ERIC Number: ED441278
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Oct
Exploring the Tensions between State Activism and School Autonomy.
Malen, Betty; Muncey, Donna
Since the 1970s, states have substantially and dramatically increased their involvement in education while simultaneously endorsing notions of local control. This paper focuses on the impact of such persistent and pervasive state activism on school autonomy. It describes how the proliferation and accumulation of education policies enacted at the state level may be affecting organizational discretion at the site level. It offers a brief discussion of the conceptual perspectives and data sources that support the analysis and the major limitations of the approach. The paper provides an overview of how this topic can be treated in the literature and illustrates how prominent characterizations may underestimate the power of the state by outlining an alternative hypothesis, assessing it, and highlighting the implications of this analysis for future research. The paper suggests why educators should and how they might revisit the relationship between state activism and school autonomy. One of the major, cumulative effects of the proliferation and intensification of state policymaking may well be to substantially constrain site autonomy. (Contains 134 references.) (DFR)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the University Council for Educational Administration (Minneapolis, MN, October 29-31, 1999).