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Standards v. structures debate..sch shouldn't have to choose

 
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2451
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:52 pm    Post subject: Standards v. structures debate..sch shouldn't have to choose Reply with quote

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2014/feb/05/schools-standards-structures-education-policy

by Ron Glatter


Quote:
The standards vs structures debate: schools shouldn't have to choose


Politicians may be working hard to emphasise the importance of quality teaching and leadership in schools, but neither can thrive without the right framework


Quote:
Two politicians from opposing parties were singing the same song last month. Speaking at the North of England Education Conference, Tristram Hunt, the relatively new shadow education secretary, bemoaned: "The relentless focus on structural change in our schooling system" mainly through opening large numbers of academies and free schools.

He said if elected Labour would adopt a different approach, emphasising teacher quality, symbolised by his announcement that teachers would have to be regularly relicensed.

A day later, at the same conference in Nottingham, David Laws, the Liberal Democrat minister for education, concluded his speech by remarking: "The subject of teaching and leadership is hugely important, but is too often neglected in favour of more ideological debates about structural reform".


Quote:
This is hugely important in the context of the current extreme atomisation of the school system with its many distinct types of school, unparalleled among comparable countries internationally, which is generating very large problems of both equity and manageability as well as great complexity and instability. Having two starkly different regimes of funding and oversight and totally separate legal bases for broadly similar schools only adds to the confusion.

It is an exceptional situation which presents formidable challenges to political parties that it would be irresponsible of them to duck, simply in order to secure a quieter life. They should plan to pick up the pieces of a fractured and chaotic system, ensure that all state-funded schools are on a level playing-field, inject coherence and order into the provision so that the options available can be clearly understood by all parents (and, where relevant, learners) and allow significant decisions to be made at local level.


I've seen such diversity regarding this change of schools' structures (organisation, ruling authority) in England ranging from schools being truly coerced into academy status compared to other schools where people cannot wait to gain the freedoms they think that becoming an academy provides.

Great contrasts - great upheavals.
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Debbie Hepplewhite


Last edited by debbie on Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2451
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Curran writes an excellent article on the topic of socioeconomic integration in our schools:

http://www.rrf.org.uk/messageforum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5939

Quote:
Extensive research by the Century Foundation clearly indicates that high levels of social integration in our schools creates a win – win situation. Not only will it benefit disadvantaged students but it will also benefit the high fliers and the more advantaged.

Learning in socially mixed classrooms, where students from different backgrounds communicate their different experiences and perspectives , encourages students to think in more complex ways(Verends &Penaloz 2010). In addition, middle class students benefit in integrated environments by learning to work with others, unlike themselves- a 21st Century skill highly valued by employers.

Jim Curran is a teacher, psychologist and committee member of the Reading Reform Foundation.


Mark Langhammer responds to Jim Curran's excellent article:



Quote:
Mark Langhammer (Director, Northern Ireland)
Association of Teachers and Lecturers


Education administrators and policy makers should be obliged to sit down, read, and digest Jim Curran’s excellent article (Irish News, 5 February).
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers has been promoting the value of socially balanced pupil intakes for years, not as a form of social engineering, but as the most effective tool available to drive educational performance across the system.

We know that more that 80% of education performance differentials lie outside the classroom. Social class has the biggest effect on performance, by a factor of ten above all others. The ‘school effect’ accounts for just 15% at most. Recognizing this is not a council of despair. Simply put, the best, cheapest and by far most effective ways of raising systemic educational performance (particularly for our most disadvantaged young people) is to ensure socially balanced pupil intakes at each and every school.


Please read the full texts, link above, as they are not long but they are very important.
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