School choice and inequity in Chile

In September 2016 CEPPE* (Universidad Católica de Chile) published 'Mercado escolar y oportunidad educacional’ with the subtitle 'Libertad, diversidad y desigualdad’. (Editors: Javier Corvalán, Alejandro Carrasco and J.E. García-Huidobro). This publication seemed very interesting and opportune given the growing inequality of education in Chile and the discussions about causes and attempts for improvement. I was able to receive the book via friends in Chile.

The book presents an overview of several years of research of CEPPE on school choice.Part I offers a revised history and empirical analysis of the functioning of the schools market in Chile. Part II develops a detailed analysis of the relations between various social classes and the schools market. It also presents in part III some (older) work of foreign experts who had a distinct influence on the study of the mechanisms of markets in education in Europe and the United States.

I experienced the book to be more difficult to grasp than other books, articles and reports in Spanish I had read on education in Chile. To me the book seemed to use another level of Spanish, partly more philosophical and partly by using less common words, long sentences and complex constructed logic, etc. So it was a kind of struggle to read and try to understand the introductions and the conclusions of the 15 chapters.

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Successful School Leadership: International Perspectives

I was curious to read 'Successful School Leadership: International Perspectives' (2016, editors: Petros Pashiardis, Olof Johansson). So I felt fortunate that I could buy their book as an eBook on Google Books with a major difference in price to the hardcopy. 

Both editors have been active (are still active?) in the International Successful School Principals Project. The ISSPP is an international version of a project in the UK (The impact of school leadership on pupil outcomes, Research Brief DCSF-RB108, 2009). Both projects are conceived by Christopher Day (University of Nottingham).

The UK projectThe project in the UK started on high ground. This was the project that finally would unveil the practice of good leadership in schools. Conclusions were sobering. In essence: Successful principals choose those strategies and activities that fit the complexity of the situation of the school. 

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Distributed Leadership: State of Art

This week the British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) published its latest issue of Management in Education (MiE October 2016; 30 (4)). It is a special issue on Distributed Leadership (DL).

This state of art of DL is very relevant and the range of authors of articles is excellent. 

- Alma Harris and John DeFlaminis show that DL (apart from all comments on the concept) can be used in practice and shows hopeful results.

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Equitable Schools (USA)

From books by e.g. Kozol (Savage Inequalities - 1991), we know already for a long time that in the USA poor children receive an education in poor schools from teachers with the lowest capacities and knowledge. 

There have been numerous efforts to correct that situation, many not very successful.

 George W. Bush e.g. introduced the program ‘No Child Left Behind’ (NCLB)’ As a goal to be lauded but the instruments had unfavorable side effects: competition between schools, test-based accountability, punishments in case of failures, introduction of evidence-based school innovation programmes that left hardly any space for the creativity of the professional teacher. 

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