have faced school districts governing actual school education, and how these bodies have reacted to the standard-based education policy requirements mandated by the federal government to secure the achievements of minority students. This paper examines how school districts have formed the framework of standard-based education, and how they have reacted to and interacted with the federal government under NCLB, taking the Seattle School District in Washington state as a case study. Furthermore, this discussion considers the characteristics and problems of standard-based education policies from the viewpoint of minority education policy. At the state level, the Washington State Legislature passed the Education Reform Act in 1993, and performance standards for students, an accountability system, and the WASL (Washington Assessment of Student Learning) test were developed to evaluate schools. However, the state had to amend the levels of accountability in accordance with NCLB in 2003. At the school district level, the Seattle School District also amended its academic goals in line with NCLB. Focusing on the results of the WASL test for the years 2003 to 2005, although the Seattle School District met the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets in the "all students" category, certain sub-groups of students fell short of the goals. It is important that the achievements of black and white students tend to show considerable differences, particularly in mathematics. (View PDF for the rest of the abstract)
This thesis inspects 'pedagogical freedom of the teacher' (die pädagogische Freiheit des Lehrers) in Germany today, by taking up two new theories by J. Rux and H. Wissmann. 'Pedagogical freedom of the teacher' is legally secured in every federal state in Germany, so the individual teacher is allowed certain discretionary room for his educational work. Educational administration has no authority to make 'unjust interventions' into individual teachers' work (Clause 2, Article 100, School Law of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern). It also means that legal position of the teacher is distinguished from that of other public servants. The legal position of a teacher in Germany is, more than anything else, set in the traditional public servant system. As a teacher is a public servant, he/she is charged with state responsibilities for school education, and therefore has the duty of obedience to superiors as well as other public servants. However, an order-bound teacher cannot help his/her students develop individually and humanely. For this essential goal of school education, not only standardized school education but also an individual, active and creative one is demanded. This is why 'pedagogical freedom of the teacher' is legally secured. In the first chapter, the legal concept of 'pedagogical freedom of the teacher' is examined. In Germany, according to the tradition of state supervision of schools, school education is organized by the state. Therefore teachers' acts are bound by state control through laws, administrative regulations and orders. Despite these, teachers are entitled to design class contents and determine methods, decide teaching materials, give grades to his/her students and so on, provided that the certain range and limit of 'pedagogical freedom of the teacher' is respected. In the second chapter, the friction over 'pedagogical freedom of the teacher' is described using court litigation as an example. These trials became conspicuous after the 1980s, and the following subjects were brought into the courts: Orders to revise teachers' scholastic evaluations of the students, class change of the teacher and prohibiting certain educational acts by the teacher (such as 'punitive compositions'). (View PDF for the rest of the abstract)
Each State (Land) in the former Federal Republic of Germany formally started mother tongue teaching for the children of immigrant workers at school from the end of the 1970s to the beginning of the 1980s. In some states, mother tongue lessons are taught under the state government's responsibility and in other states by a consulate of the motherlands. With the change to the Hessian government in 1999, immigrant language teaching was abruptly abolished. The Hessian Minister of Education offered an explanation for this abolishment as follows. At the beginning of mother tongue teaching, it was assumed that families of immigrant workers were to go back to their native country after a temporary stay. Nowadays, however, it is presumed that they will not return and will settle in Germany. Therefore the duty of the Ministry of Education for immigrant children no longer includes mother tongue teaching, but German teaching. This political judgment is supported by the following two trends; first, federal and provincial governments emphasize the integration of immigrants and second, PISA revealed less achievement of immigrant children in Germany. However, the aims of mother tongue teaching, which had run over 20 years, are seen to have evolved. Initially, the aim was indeed exclusively preparation for repatriation, but mother tongue teaching later achieved greater significance as the acceleration of German learning and as the development of multilingual abilities. This progress can be confirmed in Ministry reports and other official documentation. In this paper, I show that the perspectives of the Hessian Ministry of Education in terms of the aims of mother tongue education had certainly changed and I consider the implications of the cessation of mother tongue teaching. Hessian education policy regarding immigrant children was relatively unique due to the length of time that the Social Democrat Party had held the government. The order on education for foreign children in 1978 observed a "double strategy" (temporal integration to the German society and prospective re-integration to the society of origin), in line with a 1977 resolution of the conference of the minister of education (Kultusministerkonerenz). The uniqueness of this order rests in the obligation to mother tongue teaching; no other state had (not has had to this day) such a regulation. This naturally promoted the highest rate of participation in mother tongue teaching in Germany.(View PDF for the rest of abstract)
The Chinese government is actively emphasizing the fact that their nine year compulsory education system is increasingly being upheld and followed throughout the country. However, there is still an extremely large number of students dropping out of junior high school in many rural communities. One of the reasons for this is considered to be 'yingshi jiaoyu' by junior high schools and the students' mindset of 'yanxue.' 'Yingshi jiaoyu' means the educational system focusing on entrance examinations and proceeding to higher education. Long hours of supplementary classes are often required even for students who do not express an interest in continuing their education past junior high school. 'Yanxue' means the dislike of schools and studying. Another potential reason for high dropout rates, 'dushuwuyonglun' , is indicated by farming parents. 'Dushuwuyonglun' means that there is no perceived necessity to attend junior high school because what students (i.e., the children of farmers) learn there is seen as 'useless'. This paper examines early leavers among junior high school students and farmers' feelings towards education based on the result of a survey conducted in northeastern Chinese agricultural villages. The results clearly show a widespread of 'yingshi jiaoyu' sentiment that, in turn, causes an attitude of 'yanxue' among students at junior schools in the agricultural villages. For early leavers, however, other factors are also involved. One of these is the economic improvement of agricultural villages, and the other is the introduction of new products to the villages such as cellular phones. The popularization of new products is causing the farmers' income to increase and also a general labor shortage. Therefore, farmers sometimes employ children around junior high school age and pay in cash. As a result, even children can easily receive cash income with which they can buy their desired products. Such technological and environmental changes are also causes of early leaving. In each case of early leaving, however, various factors are concerned and the relationship among them is often complicated. (View PDF for the rest of the abstract)
In Japan, the issue of private tutoring expenses has been debated as a social issue for some time. We have recently seen a new phase regarding private tutoring expenses; for example, several public junior-high schools are affiliated with specific private tutoring schools and offer after-school facilities to support extra education for students. Despite the significant function and impact of taking advantage of private tutoring, past educational research has neglected to focus on these aspects. Different from other educational issues such as equal educational opportunity and diversity in public education, these issues go beyond public education and limitations exist to discuss them only within the public education arena. How private tutoring and public education will establish a cooperative relationship has presented considerable controversy. In South Korea, the issue of private tutoring has also been debated for several years, yet with considerably more intensity. Since the 1960s, private tutoring expenses have been recognized as social issues and the South Korean government has been attempting to take various measures toward them. However, while the government is tackling the issues, we have not seen much progress or improvement. This article investigates the reasons behind this lack of progress, aiming to disclose the historical background, relevant factors and the current situation of private tutoring expenses in South Korea. It approaches the subject from the perspective of educational policy, revealing a vicious circle whereby new governmental policies concerning private tutoring expenses have in turn caused other private tutoring expense issues. Through reviewing the background of issues concerning private tutoring expenses, it becomes obvious that the primary reason why private tutoring expenses developed as social concern is rooted in radical entrance examination policies after the 1960's, which evolved with the development of mass education. Although these policies achieved a high degree of equality of educational opportunity, the rigid college admission system is characterized by contradictions. Therefore, many students started to seek supplementary education outside of school to differentiate themselves from their peers. In South Korea, a paradigm shift in private tutoring has recently become apparent. (View PDF for the rest of the abstract)
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