Both articles are critical of the impact that some of these changes have had on education and training. Consider how market ideologies and notions of accountability, have impacted upon your workplaces and by implication, on the work of administrators and managers in these settings.
As an international school in Singapore, families have a number of schools to choose from when they arrive on the island. Thus, we need to market our school as a unique experience compared to other schools to attract clients. The school has even hired a marketing department this year in preparation of expanding the school and the need to attract more families to our school. It is evident that more time, energy and finances are being funnelled into the marketing department to enhance the image of the school and promote it in the international market (Apple, 2001, p. 187).
When I first arrived at the school, there was not a lot of accountability to parents in terms of standardised ways of assessments nor accountability of staff to leaders. This has been a huge improvement of our school over the last four years moving slightly towards the other end of the pendulum. With more reporting per year to parents, there has been an increase in teacher workload to ensure that parents continuous are getting feedback about their child.
The school has also increased accountability through internal and external assessments. Measures of Academic Progress (MAPs) testing is now done twice a year by all students year four and above to ensure that the school is compared using a standardised test to other international schools. The school has also increased the number of standardised internal assessments within the primary school to create more trackable data of student across the years.
The school is a profit school and therefore has many key aspects of a business approach to education compared to a government-funded school. One of the things that can be hard is the need to measure all key performance indicators. Our school’s key performance indicators are directly linked to our staff work plans and appraisals even when at times, some of the KPIs we do not have control over.
As I begin to prepare myself to transfer to the Australian school systems in August, I will be interested to see how the different market ideologies and notions of accountability differ in the Australian setting.
Apple, M. W. (2001). ‘Markets, standards, teaching and teacher education.’