ERIC Number: ED310900
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
A Rural School/Community: A Case Study of a Dramatic Turnaround & Its Implications for School Improvement.
Carlson, Robert V.
This paper presents a case study of a rural community exhibiting a dramatic turnaround in community support for a new school bond issue. Demographic change was partly responsible for the change in community attitudes, with two waves of immigration altering the long-term conservative orientation of this community. After a series of failed principalships, the appointment of a woman from the community who was willing to take action on a number of serious school and community problems put some former divisiveness to rest. In addition, effective school board and community leadership and state level policy changes altered the community educational climate. The paper examines the factors effecting this change in light of organizational theory, considering the case from the perspectives of structure, human resources, politics, and symbols. All causal factors are seen to create a complex web of circular, mutually interdependent relationships. The implication is that change is not necessarily caused by external conditions and even the distinction between external and internal influences may be arbitrary. The paper concludes that there is no quick, universal, or predictable way to improve rural education. Many factors influence the possibility of change in interactive and mutually causal ways, suggesting the need for differentiated and integrated strategies. This paper contains 18 references. (DHP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vermont