ERIC Number: ED191631
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Stranger in Paradise: Process and Product in a District Office.
In spite of opportunities for academic excellence, the 7,550 public school students of "Paradise Island" have average test scores well below statewide norms which, in turn, are below national averages. Sub-standard achievement in rural areas is a state-wide phenomenon which educators often explain in terms of isolation or minimal environmental stimulation (despite jet-age tourism). In "Paradise Island", a growing faculty preoccupation with student misbehavior hinders achievement. Violence and vandalism in the high schools outpace crime rates for the island as a whole, and there is a drastic deterioration in classroom climate. Hawaii is the only state where public education is administered on a statewide basis by one Board of Education through one Superintendent of Education, who delegates responsibility to District Superintendents of the seven school districts. The role of the district office is to enforce state and federal policy, to police performance in the field, and to direct communication to and from higher offices. Decision-making is inherently political. Anything not mandated is prohibited. Administration contact with faculty is primarily in the form of workshops in which administrators transmit orders. There is no provision for local control of education, and herein lies the problem. Control must be transferred from the state to the district level. Informed faculty and community members must be resource people instead of sullen recipients of dictated curricula. Instructions must be related to needs of students, and provisions must be made for faculty imagination, individual differences, and local conditions. (CM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Administrative Organization, Case Studies, Community Attitudes, Cultural Differences, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, National Norms, Politics, Relevance (Education), Rural Environment, School District Autonomy, Social Change, Standardized Tests, Student Attitudes, Teacher Administrator Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Hawaii (Anahola)