ERIC Number: ED318597
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Teachers and the Recht Decision: A West Virginia Case Study of School Reform. A Technical Report.
Hazi, Helen M.
In 1982 the "Recht decision," in Pauley v. Bailey, found school financing in West Virginia to be inequitable and prescribed quality standards for every aspect of public education. This report examines teachers' responses to resulting school reform efforts. In-depth interviews were conducted with over 200 selected teachers and administrators at five West Virginia sites, and relevant national and state documents were analyzed. Recurrent themes were that teachers: (1) knew little about reform efforts in their county and state, and saw little change in their classrooms; (2) viewed reform as an ineffective "paper exercise"; (3) were angry over low salaries, failing benefits, and excessive paperwork; and (4) felt that they have little control of decision-making in their schools. Elementary teachers have felt the brunt of reform, with the imposition of time requirements on the instructional day, while secondary teachers have been relatively untouched in their classroom practices. Teacher responses fit various profiles, including accommodative, resistant, and self-protective. These themes and profiles support the conclusion that West Virginia teachers are disconnected from and disenfranchised within their schools. Since teachers are the element most crucial to quality education, their exclusion from decision-making in the reform process will certainly impede the achievement of reform goals. This report contains 125 references, a list of West Virginia reform activities since 1982, excerpts from West Virginia State Board of Education policy, and an overview of U.S. school reform and the unique needs of rural schools. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.; West Virginia Univ., Morgantown.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia