ERIC Number: ED322634
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Nov
Overlooked Aspects in the Study of School Policy: The Importance of District Organization. Proceedings of the New York Education Policy Seminar.
Lortie, Dan C.; Kemmerer, Frances, Ed.
Issues related to the authority structures governing local public school districts are presented in this volume, which includes a paper and three discussant comments. The thesis of the main paper is that school organization affects the outcomes of public schools. The relationship between features of the formal authority structure to central reform issues, such as recruitment and retention of faculty, quality of decision making, resistance to change, and accountability, are examined. Discussant articles question whether the legal authority structure of school districts is the operable structure. Pointing to the de facto reduction of school board powers, the first discussant article concludes that if power is centralized, it occurs at the state, not district, level. The second article differentiates between formal authority structures and actual power, whether formal or informal. A conclusion is that organizational change based on formal distribution of power and authority has been ineffective because it has failed to address socioeconomic constraints on decision making. The last article questions whether all districts share the same structure and argues that change may have been ineffective because the actual distribution of power in school districts may already be efficient. A bibliography of 29 items accompanies the main paper. (LMI)
Descriptors: Accountability, Administrative Organization, Boards of Education, Centralization, Decision Making, Elementary Secondary Education, Governance, Organizational Change, Organizational Effectiveness, Power Structure, Public Policy, Public Schools, Resistance to Change, School Districts, School Organization, School Restructuring, Social Structure
Publications, The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, 411 State Street, Albany, NY 12203 ($3.00; quantity discounts).
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: State Univ. of New York, Albany. Nelson A. Rockefeller Inst. of Government.