Volume 16 Issue 1

Governmental Sponsorship as a Mechanism Restricting School Entrepreneurship

By: Ori Eyal

ABSTRACT: Much literature exists regarding the effect of government sponsorship on the entrepreneurial strategies employed by targeted private sector businesses. The present study expands on this literature and examines these relationships in the publicly funded school system. Based on the literature, the working hypothesis was that the more a school relies on government sponsorship (supplementary resources in the form of extra project-hours), the less radical its entrepreneurship will be. The study is based on a sample of 140 elementary schools in Israel. It was found that government sponsorship of schools creates a self-regulating selection mechanism that promotes government policies in education. Schools enjoying a significant amount of government sponsorship adopt mainly the incremental, non-deviant, “calculated entrepreneurial strategy.” Only when they enjoy a moderate level of government sponsorship do schools have sufficient resources to embark on “radical entrepreneurship,” because then state regulation is still unnoticed.

Managing People, Things, and Ideas in the “Effective Change Zone”: A High-Touch” Approach to Educational Leadership at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century

By: Walt S. Polka

ABSTRACT: The ability to effectively manage people, things, and ideas in the change process requires that educational leaders focus on providing for the personal and professional “high-touch” needs of school personnel and utilize key planning concepts.

The School Improvement and Transformation System

By: Donna L. Ferrara

ABSTRACT: The School Improvement and Transformation System© was designed to address the major flaws in most reform and improvement initiatives in schools. The System is a multiple-target planning model, which facilitates school improvement by systemically and systematically transforming schools into professional learning communities by integrating the major components associated with successful school reform and improvement. The System is grounded in the theoretical and empirical literature of leadership and educational reform and improvement. Micro, macro, and combination micro-macro components associated with school leadership, the science of teaching, and student success provide both the structure and the contents of the System. Specifically the System targets four clusters: leadership perspective, cultural aspects of the school, the technology of teaching and learning, and the technology of research and planning. The System provides entry into both school leadership and the technology of teaching. The article provides not only a description of the System but also specific guidelines on the use of the System. Step-by-step guidelines and descriptions include how to scan the school to initiate the model and how to put the system into practice in a four-stage progression (introduction of the model, planning for improvement and transformation, implementation of planning targets, and institutionalizing the innovations). A detailed example of how to implement the System is described in the article. How the System contributes to cultural transformation and the development of a professional learning community is addressed. Some comments are offered on implications for planning and practice; such comments address many planning and practice issues that can impact the successful implementation of the model if issues are not addressed during the planning and implementation of the improvement changes.

Principals Approach Planning: The Influence of Gender and Experience

By: Amiee Howley, Craig B. Howley, and William Larson

ABSTRACT: This study investigated principals’ preferred approaches to planning. With contextual variables included as controls, the study looked at the influence of personal characteristics on support for various planning approaches. The data for the study were obtained from a questionnaire that was mailed to principals. Six hundred and fifty-one completed questionnaires were received from a sample of 1163 schools drawn from a universe of 2526 schools. The questionnaire was constructed by the researchers, with items reflecting five types of planning identified from the review of related literature. The items were piloted with 20 principals, who were asked to complete and submit the questionnaire and to provide feedback regarding poorly or ambiguously worded items. Factor analysis was used with data from the actual survey to identify five empirically based scales reflecting different approaches to planning: new technicist, traditional-consensual, organized anarchy, incremental, and reactive. Regression analysis was used to determine the influence of predictor variables on preference for the five approaches. The analysis of the relationship between the characteristics and a preference for new technicist planning resulted in the identification of outcomes of the most interest. Specifically, the larger the district the more likely the principal was to view the new technicist approach as important. Female principals rated the new technicist approach more favorably than did male principals. And the greater the percentage of their educational careers that the principals had spent as administrators, the lower they rated the new technicist approach. The findings provided the basis for several tentative conclusions: (1) female principals seemed to be attentive to the types of planning that current reform initiatives call for, (2) female principals’ planning seemed to focus on the technical core of schooling, and (3) principals who had been in the role for a larger percentage of their careers seemed either circumspect or cynical about the usefulness of technical-rational planning.