23 SES 11 A, Market Ideas and Practices III
In different parts of the world we have recently seen various attempts to ‘modernize’ the governance of school systems. In German speaking countries, two general (not necessarily exclusive) strategies of modernization are to be observed (see Altrichter 2009): one is organized around an idea of evidence-based governance which includes standardization of central educational objectives and evaluation of its outcomes. Another strategy proposes to introduce more “autonomy” for individual schools and increased means for school-based management into the formerly heavily centralised and bureaucratised school systems. A third strategy, which is overtly arguing for more competition between individual schools, has not achieved an equally prominent status in German speaking countries as in other regions (see Rürup 2007). Nevertheless, increased competition seems to be one of the most consistent side effects of the modernization policies up to now (see Altrichter et al. 2006; see Maroy/Van Zanten 2009 for a cross-national perspective) .
In Linz, an Austrian provincial capital of about 190.000 inhabitants introduced a policy of free choice of primary schools for the school year 2007/08. Before, the city was organized in 35 „Schulsprengel“ (regional school catchment areas) which channelled pupils into a specific school. Free school choice policy may be considered a core element of a strategy of increasing competition between schools which has been invstigated in various international contexts (see Gerwitz et al. 1995; Feinberg/Lubienski 2008; Forsey et al. 2008). The introduction of this new policy in the city of Linz offered the chance to study the effects of this specific version of a ‘post-bureaucratic governance model’ (Maroy 2009, 72) on the composition of the student body in different schools and on characteristics of parents’ choice behaviour in a specific governance context.
Based on a rationale which analyses governance systems as multi-layered, multi-regulated systems of action coordination (see deBoer et al. 2007; Maroy/Van Zanten 2009; Altrichter 2009), we were interested ‑ among others ‑ in the following questions:
(1) Has the policy of free choice resulted in increased segregation in schools?
(2) Have there been changes in the student population of specific schools as a result of free choice policy?
(3) Have motives and process characteristics ofparent choice of schools changed as a result of free choice policy?
(4) How did teachers and headpersons perceive the introduction of this new policy and what did they do to cope with it?
Altrichter, H. (2009): Evidence on Governance? Conceptual and empirical strategies of research on governance in education. Keynote address, ECER 2009, Vienna. Altrichter, H./Prexl-Krausz, U./Soukup-Altrichter, K.: Was verändert sich durch Schulprofilierung? Qualifikation und Selektion an Schulen mit dem Schwerpunkt "Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien". In: Die Deutsche Schule 98(2006)3, 285 - 300. de Boer, H., Enders, J. & Schimank U. (2007). On the way towards New Public Management? The Governance of University Systems in England, the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany. In: Jansen, D. (ed.), New Forms of Governance in Research Organisations. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 137-152. Feinberg, W./Lubienski, C. (2008) (eds.): School choice policies and outcomes: Empirical and philosophical perspectives. Albany: State University of New York Press. Forsey, M./Davies, S./Walford, G. (eds.) (2008): The Globalisation of School Choice? Oxford: Symposium. Gerwitz, S./Ball, S./Bowe, R.: Markets, Choice and Equity in Education. Open University Press: Buckingham 1995.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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