ERIC Number: ED394191
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Feb
Securing Equal Educational Opportunities. Past Trends and Coming Challenges.
Orland, Martin E.; Tan, Alexandra
This paper documents recent government policy changes and discusses the likelihood of their having significant, long-term impacts on policies to assist the educationally disadvantaged. It begins with an examination of traditional federal and state efforts to equalize educational opportunities through legal access guarantees, targeted categorical assistance programs, school-finance reforms, and the regulation of input and process standards. The paper then discusses why the traditional methods have been increasingly viewed as insufficient responses to securing equal educational opportunities, and examines the new approaches that have, in part, emanated from this dissatisfaction. The final section outlines some of the substantial challenges ahead for successfully implementing the new service strategies. A conclusion is that in response to weaknesses of traditional policy tools, a new set of state and federal policy reforms is beginning to emerge. Key components include more rigorous academic standards and curriculum frameworks; outcomes-driven accountability systems; more decentralized, coordinated, and citizen-responsive service-delivery arrangements; and funding strategies that focus on the assumed quality and adequacy of resource inputs in meeting designated student-achievement levels. These new initiatives differ from previous approaches in at least three ways: (1) their focus on performance outcomes; (2) the placing of policies for special-needs students within the context of improving the overall educational system; and (3) and a decreased reliance on state regulatory instruments. The future external policy environment will see a diminished federal role and tight funding constraints. The devolution of educational governance--in the form of charter schools, school choice, and block grants--may well thrive under these conditions. Information on the Finance Project and available resources is included. (Contains 28 references.) (LMI)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Categorical Aid, Court Litigation, Decentralization, Educational Opportunities, Educational Policy, Educationally Disadvantaged, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Federal Legislation, Finance Reform, State Legislation
The Finance Project, 1341 G Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20005 ($5).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Finance Project, Washington, DC.