ERIC Number: ED245352
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Toward Strategic Independence: Policy Considerations for Enhancing School Effectiveness.
Finn, Chester E., Jr.
The central problem in educational improvement at the state and local level is the tension between school-level autonomy and systemwide uniformity; educational change is limited by three special conditions: (1) inertial autonomy, (2) essential uniformity of public schools, and (3) the fact that effective schools have characteristics that cannot be mandated. Concern for higher educational quality produces concern for standards. The risks involved in setting standards include inhibiting the most effective schools while ineffective schools continue to fail. Nine commandments presented as guidance for policymakers working to achieve stronger educational outcomes without crippling effective schools are: (1) recognize the school as the key organizational unit in public education; (2) establish standards emphasizing broad goals and desired outcomes; (3) encourage school differences except for core standards; (4) develop school leadership with strong principals, and remove weak ones; (5) make selection and deployment of staff a school-level responsibility; (6) treat teachers as individuals who must function collegially; (7) give a good deal of budgetary authority to individual schools; (8) allow flexibility in teaching, learning, and internal organization at each school; and (9) regard school improvement as a dynamic and cyclical process taking place over a long period. (MD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Educational Change, Educational Innovation, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Graduation Requirements, Local Norms, School District Autonomy, School Effectiveness, State Standards, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Qualifications, Tests
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Dingle Associates, Inc., Washington, DC.
Note: Paper prepared for the National Institute of Education Conference on State and Local Policy Implications of Effective School Research.