ERIC Number: ED296020
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Feb
Steady Work. Policy, Practice, and the Reform of American Education.
Elmore, Richard F.; McLaughlin, Milbrey Wallin
This report analyzes the relationship between educational policymaking and educational practice in schools and classrooms by drawing lessons from recent attempts to reform schools with policy. Educational reform operates on the following loosely connected levels: (1) policy; (2) administration; and (3) practice. Policy can set the conditions for effective administration and practice, but it cannot predetermine how those decisions will be made: in order for reforms to be large-scale or long-term, there must be dialogue among policy, administration, and practice. Federal reform policies of the 1950s and 1960s are analyzed. The mistakes of past policymakers can be remedied by strengthening the connection between policymakers and practitioners. To be effective, reform policies must do the following: (1) close the gap between policy and practice, in part by charging practitioners with the development of solutions rather than mandating requirements that have little or no basis in practice; (2) accommodate variability by creating policies that lead to better understanding of effective practice rather than discouraging and penalizing it; (3) learn that rules only set the standards of fairness and do not prescribe solutions to practical problems; and (4) create organizations that foster and encourage reforms of practice. (BJV)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Administrator Role, Analysis of Variance, Board of Education Policy, Curriculum Development, Educational Facilities Improvement, Educational Improvement, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Educational Researchers, Elementary Secondary Education, Performance Contracts, Public Policy, School Desegregation, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Role, Theory Practice Relationship
The RAND Corporation-Publications Department, 1700 Main St., P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90406-2138.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Administrators; Practitioners
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act