Schooling is often characterized by turbulence and change. Organizational structures, leadership and ﬁnancial underpinnings are constantly in a state of ﬂux and ferment. To a large extent the turbulence is due to politicians, who in their zeal to appeal to voters constantly invent (and reinvent) reforms to perceived educational problems. School-based curriculum development (SBCD) in its various guises of
‘decentralization’ and ‘school-focused’ is exhorted by politicians in many countries. Currently SBCD is a vogue priority in a number of Asian countries such as Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan (Juang et al., 2005). It is not a new approach. It has been widely practised in Israel for over thirty years (Ben-Peretz and Dor, 1986). In the UK, politicians are advocating personalized learning, which encoura-
ges teachers to seek out and promote individualized learning in local school settings (Miliband, 2004), but also high on their agenda are standards and accountability priorities across the system. Similarly, it might be argued that at the school district level in the USA
school-managed activities are practised, yet with the advent of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation, centrally planned and controlled standards are now ﬁrmly in place, especially for core subjects. This chapter examines some of the key factors for promoting SBCD and
what is possible in current educational climates of accountability.