School Effectiveness for Whom? Challenges to the School Effectiveness and School Improvement Movements

By Roger Slee; Gaby Weiner et al. | Go to book overview
its techniques to test policy prescriptions. Much of the work in this area has been undertaken in Scotland (see e.g. Gray, Mcpherson and Raffe, 1982; Willms and Mcpherson, 1997), New Zealand (Lauder et al., 1995; Harker and Nash, 1996; Hughes et al, 1996 and 1997) and the United States albeit often from a neo-liberal perspective (see e.g. Chubb and Moe, 1990). Research within this tradition is better understood as examples of a revamped political arithmetic (Brown et al., 1997) designed to bring to account official claims about government policy.
3
To give an example, in a study conducted by Lauder and Hughes (1990) one of the least performing schools in their sample-once intake and contextual variables had been taken into account-was a single-sex girls school with an apparently high socio-economic intake. However, this result is almost certainly misleading since the majority of high SES (socio-economic status) fathers who had been ranked in the category 'manager' had in fact been upwardly mobile but without high educational qualifications. It could be assumed that they had no cultural capital to pass on, hence the mean SES score of the school should have been lower than estimated. Even the most basic variables in school effectiveness research are theory impregnated!

References

b
BALL, S.J. (1981) Beachside Comprehensive, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
BALL, S.J. (1987) The Micro Politics of the School: London, Methuen.
BALL, S.J. (1990) Educative, Inequality & School Reform: Values in Crisis! Inaugural Lecture, Centre for Education Studies, Key's College, London.
BALL, S.J. (1996) 'Good school/Bad school', Paper presented to the BERA conference, Lancaster, September.
BALL, S. and BOWE, R. (1992) 'Subject departments and the “implementation” of National Curriculum policy: An overview of the issues', Journal of Curriculum Studies, 24, 2, pp. 97-115.
BARR, R. and DREEBEN, R. (1983) How Schools Work, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
BOWLES, S. and GINTIS, H. (1976) Schooling in Capitalist America, London: Routledge.
BROWN, P. (1987) Schooling Ordinay Kids, London: Tavistock.
BROWN, P., HALSEY, A., LAUDER, H. and STUART WELLS, A. (1997) 'The transformation of education and society', in HALSEY, A., LAUDER, H., BROWN, P. and STUART WELLS, A., (eds) Education, Culture, Economy and Society, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chapter 1.

c
CHUBB, J. and MOE, T. (1990) Politics, Markets and America's Schools, Washington: The Brookings Institute.
COLEMAN, J., CAMPBELL, E., HOBSON, C., MCPARTLAND, J., MOOD, A., WEINFELD, F. and YORK, R. (1966) Equality of Educational Opportunity, Washington: US Government Printing Office.
COLEMAN, J. (1988) 'Social capital in the creation of human capital', in HALSEY, A., LAUDER, H., BROWN, P. and STUART WELLS, A. (eds) Education, Culture, Economy and Society, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chapter 4.

g
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (USA) 'Elementary school children: Many change schools frequently harming their education', Report to the Hon. Marcy Kaptur, House of Representatives, Washington D.C. Author.

-67-

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