Acknowledged in: The motivations, relationships, and decision-making of Western Pennsylvania public school board members

Reljac M.C. (2016). The motivations, relationships, and decision-making of Western Pennsylvania public school board members. Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved from http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/29146/


Abstract: The local control of public schools in the United States provides opportunities for everyday citizens to participate in governance and shape educational programs (Tyack, 2003). This study surveyed the people who volunteered to serve on Western Pennsylvania school boards, specifically examining their motivations for service including the recruitment process, experiences or interactions that motivated board service, interests, and socialization methods once on the board. The study also uncovered information regarding the decision-making processes employed by school board members and their relationships and patterns of communication with others in the school community. Additionally, the study collected information on the challenges of school board leadership and what would help board members in their service. The study found that the majority of respondents were self-motivated to seek election and were interested in giving back to the community, being most often interested in curricular issues or financial issues. Respondents chiefly used resources provided by the district to gather information for decision-making and learned about their roles primarily from other school board members or through state organizations. Respondents regularly communicated with other school board members and the superintendent, primarily in face-to-face conversations.

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