kitchen table math, the sequel: speaking of school-based management

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

speaking of school-based management

I mentioned earlier that New York state regulations require schools to have school-based management. School-based management means shared decision making: "meaningful participation of administrators, teachers and parents in the decision making process." (School Law 31st Edition New York State School Boards Association p. 62)

I'm not aware of any schools in which parents (or teachers, for that matter) actually enjoy shared decision making, but the New York PTSA seems to think it's important:

PARENTS ON SHARED DECISION MAKING COMMITTEES – 2006 (U-’99; R-’92); 1. Recommend that the New York State Education Department provide to all unit and council presidents and region PTA leaders a copy of Regulation 100.11 as adopted by the Board of Regents, 2. NYS PTA urge the training of participants in the process of shared decision-making and the showcasing of school districts that have school-based planning teams with parents as active participants, 3. Recommend that units, councils, and regions sponsor training for parents on the process of shared decision-making, group dynamics, interpersonal skills, listening skills, 4. Advocate that in the planning for these school-based planning teams that training of all team members be included as part of any policy adopted by the school district, 5. Urge that school districts train the team together and that parents are included in that training.

Where We Stand 2008 (pdf file)
The Basis for Action
p. 8


100.11 Participation of parents and teachers in school-based planning and shared decision making.

State's Schools Mandate Joins Parents and Staffs
By LINDA SASLOW June 6, 1993
Waterbury, CT transfers authority over "struggling" schools to administrators, teachers, & parents

speaking of school-based management


Anonymous said...

Up here in Orange County we do have parents on some of the standing committees. It's mostly the special education committees and the building reps; occassionaly it is a search committee for administrative staff. It is rare though that they report anything back to the PTA general population, because of the privacy concerns.

Catherine Johnson said...

Yes, definitely. SPED has rules about parent reps on committees. Before I became a dissident I spent hours sitting on those committees. After I became a dissident I was never again asked to serve.

We have parent reps on all the big committees but we don't have shared decision making. The site committees don't handle substantive matters.

I must say I'm ambivalent about shared decision making. Of course I believe, strongly, that parents need "say" ----- but what does that mean?

If it means that "insider parents" sit on all of the committees and rubber-stamp whatever it is the administrators want to do, I'm against it ... and if it means situations like "PURE" in Chicago with parents firing principals right and left I'm also against it.

At the moment, I don't know enough to have an informed opinion.

I have had enough "on the ground" experience of parent power to know that it can go badly awry. (This was experience in a charter school, btw. Not here.)