High-quality teaching などの分野の権威であるLee Shulmanは、「学んだら教えるのが研究者の責任」と説いている。自分も少しでも自分の学びを還していけたらと思う。
今回のテーマはニューヨークのschool financeの訴訟、Campaign of Fiscal Equity (CFE) v. New Yorkを取り扱ったものだ。アメリカでは１９７０年代から、州憲法で定められている十分な教育を一部の貧しい地域の子どもたちが受けられていないという理由で、州を相手取った訴訟が次々と法廷に持ち込まれるようになった。いわゆる “adequacy case” と呼ばれる種類の訴訟だ。
原告勝訴の判決に政治側が嫌悪感を示すのも分からなくはない。年度予算を出すのは政治側なのだし、その算出をするためにあらゆる政治材料を考慮しなくてはならない。いくら司法が、 「正義がこれだけの金額を求めている」 と言っても、 「はいそうですか、なんて簡単にはいかない！」 と言い返すのが政治側だ。
さて、今回の論文は、Educational Policy Analysis and Implementationというクラスの宿題として書いたものだ。CFE訴訟は、２００６年、CFE側の勝訴で終結した。判決は、ニューヨーク州が４年間に渡り、実に７０００億円という新たな資金を教育に注ぎ込むというものだった。
政治的な反発を受けず （politically viable）、現実的なプランを考慮していくと、たったこれくらいのことで満足するしかない、という極めて悲観的な内容を皮肉を込めて書いたつもりだ。それによって、逆の立場 （自分の真の立場） を強調できないかと考えたのだ。
TO: Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE)
FROM: Let’s Be Real (Governor Appointed Consulting Firm)
DATE: April 5, 2010
RE: The three most realistic and politically viable resources
Despite CFE’s incessant and successful legal challenges against the State of New York, the promises of ensuring “sound basic education” for all have not been met in reality. The poor conditions of New York City public schools reported in 1999 and 2004 – overcrowded, deteriorated, deprived of libraries, computers, science labs, and supplies necessary for these facilities – reveal that even the very basic educational needs have not been met.
The key to any successful law-driven school reform is to establish collaboration and cohesion, especially between the court which conveys remedial rulings and the legislature which translates them into policies as well as among different stakeholders who shape the political landscape that determines how the policies become implemented. Given the limited sources from which the funding must be generated, however, any school finance remedy should expect rigorous interrogation and possibilities of resistance from powerful political forces. This will especially hold true for the next CFE remedial appeal, due to the lack of transparency for the initial remedial funding allocated to NYC districts in 2007. No one knows exactly how the money was spent, and it is imperative that the next appeal be responsive to the issues surrounding the mismanagement of resources. What is called for, then, is a politically viable remedial school finance formula that is cheap, efficient, tangible and transparent, and, more importantly, one that does not challenge the widely accepted normative educational structure or threaten the security of prevailing political actors. The legal/political history of Serrano and Abbott teaches us to be realistic because, in the long run, an idealistic pursuit of distributive justice, which results in social divisiveness, rather than cohesion, does not contribute to the actualization of adequate education. The task before us is to design a remedy plan that appeals to the widest constituents.
This memo first lays out some of the key issues and challenges that policy makers face in creating such a politically viable policy. Three recommendations follow in a prioritized order to address to which resource categories the remedial funding should be allocated in light of these issues and challenges: adequate and accessible school buildings and facilities; sufficient and up-to-date curricular resources and other fundamental school supplies; and greater administrative capacities within schools. Together, these recommendations will ensure a new school finance plan that is politically viable and most realizable.
School reform is no easy task, and it is imperative that policymakers take into a full consideration of the growing body of interdisciplinary literature that explains the complexity of school reform and how the school has been resistant against change. An explanation comes from sociology which illuminates peculiar inclinations that characterize teachers such as individualism, conservatism, and presentism as well as the professional culture in which they are self-socialized and lack a shared technical culture. Another explanation comes from institutional theories that illuminate the process of how the public schools have become institutionalized in the U.S. society while adopting norms, routinizing everyday actions, forming “ritual classifications” in order to acquire institutional legitimacy to protect their loosely coupled formal structures and technical activities from rational interrogations. Historical research provides evidence for how such institutionalized characteristics have played a major role in resisting against the massive waves of school reforms.
Moreover, in light of the challenge posed by CFE against the state, a line of neo-Marxist research cautions us against blind optimism for achieving radical democratic victory because the schools need not only respond to the imperatives of democracy but also to those imposed by capitalism. Similarly, we also need to take into consideration today’s educational landscape dominated by social mobility ideal in order to maintain the political viability of this new school finance. Such concern for political viability is especially important because of the schools’ apparent vulnerability to pressures from external political forces caused by their unique organizational characteristics: “tax supported” and “under lay governance.” All of these understandings are crucial in constructing a school reform that is realistic, efficient, and politically viable.
So, what can we do? The answer, unfortunately, is “Not much.” The wisest and most efficient thing we can do is to take a minimalist approach to school reform. What follows are three detailed recommendations for the resource categories to be prioritized that are consistent with such an approach.
1) Ensure adequate and accessible school buildings and facilities
There are numerous merits in prioritizing this resource category. First, SBFs are not only easily associated with money but also the most tangible and normative resources. It is most unlikely to generate political oppositions when the remedy is simply trying to address the needs that seem legitimate to all stakeholders. Second, as compared to complex and abstract resources, this category represents transparent resources that are easily measureable and traceable. Moreover, it is efficient to focus on SBFs because we can build on the 2004 SBFs analysis conducted by the panel of special referees appointed by Justice DeGrasse as well as CFE’s BRICKS Plan proposed in 2004. Third, this category also represents sustainable resources as compared to many other categories that are temporary and transient such as class size and teachers. Fourth, investing in SBFs is wise also because the new and renovated SBFs become community assets that could be used for various uses. Reform initiatives such as Harlem Children Zone are increasingly attracting attentions to versatile uses of school buildings. Last but not least, major strength of prioritizing SBFs is that it saves the original intent of this reform endeavor from distorted understandings and implementation by teachers by leaving minimum space for their interpretations. In sum, ensuring resource allocation for adequate and accessible SBFs will appeal to the wider public and generate cohesive support for this reform.
2) Ensure sufficient and up-to-date curricular resources and school supplies
Once we provide the boxes, the next step is to provide what goes inside, namely curricular resources such as books, supplies, library resources, science lab supplies, and technologies that are sufficient and up-to-date as well as other fundamental school supplies such as office papers and toiletry supplies. By focusing again on tangible resources, we can expect the same or similar advantages discussed above. First, these are normative resources that are closely associated with money. Such poor conditions will surely motivate many stakeholders to support this resource allocation. Second, resource allocation for science lab supplies and technologies in particular represents enormous incentive for private sectors which operate upon social efficiency ideal and exert large influences on advancing high-quality science, technology, engineering, and math. Third, the items addressed in this resource category are tangible enough to be measureable and traceable. Fourth, it is also efficient to invest in this resource category since some of the resources such as library resources, laboratory equipments, and technologies are sustainable over years. Finally, as in the case of SBFs, investing in curricular resources and supplies serves to preserve the original reform intent because implementation requires little interpretations of teachers and administrators. In sum, ensuring sufficient and up-to-date curricular resources and school supplies will win the support of broad constituents while promoting social cohesion necessary for a successful reform.
3) Build administrative and instructional capacities to activate the new resources
Additional resources themselves do not guarantee improved educational outcomes without also building local-level capacities to activate them. In the end, the measure of ultimate success hinges on how much impact was done to improve the technical core and how much students have learned as a result and calls for a translation of macro-level changes to micro-level changes that can improve the “instructional practice and the interactions between teachers and students.”
One concrete step is to change simple resources to compound resources by pairing SBFs and up-to-date curricular resources with ancillary resources. For example, additional resources usually entail some sort of accountability which requires additional time to assess and report. It is important, then, to secure the extra time to enable local actors, especially teachers, to cope with the administrative requirements of the new initiatives without undermining the routine undertakings. Accountability measures that accompany new resources may also call for schools to obtain technological support and to hire more personnel who specialize in administrative duties to enable efficient management and therefore avoid situations where “schools [are] oversubscribed in their ability to respond to new reform initiatives.” It is much more educationally sound, for instance, to hire facility managers to manage and coordinate the use of new facilities instead of taking teachers’ time away from teaching to assume such responsibilities. Some resources, such as new instructional technologies, remain inert without due instructional capacities. Specialists may be required to train teachers and coordinate technological use in efficient and creative ways. In sum, building administrative and instructional capacities at local levels will go hand in hand with the remedial resources discussed above to activate and make the maximum educational value out of them while allowing teachers to focus on teaching.
3. Assessment tool: Regents Examinations
Regents Examinations are invaluable assets of New York which provides the state an excellent assessment tool. There are primarily four reasons. First, it is efficient to build on the already existing system. Second, all the testimonies heard in CFE advanced a coherent analysis that Regents Learning Standards and their graduation requirements, upon which Regents Examinations are based, required an education attainment level that encompassed “sound basic education.” Finally, together with the above reasons, adopting such an standards-based assessment tool that is coherent with the social mobility ideal will increase the political viability and likelihood of success of this new school finance formula.
The three recommendations discussed in this memo delineate resource categories to be prioritized that fully consider the various lines of research that explain the complexity of school reform and how the school has been so resistant against change. Unfortunately, the question of how educationally sound the new school finance formula is must be secondary to the question regarding its political viability. At least at this point, this is the reality of American education.
1. Campaign for Fiscal Equity, 1999
2. Campaign for Fiscal Equity, 2004
3. Paris, 2010
4. Cuban, 1990
5. McUsic, 1998
6. Hanushek & Lindseth, 2009
7. Meyer & Rowan, 1977
8. Minorini & Sugarman, 1999. The landmark Serrano decision encountered a massive political resistance and was essentially overturned by Proposition 13.
9. Paris (2010) describes how Abbott, which was overly law-driven, promoted divisiveness between the court and the legislature, created unproductive and endless battle between the two branches.
10. Paris, 2010
11. Lortie, 1975
12. Meyer & Rowan, 1978
13. Meyer & Rowan, 1977; Meyer & Rowan, 1978
14. Tyack & Cuban, 1995
15. Carnoy & Levin, 1985
16. Labaree, 1997a, 1997b
17. Cuban, 1990, p. 10
18. Huerta, 2006
19. Class-size reduction assumes an availability of continuous and an extremely large amount of funding to be successful.
20. A large body of literature shows the transient nature of high-quality teachers, especially those recruited by low-income urban districts (Darling-Hammond, 1997; Falk, 2000; Goldhaber, 2008; Ingersoll, 2007; Troen & Boles, 2003). According to National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (2007), “Teacher attrition has grown by 50 percent over the past fifteen years. The national teacher turnover rate has risen to 16.8 percent. In urban schools it is over 20 percent, and, in some schools and districts, the teacher dropout rate is actually higher than the student dropout rate” (p. 1).
21. Jennings, 1996; Spillane, Reiser, & Gomez, 2006
22. Labaree, 1997a, 1997b
23. Huerta, 2006
24. Tyack & Cuban, 1995
25. Huerta, 2006, p. 381
26. Huerta, 2006
27. Huerta, 2006, p. 392. See also Hatch, 2004.
28. Rebell, 2009
29. Labaree, 1997a, 1997b
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Campaign for Fiscal Equity (2004). Adequate facilities for all: Reforming New York State’s system for providing building aid to school districts and for meeting schools’ urgent capital needs. New York: Campaign for Fiscal Equity.
Carnoy, M., & Levin, H. M. (1985). Schooling and work in the democratic State. Stanford, CA: Stanford University.
Cuban, L. (1990). Reforming again, again, and again. Educational Researcher, 19(1), 3-13.
Darling-Hammond, L. (1997). The right to learn: A blueprint for creating schools that work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Falk, B. (2000). The heart of the matter: Using standards and assessment to learn. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
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Ingersoll, R. (2007). Misdiagnosing the teacher quality problem. CPRE Policy Briefs. RB-49. Retrieved from http://www.cpre.org/images/stories/cpre_pdfs/RB49.pdf
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Lortie, D. C. (1975). Schoolteacher: A sociological study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
McUsic, M. (1998). The law's role in the distribution of education: The promise and pitfalls of school finance litigation. In J. P. Heubert (Ed.), Law and school reform: Six strategies for promoting educational equity. (pp. 88-159). New Haven: Yale University.
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Meyer, J. W., & Rowan, B. (1978). The structure of educational organizations. In J. W. Meyer (Ed.), Environments and organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Minorini, P., & Sugarman, S. (1999). School finance litigation in the name of educational equity: Its evolution, impact and future. In H. F. Ladd, R. Chalk & J. S. Hansen (Eds.), Equity and adequacy in school finance: Issues and perspectives. (pp. 34-71). Washington DC: National Academy.
National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (2007). The high cost of teacher turnover. New York: National Commission on Teaching and America's Future.
Paris, M. (2010). Framing equal opportunity: Law and the politics of school finance reform. Stanford, CA: Stanford Law Books.
Rebell, M. A. (2009). Courts and kids: Pursuing educational equity through the state courts. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.
Spillane, J., Reiser, B., & Gomez, L. (2006). Policy implementation and cognition: The role of human, social, and distributed cognition in framing policy implementation. New directions in education policy implementation: Confronting complexity. (pp. 47 - 64). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
Troen, V., & Boles, K. C. (2003). Who's teaching your children? Why the teacher crisis is worse than you think and what can be done about it. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Tyack, D. B., & Cuban, L. (1995). Tinkering toward utopia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.