Monthly Archives: April 2012

CIES 2012: Hidden privatization of public education in Cambodia

Comparative and International Education Society

William Brehm, This Life Cambodia; Iveta Silova, Lehigh University, USA

“Hidden privatization of public education in Cambodia: equity implications of private tutoring”

The 1990s international construction of a new political economic order in Cambodia after two decades of civil unrest has had contradictory effects on education. The rhetoric of democracy thrives alongside corruption and human rights abuses; and the Education for All initiative exists alongside privatization of public education. In this context, private tutoring has emerged as an essential part of the public education system. A mastery of the required curriculum is now possible only through a careful combination of public schooling and private tutoring. Only those who can afford private tutoring thus receive access to the complete national curriculum while those who cannot are stigmatized. This paper draws on an analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, including 28 classroom observations (evenly split between private tutoring and public school classes), 20 focus groups with a total of 100 participants, grade and attendance tracking of 444 9th grade and 200 6th grade students, and informal interviews with 20 participants. The presentation concludes by explaining how a seamless combination of public schooling and private tutoring in terms of curriculum and pedagogy creates a public-private educational arrangement that stratifies Cambodian youth along socioeconomic, interpersonal, and familial lines.

CIES 2012 Panel: Comparative Perspectives on Shadow Education

This panel will focus on the phenomenon of private supplementary tutoring, which is widely called shadow education. Research on this topic has expanded in the last decade, but much more work is needed. As in other topics, a great deal can be learned from comparative analysis. The panel will analyze patterns in different parts of the world, with particular focus Asia and the Arab States. It will also address methodological issues.
1.  Patterns of shadow education in the Asian region: learning from diversity and commonality
Mark Bray, Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong
2. Methodology in research about shadow education
Chad Lykins, Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Konk
3. Payoffs to private tutoring in the United Arab Emirates: a gendered affair
Samar Farah and Natasha Ridge, Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
4. Drivers of shadow education in The Gambia: Addressing private provision of the public demand for quality education
Colleen King, Center for International Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
5. Hidden privatization of public education in Cambodia: equity implications of private tutoring
William Brehm , This Life Cambodia; Iveta Silova, Lehigh University, USA

CIES 2012: Patterns of shadow education in the Asian region: learning from diversity and commonality

Comparative and International Education Society

Mark Bray, Comparative Education Research Centre, Univ of Hong Kong

“Patterns of shadow education in the Asian region: learning from diversity and commonality”

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has commissioned a study of shadow education (private supplementary tutoring) in its regional member countries. The ADB region is wide and diverse. It includes prosperous countries in East Asia such as Japan and the Republic of Korea, and poor countries in South Asia such as Bangladesh and Nepal. Equally it includes countries shaped by a Soviet heritage and as well countries shaped by European colonial heritages. From a comparative perspective, the benefit of this diversity is that it brings a range of models and variables for analysis. This paper examines patterns in the scale and content of shadow education, noting changes over recent decades and likely future trends. It is mainly based on existing studies, and as such notes gaps as well as strengths in the literature. Finally, the paper remarks on the implications for the work of ADB, which is dedicated to reduction of poverty and which is concerned about social disparities while pursuing economic growth in the region.

Standardized Testing and Its Uses by Policy-Makers

Keita Takayma has written a very nice Asia Pacific Memo (English/Japanese) that compares the national testing regime in Australia (NAPLAN) and in Japan (全国学力・学習状況調査). While both are standardized tests, they crucially differ in that the NAPLAN results are intended to be released to the public to create competition for positions on school league tables. This quasi-market is then meant to create pressure on schools to pursue changes and improvements as in the theoretical versions of arguments for charter schools in the U.S. that are also meant to spur on competition.

In Japan, by contrast, full data and analysis of the national test is only available to policy-makers. These analyses are then intended to spur policy-makers to improve results through a policy-making process, rather than relying on market mechanisms.

As a side note, I noticed in the school calendar for my oldest child that PISA testing is being conducted in his school this week. Yes, it is 2012, so PISA testing is going on.

Juku Flyer Vancouver V

Here’s another flyer. I picked this one up in Kerrisdale.

Juku Flyer Vancouver V

Note that the time table shows some emphasis on (provincial) exam preparation, but also some emphasis on English. In that context, it seems surprising that some of the English text is a bit awkward suggesting a non-native writer (i.e. someone like me).

Juku Vancouver V Timetable

AERA 2012: Impacts of Supplemental Tutoring Configurations for Preschoolers at Risk for Reading Difficulties

American Educational Research Association

Apr 17, 12:25-13:55h

Carol Vukelich, Myae Han, Matha Buell (all Univ of Delaware), and Laura Justice (Ohio State Univ)

“Impacts of Supplemental Tutoring Configurations for Preschoolers at Risk for Reading Difficulties”

Background: Providing preschoolers at-risk for reading difficulties with additional support is of increasing interest in early childhood education.  However, the research on programming in preschool for this additional support is limited and yields inconclusive findings.   Objective. The current studies explore different grouping configurations in a supplemental tutoring program for at-risk preschoolers in order to provide early childhood educators with guidance on grouping strategies for use in their supplemental instruction.

Methods. Two grouping configurations are examined via two studies. In Study 1, forty-five at-risk preschoolers (18 boys, 27 girls) were selected and randomly assigned to a one-on-one tutoring or paired tutoring condition.  In Study 2, fifty-four at-risk children (31 boys, 23 girls) were selected and randomly assigned to one of two pairing conditions: with a highly-skilled peer or with a similarly low-skilled peer.  In each study, children received tutoring that supplemented the classroom instruction twice a week over the academic year.

Results: In Study 1, children in both conditions made similar gains on the alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness measures and the one-on-one group outperformed the paired group on receptive vocabulary but the effect size was small. In Study 2, the children in the matched-pairing condition evidenced a trend toward greater gains than those paired with high-skilled peer on the phonological awareness measure but not on alphabet knowledge and receptive vocabulary measures.  Conclusion. The results of studies hold promise for achieving optimal outcomes by providing supplemental instruction to the maximum number of preschoolers using a dyad model instead of the typical one-on-one model.

AERA 2012: Private Supplementary Tutoring for Secondary School Students in Hong Kong

American Educational Research Association

Apr 15, 10:35-12:05h

Chad Lykins and Mark Bray, Comparative Education Research Centre, Univ of Hong Kong

“Private Supplementary Tutoring for Secondary School Students in Hong Kong: Scale, Nature and Implications”

Studies suggest that private supplementary tutoring is intensifying in scale, intensity, and importance, with many students regarding it as essential to satisfactory academic results. However, there is a lack of evidence about the nature of this tutoring, including the subjects studied, modes of delivery, and costs. This paper presents evidence on private supplementary tutoring from a mixed-method study involving a survey and group interviews with secondary school students in Hong Kong. It then analyzes this evidence in the light of research on the rapid growth and evolving nature of private tutoring in Hong Kong and throughout the world.

AERA 2012: Supplementary Schools Making a Difference to the Attainment of Black Children

American Educational Research Association

April 15m 8:15-9:45

Uvanney Maylor

University of Bedfordshire

“Supplementary Schools Making a Difference to the Attainment of Black Children”

This paper reports on an English government commissioned study in 2009-10 which sought to understand the reach/provision of supplementary schools, and identify the unique contributions that they make to the mainstream school learning/attainment of nationally low attaining African-Caribbean, Somali, Turkish and Parkistani heritage children aged 5-18 (DfE 11). The study was intended to build on government perceptions that:

supplementary schools can help to access and unlock the hidden potential of students whose individual intellectual potential has been reduced by a culturally uniform approach to learning? Supplementary schools can engage pupils effectively and help to translate elements of the mainstream curriculum into a culturally embedded context. (Ryan, MP 2008: Hansard columns 1066-7)

Running through this study was also a government/educational policy maker desire to understand the active involvement of minority ethnic parents in supporting their children?s education. In furthering such understanding, this paper is specifically concerned with the experiences of Black (African and Caribbean) children, and examines the difference Black supplementary schools make to Black children?s learning and educational outcomes.

AERA 2012: Evaluation of Supplemental Educational Services in a Midwestern Urban School District

American Educational Research Association

Apr 14, 12:25-13:55h

Katherine Drake and Cheryl Carlstrom, Saint Paul Public Schools

“Evaluation of Supplemental Educational Services in a Midwestern Urban School District”

Supplemental Educational Services (SES) is defined as tutoring and other supplemental academic enrichment provided outside of the school day that is specifically designed to help students achieve proficiency on state academic standards as measured by the state’s assessment system. In compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, any Title I school or district identified as not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for three or more consecutive years must offer SES to all low-income students attending the school. While the U.S. Department of Education requires that SES providers demonstrate effectiveness in improving student achievement, states and districts have limited capacity to monitor providers and to evaluate their performance.

To date, research on SES has not consistently shown a demonstrable impact on student achievement (Authors, 2007a; Authors, 2007b; Authors, 2010). The research, evaluation, and assessment office of a Midwestern urban school district conducted an evaluation in order to measure the effectiveness of SES providers at improving the academic achievement of students who received service in that district during the 2009-10 school year. The study was designed to answer three questions: 1. Who participated in SES? 2. What was the impact of SES on student achievement? 3. How did SES providers compare in terms of student achievement outcomes?

Data from a supplemental service database that included provider, session type, and attendance information for 1,692 registered students were linked to student demographic data as well as to fall 2009 and spring 2010 Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) reading and math data and to spring 2009 and spring 2010 data from the statewide tests in reading and math data. After reviewing participant demographics overall, by school, and by provider, we compared the achievement test scores of SES students to SES-eligible students (i.e., all students who received free or reduced price lunch and enrolled in an SES school) who did not register for SES.

The participant file was split by subject area in which each student received service (math or reading), with some students receiving assistance in both subject areas. Propensity Score Matching was used to identify comparison groups (by subject area) from the pool of all 2009-2010 non-participating SES-eligible students. Analysis of MAP and statewide test data supports existing research findings of little to no difference in test performance of students who receive SES compared to those who do not. Where statistically significant differences were found, matched students who did not receive SES outperformed those who did. When hours of service were considered, students who received 20 or more hours of SES met achievement test targets at the same rate as those who participated in fewer than 20 hours. While the percent of students achieving proficiency on the statewide assessment, in both math and reading, did vary by provider, no single provider showed success across all measures and subject areas.

In conclusion, this evaluation confirms the lack of support for SES found by researches in other urban school districts.

AERA 2012: Parents’ Perspectives on Privatizing Trends in Education

American Educational Research Association

Apr 15, 14:15-15:45h

Patricia Burch and Rudolfo Acosta (Univ of Southern California)

“Where Do I Go? Parents’ Perspectives on Privatizing Trends in Education”

Introduction and Rationale: There are dramatic changes underway in the Federal role in increasing access and opportunity for students living in poverty. On the one hand, the federal government has become increasingly proactive in directing instruction at the Federal, state and local levels. For example, the No Child Left Behind Act (the 2001 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) tied federal funding for economically disadvantaged communities to test score performance and introduced progressive sanctions for schools. Standing partially in tension with this centralization, private engagement in the governance and administration of public education is expanding and evolving.

Central Arguments: In this paper, the authors make six central arguments about the ways in which the role and influence of for profit firms in k-12 public education is changing.

  1. Large corporations—and the laws that protect them—increasingly drive how and what the public learns about education.
  2. With government programs being slashed, companies are turning to new money sources in order to expand.
  3. Education companies are using relationships with school districts to get teachers, students and parents hooked on their products.
  4. For profits are pushing legal boundaries by using not for profits as marketing arms.
  5. When it comes to private sector involvement in public education, there is no accountability
  6. The changes described follow a general pattern. However, whether and how government agencies and private industry trade places varies depending on the setting and what is being sold.

Methods: This research is part of an ongoing multisite mixed methods study on the implementation and impact of supplementary education services. Data were collected from five urban school districts representing a variety of student demographics in: Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Chicago, Illinois; and Austin and Dallas, Texas. This paper draws on findings from the qualitative portion of the study specifically aimed at analyzing which factors influence parent or student choices in selecting supplemental education providers. Data collected consists of focus groups with parents (n=174) of students eligible to receive and/or currently receiving supplementary services. Two focus groups, approximately 1.5 hours each took place at each of the sites with translation offered in Spanish, Hmong, and Somali. The racial and ethnic demographics of parents consisted of the following: White, Latino, African American, African, Asian, Biracial, Native American, Multiracial, or other. Parents in the sample had children eligible for services in elementary, middle, or high school. To delineate the social construction of parents as the targets of policy, a textual analysis of the federal NCLB policy concerning the implementation of supplementary services was used.

Contributions: The paper provides voice for perspective of those at the receiving line of privatization, in particular students with disabilities and English language learners. Based on these voices, we identify the core issues that policymakers must wrestle with if current forms of privatization are to strengthen ties between parents and schools. We also show how Federal education policy has helped to legitimize these changes.