ERIC Number: ED410677
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
State Intervention in Local School Districts: Educational Solution or Political Process?
Forster, Eloise M.
The Jersey City (New Jersey) Public Schools became the first school district in the United States to be taken over and fully operated by a state agency on October 4, 1989. This paper presents findings of a study that examined the first 2 years during which the takeover was implemented, with a focus on the internal and external forces that affected implementation. Findings indicate that state intervention in local school districts has not developed spontaneously and in isolation at state levels. Second, state takeover is perceived as the ultimate reform initiative; however, the internal barriers to successful reform continue to exist after intervention. Third, states tend to take a one-dimensional bureaucratic approach to educational accountability and school improvement, which will not bring about the systemic changes needed to reverse failing school districts. Fourth, the new leadership must understand the structural, political, cultural, and human dimensions of the organization. Finally, a predominantly interpersonal/managerial/collaborative leadership style is best suited to address the issues of an intervention and an organization like the Jersey City Public Schools. The paper concludes with seven policy recommendations, eight planning-and-management recommendations, and eight leadership recommendations. (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey