ERIC Number: ED357921
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Oct-12
Blackmer, Larry A.
Although rural schools often are the center of community life, ownership of rural education is not necessarily vested in all elements of the community. Without diligent planning, many members of the rural community do not become stockholders in the community's largest enterprise, public education. The program approach to public education has resulted in isolated structures controlled from within. "Program" schools are input- and labor-intensive, tend to be isolated from the rest of society (thus necessitating cumbersome procedures for outside involvement), have a management orientation, and are not cost-effective. "Process" schools, on the other hand, are outcomes-intensive, use community networks in the daily performance of school functions, rely heavily on internal and external communication, disperse management functions to the lowest level possible, and are cost-effective. Making the transition from program to process requires identification of all shareholders in education, followed by development of a common, community-supported mission for local education. A functional procedure to ensure that the community (i.e., the shareholders) have been identified may be called the "spectral approach," since one can identify a particular member of the community by the location that member occupies on a spectrum, much as one identifies an element by the band of light it absorbs within the light spectrum. Thus, the spectral approach to community identification consists of placing community groups along the continuum of a single identifiable factor such as age. Superimposing an agency spectrum over the community spectrum provides a basis on which to build community networks and identify gaps in services. Another important feature of the process model is its ability to engage community members, particularly parents, in supportive and constructive roles. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Rural Education Association (Traverse City, MI, October 12, 1992).