Central Office and Site-Based Management: An Educator's Guide

By Wilson, Harold E. | American Secondary Education, Winter 2000 | Go to article overview

Central Office and Site-Based Management: An Educator's Guide


Wilson, Harold E., American Secondary Education


Angela M. Sewall

Scarecrow Press, Lanham, MD, March 1999

$29.95, ISBN 1-56676-653-2

Site-based management is discussed in terms of the roles, areas of responsibility, and actions of all school administrators. Particular attention is directed to the changes in operation of the central office and central office administrators. How the influence of other agencies; local, state and federal, impact on site-based management is also explored.

The book is organized around a discussion of the changes in organization and administrative roles necessary if site-based management is to be successful and effective. The chapters are relatively brief. Some focus on a topic such as Organization and Governance of School Districts, Federal Money and Federal Programs in Daily Operation, Legal Aspects of Central Administration, etc. Others focus on roles such as Superintendent: Manager, Leader and Facilitator, Central Administration Redefined by Law and Practice, etc. For the most part, the discussion strongly supports the central office role shift from a direct administrative function to a more building supportive facilitating, collegial role.

A second consistent theme in the discussion is the repeated support of data-driven decision making. The author uses the term "action research" to describe this process.. The need for internal professional development is also strongly advocated for the instructional staff, support staff and administrators as well as the board of education as appropriate. There is also an active endorsement of parent and community involvement in the decision making process.

The book appears to be designed as an overview of the areas affected by the adoption of a site-based management model and as a guide in the roles and functions changed by this approach to building administration. The book is very readable often being simplistic in manner. It is not a how-to-book nor an in-depth discussion of site-based management. …

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