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ERIC Number: ED399656
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Aug
Pages: 59
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Issues in Forming School District Consortia To Deliver Distance Education.
Fenwick, Tara J.
A consortium is the most advanced form of collaboration, in which two or more institutions create a new mechanism to undertake "programs and projects of mutual interest" (Konrad and Small 1989, p. 200). This paper describes three distance-education consortia that were developed among Alberta, Canada, school districts. It describes the project's rationale, the role of the consortia in delivering distance education, the issues that emerged during the development and maintenance of the consortia, the strategies that were utilized to resolve issues, the factors for effective district participation, and the necessary policies and supporting services. A conclusion is that consortia, especially school-district consortia, are more difficult to organize and run successfully than they originally appear to be. Their chief advantages, however, are cost-savings and access to teacher specialists. Obstacles included new staff roles and greater staff workloads, the need for new kinds of leadership, power issues, unclear financial and operational agreements, and districts' reluctance to surrender control and autonomy. The following eight guidelines are offered: (1) establish among all consortia representatives an atmosphere where frequent and open dialogue is expected and where appreciation of others' points of view is the focus; (2) appoint a full-time leader who is granted meaningful authority and independence; (3) develop a clear agreement that specifies financial arrangements, policies, and procedures; (4) develop clear role descriptions; (5) provide support for staff, especially teachers; (6) delegate authority for local decision making to principals; (7) allow sufficient time for planning; and (8) budget for extra personnel and staff time. (Contains 21 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada