ERIC Number: ED305728
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Superintendent-School Board Relationships: A Continuing Challenge.
Although the functional relationship between school board and superintendent is a critical connection that stands at the apex of the organizational pyramid in education, little is known about that linkage, other than the tension endemic to the relationship. This study therefore examines how superintendents and school boards interact and inquires into what shapes or guides their choices of behavior. Data were collected through indepth, semistructured interviews of 6 superintendents and 26 school board members from 6 public school districts in a major metropolitan area in the southwest United States. The districts were selected to provide diversity in size, type, and type of community. Interviews lasted between two and four hours, and analyses were inductive and occurred simultaneously with data collection. Analysis included coding, checking, probing, and verification of data. A discussion ensues of predominant patterns of interaction among superintendents and school board members, and of the underlying values revealed through their actions. These include (1) views of democratic governance; (2) role-conception; and (3) personal values. Two conceptual models are then described to shed further light on the data: the "agenda-building paradigm" and "negotiation and exchange" theory. These findings lead to the conclusion that local educational governance is a healthy social process of politically negotiated agenda-building, with multiple opportunities for board members to share in decision-making. References are listed. (TE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989). Title varies slightly at head of text.