ERIC Number: ED306634
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988
Early Experience in Restructuring Schools: Voices from the Field. Results in Education Series.
Elmore, Richard F.
As part of its school restructuring work with states, the National Governors' Association sponsored a March 1988 working meeting of experts to define common issues confronting educators and policymakers. Besides initiating dialogue between these groups, the meeting concentrated discussion on early state and district efforts. This essay summarizes the session's major themes, identifies school restructuring obstacles, outlines emergent strategies in use, and offers guidance to state-level policymakers. Challenges to schools include student performance, the crisis in the supply of teaching talent, and accountability. According to participants, many internal obstacles to change exist, including an unwarranted sense of safety and security in the present structure, educators' hesitancy to become responsible for standards and success criteria, treatment of the teaching and learning task as less important than one's role in the system, unwillingness to take risks, and the difficulty of connecting reform proposals to everyday school life. External constraints against school-level change are an already crowded policy agenda, competing and conflicting reform messages, and unrealistic implementation schedules. Next, ways to promote public awareness, fit "little tries" into comprehensive plans, and cope with middle-management behavior are discussed. Finally, examples of state strategies from Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, and Washington are presented. States have generally chosen a project-grant-and-waiver strategy relying heavily on school-level initiative. Challenges facing states are also summarized. An appendix contains a list of participants. (MLH)
Descriptors: Administrator Role, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Expectation, School Organization, State Action, Teacher Role
Publications, National Governors' Association, 444 N. Capitol Street, Washington, DC 20001 ($7.50 prepaid).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: National Governors' Association, Washington, DC.