ERIC Number: ED347630
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Leadership Responses to Desegregation in the Denver Public Schools: A Historical Study, 1959-1977.
Taylor, Mary Jean
Findings from a study that examined leadership responses to the conflict and change associated with desegregation in the Denver Public Schools from 1959-77 are presented in this paper. The theoretical framework is based on conflict theory, the dissatisfaction theory of democracy, and a classification system for communities based on superintendent/board roles. Methodology involved document analysis of newspaper reports and school board minutes and interviews with key individuals, with a focus on superintendents and board members. Results indicate that conflict theory rather than dissatisfaction theory is a useful organizer for the study of leadership responses to desegregation. The changes in school governance reflected the racial and ethnic diversity that had been unacknowledged. The shift from a superintendent-dominated to a factional district contributed to decreased superintendent autonomy and increased board member interference. Alignment between the community and school governance appeared to come from a stable core of consistent voters who were committed to the survival of the system. A conclusion is that as demographic and economic forces bring change to American schools, an understanding of conflict management and the change process is increasingly important. (16 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Denver Public Schools CO
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).