ERIC Number: ED233452
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Retrenchment Policies and Their Organizational Consequences.
Berger, Michael A.
This paper focuses on the organizational consequences of retrenchment policies emphasizing efficiency (selective cuts to insure long-term survival) and equity (across the board actions). The effectiveness of each of these policies was tested on 59 cases of school district enrollment decline over a 10-year period by means of a questionnaire/checklist and followup interview. Dependent variables considered were per pupil expenditures, teacher-administrator equity (change in ratio of teachers to administrators over time), and pupil-teacher ratio. Independent variables included two substantive retrenchment policies--reduction in force (RIF) rate and consolidation rate (speed with which districts closed schools)--and two process retrenchment policies--superintendent selection and use of a consultant. Environmental variables were limited to community type and decline rate. Regression analysis of hypotheses constructed using all variables tends to support the efficiency model of educational policymakers. Results further indicate that the use of consultants in urban situations has a significant effect on teacher-administrator equity and that outside successors are consistently more effective than superintendents drawn from within the organization. The fact that RIF and school consolidation emerged as of little organizational consequence suggests that educational policymakers in times of crisis deal with issues as they come up, like firefighters. (JBM)
Descriptors: Administrator Selection, Case Studies, Consolidated Schools, Consultants, Educational Equity (Finance), Educational Policy, Efficiency, Elementary Secondary Education, Expenditure per Student, Hypothesis Testing, Organizational Theories, Policy Formation, Questionnaires, Reduction in Force, Regression (Statistics), Retrenchment, School District Spending, Student Teacher Ratio, Superintendents, Teacher Administrator Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Policymakers
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Conference on Managing Enrollment Decline (Nashville, TN, February 26-27, 1982), co-sponsored by the National Institute of Education and Vanderbilt University. For related documents, see EA 015 726 and EA 015 871-877.