Decentralization and Policy Design

May 01, 1990
  • Description

This brief focuses on design issues surrounding policies aimed at decentralization, drawing from three CPRE reports - "Working Models of Choice in Public Education", Richard Elmore; "Diversity Amidst Standardization: State differential Treatment of Districts", Susan Fuhrman; and "School District Restructuring in Santa Fe, New Mexico", Martin Carnoy and Jean McDonnell.

Across the nation, states and school districts are exploring different ways to give schools more autonomy. Proponents of decentralization point to research finds that link school effectiveness to school-level discretion and examples of corporate restructuring where decentralized and simplified administration has increased efficiency. The decentralization movement has also gained momentum from the argument that those who are ultimately responsible for the success of teaching and learning-- teachers, students and parents--need to participate in key school-level decisions about instruction.