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Cracking the Code of Education Reform
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Cracking the Code of Education Reform
Creative Compliance and Ethical Leadership

Foreword by Joshua Starr, CEO of PDK International



164 pages | Corwin

School leaders must navigate multiple education reform issues while remaining focused on the daily commitment of providing a quality education to all students. In many cases, the education reforms enacted by policy makers lack empirical support and/or result in potentially unwelcome or unethical practices, yet they are cloaked in rhetoric that makes it difficult for school leaders to accurately decipher the potential impacts on students and teachers. The lack of a practical framework from which to critique reforms such as using standardized test score to make important decisions about students and teachers, merit pay, and standardized curricula products can leave some school leaders in the position of supporting reforms that have long-term negative effects on students or educators. This book fills a void in the literature through a practical approach to

(a) provide school leaders with methods they can use to interpret and critique education reforms within an action-oriented framework grounded in ethics and empirical evidence;

(b) offer strategies school leaders can use to creatively comply with reforms that lack an evidence base or violate basic principles of ethics, in ways that lessen the negative aspects of education reforms at the point of contact with students; and

(c) model the use of a critique framework through example cases of four empirically and ethically dubious education reforms commonly faced by K-12 school leaders.  

Yong Zhao has written the Foreword.


 
Introduction
 
Part I: Reform Critique
 
Chapter 1: Ethical Context of Education Reform and Compliance
Reform  
Ethics Within the Context of Education Reform  
The Ethical Dilemma  
Ethical Responsibility  
Try This!  
Next Steps  
 
Chapter 2: Creative Compliance
Creative Leadership Pathways  
Seven Creative Compliance Strategies  
Compliance Entrepreneur  
Failure is an Option  
Try This!  
Next Steps  
 
Chapter 3: Reframing Reform
Reframe it!  
Framing Reform  
A Framework for Critique  
Ethical Evidence  
Now What? and Creative Compliance  
Try This!  
Next Steps  
 
Part II: Reform Case Studies
Chapter 4 Case Study 1: Reframing Rigor  
Origins of Rigor  
What Is Rigor?  
Redefining Rigor  
Complexity Versus Difficulty  
Goldilocks View of Rigor  
Complex Curriculum Standards  
Rigor in the Context of Democracy  
Functional Fixedness and Knowledge Reproduction  
So What? Understanding the Big Picture of Rigor  
Ethical Considerations  
Creative Compliance and Now What?  
Try This!  
Next Steps  
 
Chapter 5: Case Study 2 – Using or Abusing Standardized Test Results
Large Scale Use  
Three-legged Stool of Validity  
Standards of Testing  
So What? Understanding the Big Picture of Assessment Use  
Ethical Considerations  
Creative Compliance: Now What?  
Circumventing  
Tacking  
Negotiating  
Try This!  
Next Steps  
 
Chapter 6: Case Study 3 – Merit Pay
Money for Merit  
Theoretical Frameworks for Merit Pay  
Previous Experience with Merit Pay in Education  
Profit over People  
Why Teachers Choose to Teach  
So What? Understanding the Big Picture of Merit Pay  
Ethical Considerations  
Creative Compliance: Now What?  
Try This!  
Next Steps  
 
Part III: Promising Practices
 
Chapter 7: Recess of the Mind
Walking in Their Shoes  
Options for Recess of the Mind  
Move It!  
Recess of the Mind at Work  
S.W.A.G.  
Mindfulness in Nanuet  
Wellbeing in White Plains  
Charting a Course in Pennsylvania  
So What? Understanding the Big Picture of Recess of the Mind  
Try This!  
Next Steps  
 
Chapter 8: Promising Practice: Problem- and Project-based Learning
Importance of Active Learning  
So What? Understanding the Big Picture of PBL  
Creative Compliance  
Try This!  
Next Steps  
 
Chapter 9: Final Issues
Spencer Returns  
Top 10  
Crack the Code and Act  
Key features

There is no shortage of challenging issues confronted by public school leaders. The list seems to grow each year. School accountability plans, educator evaluation programs, standardization of curriculum and assessment, contradictory policy-maker expectations, and influences from international testing programs are just some of the current issues that exert pressure on public school leaders via rhetoric and education reform policy proposals. The lack of an integrated and practical framework from which to critique reforms can leave some school leaders in the position of supporting reforms that have long-term negative effects on students or educators. School leaders should be able to make accurate judgments about the ethics and efficacy of education reforms so they can decide whether they must defend students and educators from practices and policies built on nothing more than rhetoric, junk-science, and anti-intellectual ideology, or whether they should support a proposal or program founded on evidence of positive outcomes. This book is not an academic treatise on education reform. It is aimed squarely at practitioners and it is meant to be practical, yet it rests solidly on a foundation of empirical evidence.

·         Part I presents the critique framework

·         Part II presents critiques of some of the more dubious education reforms enacted since the inception of the No Child Left Behind Act: (a) rigor, (b) uses of standardized test results, (c) merit pay, and (d) TBD. 

·         Each chapter presents a case study critique, based on the six lenses of the framework

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ISBN: 9781544368214
$34.95

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