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Title

The Quality Schools initiative: Analysis of an educational reform as perceived by principals K-12 consortium schools

Date of Award

1994

Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Stephen Trotter

Abstract

The main purpose of this study was to describe and analyze, through the eyes of the principals, one recent school-based reform initiative, the Quality Schools program. The Quality Schools program had its beginnings in the late 1980s with the writings of William Glasser, psychiatrist and educator. The principles and practices of the initiative are based on: (a) control theory, a psychological theory of human behavior, and (b) principles of management outlined by W. Edwards Deming. As a part of this broad description of the Quality Schools initiative, this study described how the constructs of definition, management, and measurement are interpreted. These constructs were the focus of concern in earlier reform initiatives. The status of this initiative was explored through a study of 140 K-12 schools in the Quality Schools consortium, a group established by Glasser in 1991 to work together on the interpretation and implementation of Quality Schools principles and practices. To accomplish the purpose of this study, every principal in the Quality Schools consortium was sent a 4-part survey instrument. A companion instrument was used to collect data from parent representatives and act as a perceptual check on key elements of the information. Both survey instruments were developed expressly for this study in consultation with an expert panel of university educators and consortium members. The findings of this study suggest that, even in these early stages of the initiative, consortium schools, in the view of principals, have achieved some measure of progress in implementing principles and practices that are congruent with the Quality Schools literature. Principals and parent representatives also reported a noticeable and positive impact on students. In addition, the results add insight into the issues confronted and necessary to be addressed if the initiative is to sustain its energy and grow beyond its present membership. The study concludes with a model of education in a Quality School derived from the data along with recommendations, including recommendations for further research.

Pages

202

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