Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1995

Publication Source

Planning and Changing: An Educational Leadership and Policy Journal


Much has been written concerning the need for schools to restructure. In scores of books and journals on school restructuring, suggestions have centered around such concepts as: decentralization, school-based management, and collaborative decision-making. Although these models have been utilized over a number of years, there is limited evidence relating to their effectiveness.

Almost no research studies have concluded that such restructuring models have impacted the academic lives of students. The purpose of this article is to describe a program evaluation process utilized in conducting a study of school restructuring in a mid-sized, urban school district. The strategies used, results obtained, and the applicability to other districts are discussed.

A new superintendent took over the leadership of a midwestern, urban school district. He established an organizational structure that deviated from the previous one by flattening the operational hierarchy in order to have decisions made by staff who work closely with their primary customers -- the students. This new structure reduced administrative and support layers between the central office policy regulators/resource dispensers and the building staff. Its purpose was also to promote shared decision-making processes among staff, with the belief that the more decisions are made at the building level, the more likely such decisions would impact student learning in positive ways.

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Illinois State University College of Education





Peer Reviewed




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