REPORT SEEKS TO INVOLVE
HIGHER EDUCATION IN SCHOOL REFORM: HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE SCHOOLS
Higher Education and the Schools summarizes the current condition of K-12
school reform, and explores the policy implications of these reform issues for the
future of higher education. An expert in education policy -- P. Michael Timpane,
senior advisor for education policy at RAND -- authored the report, which is published
jointly by the Institute for Educational Leadership, the National Center for Public
Policy and Higher Education, and the State Higher Education Executive Officers.
The report argues that American higher education has not been involved significantly
in contemporary school reform, and proposes a "modest first step" as a
prelude to cooperative policy development and action that state-sponsored leadership
forums be created to promote regular discussion of reform issues between higher education
and K-12 systems.
The author begins by outlining key elements in contemporary public school reform,
including: creating goals and standards, establishing a school-wide learning environment,
enhancing teacher training, and focusing on improving urban schools. In relation
to teaching training, Timpane argues that "education reform demands a radical
overhaul of both pre-service and in-service training"-- both of which must engage
higher education "much more fundamentally" in the school reforms now taking
place. Timpane asks: "Are schools of education ready to handle this challenge?
Are colleges and universities ready to give this challenge appropriate priority?"
In describing the "modest but real outcomes" of K-12 reform, Timpane
argues that achievement levels vary significantly by state. "Will such comparisons,"
he poses, "be made about higher education in the years ahead?"
A New Compact
In describing the current relationship between K-12 and higher education in the
United States, Timpane finds it "disappointing but not surprising that American
higher education has been so little involved in the formulation or execution of contemporary
school reform." In light of this disjunction, Timpane makes a "modest proposal"
to establish closer relationships between K-12 and higher education by creating "state-sponsored
leadership forums" that will give a higher priority to discussing reform issues
as a necessary prelude to cooperative policy development and action.
This report is part of a new series, "Perspectives in Public Policy: Connecting
Higher Education and the Public Schools," that seeks to promote public and educational
policies designed to strengthen the linkage between schools and higher education.
The series is co-sponsored by The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education,
and The Institute for Educational Leadership.
Additional copies of this report are available for $15 per copy; quantity discounts
are available for orders over nine. To order publications from this series, please
email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax (202-872-4050) your request
to the Institute for Educational Leadership. Please
refer to the publication title and number (K-16 Report #99-02) when ordering.
The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education was established in
1998 to promote opportunity, affordability and quality in American higher education.
As an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, the National Center provides
action-oriented analyses of state and federal policies affecting education beyond
high school. The Institute for Educational Leadership, established in 1964, is a
non-profit, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, DC. IEL's mission is to
help institutions and individuals work together across boundaries to make better
decisions and to take actions that improve the educational, social, and personal
development of children and youth.