Recent School Effectiveness Counter-critiques: problems and possibilities
As part of continuing debate over school effectiveness research (SER), this article examines the recent responses of several school effectiveness researchers to the concerns of their critics. Issues examined include the complexity of the debate over SER, the value of pragmatism, the impact of social class, the significance of methodological problems, the value of current attempts to theorise SER, the relationship of SER to educational politics and policy-making, the politics of doing SER, and the claimed achievements of SER. The discussion highlights a number of continuing tensions surrounding SER but also suggests that, if taken at face value, the counter-critiques are often not taking the arguments of critics seriously. Nevertheless, with substantial concerns about SER now being aired from positions within as well as beyond SER, a shift in the nature of SER seems likely.