School based management in Colorado public schools: The impact of administrative decision making on the achievement of low-socio economic and minority students

Belinda A Lujan, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

One of the most popular reform initiatives of the 20th century was the decentralization of administrative services and decision making in public schools. The implementation of site-based decision making (SBDM) or school-based management (SBM) was an effort to delegate decision making authority to the schools sites. The hope was that those working closest to the students would be able to make the best decision to improve student achievement. As popular as this reform effort became, over the years there has not been much research to measure its direct impact on student learning and achievement especially for minority and low-socio economic students. This study was designed to explore the impact of SBDM on an administrator's decision making ability and achievement for minority and low socio-economic students. The results of the study were inconclusive and further research is necessary to determine the direct impact of SBDM. The data for this study was collected by administrator surveys, one on one interviews and standardized state achievement tests. Focus of the data was twofold. First, the purpose of the interviews was to gather direct information from administrators to identify patterns and themes regarding their ability to make decisions regarding the achievement of minority and low socio-economic students. Second, overall achievement data was examined to determine if the implementation of SBDM in the Pikes Peak school district has an impact on student achievement for these particular students. ^ The major result from this study came from the face-to-face interviews with administrators. SBDM in the Pikes Peak school district is alive and well accepted. Administrators are committed to SBDM and are still enthusiastic about the autonomy that SBDM promotes. All the administrators agreed that SBDM can improve student achievement. What is evident from the one on one interviews, is that there is not a clear delineation of what is and what is not SBDM in this district. There is a clear need for administrators to have a clear definition of policies and procedures for specific issues within the district. As this district continues to grow in student population and grow in the number of minority and low socio-economic students, it will be important to have specific procedures and policies in place that continue to promote SBDM, and provides administrators enough support to make good decisions to foster student achievement.^

Subject Area

Education, Sociology of|Education, Leadership|Education, Policy|Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Lujan, Belinda A, "School based management in Colorado public schools: The impact of administrative decision making on the achievement of low-socio economic and minority students" (2011). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3457754.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI3457754

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