ERIC Number: ED379771
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
School-Based Management: Promise and Process. CPRE Finance Briefs.
Wohlstetter, Priscilla; Mohrman, Susan Albers
This publication summarizes research that investigated how school-based management (SBM) can be implemented for long-term school improvement. It is argued that a successful SBM plan must be part of a quest for improvement and utilize a "high involvement" model. In addition to having more power, schools need knowledge of the organization, information about student performance, and rewards. Findings are based on a study of 27 schools in 3 United States school districts, 1 Canadian district, and 1 Australian state that had been operating under the SBM umbrella for approximately 4 years. Interviews were conducted with almost 200 individuals--school board members, district office administrators, principals, teachers, parents, and students. Slightly more than one-half of the schools were characterized as successful, or "actively restructuring," and the rest had experienced little change. The two categories of schools differed on each of the four dimensions of power, knowledge, information, and rewards. Actively restructuring schools: (1) engaged in a broad set of reform activities; (2) developed schoolwide consensus on goals; (3) involved all teachers in decision making; (4) actively worked to include parents; (5) used state and district curriculum frameworks to focus reform efforts; (6) redesigned school schedules to increase teacher interaction; (7) had principals who acted as facilitators; (8) invested heavily in professional development; (9) received district support; and (10) acknowledged the efforts of school staff. Barriers took the form of autocratic principals, staff factionalism, and staff apathy. In conclusion, implementation of SBM involved time and pervasive change, which affected almost all aspects of the organization. Finally, a school culture that fosters trust and participation is critical to the implementation process. (LMI)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, New Brunswick, NJ.