Volume 18 Issue 1

Planning to Change: Strategic Planning and Comprehensive School Reform

By: Camille Rutherford

ABSTRACT: While organizational change theory has been available to school leaders for the past forty years, few have attempted to consciously transform this theory into practice to overcome the plethora of problems that exist in many schools (Joyner, 1998). This paper examines the change process at two schools implementing comprehensive school reform models. The fi ndings of this study suggest that the use of strategic planning models that emphasize initial planning activities can make the change process for schools less daunting. In our perpetually changing world, educational organizations will continue to be bombarded with the pressure to transform. For these changes to take place smoothly and effi ciently, educators need to develop a greater understanding of strategic planning and the change process. They must embrace the adage that “those who plan to learn, must learn to plan.”

School Board Decision Making in an Era of No Child Left Behind

By: Karen S. Crum and G. Victor Hellman

ABSTRACT: The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) has been described by some as “the most sweeping intrusions into state and local control of education in the history of the United States” (Cook, 2004, p. 8) and the most significant change in the federal regulation of public schools in 30 years (Hardy, 2002). School boards are responsible for enacting policies that adhere to the spirit and letter of federal, state, and local laws and codes to help the school system ensure students are being provided an education that meets the needs of all students being served. This study explored how a school board functions in the Commonwealth of Virginia within the parameters set by contemporary reform efforts as well as the board’s decision making processes compared with another board within the state. The fi ndings revealed that the board does not initially recognize the majority of policymaking decisions on its own, relying rather on school district staff. Additionally the fi ndings indicate that many of the policy decisions are most likely made outside the formal board venue. This reinforces the importance of staff members working with the board outside the arena of formal meetings while developing and revising school district policies. The chi-square analysis also revealed signifi cant differences between decision-making processes between the two boards. These results are highly signifi cant because, while it may seem intuitive that boards operate in different manners because of the unique make-up and background of each board and each board member, studies verifying this are lacking. A perennial and ever increasing argument revolving around the nature of schools is the lack of an empirical research base. This study provides a solid foundation to further explore the unique characteristics and decision-making patterns of boards in order to better inform educational planners and change agents as they work with the boards to meet varying student needs.

Administrators’ and Teachers’ Views of Individual and Organizational Values in Turkish Primary Schools

By: Kürşad Yılmaz and Ali Balcı

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the views of primary school administrators and teachers on individual and organizational values in primary schools in Turkey. Survey data were gathered using the “Value Scale” wherein primary school administrators and teachers were asked to rank order individual and organizational values. Findings suggested similarities between the views of primary school administrators and teachers both on individual and organizational values. Both the primary school administrators and teachers ranked highest “fairness” as an individual value and “respect for people” as an organizational value. For administrators, money was the lowest ranked individual item and “religious devotion” was the lowest organizational value, whereas “religious devotion” both as an individual and organizational value was ranked the lowest in the list by teachers.

Assessing University Strategic Plans: A Tool for Consideration

By: Shannon Chance and Brenda T. Williams

ABSTRACT: This article explores the use of rubrics as tools for assessing the quality of university-developed strategic plans. While tools exist for assessing the quality of the planning process, such tools are not readily available for assessing the resulting product or the overall quality of the plan itself. Specifically, a rubric is described that has been designed and field-tested for the purpose of evaluating the strategic planning document produced at the university level. This approach builds upon outcome assessment methods developed in the business sector and proposes a tool tailored for use in higher education.