ERIC Number: ED383103
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Systemic School Reform in Oregon: Can It Be Legislated?
Goldman, Paul; Conley, David T.
In 1991 the Oregon Legislature passed major school-reform legislation, the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century. The act contains the following provisions: early childhood education; nongraded, developmental education; outcomes-based education; comprehensive support services; and school-based decision making. Oregon's educators were not prepared for, nor did they participate, in the legislation's development. This paper presents findings of a study that examined Oregon educators' reactions to reform over the period 1992-94. Data were collected from a survey of all certified staff from 92 schools in 1992, 25 schools in 1993, and 72 schools in 1994. The return rates were 66, 65, and 66 percent, respectively. Interviews were conducted with 23 teachers, and focus-group sessions were conducted in 23 schools. Findings indicate that there is qualified support for restructuring in theory but dissatisfaction with the implementation process; individual and school demography did not predict attitudes, though urban districts and administrators tended to be more receptive; and substantial differences existed between districts and between schools. The data suggest that top-down policy will serve to energize local educators only if it is consistent and legislators and state DOE personnel recognize that their goals are: (1) to create a broad framework that supports local educators committed to improvement; (2) to provide enough resources and time for schools to adapt; (3) to successfully develop rules and regulations in response to and in support of new models; and (4) to identify effective accountability mechanisms. The ways in which educators interpret the actions of the legislature and department of education over the next year should indicate whether change becomes self-sustaining or is extinguished. Contains 16 references and 3 tables. (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Oregon; Systemic Educational Reform
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 1995).