ERIC Number: ED368525
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
All the Good Choices Are Taken: A Study of Interdistrict Collaboration in North Dakota.
Hill, Richard L.; Carlson, Pam R.
In 1989, in response to declining enrollments and the smallest average school size in the nation, North Dakota legislation provided incentive payments to consortia of four or more school districts that voluntarily collaborated in program planning and implementation. Participating districts were required to vote on a reorganization proposal after 3 years of collaboration. By 1992-93, 24 consortia had formed, comprising 124 of North Dakota's 280 districts and over half of the state's rural students. This report examines the activities of consortia and the perceptions of state and local administrators, parents, teachers, and students. A review of consortia planning proposals and final reports provides details on enrollments and compares plans for and actual execution of curriculum and service enhancements, facilitating initiatives, and interim activities. A survey of 70 school board members and administrators in consortia and 70 not in consortia examined attitudes about the legislation, collaboration, incentive funding, reorganization, and alternative policy choices. Interviews with state and consortium administrators revealed their perceptions about the overall process of educational change in the state. A detailed case study of the Greater Nelson County consortium (seven northeastern districts) employed focus-group interviews with high school students, parents, and teachers. An afterword by Paul Nachtigal reflects on the "rules of the game," in which good choices belong only to large places (the industrial model of education), and suggests rules for a different game supporting a more organic, sustainable model for rural education. Contains 66 references and the text of the state legislation. (SV)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Consortia, Educational Change, Educational Cooperation, Educational Legislation, Elementary Secondary Education, Parent Attitudes, Rural Education, Rural Schools, School District Reorganization, School Districts, Shared Resources and Services, Small Schools, State Legislation, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: North Dakota; Small School Districts
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