ERIC Number: ED419287
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Mar
Participation with the Superintendent in Decision Making: A Decade of Rhetoric or Reform?
Sorenson, Dean; Moore, Alan D.
For over a decade, numerous educators have espoused the need for increased participation in decision making. Yet, evidence shows that mechanisms intended to broaden access actually result in governance that is little different from traditional, more autocratic management methods. To better understand this phenomenon, an examination of the decentralization of authority and control in the school superintendency of teachers, parents, and students is offered. The paper compares the level of participation provided by school superintendents following a decade of rhetoric about the inclusion and sharing of governance. For the 1996 study, surveys were administered to 120 superintendents randomly selected from three northwestern states. The survey instrument described situations in six general topic categories: business; instruction; personnel relations; student relations; community relations; and noninstructional operations. The findings were compared to a similar survey performed in 1984. The comparison indicated that superintendents in both studies made similar judgments on the inclusion of others in decision making and did not significantly increase the level of participation of others in five of the six areas studied; business was the exception. Superintendents were selective about when they shared decision making, and their responses suggest that the level of participation has not risen over the past decade. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper prepared for the Annual Conference for the National Center for the Study of Small/Rural Schools (7th, Arlington, VA, March 26-28, 1998).