ERIC Number: ED387926
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Nov
School-Based Student Support Services: Community and Bureaucracy.
Wehlage, Gary G.; Stone, Calvin R.
A study of 24 elementary, middle, and high schools conducted by the Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools (CORS) found that simply adding school-based support services to bureaucratically organized schools is unlikely to prove effective, and does not necessarily produce better student achievement. However, the research linked schools with strong community to better student outcomes. This paper presents findings of a CORS study that investigated whether a student- and family-support program in a communally organized school was more focused, coordinated, and effective than a similar program in a school organized along bureaucratic lines. Two schools from the CORS sample were compared--Edison Middle School, located in a large urban district in the western United States, and Boone High School, which served an economically disadvantaged, racially mixed, student population. Findings show that Edison involved teachers in the Family Support Service (FSS) center, which led to facultywide collective responsibility for students' academic and social well-being. In addition, the vision and organization at Edison established a balance between autonomy and collaboration with other organizations. At Boone High School, the specialized and bureaucratic organization contributed to the proliferation of fragmented programs, which led to a lack of organizational focus. A conclusion is that programs must be integrated into the organization of the school as a whole to create a focused vision and sense of shared responsibility. (Contains 10 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, Madison, WI.