ERIC Number: ED420924
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Elementary Schools with Mandated or Voluntary School-Site Decision Making: A Multiple Case Perspective.
Seitsinger, Roy M., Jr.
This study explores, from a critical-theory perspective, the relationship of power among stakeholders in either a mandated or voluntary elementary-school-site decision-making body (SSDMB). The purpose is to describe, explain, and clarify complexities regarding the influence exerted by parents on the decision-making process in two selected elementary schools. A case study format is used with a naturalist methodology that includes semistructured interviews, nonparticipant positioned observations, focus groups, and document analysis. Findings suggest: (1) no relative difference between mandated and voluntary school-site decision-making bodies; (2) parent participation in school governance is defined by socioeconomic status; (3) principals remain key to school governance implementation; (4) participating parents do feel more connected and informed, but become trustees of the status quo; and school-size decision-making bodies are not an effective reform strategy. Parents are restricted by their own involvement in the dominant school culture, by authoritarian/administrative state controls, and by effective, organizationally vested principals. There must be a change in the system that addresses conventional organizational thinking. If SSDMBs remain a narcissistic strategy of middle-class populists, schools will not change and a potentially radical strategy will be nullified. Contains 70 references. (MLH/Author)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Critical Theory, Elementary Education, Focus Groups, Governance, Interviews, Middle Class Parents, Parent Participation, Participative Decision Making, Power Structure, Principals, School Based Management, School Culture, Socioeconomic Status, Teacher Participation, Voluntary Agencies
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A