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What Factors Influence Educational Systems?

Hi everyone!

I’m assisting in a class on Systems Thinking and Decision-Making this semester and am putting together a simulation of educational systems for a little praxis in addition to the raw theoretical base of the class.  Each student will be part of a small group representing a school system (public school, parochial school, standards-based charter school, innovative cooperative charter school, etc) that is interacting in the larger network of schooling in the city.  Each school system has some shared and some distinct problems that they are dealing with, and so they are working sometimes along with, sometimes apart from, and sometimes in conflict with each other towards their own goals.  As I’ve been doing research, I’ve been wanting to engage with better versed people on why some of the situations I’m discovering are the way they are.  I’m trying to give them a reasonable starting state based on the current situation that they can research, but they will have the flexibility to make significant changes to their system’s structure if they feel the difference will be beneficial.

What factors do you think are most important in influencing educational systems in an urban environment?  It’s a broad term, but by “system” I mean any intuitive grouping, so a school system is a system, as is the administration, the students, the teachers, the vendors of supplies and facilities, the public with children in the school, the public without children who don’t want their tax money to pay for schools, etc – everything that has an impact, and any one thing can be involved in many interrelated systems.

To just take their claims at face value, why are charter schools performing better than regular public schools.  These claims are made regardless of school mission, whether standards-based or cooperative or just mimicing the traditional classroom.  Similarly, in St Louis, the magnet schools are very successful even though they are under the same administrative control and have the same state and federal requirements as the public school.  Any thoughts on this would be enlightening.

How much does student self-selection interplay into this: students that are willing to apply to a school or students with parents who will encourage them to apply? The MET charter school in Providence boasts the “highest parental involvement in the state.”  Since I also work with kids in the state’s custody (who have no significant parental influence), such a statistic makes me very skeptical that it deserves comparison to the general public schools.

In what ways are teachers in charter schools different than in public schools?  Are they outside of unions, or new teachers, or successful in a discipline and not necessarily state certified, or seasoned teachers self-selecting themselves because they are excited to try something different?  Are they paid more up front but less in pensions?  Are they promised better facilities?

On the practical side, I am confused about a couple facts and if you have knowledge of them, I’d appreciate it.  Are charter schools required to follow the NCLB state testing requirements?  Are they typically funded per-student at similar rates as public schools?  How much profit do for-profit charter schools typically make and who gets the ROI?

Thanks for your thoughts!




8 thoughts on “What Factors Influence Educational Systems?

  1. Kevin, I’m not experienced enough to comment on urban schools in particular, but policy and budgeting are universals factors affecting schools, and each of those can be factored out further into such realms as politics, taxes, and community values.

    Charter law is inconsistent by state; moreover, charters are written between their authorizers (accountability patrons) and schools or management organizations, so who does what for whom with what money can change from case to case. Different states allow for different authorizers. One state might let local school boards, the state school board, and universities authorize charter schools, while another state might only allow local school boards to do so.

    Generally, schools run by charter management organizations negotiate a set per pupil cost with their host divisions and then keep the money they save by decreasing operational costs.

    Public charter schools that manage themselves negotiate specific terms with authorizers, as well, and work to make sure that students’ per pupil moneys follow them into such charter schools. Schools like these generally use all the money the get to run themselves – they are not for profit.

    Rarely have I seen a charter school escape from state assessment policy; this means that some states have policies or write charters that let charter schools use standards-based portfolio assessments and nationally normed tests, while other states require their charter schools to administer end-of-course tests. Really, a charter school is at the assessment mercy of state policy. Since there are 41 or so states with charter laws, that manes there is a lot of diversity in the movement.

    Teachers are protected by unions – or education associations in right-to-work states – or not depending on the contracts they sign with their charter schools and the charters the schools hold with their authorizers. Teachers go to charter schools for a variety of reasons. I wouldn’t hazard a generalization here. I self-selected a transfer for curricular freedom and the chance to work with kids whom I thought I could help.

    Parent and student selection of charter schools is also highly varied – generally, parents send their kids to schools that they think will help them be successful. Definitions of success vary between all schools, as do parents and students’ reasons for selecting charter schools.

    Anyway, I start here for my charter information.

    Best wishes,

    Posted by Chad Sansing | January 31, 2011, 9:43 pm
  2. There are four factors that influence world educational system. 1. Political factor 2 . Religious factor 3. Natural factor and 4. Secular factor they are the factors that influence world educational system

    Posted by Alaoma Bridget chinonso | August 3, 2011, 3:33 pm
  3. There are mainly 4 factors that influence the education system – PEST (Political, Economical, Social and Technological). Research on PEST and you will have great deal of information on the subject.

    Posted by Suzan Omar | August 4, 2011, 12:35 pm
  4. Any time kids and their families, and teachers get to choose what and where they want to go for their learning/teaching, there will be significant educational gains. Nothing else matters.

    Posted by Alice | December 18, 2011, 12:14 pm
  5. You are correct,i am a teacher in a goverment school,teaching my best but not being paid proportionately.Moreover i think goverment shoud provide gond infrastructural facilities in public school.Coperes do’nt allowed in educational field that will affect the education of poor people.

    Posted by Abubakkar k | January 9, 2012, 11:56 am
  6. yes “PEST”are the 4 major factors affecting systems of education

    Posted by stevoh | November 1, 2012, 8:44 am
  7. Thanks kevin……have got an idea of what i will use to add to my research…..

    Posted by Liz | December 9, 2012, 5:26 am
  8. I think a lot of Political issues that influence so much….promises from government e. g. Introduced free primary care, laptops to pre_primary education,changes in education system e. g. 8.4.4 etc.

    Posted by Duncan Ongata | October 6, 2016, 10:27 am

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