In this chapter a discussion of a salient dimension of the external environment in which today’s educators find themselves practicing – the policy context - is presented. Critical elements of this discussion include a truncated history of the encroachment on local control of the schools and the ensuing standardized-tests-based accountability and standardized testing movement. We also pay some attention to growing efforts to push back against these movements. We conclude this chapter with perspectives of a set of scholarly informants on quality, equity, and adequacy. Our effort in this chapter is to trace the political distance traveled from education defined by the diverse beliefs, values, attitudes and paradigms specific to the New England, Middle, and Southern colonies to the current emphasis on standardized-tests-based accountability, standards, and testing as they impact or fail to impact quality, equity, and adequacy – the context in which the Willie Ray Smith, Sr. Science and Medical Technology Magnet Middle School was previously branded academically unacceptable but now academically acceptable.
Johnson, James A.; Cummings, Jay; Stroud, Margaret; Moye' -Lavergne, Gatsy; and Andrews, Wilbert J. Jr.
"Getting To Excellence: What Every Educator Should Know About Consequences of Beliefs, Attitudes, and Paradigms for the Reconstruction of an Academically Unacceptable Middle School,"
ECI Interdisciplinary Journal for Legal and Social Policy: Vol. 3
, Article 5.
Available at: http://ecipublications.org/ijlsp/vol3/iss1/5