ERIC Number: ED180084
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Narrowing the Gap Between Intent and Practice: A Report to Policymakers on Community Organizations and School Decisionmaking.
Huguenin, Kathleen; And Others
This report attempts to determine how successful community groups have been at influencing school decision-making and policy formation. It begins by surveying several research and evaluation studies regarding citizen participation in educational decisions and placing special emphasis on a field study of 16 community organizations. The analysis emphasizes the effect of the environment (defined as the political, social, economic, and historical context) on the ability of community organizations to influence school organizations. The general conclusion of the research review is that most efforts to broaden the base of local educational decision-making have been unsuccessful. Finally, the authors make a number of specific policy recommendations for improving citizen participation in and influence on educational decision-making. These recommendations emphasize structural changes in the environmental influences constraining community participation. Examples of suggestions include creating federal and state offices for citizen participation, replacing many overlapping councils with umbrella council structures, and encouraging moves toward school site management. This structural focus, instead of placing blame on uncommitted educators, untrained community participants, or insensitive policy-makers, identifies the institutional source of gaps between intent and practice. (Author/JM)
Descriptors: Advisory Committees, Citizen Participation, Citizens Councils, Community Involvement, Community Organizations, Decision Making, Elementary Secondary Education, Environmental Influences, Failure, Federal Legislation, Government Role, Organizational Theories, Policy Formation, School Community Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Institute for Responsive Education, Boston, MA.
Note: Prepared as part of Citizen Organizations: A Study of Citizen Participation in Educational Decisionmaking