Constituents in Educational Policy Making
When creating and implementing educational policy, there are many constituents that should be considered during the entire process. It is according to who you ask as to which constituent and what issue is more important. According to Butters (n.d.) teachers are the most important constituent in the process because she feels that they are the first line of attack in its implementation. She argues that site based leadership has weakened the teachers voices because they feel that they are under the leadership of a hierarchical nature that makes decisions without their input. She cites Kumar and Scuderi (2000) by quoting, “In education, polices are usually made by school board members and administrators, but teachers are rarely part of the process.”
Race is another matter that is part of a collective constituent party when a role is questioned in educational policy making. Meier, Steward, England (1989) state that race is a constituent that plays a passive role in educational policy making. They argue the policy makers give race populations a piece of the pie by calculating the percentage of black voters in the process. They argue that passive roles can be linked to active roles, but it has very few variable in which to make that link valid.
Since it is administrators and government officials who are blamed of not meeting the constituent’s wishes, according to Johnson (1999) policymakers are generally confident in their ability to decipher the will of the public through the means of gathering public opinion in polls. The journal argues that studies show that politicians and administrators have success at determining the major issues of the public but they often misread the public regarding their basic preferences in educational policy. The article suggests more face to face contact to remedy this problem.
Though all constituents have a voice, some do not choose to use it or understand how to make it heard. Each constituent role has a place and an opinion seen only by that person in the role, and to decipher that place by someone outside that role is a difficult barrier to overcome.
Butters, J. (n.d.) Teacher voice in educational policy making. TexasStateUniversity. Retrieved on July 7, 2009 from http://www.txstate.edu/edphd/PDF/teachvoice.pdf
Kumer, D. D., & Scuderi, P. (2000).Opportunities for teachers as policy makers. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 36(2), 61-4.as cited by Butters (n.d.) Retrieved on July 7, 2009 from http://www.txstate.edu/edphd/PDF/teachvoice.pdf
Meier, K., Steward, J, & England, R. (1989) Race, class, and education. University of Chicago Press. Retrieved on July 7, 2009 from googlebooks.com
Johnson, K. (1999) What are the benefits for a state policy maker? Insights on Education Policy, Practice, and Research. (10) Retrieved on July 7, 2009 from http://www.sfedfund.org/resource_files/EducationalPolicyPractice_pg2.pdf
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