ERIC Number: ED396375
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The State's Role in Implementing Legislative Mandates: The Urban School Superintendents' Perspective.
This paper presents findings of a study that examined urban school district superintendents' perceptions of the methods by which the Ohio Department of Education (DOE) influenced Ohio's public school districts. In particular, the superintendents were asked about the influence and control utilized by the State Department of Education to implement legislative mandates. Etzioni's Compliance Theory (1975) provided the conceptual framework. Etzioni argued that because schools, like religious and political organizations, are normative organizations, coercion may be considered incongruent with the psychological disposition of teachers and administrators. A survey of 58 Ohio urban, public school superintendents elicited 42 responses, a 72 percent return rate. A concurrent study of 42 urban superintendents, 53 suburban superintendents, and 63 rural superintendents compared responses across school district type. Findings indicate that urban superintendents viewed the Ohio DOE as primarily using expert power and information power. Urban superintendents also perceived the DOE as using a higher degree of reward power than did their rural and suburban counterparts. All superintendents reported that the DOE utilized normative, remunerative, and coercive methods of power. The use of coercive power, however, is incongruous with the needs of a majority of normative organizations. It is recommended that: (1) the State DOE try to serve as an advocate for urban school districts; (2) school personnel statewide work cooperatively toward similar goals; and (3) the chief state school officer and the governor present a unified stance. Seven tables are included. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).