ERIC Number: ED299684
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Managed Equality: Educational Administrators, Efficiency, and the Politics of Reading Instruction.
Fraatz, Jo Michelle Beld
While educational researchers in recent years have sought new approaches to educational administration, educational administrators have continued to rely on ideals of efficiency, because efficiency provides a set of tools that they can wield in the internal politics of public education. This paper contends that the politics of efficiency in school administration maintains school structures and processes that limit the educational opportunities of disadvantaged students, not because administrators lack good intentions, but because they lack other resources for the effective exercise of influence. The first section of the paper provides rigorous definitions of key terms in the discussion: "efficiency,""politics,""ambiguity,""autonomy," and "vulnerability." These perspectives on school politics were developed from an extensive qualitative analysis of school reading programs, from which generalizable conclusions were drawn about administrative practices associated with the notion of efficiency: articulating goals, providing organization and coordination, acquiring information, and evaluating performance. In attending to these four dimensions of efficiency, administrators treated organizational maintenance as the equivalent of educational effectiveness, and the need to maintain existing organizational arrangements thus takes precedence over the need to address educational problems these arrangements seem incapable of solving. Organizational maintenance and subordinate support keep equality issues off the administrator's educational agenda. References and endnotes are included. (TE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).