ERIC Number: ED334643
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Who's Making What Decisions: Monitoring Authority Shifts in Chicago School Reform.
Hess, G. Alfred, Jr.; Easton, John Q.
As a result of the 1988 Chicago School Reform Act, a number of powers previously exercised at the central administration or board level have devolved upon the Local School Councils (LSCs) and principals. The cooperation of 14 representative schools was enlisted for an ongoing qualitative study of the dynamics of reform at the local level. To date, three reports have resulted from the study and these form the primary basis for this paper, in which LSC operations, principals' views of their changing roles, and an analysis of school improvement plans created by the sample schools are described. Attendance rates at LSC meetings varied greatly from council to council, and member participation seemed to depend on the topics being discussed. Principals saw their roles change in a primarily negative manner because of increased demands on their time and because some councils infringed upon powers legally mandated to principals. Positive comments from principals referred to increased discretion and flexibility as a result of school reform. On the average, LSCs discussed six topics per meeting and, in most cases, made decisions by votes that were the culmination of preceding discussion. Each of the 14 schools under observation adopted a school improvement plan during the spring of 1990, and virtually all the reform initiatives included within the plans were supported by current research on school improvement. Tables and graphs are included. (23 references) (EJS)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Administrator Role, Change Strategies, Decentralization, Decision Making, Elementary Secondary Education, Management Systems, Organizational Change, Parent Participation, Parent School Relationship, School Based Management, School Organization, School Restructuring
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Chicago Public Schools IL
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).