Education is a complex undertaking that represents a permanent challenge for humanity. In a knowledge society, the imperative of more and better education for all stands as an unpostponeable priority. A comparison with educational indicators of other countries makes it clear that we are not close to resolving many of the questions that should have been already answered cf. Thus we began the XXI century with an agenda of accumulated problems from the past and the present, with still more that we are beginning to confront.
Even more seriously, we are not developing management for the school success of our children and young people. In spite of the incalculable amount of resources invested in policies for expansion and improvement of the Basic Education level, a serious lack of assistance remains for this school level, in particular for Infant Education and the "High School," equivalent in age range to U.
Senior High School, hereafter, High School ibid. With the introduction of "Cycles" as a replacement for "Grades" in some Brazilian systems further complicating terminology for translation the other nomenclature, Infancy and Fundamental, has been retained. A good part of the infra-structure of the school network is precarious. The system for assistance is badly distributed, representing a heavy governmental burden in the cost of school transportation.
We still have schools with only one classroom, lacking basic services like water and even bathrooms. Rare are the school libraries that manage not to look like book storage. Books and other pedagogical materials exist but not always in sufficient number or adequate in quality. While in some subject areas there is an surplus of prepared teachers, in others there is a lack. Salaries are low and motivation rarely higher.
An inventory of difficulties could go on, but the intent is not to look further into them here but rather to refer to them only for explaining the educational significance of looking "into the eyes of the tragedy. If the tragedy is visible in the country as a whole, what can we say of the most impoverished regions? Certainly for them the problem is of greater scope cf. Is there a distinct educational agenda for these populations?
More than to diagnose the problems, the idea here is to point out alternatives that have been developed to confront the challenges of educational management in a context of scarcity of resources. To that end we refer to aspects of the experience of this state in the federation in the last decade, when measures were introduced with the aim of providing quality education for everyone. As in the national plan, under the office of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, so within the scope of the state there was continuity in the educational management.
The process of selection and election of directors by the school community was introduced in the state system in , having essentially continued similarly since then cf. Vieira, , p. Such innovation brought many gains from the point of view of a change in the power structure, representing a positive alternative to the previous criteria of political recommendations for directorial positions in the schools.
It is appropriate to observe, however, that there were not few difficulties encountered in developing a managerial process compatible with a decentralized school system. Thus, more frequently than desirable, school autonomy was taken to extremes through abandonment of the principles and norms that were common to the entirety of the system.
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A clear example of such a situation was the indiscriminate offering of disciplines that had been indiscreetly created by a management not always in possession of the most elementary notions concerning curricula. Because of the lack of an oversight system for tracking and controlling costs, it was difficult to provide a common level of maintaining as well as improving the physical network. Each school thus became a small island where the power of the directors flourished, not always propitiously for school success.
At least not in the manner in which these are measured by the state or federal evaluation systems. During the period corresponding to the two last terms of Tasso Jereissati, another process that was deliberately pursued was the municipalization of the Fundamental School. From this perspective, it had by itself anticipated implementation of the National Development Fund for the Fundamental School and Teaching Valorization FuNDEF , which came to be an instrument for facilitating the objectives being pursued. In a context in which resources tied to education came to be distributed in conformity with enrollments by the school systems, the municipalities had an unprecedented interest in an offer at this level.
A good part of the revenues linked to the state government came to be transferred to FuNDEF, passing on assumption of responsibility to the government for nearly two thirds of the costs of the Fundamental School in the municipalities. Such a situation had grave repercussions in relation to investments and maintenance of schools in the state, since the tax revenue only barely covered the financing of the Fundamental School and its salaries.
Such a situation can be seen to have been aggravated by various factors, including the tax burden in relation to maintaining a school system composed of three universities, with many branches distributed throughout the state. In this context defining priorities became an urgent and indispensable task. Under these circumstances planning and choosing the principle focus of the work to be developed was the first step given to the government.
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The perspective sought after was from the standpoint of responsible planning which would walk away from the many unfulfilled promises from the plentiful plans for education. The requirements are many, resources scarce and opposition is frequently intransigent. Thus developing a simple and viable education plan became in itself an adequate and important strategy in the process of definition of the policies adopted during this period.
The plan was reproduced on a large scale, disseminated in various forums, distributed to all the schools of the state network. It was integrated into the bibliographical list of the public selections and civil service exams given at the time, and came to be fully known and discussed throughout the state.
The guiding thread of the reflection is the idea of management for a community of learners, understanding that this can be broken down into a series of factors that can offer proper conditions for making a school successful. These ideas will be discussed in greater depth in the following topics. Facing the not rare innumerable difficulties and necessities that arose in regard to the promotion of school education, the formulators and executors of educational policy set aside the essence of the educational task, concentrating on half-way measures.
The persistence of school failure among so many children and young people in diverse parts of the world makes it imperative to reaffirm the appropriateness of the school. Its reason for being is intrinsically tied to the underlying task of good teaching and learning. A successful school management, therefore, is one that is oriented toward learning on the part of all the students.
Vieira, Despite the obviousness of such an affirmation, it is necessary to insist on it. There are so many problems in practice that the management runs the risk of diverting itself from this so apparently obvious goal. Of losing itself by getting tied up in new daily entanglements. And as we well know, this can not and should not occur. The success of school management is finally solidified only by the success of all students. That is why it is necessary to maintain as pole-star " management for a community of learners. It is well known that universalizing the Fundamental School represented an important victory in expanding social segments that had previously lacked access to school.
Such circumstances brought new challenges to the policy and systems management, responses to which were not always compatible with the new demands. School in turn had difficulties adjusting to a clientele that originated from families for whom literacy was not always incorporated into their daily lives.
Although elevated investments had been made to develop education for all, there is still much to be done in relation to effective improvement of the educational system. Management is a significant part of this undertaking. As in the country as a whole, so it is for states and municipalities. The maxim, certainly, is not original: on the contrary, it has been the case since the beginning of Brazilian public education. It is well to remember that we have good and bad schools just as anywhere else in the world, whether in the public or private sector. At the same time, studies and field research in cognitive development have provided evidence that with appropriate conditions an overwhelming majority of students have the potential to achieve school success.
Thus it is necessary to continue searching for alternatives that can make this possible. Evaluation of the school systems has been one of the strategies followed in this direction. Conceived by the Organization for the Cooperation and Economic Development OCDE , in response to the need for international measurement and comparison of students, the PISA study was conducted for the first time in , and applied again in and Brazil presented one of the weakest performances among the original or invited of the 41 countries taking part.
Such an outcome puts into question the success of the educational policies developed in recent decades. After all is said and done, are our children learning or are they not? With this query in mind, it is appropriate to continue reflecting. Together with the educational policies developed by the nation during the same period, experiments in the systemic evaluation of school performance in various units of the federation have also arisen.
In a major and more significant change occurred in SPAECE, when it went on to involve assessment in the entire municipal school system evaluating the largest contingent of schools and students since its inception. In this year 2, public state and municipal schools and , students were evaluated: 72, from the state and , from the municipal system. Carrying out such a comprehensive evaluation represented a very important victory for the state.
Never at any previous moment of educational policy had such a faithful picture of student performance been obtained, in both content areas and grades tested. Although this might not seem like much, even if the results leave us uneasy, it was an unprecedented advance in the building of a management for school success. In effect we are considering an innovation here that has strong potential for turning school failure around. For the first time we are working with instruments that help the school to comprehend its own performance, identifying weaknesses and potentialities, which represents an important tool for improvement.
This work was done in all of the regions and municipalities of the state without distinction between municipal and state schools. Improvement of the public school requires this kind of understanding as well as a perception of a unified school system. The job of putting result indicators into practice involves a pedagogy of diffusion. Nothing of what had been done was punitive in character, but on the contrary attempted to assess the dimensions of the teaching-learning problems, as well as the ranges of excellence for the public system as a whole.
Some questions are inevitable within this context. Why are some schools more successful at promoting school success than others? What does this have do with management?
The existence and adaptation of the usable indicators offer the school community components for the construction of an evaluation culture involving multiple dimensions. In the next topic we will dig into this idea somewhat further. In education, as in other areas of public management, this step represents a clear divider of waters. Management for results is a recent concern in the field of educational policy. For a considerable time, it was oriented toward being a process culture , leaving the challenge of building a results culture to the present time.
Democracy is the system of government which seeks to universalize rights for all. School is an excellent place to promote quality education as an "inalienable human right" Braslavsky, It is therefore school success that justifies democratic management and not the contrary.
It is not enough, then, to be inclusive and happy. It is necessary to seek quality and in one manner or another this is expressed in the results obtained by the school. It is true that we still do not have indicators capable of translating school quality in perfect or even satisfactory terms. As a matter of fact the complexity of education may not even allow a perfect model to be constructed. It is possible, however, to begin with the results that are available, work with them and go little by little toward building a culture of evaluation. Add more categories. Review This Product.
Welcome to Loot. Checkout Your Cart Price. Description Details Customer Reviews In the past 40 years there have been a number of significant developments across the fields of educational administration and history.
Educational Administration and History - The state of the field (Electronic book text)
In this volume, the authors have selected a number of key issues to illustrate and trace these changes. The seven articles by leading scholars in the field offer an analysis of contemporary educational administration, history and policy debates and how this has impacted on teachers, leaders, schools and the education sector. This book offers readers a valuable insight into continuing and contemporary debates in the field and the authors offer a refreshing interpretation of these debates.
This book provides a rich analysis from a range of theoretical, methodological perspectives and highlights the extent to which these debates remain a contemporary concern. This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Educational Administration and History. Review This Product No reviews yet - be the first to create one! Need help? Partners MySchool Discovery. Subscribe to our newsletter Some error text Name.