ERIC Number: ED373417
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
School-Based Management--The View from "Down Under."
Odden, Allan; Odden, Eleanor
Brief to Policymakers, n9 Sum 1994
In the Australian state of Victoria, virtually all decisions about spending, curriculum, and personnel are made at the school level. Victoria's experience in developing a system of school-based management (SBM) and shared decision making offers a perspective on school reform efforts in the United States. Underlying the school restructuring trends in both countries are some common assumptions: that schools must dramatically raise the performance of all students; that they should be delivering a curriculum centered on problem-solving and other higher-order thinking skills; and that to accomplish this, schools need to be restructured. This brief outlines some features of Victoria's experience that may be relevant for reformers elsewhere. It is compared to the "high involvement" model of decentralization, which calls for the development of four critical resources within each unit--information, knowledge and skills, power, and rewards. Data were obtained through interviews conducted with state and local school officials, union leaders, and university professors. Interviews were also conducted and other data collected at eight Melbourne schools--four primary and four secondary schools. The findings support the tenets of the high-involvement framework; specifically, if decentralization is accompanied by information, knowledge, power, and rewards and includes all teachers in decision making, then school productivity is likely to increase. Each of the schools experienced change in management, organization, and curriculum. However, Victoria has not developed a powerful reward system that encourages teachers to work toward schoolwide goals for student achievement. Teacher testimony and an increase in the high school graduation rate indicate improved student achievement. (LMI)
Descriptors: Decentralization, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Institutional Autonomy, Participative Decision Making, School Based Management, School Restructuring, State School District Relationship, Teacher Role
Leon Lynn, Dissemination Coordinator, Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, University of Wisconsin, 1025 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706 (free to all on mailing list).
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, Madison, WI.
Identifiers: Australia (Victoria)