ERIC Number: ED384115
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Oct
Positive Factors of Systemic Change Identified in a Local Board of Education.
Steck, Barbara A.
The local board of education plays an important role in facilitating change at the local level. This paper examines factors supporting educational change in an urban school district by studying members of the local board of education. Data were derived from observations of board meetings, interviews with the five board of education members, and document analysis. Interviews were also conducted with three district administrators and one principal; a brief observation was conducted at a local elementary school. Findings showed that the attitudes and actions of the board members had a major impact on the change process. The board was united in a democratic respect for one another and the town's various constituencies, as well as maintaining the district's focus on academic achievement. An emphasis on professional and community development of knowledge and leadership skills challenged and empowered building staffs to collaborate, build consensus, and develop innovative learning opportunities. The board members encouraged risk taking, acknowledged that change takes time, allowed district requirements to be waived, and recognized the process of change is incremental. Their policies upheld their strategic plan and the annual instructional audit. These actions and attitudes served as positive factors of systemic change. However, negative factors of change included entrenched, disinterested, and untrained teachers; a lack of funds; and defensive attitudes toward self-assessment and program evaluation. (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 Mid-Western Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, October 1994).