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ERIC Number: ED466008
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Aug-14
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Early Elementary Class-Size Reduction: A Neo-Institutional Analysis of the Social, Political, and Economic Influences on State-Level Policymaking.
Mitchell, Ross E.
This paper examines the social, political, and economic factors that influenced the adoption and diffusion of early-elementary school class-size-reduction policies at the state level. It applies a neo-institutional framework to explain the rapid spread of class-size reduction policies throughout many state legislatures and boards of education. It claims that legislatures are organizations embedded in a complex environment of local and national interests and influences, and that the adoption and diffusion of class-size reduction policies underwent a process of institutionalization. The study finds that an organization's capacity to change or to adopt a new structural characteristic, at least for the expensive reduction of class size in the early elementary grades, always depends on having sufficient resources to sustain such a move. This contradicts institutional frameworks that deemphasize the importance of economic viability in determining organization change as a structure becomes widely adopted by similar organizations. Under the circumstances of fiscal well being and with the presence of a legitimating rationale, class-size reduction policies were adopted in response to a nearly universal and persisting perception that the quality of public education had eroded and that schools required reform. (Contains 62 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A