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Considering school-level policy decisions : a study of the values underpinning the pursuit of the international baccalaureate programs

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Title:Considering school-level policy decisions : a study of the values underpinning the pursuit of the international baccalaureate programs
Authors:Clissold, Kimberly Leilani
Keywords:international baccalaureate
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Date Issued:Dec 2012
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2012]
Abstract:This study examined the underresearched topic of school-level policymaking by identifying the values underpinning the decision to pursue implementation of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. To ascertain the values underpinning this policy decision at the school level, the IB Interested Phases at five schools in Hawaiʻi were isolated and studied using a qualitative case study methodology. Theory for identifying values in educational policy making at the state level, developed by Marshall, Mitchell, and Wirt, were applied in a school-level context to ascertain which values underpinned each school's decision to pursue the IB programs. Data from interviews with school-level personnel and two independent document sources were triangulated. Interpretive analysis of data using the Marshall and colleagues definitions of the four policy values of quality, efficiency, equity, and choice were used to identify and analyze the values underpinning the decision to pursue the IB programs. Findings identified two values as underpinning the decision-making at the school level to pursue the IB programs: quality and efficiency. The value of quality was anticipated, given the type of programs that the IB markets and the current educational policy climate pushing schools toward reforms related to standards and accountability. Unanticipated findings included (a) identification of multiple layers of internal and external policies at the school level, or policy layering; (b) identification of the value of efficiency, in its accountability form at the school level; (c) identification of the value of efficiency in its economic form emanating from Hawaiʻi's state political system and from the state's unitary system of public education.
These thought-provoking findings discerned both internal school-level and external policy factors influencing and interplaying with decision making by school principals to pursue the IB programs, not only to improve the overall quality of the school but to potentially reduce school level policy layering and promote greater school-level autonomy in myriad current and upcoming policy reforms emanating from both state/district and national policies in U.S. public education.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Education

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