Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Odden, E. R., & Wohlstetter, P. (1995). Making school-based management work. Educational Leadership, 52 (5), 32-36.

The site-based management system has been promoted as the most effective means of instituting school change. Odden and Wohlstetter provide a explanation for why some districts flourish under site-based management and others flounder, based on their three-year study in the United States, Canada and Australia. The organization traits of a successful implementation include the district developed a cohesive and accepted vision for curriculum and instruction; the district passed the control and authority for budgeting, personnel and curriculum to the site-based committees; the changes were started by administrative staff; the district shifted the control of information dispersal and professional development to the site-based committees; and the principal of the campus was a true believer in the program. They found that when the administrative staff held onto the control of the change process and tried to force their rules and frameworks onto the staff, the system failed. They conclude their article with practical suggestions for successful site-based-management implementation: use both site councils and subcommittees, spread the power of decision making, promote professional development, use a school/campus wide focus, expand communication about changes, use work groups that meet regularly, use community outreach strategies, develop more school leaders, and reward the accomplishment of individuals and groups.

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