ERIC Number: ED362964
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
School Boards and School Restructuring: A Contradiction in Terms?
Rallis, Sharon F.; Criscoe, Joy
This paper examines the role of the school board as a player in school "restructuring." Defining restructuring as the transformation of schools into equitable learning environments, this paper examines whether school boards have a leadership role in restructuring. Data were derived from a literature review, a questionnaire of individual board members and intact boards, a case study of a rural county board, and personal experience. The following barriers to the school board in assuming a leadership role are identified: (1) the board's function is ambiguous; (2) board members lack knowledge about new teaching and learning conceptions; (3) board processes are reactive rather than proactive; (4) board members act individually; (5) boards do not necessarily represent the general public; (6) the board's relationship with its superintendent is often unbalanced; (7) board members have no independent sources of information; and (8) boards serve symbolic purposes. A conclusion is that the school board is a conservative, symbolic institution that furthers the belief in local control by engaging in rituals that uphold the status quo. The board as a whole is not structured to provide leadership for change. Boards, leadership, and restructuring are therefore incompatible terms. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).