Teacher Ownership/Democratic Governance Category 4

Here is a collection of articles written on the EdVisions model and network schools.

Teacher Ownership/Democratic Governance articles

*All articles are available upon request by emailing info@edvisions.org

Category 4: Autonomous school management with control over budget and staffing.

Bloom, N., Lemos, R., Sadun, R., & Van Reenen, J. (2015). Does management matter in schools. Economic Journal125(584), 647-674.

Data was collected on management practices in over 1,800 high schools in eight countries. The data shows that higher management quality is strongly associated with better educational outcomes. The UK, Sweden, Canada and the US obtain the highest management scores, followed by Germany, with a gap before Italy, Brazil and India. The data also shows that autonomous government schools (government funded but with substantial independence like UK academies and US charters) have higher management scores than regular government or private schools. Almost half of the difference between the management scores of autonomous and regular government schools is accounted for leadership and governance.

Brown, C. (2014). Patterns of innovation. Education Digest79(9), 37-42.

This article discusses the connection between the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) organization with the education-based Pearson Foundation in an effort to share innovative educational practices. Topics include the importance of student agency, the use of distributed leadership in schools, and community engagement.

Eastman, J. (2017). Regaining trust in nonprofit charter schools: Toward benefit corporation branding for for-profit education management organizations. Brigham Young University Education & Law Journal, (2), 285-324.

This article provides an overview of the nonprofit charter school system, including the historical backdrop, legislation, and how charter schools operate. Topics discussed include functions of education management organizations (EMOs); issues with rebranding EMOs as benefit corporations; and the importance of improving American public education.

Education Evolving. (July 2015). 15 Areas of autonomy secured by teams of teachers designing and running teacher-powered schools. St. Paul, MN: Junge, A., & Farris-Berg, K.

Kim Farris-Berg, Edward J. Dirkswager, and Amy Junge originally identified ten potential areas in which teachers could secure collective autonomy in schools, when conducting research for the book Trusting Teachers with School Success. That list was developed from research about school decentralization and autonomy by the Fordham Foundation, William Ouchi of UCLA, and RAND Corporation. It was also based on the observations of field practitioners and observers at the Center for Collaborative Education, EdVisions Schools, and Education Evolving. Five additional autonomies were added at a later date, based on further field observations.  This document describes those fifteen areas of autonomy and gives a series of real-life examples of decisions teams of teachers have made using full or partial autonomy in each autonomy area.

Ford, M. R., & Ihrke, D. M. (2016). Comparing nonprofit charter and traditional public-school board member perceptions of the public, conflict, and financial responsibility: Is there a difference and does it matter. Public Management Review18(7), 972-992.

In this paper, survey data was collected from nonprofit charter school board and elected public school board members in Minnesota.  The data was used to test three hypotheses relating to theories of New Public Management, democratic governance, and small group dynamics. We found that nonprofit charter school board members perceive lower levels of conflict, place less priority on the general public, and perceive a higher degree of governance responsibly in the area of financial management, than elected board members. We concluded that the increased use of nonprofit charter schools has potentially substantial implications on accountability and effectiveness in the delivery of public education.

Hawley Miles, K. (2016). Effectively integrating teacher leadership into the system. Education Digest81(9), 17-22.

This article discusses the roles of strategic teacher leadership in the U.S. It states the capacity to extend the reach and support of excellent teachers through teaming. It discusses how to keep the teachers more accountable and how to make their jobs more sustainable. It also mentions the importance of increasing capacity to develop faculty that focuses on school needs and improvement of student learning.

Katzman, J. (2012). Putting the schools in charge. Education Digest78(4), 37-47.

This article discusses attempts to create a more accountable and innovative educational experience in the U.S., particularly noting the need for a more responsive education system. It addresses attempts to reform U.S. education including the No Child Left Behind Act, the Race to the Top (RttT) grant program, and the Common Core State Standards. It addresses the importance of empowering schools rather than mandating school improvement through legislation, as well as comments on issues of teacher compensation.