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Effectiveness of Educational Reform Movements of the Past on Education Practice Today

In the article ‘Education Reform Support: a Framework for Scaling up School Reform ’, the authors are making an attempt to assess the elemental problem which emerged in the past regarding scaling up reforms in the current educational setting. The thematic concerns driving the authors’ aims are based on the emerging that the ‘scaling up’ reform movements had an overarching effect on the existing educational policy framework with regard to teaching practices.  According to Healey & DeStephano (1997), “After nearly two years two decades of concerted school reform effort, fewer than 5% of the schools in the United States have changed what Richard Elmore refers to as ‘core educational practices” (p.2). This sets the stage for the emerging argument regarding the validity of this statement based on the visible improvements made in the education environment. Healey and Destephano, therefore aim at analysing the real impacts as opposed to what most of the critics would contend.

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The authors go ahead to dispute, the critics of the ‘scaling up’ reforms by subjecting the critics’ knowledge to a proof analysis to establish their main agenda in the field. “In particular, if school reformers really did know how to create good schools, the scale-up problem probably would not exist. We deduce that many school reformers in fact do not know how” (Healey & DeStephano, 1997). In a bid to establish some of the emerging facts regarding the validity of the allegations of the critics, the authors strive to establish the fact that the reforms indeed have a good impact on the level of education quality. The ‘scaling up’ program essentially involved the utilisation of major funds devolved from governmental departments with an aim of improving quality in education provision focusing on teaching practices. Evidently, these efforts have yielded significant fruits in that the current educational programs have essentially been developed to great levels in terms of efficacy, curriculum objectives, and student specific outcomes. This can be seen in, “To ensure that this plurality of local answers comprises both state-wide and nationwide mosaics, the system needs to establish standards that are at once broad and cleat, outcome metrics that are both understandable and an environment of accountability for results” (Healey & DeStephano, 1997). These aspects have in essence achieved significant milestones, which can be attributed to the scale up reform fundamentals.

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Court Cases that have made the Greatest Impact toward Quality of Opportunity in Education

Brown Vs Board of Education

This case was argued across three court sessions in December 1925, December 1953, and May 1954 respectively (Wright & Wright, 2010). The chief justice was Justice Warren and he was the one in-charge of running the case proceedings. The states involved in the case were Kansas, Virginia, South Carolina and Delaware (Wright & Wright, 2010). The bone of contention in the consecutive cases was the factor of equal admission into the education system taking into account the potentially racial biased environment existing during those times. For instance, in one of the cases, ‘Plessy versus Ferguson’, it led to the significant introduction of equality in treatment in terms of facilities provided to both races (Wright & Wright, 2010).

The main motivating factor for choosing this case to describe the cases is the central role played by racially motivated bias in the implementation of different educational practices, which eventually led to the emancipation of the reform agenda. In the current United States educational atmosphere, the interplay of racially instigated sentiments on education practices has reduced significantly to almost nonexistent levels. This is largely attributed to the decisional perspectives contained in the three cases, which led to the evolution of racial agenda in the education system in order to address the fundamentally different practices as seen in both settings. Finally, there are still pockets of visible signs regarding the existence of differential treatment in the education system.

Board of Education of Hendrick Hudson Central District Vs Amy Rowley

This case essentially addresses the concerns regarding the institution of federal funds through establishment of an ‘all handicapped children Act’, in which the decisions of the court of appeals were reversed (Wright & Wright, 2010). Furthermore, it essentially describes the functionalities surrounding the institution of the All Handicapped Children Act, which requires local and state agencies to support the education of handicapped children in the American society through provision of basic support mechanisms to support the aforementioned goals and objectives.

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The choice of this court case was essentially guided by the importance played by the support and establishment of special education functions with regard to fulfilling fundamental reform agenda in the institution of education. In addition, the reform agenda was set rolling through involvement of governmental authorities who set pace by establishing the required grants for running program and setting its purpose in the operational domain. However, this was not to last as the events were cut short because of the requirement of more funds to support the functions of the program. There was also an emerging concern of integrating the aspects of education for handicapped children with contemporary (normal) school factors. The goal was changed to address the emerging issues. To support these fundamentals, the act sought to provide a definition of handicapped children that would fit the reform agenda. “The Act broadly defines; handicapped children’ to include ‘mentally disturbed, orthopedically impaired, and other health impaired children, and children with specific learning disabilities” (Wright & Wright, 2010).

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