ERIC Number: ED202163
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
The Influence of the Community Power Structure on School Board Decision-Making. Research Report.
Thornell, Allen L.
A questionnaire survey of 180 Texas school district superintendents sought to determine both their perceptions of how community power structures influenced school board decisions and their techniques for communicating with their local power structure. The study analyzed four power structure types--monopolistic, multigroup noncompetitive, competitive elite, and democratic pluralistic--in relation to school district size, 13 educational decision-making areas, and 13 communication techniques between superintendents and power structures. Among the study's findings were that (1) monopolistic power structures occurred more often in small school districts; (2) power structure types were not strongly associated with particular decision-making areas; (3) power structures of all types had more influence on "external" educational decisions, such as school board membership, than on "internal" ones, such as textbook selection; (4) superintendents preferred to communicate with community power structures through school-connected channels rather than third parties; and (5) all superintendents felt their power structure communication techniques were inadequate, although superintendents in larger districts perceived more communication success than those in small districts. The author concludes that superintendents need to know their community power structure's type and areas of influence, and need to develop better communication techniques with their local power structures. (RW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: East Texas School Study Council, Commerce.
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