ERIC Number: EJ711918
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr-1
A Special Section on International Education--Tradeoffs, Societal Values, and School Reform
Rotberg, Iris C.
Phi Delta Kappan, v86 n8 p611 Apr 2005
The Political rhetoric about school reform makes it sound easy. Apparently, whatever the proposed reform--testing, reduced class size, vouchers--there are no tradeoffs or "costs" to consider. Or the tradeoffs are judged to be so insignificant that they do not merit discussion. There is also an unspoken premise that countries with effective education systems (i.e., high test scores) have gotten it right without ever having had to make difficult choices or cope with negative consequences. The rest could do the same if they would only adopt some other country's system. Finally, the societal context of school reform is often ignored, despite the fact that a country's priorities, values, and economic status ultimately play a major role in determining whether reforms can be implemented as planned. In this article, the author looks at a constant of education reform: for every new approach, tradeoffs must be made. She reports on the choices that educators in various countries, often dealing with similar issues, have made in their efforts to bring about school improvement.
Descriptors: International Education, Foreign Countries, Educational Improvement, Social Environment, Academic Achievement, Economic Status
Phi Delta Kappa International, Inc., 408 N. Union St., P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789. Web site: http://www.pdkintl.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; South Africa