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Managing from the Inside Out: Debating Site-based Management in Public Schools

Author: DAVID S. BROWN, PH.D.
Published in PAM, Vol. 9 No. 2

Historically, public schools have been run by an administration that made all the
decisions about how education should occur. Increasingly, however, teachers are taking
more active roles in decision-making at their public schools. This is often under the aegis
of ‘site-based management.’ One important factor in site-based management is that
teachers’ and administrators’ thoughts and beliefs related to public school management
often differ significantly. This difference can cause internal power struggles between
teachers and administrators. The purpose of this study was two-fold. First, this study
investigated the hypothesis that attitudes towards site-based management are consistent
with teacher or administrator status in public schools. And secondly, the local data was
compared to national data to determine if similar discrepancies occur throughout the
country. The results confirmed the hypotheses that teachers and administrators hold
different opinions towards their site-based management and that this difference in opinion
is influenced by the public context in which schooling occurs.

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