Presentation on theme: "Policy studies for education leaders Exercises Chapter 11."— Presentation transcript:
Policy studies for education leaders Exercises Chapter 11
1. Questions and activities for discussion 1.1 Discuss why people feel nervous about evaluations. 1.2 Find an evaluation that used quantitative methods and one that used qualitative ones. What methods of each type were used? Contrast the kinds of information yielded by each approach. 1.3 Find an evaluation report and evaluate it, using the criteria discussed in this chapter. 1.4 List the evaluation and monitoring techniques used by your SDE and identify the major indicators. Do they distort the behavior of your state’s educators in any way? How would you improve them?
Case-study: The middle school proposal goes down in flames A school superintendent decided to evaluate the curriculum and organization of the district’s junior high schools (grades 7-9) and formed a panel of evaluators consisting of the elementary, junior high, and senior high school principals and a teacher at each level. They were requested to complete a written report for the superintendent within five weeks of commencing the evaluation.
The panel prepared the report for the superintendent based on their own know beliefs about the school system and its needs, supplemented by limited staff and student perceptions collected with a survey instrument.
Included in the report were sections on academic achievement of local junior high school pupils, national trends in junior high school organization (stressing the advantages of the middle school concept), present and projected enrollments, gaps in the junior high school curriculum, and the physiological and social development of students in the junior high age group. The report recommended that the school system shift to a middle school organization, with grades 6, 7, and 8 in the middle schools, and grade 9 going to the senior high schools.
When the report was published, elementary and senior high parents were disturbed that specific concerns of theirs had not been addressed in the report. Elementary parents, especially, ere upset about the prospect of the loss of the school leadership provided by sixth-grade students.
They suggested, among other things, that many parents looked to sixth graders to escort their younger children safely to and from school. Senior high parents were alarmed at the potential overcrowding that would be brought about by the addition of grade-9 students.
Representatives of both parent groups complained to the school board. The board itself was irritated because the report did not assess the disadvantages and cost implications of the suggested reorganization and the advantages and disadvantages of other possible organizational changes. The board supported the parent groups and rejected the middle school concept.
Questions: 1. Using the criteria provided in this chapter, what were the weaknesses of this evaluation? 2. If you had been a member of the school board, how would you have voted on the panel’s recommendation? Why? 3. What could the superintendent have done to encourage a more credible evaluation? What could the panel of evaluators have done? 4. Reading between the lines, how do you think that the politics of evaluation affected this situation?
3.News story for analysis: District believes in bilingual education Austin, TX-Any time a school administration undertakes significant change, rumors and half-truths inevitably circulate. As expected, this has occurred with the launching of the Austin Independent School District’s blueprint to address the needs of chronically under-performing schools. Among the current rumors and half- truths, the notion has surfaced that this administration does not support bilingual education.
As the district administrators responsible for bilingual education, we want to lay that idea to rest right now. Make no mistake-AISD unequivocally supports effective bilingual education as the best means to successfully educate students who speak little or no English.
Our philosophy is based on several important tenets: The primary language is the most powerful tool a student has to attain full intellectual and social development. The patterns of the language learned at home are the foundation for academic achievement in all-English classrooms. The use of the primary language to develop vocabulary, comprehension and the mechanics of language in bilingual education and in English as a second language programs are powerful in raising academic achievement.
Fluency and literacy in the native language commensurate with a child’s age is vital for academic success in the second language. We can’t be any more straight- forward than that. That’s what we believe, and that’s what we practice every day in our 575 bilingual classrooms.
Undoubtedly, the cause of the recent confusion has been a misunderstanding by some members of the Harris Elementary community. A number of teachers at Harris practiced a dual-language bilingual education program, this year, funded by an outside grant.
We aren’t opposed to a dual-language approach in which Spanish speakers learn English and English speakers learn Spanish-if it is done well. Success requires every child to have both a command of their home language and to be on grade level in literacy skills in the native language if they are to fully benefit from the second language.
We’ve engaged national experts in bilingual education and literacy, Dr. Alba Ortiz of the University of Texas and Dr. Diane August of the Center for Applied Linguistics, to work with our staff in analyzing the dual-language program at Harris, and to suggest ways to make it more effective for the 2002- 2003 school year, the last year of the grant. Review of the 2000-2001 dual- language program evaluation revealed no single, comprehensive, cohesive approach to implementation being used at Harris.
A number of dual-language approaches were being used with varying degrees of effectiveness. There was also no continuity from grade to grade. A significant number of students were performing below grade level in their native language because they weren’t given the opportunity to have a good, solid basis for literacy before going to a second language. They, therefore, weren’t developing their literacy in either language.
We believe a dual-language approach can be effective if properly applied. We want to establish the efficacy of dual- language programs. We certainly don’t want them to fail. There are several sound approaches to bilingual education, but they must be properly implemented. That’s out bottom line. We believe in bilingual education. But we believe in doing it well, so that all our students attain great academic success, opening up worlds of opportunity for them in their adult lives.
Questions : 1. What problems did the evaluation of the dual-language program at Harris reveal? 2. Was the evaluation summative or formative? 3. What players in this evaluation arena can you identify? What other players may be involved? 4. What tactics have the implementers used to discredit the evaluation?