ERIC Number: ED305736
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Shared Decisionmaking in an Age of Reform.
Phillips, Patrick R.
Updating School Board Policies, v20 n3 p1-4 Mar 1989
The current debate on educational reform includes many proposals to increase teacher participation in decision-making in order to make school policy and management more responsive to local needs. This paper argues that policy goals for teacher involvement should be geared to helping school staff, both teachers and administrators, meet the needs of all students. To achieve an appropriate balance between the authority of the school board and teacher autonomy, school policy should clearly define the decision-making process at both the district and building levels. Since teachers must also reconcile a desire for greater professional respect with their unions' resistance to professional standards, a board policy on staff involvement in decision-making should encourage teachers to develop a collective sense of professional responsibility. It also should grant principals the authority they need to define and achieve learning objectives. A clear commitment to student learning should guide any changes in school policy and organization, so participative decision-making policies should function within a clear policy framework defined by the school board. A series of subsidiary discussions are included in sidebars, including (1) a "shared governance" plan in a Pennsylvania school; (2) school based management; (3) "empowerment" and policy implications; (4) relating policy reforms to children's needs and to budget allocations; and (5) anticipated problems and benefits and suggestions for initiating reform. (TE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A