ERIC Number: ED405638
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Why Do Schools Respond Differentially to State School Reform Legislation?
Goldman, Paul; Conley, David T.
Is it possible for state legislation designed to initiate systemic school reform to influence curriculum, instruction, and assessment at the classroom and building level? This paper presents findings of a longitudinal study of Oregon educators' reactions to school-reform legislation since it was passed in 1991. The Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century required elementary and secondary schools to develop and use a set of performance-based benchmarks that document educational progress from early adolescence to adulthood. Surveys of Oregon educators were conducted in 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995. One of the most interesting findings was that large differences existed between school districts and individual schools, both within and across school districts, that were not explained by demographic factors. The paper uses concepts from social-compliance theory and institutionalism to develop hypotheses about school restructuring at the building level. A working hypothesis is that social compliance, as operationalized in the form of normative behavior, is important to explain the differences in school-level responses to educational reform legislation. The institutional approach looks at how interorganizational relationships reinforce institutionalized organizational behavior. One table is included. Appendices contain the questionnaire scale items and statistical tables showing the reactions to school reform at the individual, school district, and building levels. (Contains 26 references.) (LMI)
Descriptors: Compliance (Psychology), Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Institutions, Longitudinal Studies, Organizational Climate, Outcome Based Education, Performance Based Assessment, Resistance to Change, School Culture, School Restructuring, Schools, Social Psychology, State Legislation
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A