chapter  2
Conceptualizing Education Reform
Pages 16

The word “reform” often has a positive normative character, implying something desirable. In this book the term is used to refer to programs of educational change that are government-directed and initiated based on an overtly political analysis. The changes examined are driven primarily by the political apparatus of government rather than by educators or bureaucrats, and justified on the basis of the need for a very substantial break from current practice. In other words, for our purposes here, reforms are those changes in education governments have undertaken to make. I do not claim that these reforms are necessarily desirable. This definition of reform also stresses the political element in education reform in contrast, for example, to reforms that may emanate from within the school system itself.