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ERIC Number: ED419240
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 38
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Top-Down and Bottom-Up: Teachers as Policy Advocates in the Michigan English Language Arts Frameworks Project.
Borman, Jennifer; Cusick, Philip
The Michigan English Language Arts Framework (MELAF) offers an illustrative case of top-down and bottom-up confluences in curriculum policymaking. In several distinct ways, state policy met local initiatives to create dynamic partnerships to spread change. State systematic reformers looked to the grass roots for ideas and percolating initiatives. Locals partnered with state reformers to galvanize and legitimize changes that had been underway before the newest wave of state policy came along. These top-down and bottom-up intersections reveal new ways to think about some of the possibilities of systemic reform. In the MELAF project, top and bottom joined in three arenas: (1) state reformers called on grass roots educators to write content standards in English language arts; (2) state reformers launched a "demonstration project" to bring together four local districts to showcase the state standards at the grass-roots level; and (3) teachers from the four demonstration districts created ways to advocate for state policy. The MELAF Project began in 1993 with a Goals 2000 grant to the Michigan Department of Education and the University of Michigan. In addition to providing intensive work with a relatively small group of teachers and districts, the MELAF Project worked in wider arenas as well. The standards were to undergird the state's assessment, and in Michigan, as elsewhere, state tests have exerted significant pressure on districts who in turn exert pressure on principals and teachers. MELAF was both a formal state policy emanating from the top of the system, and an effort to consolidate and accelerate changes percolating at the grass roots level. (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Goals 2000