ERIC Number: ED354049
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Too Much Law...Too Much Structure: Together We Can Cut the Gordian Knot.
Nussbaum, Thomas J.
Arguing that the multitude of federal, state and local laws governing the California Community Colleges (CCC) drains the system's capacity to serve students seeking educational opportunity, this paper examines how the state's colleges came to be micro-managed and offers possible solutions. Part I provides a history of laws and structures governing the CCC, chronologically discussing 23 regulations, from provisions in the 1849 state constitution to 1992 actions to ensure student equity. In part II, implications of this accumulation of laws are suggested, including the costs in time and money to comply and the inability of colleges to meet their basic mission of access to higher education, serving one of every fourteen adults in 1991, compared to one of every eleven in 1977. In part III, three alternatives are described for reducing laws and structures governing community colleges: removing outdated and unnecessary laws while keeping those laws deemed necessary; establishing "charter schools," which comply only with the provisions of their charters; or reinventing laws and structures by wiping the slate of previous laws clean. Finally, part IV proposes a plan for reinventing CCC's laws and structures, taking into account such realities as the free flow of students, college-based shared governance, barriers and inefficiencies of transfer, equalization of funding, impediments to employee mobility, and access to education. A model community college is described, with a continued policy of open access but governed by a local, five-member council of employees and students and a systemwide governance mechanism ratified by the local councils. (MAB)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Change Strategies, Community Colleges, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Educational Legislation, Governance, Government Role, Government School Relationship, Laws, Organizational Change, Politics of Education, Public Policy, School Restructuring, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A