The Politics and Governance of Basic Education: A Tale of Two South African Provinces

Oxford University Press

This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence. It is free to read at Oxford Scholarship Online and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations. All over the world, economic inclusion has risen to the top of the development discourse. A well-performing education system is central to achieving inclusive development - but the challenge of improving educational outcomes has proven to be unexpectedly difficult. Access to education has increased, but quality remains low, with weaknesses in governance comprising an important part of the explanation. The Politics and Governance of Basic Education explores the balance between hierarchical and horizontal institutional arrangements for the public provision of basic education. Using the vivid example of South Africa, a country that had ambitious goals at the outset of its transition from apartheid to democracy, it explores how the interaction of politics and institutions affects educational outcomes. By examining lessons learned from how South Africa failed to achieve many of its goals, it constructs an innovative alternative strategy for making process, combining practical steps to achieve incremental gains to re-orient the system towards learning.
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About the author

Brian Levy is Professor of the Practice of International Development, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC and Academic Director, Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice, University of Cape Town. He worked at the World Bank from 1989 to 2012. His books include Working with the Grain: Integrating Governance and Growth in Development Strategies (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Building State Capacity in Africa (World Bank Institute, 2004). Robert Cameron is Professor of Public Administration in the Department of Political Studies, University of Cape Town. He has published around ninety journal articles and book chapters on local government, public administration and public service reform. He is a Senior Fellow at the Global Cities Institute, University of Toronto, and was a member of the South African Municipal Demarcation Board (1999-2004) which demarcated non-racial local government boundaries for the democratic South Africa. Ursula Hoadley is Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Cape Town. Her extensive published research explores the relation between education and social stratification and the differential social and academic outcomes engendered through educational processes, with a focus on pedagogy, curriculum, and school organization at the primary level, Ursula participates in multiple professional education associations, and boards, including South Africa's Ministerial Review Committee of 2009 which led to the revision of the outcomes-based national curriculum. She is the author of Pedagogy in poverty: 20 years of curriculum reform in South Africa (Routledge, 2017). Vinothan Naidoo is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Studies, University of Cape Town. His research spans institutional transformation and public sector reform, policy co-ordination and implementation, political-administrative relations, and inter-governmental relations. Recent publications have dealt with critical appraisals of public management reform in South Africa, and a historical appraisal of efforts to co-ordinate grand economic policies in South Africa. He completed a Ph.D in Public Administration at the University of Cape Town.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Aug 24, 2018
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Pages
344
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ISBN
9780192557353
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Development / Economic Development
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / Education
Education / General
Political Science / General
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
Political Science / Public Policy / Social Services & Welfare
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book assesses how efficient primary and upper primary education is across different states of India considering both output oriented and input oriented measures of technical efficiency. It identifies the most important factors that could produce differential efficiency among the states, including the effects of central grants, school-specific infrastructures, social indicators and policy variables, as well as state-specific factors like per-capita net-state-domestic-product from the service sector, inequality in distribution of income (Gini coefficient), the percentage of people living below the poverty line and the density of population. The study covers the period 2005-06 to 2010-11 and all the states and union territories of India, which are categorized into two separate groups, namely: (i) General Category States (GCS); and (ii) Special Category States (SCS) and Union Territories (UT). It uses non-parametric Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and obtains the Technology Closeness Ratio (TCR), measuring whether the maximum output producible from an input bundle by a school within a given group is as high as what could be produced if the school could choose to join the other group. The major departure of this book is its approach to estimating technical efficiency (TE), which does not use a single frontier encompassing all the states and UT, as is done in the available literature. Rather, this method assumes that GCS, SCS and UT are not homogeneous and operate under different fiscal and economic conditions.

The seven million teachers of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are the critical actors in the region's efforts to improve education quality and raise student learning levels, which lag far behind those of OECD countries and East Asian countries such as China. This book documents the high economic stakes around teacher quality, benchmarks the current performance of LAC's teachers, and delineates the key issues. These include low standards for entry into teacher training, poor quality training programs that are detached from the realities of the classroom, unattractive career incentives, and weak support for teachers once they are on the job. New research conducted for this report in close to 15,000 classrooms in seven different LAC countries - the largest cross-country study of this kind to date - provides a first-ever insight into how the region's teachers perform inside the classroom. It documents that the average teacher in LAC loses the equivalent of one day of instructional time per week because of inadequate preparation, excessive time on administration (taking attendance, passing out papers) and a surprisingly high share of time physically absent from the classrooms where they should be teaching. Teachers also make limited use of available learning materials, espcially those using information and communications technology (ICT), and are unable to keep the majority of their students engaged. The book sets out the three priority lines of reform needed to produce great teachers in LAC: policies to recruit better teachers; programs to groom teachers and improve their skills once they are in service; and stronger incentives to motivate teachers to perform their best throughout their career. In every area, the book distills the latest evidence from inside and outside the region to provide practical guidance to policymakers in the design of effective programs and sustainable reforms. A final chapter analyzes the politics of recent major teacher reforms in Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Mexico, chronicling the prominent role of teachers' unions and the political and communications strategies that have underpinned successful reforms.
The development discourse has long been dominated by best practices prescriptions for reform, but these are not a useful way of responding to the governance ambiguities of the early 21st century. Working with the Grain draws on both innovative scholarship and Brian Levy's quarter century of experience at the World Bank to lay out an alternative-a practical, analytically grounded, "with-the-grain" approach to reducing poverty and addressing weaknesses in governance. Best practice prescriptions confuse the goals of development with the journey of getting from here to there. A strong rule of law, capable and accountable governments, and a flexible, level playing field business environment are indeed desirable end points. But the ability to describe well-governed states does not conjure them into existence. If the only available actions are all or nothing, then efforts at change will almost certainly fall short, leading to disillusion and despair. By contrast, this book takes as its point of departure the realities of a country's economy, polity and society, and directs attention towards the challenges of initiating and sustaining forward development momentum. The book: -- distinguishes among four broad groups of countries, according to whether polities are dominant or competitive, and whether institutions are personalized or impersonal -- identifies alternative options for governance and policy reform-top down options which endeavor to strengthen formal institutions, and options supporting the emergence of "islands of effectiveness" -- explores how to identify entry points for change where there is a good fit between divergent country contexts and alternative options for reform. Sometimes the binding constraint to forward movement can be institutional, making governance reform the priority; at other times, the priority can better be on inclusive growth. Taking the decade-or-so time horizon of practitioners, the aim is to nudge things along-seeking gains that initially may seem quite modest but sometimes can give rise to a cascading sequence of change for the better.
Eric Bischoff has been called pro wrestling's most hated man. He's been booed, reviled, and burned in effigy. Fans have hurled everything from beer bottles to fists at him. Industry critics have spewed a tremendous amount of venom about his spectacular rise and stupendous crash at World Championship Wrestling. But even today, Eric Bischoff's revolutionary influence on the pro wrestling industry can be seen on every television show and at every live event.

Bischoff has kept quiet while industry "pundits" and other know-it-alls pontificated about what happened during the infamous Monday Night Wars. Basing their accounts on third- and fourth-hand rumors and innuendo, the so-called experts got many more things wrong than right. Now, in Controversy Creates Cash, Bischoff tells what really happened.

Beginning with his days as a salesman for Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Association, Bischoff takes readers behind the scenes of wrestling, writing about the inner workings of the business in a way never before revealed. He demonstrates how controversy helped both WCW and WWE. Eric gives the real numbers behind WCW's red ink -- far lower than reported -- and talks about how Turner Broadcasting's merger with Time Warner, and then Time Warner's merger with AOL, devastated not only WCW but many creative and entrepreneurial businesses within the conglomerate. Bischoff has surprisingly kind words for old rivals like Vince McMahon, but pulls no punches with friends and enemies alike.

Among his revelations: How teaming with Mickey Mouse turned WCW into a national brand. Why Hulk Hogan came to WCW. Why he fired Jesse Ventura for sleeping on the job. Why Steve Austin didn't deserve another contract at WCW, and how Bischoff's canning him was the best thing that ever happened to Austin. How Ted Turner decided WCW should go head-to-head against Raw on Monday nights. How Nitro revolutionized wrestling. Where the New World Order really began. How corporate politics killed WCW. And how he found his inner heel and learned to love being the guy everyone loves to despise.

Bischoff brings a surprisingly personal touch to the story, detailing his rough-and-tumble childhood in Detroit, talking about his family and the things he did to cope with the stress of the high-octane media business. Now a successful entertainment producer as well as a wrestling personality, Bischoff tells how he found contentment after being unceremoniously "sent home" from WCW.

Love him or hate him, readers will never look at a pro wrestling show quite the same way after reading Bischoff's story in Controversy Creates Cash.
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