23 SES 09 D, New Forms of Governing in School Education
Educational reform based on the principles of competition and choice have been a global phenomenon since the 1980s (Levin & Fullan, 2008). These reforms have a number of aspects that are implemented differently in different contexts but are underpinned by four principles:
- Competition among schools would lead to better outcomes for students.
- Autonomy for schools is necessary in order for schools to properly compete.
- Choice for parents to decide the schools their children attend.
- Information for the public based on comparable measures of student achievement and on a single national curriculum. (Levin & Fullan, 2008, p.289)
A feature of the reforms is the increasing use of data for evaluation and accountability purposes. It provides a means for comparing measures of student achievement within a competitive market driven education system and as a comparison or harmonisation across countries (Ozga, 2012). In addition, digital database technologies are increasingly being used as policy instruments within the education sector (Williamson, 2015). Schools are centrally controlled when the data that measures standardised outcomes is used by policy makers to identify and target interventions (Hargreaves & Shirley, 2012).
Digital data is accumulated, analysed and used for different reasons within schools and between schools and their governing bodies and is not limited to student achievement outcomes. Datnow and Hubbard’s (2015) review of the literature on data type and use identified the following three trends:
I. Benchmark assessments are the most common – driven by accountability forces.
II. Although teachers are often asked to analyse data in a consistent way, agendas for data use, the nature of the assessments, and teacher beliefs all come into play, leading to variability in how they use data.
III. Instructional changes on the basis of data often focus on struggling students, raising some equity concerns (p. 3)
Selwyn (2015) calls for scrutiny of the type and use of data, its immediate and secondary effects on school culture around data use. Passey’s (2012) examination of the flows of discussions concerning data use in a school is one example of this form of closer examination of decision-making processes occurring in reality. The research in this presentation examines data use within the schooling context within New Zealand and the findings will be discussed within the European and global context of neo-liberal education reform policy.
New Zealand is a country that has followed the international trend of reforming education on the principles of competition and choice and in doing so schools became autonomous or self-governing in 1989 (OECD, 2007; Wyllie, 2012). More recently national standards and policy benchmarks for student achievement have been introduced coinciding with the increase in availability of digital data.
The types of data that schools have access to, how it is used, and how principals as leaders in autonomous schools would like to use data are the focus of this study. In exploring this, the research examines the influence that national policy has on the use of data and explores power relations and how policy is perceived and influencing the decisions and actions of principals or school leaders within schools.
Datnow, A., & Hubbard, L. (2015). Teachers' Use of Assessment Data to Inform Instruction: Lessons from the Past and Prospects for the Future.Teachers College Record, 117(4), n4. Hargreaves, A., & Shirley, D. L. (2012). The global fourth way: The quest for educational excellence. Corwin Press. Levin, B., & Fullan, M. (2008). Learning about system renewal. Educational management administration & leadership, 36(2), 289-303. Lingard, B., & Sellar, S. (2013). ‘Catalyst data’: Perverse systemic effects of audit and accountability in Australian schooling. Journal of Education Policy,28(5), 634-656. OECD (2007). School autonomy and accountability: Are they related to student performance? Pisa in focus 9. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/pisainfocus/48910490.pdf Ozga, J. (2012). Governing knowledge: data, inspection and education policy in Europe. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 10(4), 439-455. Passey, D. (2012). At the heart of the next generation of information technology in educational management: Data driven discussion for decision making. In D. Passey, A. Breiter, & A. Visscher (Eds.), Next generation of information technology in educational management (pp. 15-26). Bremen, Germany: Springer. Selwyn, N. (2015). Data entry: Towards the critical study of digital data and education. Learning, Media and Technology, 40(1), 64-82. Williamson, B. (2016). Digital education governance: data visualization, predictive analytics, and ‘real-time’policy instruments. Journal of Education Policy, 31(2), 123-141. Wylie, C. (2012). Vital connections: Why we need more than self-managing schools. Wellington: NZCER Press.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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