What: Applying Participative, Results-Oriented Management
A public management revolution that has profound implications for our future economic success and social progress is beginning in America's schools. Our schools are being turned upside down by teachers who no longer accept traditional authoritarian school administration and by board members unwilling to serve merely as "rubber stamps" for the superintendent's authority. The combination has caused conflict and decline in the past few decades. Out of this chaos is emerging a system of school governance, management, and performance with the democratic board policies, participative management practices, and pragmatic performance measures needed to implement it successfully.
The public management revolution extends the original American Revolution of freedom and democracy to local public services and schools. Instead of government being the authority telling us what to do, public services are seen as exactly that -- services to the public-- with citizens as customers and taxpayers. This concept turns public services upside down. Their purpose is to serve rather than to control the public. This is something that America showed the world with our national democratic experiment two centuries ago. But it has not always flowed down to the local level of schools and public services. Now is the time.
In this concept of public management, it is up to citizens, both customers and staff, to judge the performance of the services being provided. The people, not bureaucrats and authorities, are in charge. Purposes are expressed and measured in results: responsiveness to the needs and desires of customers, satisfaction and productivity of staff, and cost-effectiveness for taxpayers. In schools, the public manage-