Program Teaches Decentralized Decision Making for Schools

By Nichols, Max | THE JOURNAL RECORD, July 11, 1992 | Go to article overview

Program Teaches Decentralized Decision Making for Schools


Nichols, Max, THE JOURNAL RECORD


With the passage of House Bill 1017 in 1991, and with the overwhelming national demand to improve schools, it's easy to wonder why they don't just follow the TV commercial and "do it."

Some school districts across the country and in Oklahoma have made considerable progress in getting their community leaders involved in change. Improved teaching methods, textbooks and other materials have been demonstrated, and there are new ways to deal with problems of discipline and even violence.

So why don't all schools just put those new ideas to work? Why don't they just call in parents and community leaders for help? Why don't board members, administrators, principals and teachers get together and make the changes?

Why don't we see results now?

The overriding answer to those questions is that school leaders, teachers, parents and the community don't know how to implement decentralized decisionking, said Fred H. Wood, dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Education. They simply are not prepared, and they need training.

"The key issue is leadership and how we prepare our school leaders," said Wood, who has studied the problems for 27 years. "We have a lot of good leaders who are not prepared for leading the kind of schools we are going to need for the 21st Century.

"Our schools, as they are now organized, have pretty well reached their limits. We can't get much better with organization from the top down, in which administrators make all the decisions and teachers are supposed to implement them. It's an old fashioned model that even business doesn't follow much any more."

Wood has started an education administration program at OU for developing principals who understand how to work with board members, administrators, teachers, parents and community leaders in making decisions. It includes internships with schools, and the graduates have found jobs as principals quickly.

That, however, doesn't help the administrators and principals who have been there for years and are not trained in decentralized decisionking. In a recent meeting involving educators, one district reported that "everyone recognizes the problems, but no one knows what to do about them."

The solution to that sad situation is a long term program that begins with the systematic training of everyone involved, said Wood. It must be accomplished district by district, rather than through any magic statewide plan, and it often takes up to five years to begin to see results.

"We have to prepare the schools to work with the community and the people within the system," said Wood. "A school district needs a planning team to train the administrators and teachers and take them through the process of working with the people in the community.

"They need to plan changes that are needed in that district or in certain schools or programs. If a reading system is working, while another school has a high number of low achieving or low ability students, why not focus on that project and put the money needed for textbooks into it, instead of automatically buying new textbooks for a reading system that is working?"

That can be achieved, he said, if a school district and its community join forces in setting goals and developing programs to meet the goals. I saw that happen nearly 20 years ago when I covered education in Minneapolis, where citizens work with the schools to plan each year. Wood pointed to a New York school district that started decentralized decisionking 10 years ago.

"The big changes in that district have come in the last four or five years," he said. "Now, even the secretarial staff, custodians and bus drivers are trained to understand how to work with students. They understand what the schools are trying to do in the curriculum and how to treat the students in meeting their responsibilities. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Program Teaches Decentralized Decision Making for Schools
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.