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ERIC Number: EJ1129330
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0161-956X
Advocacy Groups and the Discourse of Teacher Policy Reform: An Analysis of Policy Narratives
Harrison, Christopher
Peabody Journal of Education, v92 n1 p42-52 2017
In recent years, several states have engaged in significant action surrounding a key policy area-- teacher policy reform. In Florida, for example, the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 736, the Student Success Act, heralded substantial shifts in the boundaries defining the profession of teaching in the state. Through SB 736 and its unsuccessful predecessor, Senate Bill 6, policymakers in Florida eliminated long-term contracts for teachers, directly linked teachers' evaluations to students' performance on standardized tests, and replaced traditional salary schedules with a system linking teachers' salary increases to their evaluation results. These changes represented a fairly significant change for Florida, which, despite a history of relative dynamism in education policy, had maintained the traditional teacher compensation and "tenure" systems prevalent across the United States since the 1970s (Springer, Houck, & Guthrie, 2008). Unsurprisingly, significant debate surrounded these contentious issues as SB 736 moved through the legislative process. In the debate surrounding teacher policy reforms in Florida, a wide variety of actors--including legislators, teachers, and school leaders--engaged in the construction of policy "stories" as they asserted their chosen positions. This study examines the narratives formulated by one key group of participants in this discourse: advocacy group representatives. Such actors range from groups representing specific interests and members, such as labor organizations, to policy analysis organizations, which "help government think" by shaping the discourse and frames of reference utilized by policymakers (Weiss, 1992). As schooling in the United States has shifted from a predominately local concern to one of particular salience in both state and national arenas, an expanding array of these advocacy groups have become an increasingly important part of the policy process surrounding educational issues (Cibulka, 2001). Through systematic examination of rich qualitative data gathered over the course of the debate surrounding teacher policy reform in Florida, this study seeks to better understand the nature of the advocacy groups operating within the space surrounding teacher policy reform in Florida, the beliefs they hold, and the narratives that they construct to assert them.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A