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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



September 2019 | 176 pages | Corwin
Lead between the lines— evaluate Ed policies to emphasize the positives and minimize the negatives

Although educational reform is intended for positive change, sometimes it misses the mark.  However, when school leaders capitalize on the positive aspects of reforms they can strategize to ensure the best outcomes for students.

Christopher Tienken, professor and international speaker, shares his insights on how to identify both positive and negative aspects of education reform to maximize the benefits for students. This book introduces a practical framework for interpreting educational reform within an evidence-based practice, and provides thoughtful ways to finesse results out of challenging policies. Designed for use on the ground level, this book features:
Seven specific creative compliance strategies to maximize student and educator success
Case studies that illustrate how to critique reforms and take action
Reflective questions to guide evaluation and application
Ethical decision-making checklist

Analyzing both successful and unsuccessful reform ideas from the past, this book champions creative compliance and how to lead innovatively/judiciously. 

 
Foreword by Joshua Starr
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
INTRODUCTION
Creatively Comply!

 
Reform Defined

 
Purposes

 
Audience

 
Framing the Issues

 
Organization of the Book

 
Features of the Book

 
Why I Wrote This Book

 
 
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

 
Leadership Take-Away: Ethics

 
 
CHAPTER 2. CREATIVE COMPLIANCE
Creative Leadership Pathways

 
Seven Creative Compliance Strategies

 
Compliance Entrepreneur

 
Failure Is an Option

 
Leadership Take-Away: Creative Compliance

 
 
CHAPTER 3. REFRAMING REFORM
Reframe It!

 
Framing Reform

 
A Framework for Critique

 
Ethical Evidence

 
Now What? and Creative Compliance

 
Leadership Take-Away: Framing Reform

 
 
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?

 
Leadership Take-Away: Rigor

 
 
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?

 
Leadership Take-Away: Testing Use

 
 
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

 
So What? Understanding the Big Picture of Merit Pay

 
Ethical Considerations

 
Creative Compliance: Now What?

 
Leadership Take-Away: Merit Pay

 
 
Part III. Promising Practices
 
CHAPTER 7. CASE STUDY 4: 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

 
Well-Being in White Plains

 
Charting a Course in Pennsylvania

 
So What? Understanding the Big Picture of Recess of the Mind

 
Creative Compliance

 
Leadership Take-Away: Recess of the Mind

 
 
CHAPTER 8. CASE STUDY 5: PROBLEM- AND PROJECT-BASED LEARNING
Importance of Active Learning

 
So What? Understanding the Big Picture of PBL

 
Creative Compliance

 
Leadership Take-Away: PBL

 
 
CHAPTER 9. FINAL ISSUES
Spencer Returns

 
Top 10

 
Crack the Code and Act!

 
 
References
 
Index

In Cracking the Code of Education Reform Creative Compliance and Ethical Leadership Chris Tienken offers the reader an action plan for how to stay true to core values and ethics and still implement education reform on behalf of all students. Even in the era of “accountability” Tienken reminds us all that the student, not any test or reform is our “why” as educational leaders. Throughout the book, the “Try This” features offer in the moment professional learning opportunities. This is a must read for anyone interested in education!

Michael Lubelfeld, EdD, Author & Public School Superintendent
North Shore School District 112, Illinois
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
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