ERIC Number: ED422135
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-15
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Supervisors in Rural School Reform.
Hazi, Helen M.
This paper reports the perspectives of county-level supervisors who have been important in advancing state-mandated school reforms in West Virginia. A chronological background on West Virginia school reform from 1982 through 1997 covers legislation related to the "Recht Decision," state reform initiatives, creation of the School Building Authority, and rural opposition to school consolidation. County financial disparities and accreditation indicators are reviewed. The qualitative research was done in two parts: a survey of county-level supervisors in the 55 counties (with 47 respondents) and interviews with 20 county-level supervisors. Three types of themes are reported: rural, school reform, and central office supervision. The rural themes include absence of a "rural lens" in administrator thinking, aversion to using the term "rural," and cultural resistance to change. School reform themes include the highly centralized and state-controlled curriculum; three eras of reform (school effectiveness, empowerment, and data obsession); local reform successes (staff development); supervisor assertiveness toward reform; "local fit" of reforms; windows of opportunity for change (school board elections, grant funding cycles, staff changes); reform challenges (test score pressures, high expectations, teacher morale, curriculum designed to "export" students, problematic school-community relations); scarcity of resources; and staff recruitment. Central office supervisor themes include a portrayal of supervisors as being survivors of downsizing, being overworked, and using staff development and grant writing as supervisory tools; the absence of curriculum development as a tool for change; school reform as central to the supervisory role; and the consequences of site-based management. Appendixes contain details of the research design, the survey questionnaire, and summary of survey results. (Contains 83 references.) (SAS)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Administrator Role, Central Office Administrators, Change Agents, Change Strategies, County School Districts, Educational Change, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Questionnaires, Rural Education, Rural Schools, State Legislation, State Regulation, State School District Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia