ERIC Number: ED345905
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
A Rural School District in Decay.
Grady, Marilyn L.
This report describes a study of a rural school district that received national press coverage for an administrative crisis that began with the termination of a longtime district teacher, involved resignations and recalls from the board and the superintendency, and led to intensive conflicts among teachers, school board members, district administrators, and the community. Data were obtained through personal interviews of teachers, community members, past and present board members, administrators, business leaders, ministers, county officials, secretaries, and a school custodian. The interviewees were asked to describe issues related to the recent recall elections of school board members, superintendent turnover, and the placing of the district into receivership. Other sources of information included the court transcript of the teacher termination, documents from the school and community meetings, results of a community attitude survey, official letters, and newspaper accounts. The three main themes of the conflict were related to superintendent turnover, the appropriate role of the district secretary, and community factions. This study suggests that superintendents should be cautious in assuming superintendencies in troubled districts, and that frequent recalls, or the threat of recall, clearly are a deterrent for seeking a school board position. It warns that such controversies tend to erode community spirit and negatively affect community support of the school district; it also warns that children suffer when there is no educational leadership. Finally, it is suggested that preparation programs may need to focus greater attention on preparing individuals for rural superintendencies; and that professional associations may be able to assist crisis districts as mediators and facilitators. This paper contains numerous data tables about the district. (LP)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of Small/Rural Schools (Norman, OK, March 30-April 1, 1992).