This paper comments on three aspects of the educational reform movement in America: the current reform movement's aims and goals, community collaborations to assist systemic reform, and problems in pedagogy associated with school reform. An important accomplishment of the movement included collaborative partnerships among the corporate community, higher educational community, political agencies, and parents. Unfortunately, reform leaders threatened drastic consequences for comprehensive failure--an action that traumatized teachers, children, and parents. Education research was also adversely affected in that well-intentioned reform efforts were based on politics and uninformed social advocates instead of research-based investigations and results. The Pasadena College of Teachers is an example of educational collaboration where teacher members were selected from different school levels to modify principles and practices of instructional delivery within the Pasadena School District. Educators took responsibility for their professional growth and influenced instructional policy by collaborating with administrators, the union, and university faculty. Results are promising in that teachers have improved their quality of professionalism and grant funding has been obtained. It is recommended that the educational sciences, and principles and practices of educational research, be inserted into every school-change agenda to prevent tinkering by well-intentioned but uninformed social advocates. (Contains 25 endnotes.) (RT)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).