ERIC Number: ED376605
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
The Micropolitical Influence of SES on a Building Principal and the Implementation of School Innovation.
Frana, Bruce S.
This paper describes an educational innovation that survived only 2 years. The pilot program introduced team teaching, based on a middle-school philosophy, into three high schools in a relatively large midwestern school district. The interdisciplinary team sought to help ninth-graders make the transition from middle to high school. Despite concerns of district funding and the viability of such a program in high schools, the failure of the teacher-designed project is largely attributed to the actions of one of the principals. The paper describes the influence of the principal and how he was influenced by a small group of vocal, high-socioeconomic-status parents. Data were obtained through: (1) formal interviews with the 9 team teachers, 3 high school principals, and 3 central administrators; (2) informal interviews with other staff; and (3) observations of school- and district-level planning meetings. Findings indicate that despite problems that existed between and within levels of the district, they were insufficient in themselves to end the program. Rather, the principal lobbied to use project funding for other interests, expressed no interest in the project, and participated in making decisions that eventually ended it. It appears that he vetoed the project because he wanted to please a vocal, affluent constituency and because the innovation did not fit his favored data-driven approach. Since only the more powerful and affluent parents contacted the principal, who really become the winners and losers? (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 (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).