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ERIC Number: EJ801114
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-1940-4476
Middle Level Teacher Certification in South Carolina: A Case Study in Educational Policy Development
Virtue, David C.
RMLE Online: Research in Middle Level Education, v30 n10 p1-14 2007
South Carolina made a significant step forward in middle level education reform by enacting middle level teacher certification in 2001. This qualitative case study documents the process through which the state legislation developed, with a particular focus on how middle level teacher certification arrived and remained on the public policy agenda in South Carolina. The study is framed by three key research questions, which are derived from Kingdon's (1995) theoretical model of the policy process: (1) How did middle level teacher certification become defined as a public policy problem or issue in South Carolina? (2) What policy solutions addressing the problem of middle level teacher certification in South Carolina were or became available to decision makers? and (3) What political processes and conditions were involved in advancing and sustaining middle level teacher certification as a legislative agenda item? Data sources for the study include records of semi-structured interviews and conversations with key actors (i.e., policy makers and other public officials, faculty and administrators in higher education, and school district personnel), as well as policy documents and reports. In a political climate in which any educational change is tenuous, it is critical for middle level reform advocates to understand the many facets of the policy process. This study illuminates the essential role of bottom-up pressure for middle level reform at the state level; it maps the relationships that formed among state officials, higher education, and school personnel; and it highlights the importance of key individuals in moving the policy process forward.
National Middle School Association. 4151 Executive Parkway Suite 300, Westerville, OH 43081. Tel: 800-528-6672; Tel: 800-528-6672; Fax: 614-895-4750; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 7; Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: Teachers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina; United States