ERIC Number: EJ829142
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb-11
Reference Count: 0
Urban Districts Compare Notes on Operation
Aarons, Dakarai I.
Education Week, v28 n21 p1, 14 Feb 2009
Urban school systems are large businesses, charged with running a wide range of noninstructional functions that typically do not garner them much national notice. Now, thanks to the work of a coalition of big-city districts, their leaders are gathering data on how those operations are run, in the hope of improving their business practices. The Performance Measurement and Benchmarking Project, led by the Washington-based Council of the Great City Schools, aims to help districts create benchmarks for operational performance and learn from other districts that are delivering services in the most efficient and effective way. Through the work of the member districts and the council's staff, more than 3,000 data points were collected to examine districts' performance in four areas: business operations, finance, human resources, and information technology. The work is being done on a volunteer basis by school district executives, with no outside funding. Since the latest round of data, a 264-page report called "Managing for Results in America's Great City Schools," was presented to members this past fall, district leaders have been using it for comparison purposes. The project also produced four initial case studies, which looked at a handful of measures in procurement, maintenance operations, financial management, and food services. As the project continues, the council plans to do more case studies to examine other areas of performance, and it may send technical teams to look more deeply at districts that are performing at a higher rate.
Descriptors: Urban Schools, School Districts, Benchmarking, Educational Administration, Data, Measurement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A