In Search of a New Paradigm (1983-Present)

  • A Nation at Risk

    During the Ronald Reagan administation (a Republican President) commisioned a report after much public outcry regarding the failing educational system within the U.S. Most of the blame was on schools not preparing students for matriculating within the global ecomomy. Thus, "A Nation at Risk" was more of an ecomomic crticism, than a social justice criticism.
  • Aftermath of Nation at Risk

    A large perception of the masses regarding education was that of Excellence vs. a lack of Excellence and Freedom of Choice as a route to economic competitiveness instead of student achievement.
  • Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Techinical Education Act

    Public Law 105-332, the Carl D. Perkins vocational and Technical Education Act, is pases with the goal of increasing the quality of vocational-technical education in the U.S. It is reauthorized in 1998 and 2006 as the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Techinical Education Act (PL 109-270). This development provides evidence that the paradigm of thought in this era is about economic and work force competitiveness. Student achievement remains an afterthought.
  • The Emergency Immigrant Education Act

    This was enacted to provide services snd offset the costs for school districts that have unexpectantly large numbers of immigrant students. This is in keeping with the push to compensate for the lowering of the potential workforce because if the U.S. ecomony has such an influx of immigrants that are uneducated due to a lack of resources by school divisions, then this will in turn negatively impact the labor pool.
  • Technology push

    There are many technological advances that arise between the late 1980's and early 90's that support increasing the marketability of students by increasing their tech savy. For example, Microsoft created their iconic Windows program, the Univ of Phoenix created their on-line degree programs, and the Internet is formed. These events as well as others (i.e. smart boards in 1991) represent the urgency for US students to stay ahead of the technological advances to remain globally competitive.
  • Teach for America

    Teach for America is founded by Wendy Kopp as a result of her thesis at Princeton. It is well celebrated as a vehicle for reducing the inequity in education, but it also criticized due to the perception of deprofessionalizing the teaching profession. For example, Teach for America teachers do not have to be certified. This creates the impression that anyone can teach without formal training. This is the dichotomy in the professionalism debate. Doctor/Lawyer vs Teacher.
  • Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990

    A major immigration reform is enacted that surpasses anything formed since 1965. This sweeping reform is unprecedented and goes beyond anything that the U.S. has done before this time. It is not directly correlated with education in particular, but has implications for the immigrant families who have children in the US educational system.
  • The Massachusetts Education Reform Act

    Requires a common curriculum and statewide testing. Other states follow Massachusetts lead and begin creating their own high-stakes testing program. This set a powerful benchmark and was definitely a precursor to NCLB. The main value being debated is that of "Excellence," which in keeping with Joseph Murphy's ideas of bureaucracy to further systemize education to come closer to the Common School ideal.
  • IASA

    The Improving America's Schools Act (IASA) is signed into law by Pres. Bill Clinton, a democratic president, which is a reauthorization of ESEA of 1965. This creates reform for Title 1 schools, increased funding for bilingual and immigrant education and charter schools. Drop out prevention and technology education are also addresses. This marketizes education and becomes a regulatory mechanism and use of legistation that attempts to address a poor labor pool in the US education system.
  • Columbine Massacre

    There is national spot light on education. The world sees this tragedy as a failure of the U.S. educational system.
  • Left Back : A Century of Failed School Reforms

    Diane Ravitch's book is published and talks about the failing US schooling system. She argues for more traditional schools, very similar to the "back to the basics" movement of the 1970's and 1980's.
  • NCLB

    NCLB legislation is introduced with widespread angst. It was intended to solve the convoluted problems that were initially created in the 19th and 20th century with inequity, standardized/IQ testing, poverty, and eventually the Elem and Secondary Education Act of 1965. This was a reactive manuever that actually addresses 2 larger and more purposely hidden problems. 1. The unprofessionalism of the education field which created unqualified teachers, and
    2. inequity of schools
  • NCLB is signed into law

    George W. Bush signs NCLB into law. This widely unaccepted law overreaches the federal government's hand into state affairs. NCLB is very much a similar piece of legistation as compared with suggested reforms from "A Nation at Risk." NCLB is believed to be influenced by economic motivations and not social mobility. Feedback from education stakeholders is not taken into consideration.
  • Historical Election

    Then Senator Barack Obama wins the election and becomes the first African American President of the United States. When he gets in office, he recognizes the failures of NCLB and begins to transform it. American politics becomes increasingly more hostile and polarized with President Obama's election. His focus on equity, social mobility and student achievement is the antithesis of the foundation of "A Nation at Risk" and NCLB, both an example of a linear and bureaucratic failure.
  • NCLB is viewed as a failure

    Congress passes a reauthorization of NCLB. According to Shoup and Studder (2010) "as the system matures, it grows in the direction of the feedback, hence the system emerges toward what is considered important." The reauthorization however is vetoed by Bush due to political battles and perhaps a damaged ego.
  • NCLB Waivers

    President Obama invites each state to request NCLB flexibility due to increased policy failures. By 2012, 26 states (and counting) are granted NCLB waivers for some of the requirements.