Kimberly D. Thomas
Comparative Studies of Education System
Nova Southeastern University
June 17, 2012
Education is at the forefront of reform both locally and internationally. Through the turn of the century, initiatives have been put into place in order to catapult nations into a contending status as they relate to other nations. For much of the past quarter century, at least since the Reagan presidency, public education in the United States, and abroad, has come under sharp criticism and attack. Critics have introduced all manner of reforms, many with a decidedly free market or neocorporatist bent (Bulkley & Fusarelli, 2007). All and all, with the mounting availability of opt out options, schools must seek to retain as much of the student body as possible. There are charter schools and private schools being erected seemingly effortlessly. Public schools may lose their student base to privatized education in two specific methods. The first is the contracting out model, in which a state school has some or all of its educational functions contracted out to the private sector under accountability guidelines established by the local and/or central government. Education management companies such as Edison Schools in the United States and 3Es in England fit into this model, where all of the educational functions–pedagogy, curriculum, school management and improvement–are taken over by the private company. Additionally, there is the state-funded private school model, where private schools are allowed to opt-in to state funding, as in Denmark and Holland, or new independent schools are specially created under government regulations to receive state funding, as with charter schools in America, Canada, and China, and City Academies in England and Wales (Stateuniversity.com, 2012). The following paper will attempt to dissect manners in which the school system of the UK have fared in the educational market as it relates to that of the educational processes of the United States.
The various elements of race, religion, economy, assessment, and accountability are a few of the factors examined. Tony Blair is a British Labour prime minister who led a profound change in British elementary and secondary education (Hill, 2005). In education, Blair is responsible for taking initiatives no one would have expected from the leader of his party. Blair built on the ideologies to retain funding to schools and strengthen unions and local education authorities. As a result, he constructed the Bexley Business Academy secondary school in far southeast London. Bexley is a brand-new school, built on the ashes of the Thamesmead School. Set in in the lower socioeconomic demographic of London, Thamesmead would have fit comfortably in East St. Louis. Content with graffiti and fighting in the halls, intimidation of teachers, detached older teachers, and younger ones leaving as soon as they could find another job. The average student was absent nearly two days a week, and fewer than one in 20 could pass the five exams needed for university admission. Despite all naysayers, Bexley became a staple for the future of British education. At Bexley, a new school in every way, private funding mixes seamlessly with government support and people from government and the private sector work side by side. The school was designed to give children a look at a life that is different in almost every way from the rough neighborhoods in which they live. It works because of serious student orientation to the Bexley way, uniforms that would look smart in a wealthy prep school, and instant teacher intervention to stop disruptive behavior. The school operates 12 hours each day, giving students a place to study and socialize from early morning to past dinnertime. Like America's successful Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) and the Cristo Rey schools,...