ERIC Number: ED430732
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Mar
No One Best Way--But Many Very Good Ways.
Brandt, Ronald S.
Noting that variety in education may be seen as a basic mechanism for change, this paper examines four important developments in public education: (1) site-based decision making; (2) charter schools; (3) whole school designs; and (4) parent choice. The paper maintains that site-based decision making should involve giving schools authority and responsibility for solving their own problems and then leading them to improve rather than just leaving schools alone to solve their problems. The paper further notes that although the growth of charter schools illustrates the potential for future entrepreneurs' efforts in education, there probably will not be any entirely new models of education invented. The paper advocates whole school programming, or comprehensive school reform, and describes examples of successful implementation of externally-developed and designed school programs. Also noted is the importance of careful evaluation to determine if such programs produce results, and concern that the leadership and support needed to successfully implement educational models may be underestimated. Finally, the paper suggests that some degree of choice is an essential part of the emerging model of schooling and that parent choice is necessary with greater variety of educational models. The paper also maintains that education can be successful only when parents and teachers share a common philosophy, and advocates the development of a model moderating individual choice by limiting available choices to those approved by a responsible public agency. A recommendation for working toward deliberate educational variety concludes the paper. (KB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference and Exhibit of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (54th, San Francisco, CA, March 6-9, 1999).