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Title:Ideology, interests, and information: A case study analysis of the reasons why local level school district stakeholders resist reorganization/consolidation
Author(s):Rink, Francis James
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ward, James G.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Finance
Education, Sociology of
Education, Administration
Abstract:Despite state level legislative and financial incentives for school district reorganization and although many school districts are experiencing decreases in both student enrollment and fiscal solvency, most local level stakeholders in Illinois school districts continue to resist reorganization as an alternative to solving their supposed problems. There are still nearly 1,000 school districts in the state of Illinois. This study investigated the interplay of reasons why consolidation is resisted locally in one Illinois school district and demonstrated the complexities and power of local level stakeholders' knowledge, values, beliefs and attitudes.
A single site, qualitative case study was conducted with the units of analysis designated as local level school district stakeholders; that is, students, parents, teachers, classified staff, board members, administrators, community residents without children in school, and inhabitants of outlying communities, all of whom may either influence or be affected by decisions regarding school district reorganization. The research design employed intensive and focused interviews, document analysis, and participant-observation to acquire data and to triangulate the results. The case study was chosen as the method of research to better explore and explain the causal links in real life interventions, such as consolidation, that are too complex for quantitative inquiry.
The data were analyzed through a conceptual framework emanating from Carol Weiss' premise that policy positions taken by stakeholders are due to the interactions of three sets of factors: their ideologies, their interests, and their information. The findings validated the Weiss framework and generated a plethora of anticonsolidation themes that not only exemplified the complexity of the iterative and nonsequential interactions among stakeholders' values, interests, and beliefs but also reflected a departure from the traditional anticonsolidation adherence to local control. Recommended was a need for state and local policymakers and stance takers not only to consider the informational aspects of consolidation issues but also to realize and address the interplay of that information with ideologies and self-interests that are highly internalized, fervently valued, and zealously protected by local school district stakeholders. Implications and recommendations were also made regarding the need for additional qualitative research relative to school district reorganization.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Rink, Francis James
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9026303
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9026303

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