ERIC Number: ED368047
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Decentralization: Why, How, and toward What Ends? Special Policy Report, No. 1. Policy Briefs Series.
Stinnette, Lynn J.
Administrators are looking at decentralization as a solution to issues troubling schools, teachers, and students. The notion of decentralization is accompanied by two assumptions. First, decentralization will produce an improvement in education because classroom decision making will be more responsive to the specific needs of a school. Second, in order for any improvement to occur, fundamental changes in the educational structure are imperative. Decentralization is occurring throughout the United States in response to five primary pressures: (1) demands from powerful constituencies (parents, community groups, legislators, etc.) for more input into and control over the school process and tougher accountability measure; (2) strong agreement among these constituencies that the current educational structure is not working; (3) the inability of massive bureaucracies to respond effectively to the needs of local schools and communities; (4) rapidly changing nature of work and the workplace and the perception that schools are not keeping pace with the demands of society; (5) and growing competition for public school dollars. dollars. Schools that are attempting to decentralization generally do so in one of three ways: (1) site-based management; (2) downsizing central administration; and (3) curriculum innovation. Numerous results can be expected from decentralization, for example, increased parent involvement. Before attempting the decentralization process, school districts should address seven areas of interest, such as what decision-making parameters will be. Representatives from 13 large urban districts were interviewed and asked to outline the structural changes in their districts. The representatives each identified support programs, obstacles they encountered, and recommendations for those attempting to make structural changes. (KDP)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: North Central Regional Educational Lab., Oak Brook, IL.