ERIC Number: ED374567
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
The Central Office Role in Instructional Improvement.
Corbett, H. Dickson; Wilson, Bruce L.
The quality of education offered by a school district is measured by the extent to which all of its students become successful learners. Students' chances for success are often dependent on the district's assignment process. This paper presents findings of a study that identified the ways in which central offices encouraged administrators and teachers to seek access and use important instructional knowledge. Specifically, the study examined how five central offices: (1) organized instructional improvement efforts; (2) led those efforts; (3) developed normative support for improvement; and (4) affected the extent of teachers' and administrators' access to and use of the instructional knowledge related to those activities. Four suburban and one rural school system in the mid-Atlantic region were examined. Methods included: (1) interviews in 3 districts with 176 central office administrators, 138 principals, and 190 teachers; and (2) interviews in 2 districts with 9 principals, 7 central office administrators, and 123 teachers. The five districts exemplified the following approaches to school improvement: school choice, top-started/bottom-run, evolutionary change, bottom-started/bottom-run, and countering diversity. In conclusion, the central office's role in instructional improvement is most effectively enacted through giving a clear and consistent message that instructional improvement is the primary expectation for adults in the system. Second, the consistency of the message is a function of involvement, support, and communication. One table is included. (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Research for Better Schools, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.