The assigned article dwells upon the major reasons for the failures of educational reforms. It is stressed that resistance to change and sabotage are not common in the contemporary educational system (Spillane and Callahan 408). Educators are often quite willing to follow the standards and guidelines developed, but they often fail to interpret the changes properly, which leads to failure. The authors identify several major areas associated with inadequate interpretation and ineffective implementation. First, it is stated that local policymakers tend to focus on the form rather than the functions of reforms. This finding is consistent with arguments highlighted in one of the class readings. Trujillo claims that educators have been found to concentrate on the form rather than other aspects such as major ideas behind the reform, possible implications, and benefits for the stakeholders (220).
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The assigned article also sheds light on another peculiarity of reform implementation. It is found that policymakers and practitioners often concentrate on the measures, materials, and ideas that are similar to the ones already existing. In simple terms, educators pay the most of their attention to the things that require minimal or no changes. Tyack and Tobin also stress that implementers of educational reforms focus on things they know well and are accustomed to (478). Real changes do not occur in the vast majority of cases due to educators’ unintentional focus on existing aspects.
All three articles include arguments concerning the comprehensiveness of reforms. The authors stress that reforms are often too narrow as they mainly touch a limited number of groups and only some aspects of people’s lives. For instance, political, social, and cultural aspects of reforms are often neglected (Tyack and Tobin 477). Spillane and Callahan claim that closer collaboration among state and local policymakers is essential for the effective implementation of educational reforms (420). It is also stressed that reforms should not be confined to the practice of policymakers and educators (Trujillo 227). It is stressed that educators are often overwhelmed with tasks, and can have little time to invest in the development of effective ways to implement changes. Moreover, the turnover in the educational sphere hurts the implementation of reforms as people change and new people often lack the necessary, knowledge, skills, and training. All the articles include a call for closer collaboration among stakeholders. It is stressed that educators, policymakers, as well as parents and the community should be involved in the discourse. It is vital to make all these stakeholders understand the benefits of the reform and the major reasons for its implementation. Parents, as well as the overall community, should actively participate in the process as this can help developers and implementers make reforms more effective and more applicable in contemporary society.
In conclusion, the assigned article reveals the major barriers to the effective implementation of reforms. The major findings are consistent with previous studies. It is found that policymakers mainly fail to interpret reforms adequately, which results in the failures and improper implementation of changes. Educators and policymakers concentrate on the form, but it is crucial to pay similar attention to the functions and ideas behind reforms. It is also important to expand the context used to develop and implement educational reforms that cannot be confined to the curriculum. It is necessary to pay attention to political, social, economic, cultural, and other aspects.
Spillane, James P., and Karen A. Callahan. “Implementing State Standards for Science Education: What District Policy Makers Make of the Hoopla.” Journal of Research in Science Teaching, vol. 37, no. 5, 2000, pp. 401-425.
Trujillo, Tina. “The Modern Cult of Efficiency.” Educational Policy, vol. 28, no. 2, 2014, pp. 207-232.
Tyack, David, and William Tobin. “The “Grammar” Of Schooling: Why Has It Been so Hard to Change?” American Educational Research Journal, vol. 31, no. 3, 1994, pp. 453-479.