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One school, its culture, and contract reform

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Title:
One school, its culture, and contract reform
Creator:
Booth, Cordia
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English
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246 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Educational change -- Colorado -- Denver ( lcsh )
Teacher-administrator relationships ( lcsh )
Teachers' contracts -- Colorado -- Denver ( lcsh )
School environment -- Colorado -- Denver ( lcsh )
Teacher participation in administration -- Case studies -- United States ( lcsh )
Educational change ( fast )
School environment ( fast )
Teacher-administrator relationships ( fast )
Teacher participation in administration ( fast )
Teachers' contracts ( fast )
Colorado -- Denver ( fast )
United States ( fast )
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Case studies. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Case studies ( fast )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 231-246).
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Cordia Elizabeth Booth.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
45223965 ( OCLC )
ocm45223965
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LD1190.E3 2000d .B66 ( lcc )

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Full Text
ONE SCHOOL, ITS CULTURE,
AND CONTRACT REFORM
by
Cordia Elizabeth Booth
A.B., Dunbarton College of Holy Cross, 1965
M.S., Catholic University of America, 1969
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and innovation
2000


Copyright 2000 by Cordia E Booth
All Rights Reserved


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree
by
Cordia E. Booth
has been approved for the
School of Education


Booth, Cordia E. (Ph.D., Educational Leadership and innovation)
One School, Its Culture, and Contract Reform
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Michael Murphy
ABSTRACT
The studys purpose was to describe interaction among three
elements: one schools culture, the 1991 contract between the Denver
Public Schools (DPS) and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association
(DCTA) and, contract implementation in that school. If educators and
legislatures continue to create change policies in the belief that schools
can both implement and be improved by such policies, then research must
look beyond cause and effect studies which generally show no significant
impact or no improvement.
During the first full year of contract implementation, this study
observed the adult population of a single middle school. This research
isolated and examined nonrationai parts of culture such as symbols,
rituals, myths, heroes and heroines, priests and priestesses.
For over 177 days, qualitative methods of data gathering were used:
oral and written interviews, reconstructed dialogue, observations, panel
discussions, and artifact and document examination. The schools history
and sagas were recorded in the summer of 1992. The site was selected
iv


for its meaty example of cultural fragmentation and past racial and ethnic
conflict
Numerous discreet and specialized cultures were formed, anchored
around single subject areas or a single race or ethnicity. These cultures,
with their own school heroes, myths, priests and priestesses were
interdependent upon one another. One teacher could belong to more than
one school culture. The schools year long events could be partitioned into
academic and political affairs.
Findings suggested that some teachers resistance to change, as
well as participation in collegial activity, was directly related to their need to
protect cultural symbols. Some teachers who embraced change also
sought to preserve their culture, but through newly instituted political
means. The cultural ritual of this school held that teaching was an intimate
act
Two symbols emanating from the school's various cultures were
teacher autonomy and teacher equality. Change that threatened the life of
a culture was tantamount to war. The culture empowered teachers to
preserve their educational rituals and symbols.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed
v


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I wish to thank the entire 1991-1992 membership of
Graceland Middle school. Without their candid responses, this one
year snap shot of a complex, and sometimes painful reality could not
have been made.
I am deeply grateful to my sons Noah James Borwick and
Ross Charles Borwick, and to my friends Dr. Judy Stirling, Dr. Bill
King, and Dr. Michael Murphy for their steadfast confidence in me.
I owe my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin James Booth,
everything.


CONTENTS
Tables . x
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION......................................1
School Culture .1
Describing Culture: Paradigm Shifting . . 5
School Culture and Change .7
Instrument of Change: DPS and DCTA Contract 8
Contract Features . .9
Implementation of Change: CDM Governance. .11
Study Limitations .12
Problem .12
Purpose and Significance. .16
Summary .19
2. LITERATURE REVIEW................................20
School Culture .20
School Culture Assumptions .21
Local Phenomena . .25
School Commonalities .26
Characteristics of School Culture. .26
Values .27
Heroes and Heroines .28
Priests and Priestesses .28
Rites and Rituals .28
Cultural Networks . .29
Myths. .29
Storytellers, and Sagas .29
Symbols and Discourse .30
Change Related to School Culture .31
Summary .33
3. LITERATURE REVIEW................................34
Teacher Empowerment .34
A Quest for Questions .35
vii


Assumptive Modes .....
Critical Theory and Teacher Empowerment
Functionalist or Oganizational Theory and
Teacher Empowerment
Populist Political Theory and Teacher
Empowerment ....
Summary ......
4. LITERATURE REVIEW ....
Autonomy and Equality ....
Empowerment Themes in History
Autonomy .....
Equality .....
Summary ......
5. METHOD............................
Rationale for Qualitative Study
Answers Questions Concerning Process, Hidden
Elements, and Meaning ....
Descriptive .....
Exploratory .....
Studies Entire Group Without Prior Manipulation
Uses Disciplined, Systematic Rigor
Presents Rndings in Thematicized and Case Study
Narrative ......
The Research Design of This Study
A Participant Who Observed
Site Selection ....
Anonymity .....
Terminology.....
Chronology and Collection of Data
Analytic Processes ....
Content Analysis ....
Constant Comparisons, Memoing
The Reporting Scheme ....
Summary ......
6. GRACELAND MIDDLE SCHOOL.
The Sagas ......
Summary and Analysis of Rndings
7. THE ACADEMIC VIEW OF CHANGE
The School's Culture and Teacher Perspective
Gracelantfs O.K. Corral ....
Emotional Responses to Emotional Challenges
vm
. 36
. 37
. 41
. 45
. 47
. 48
. 48
. 49
. 49
. 57
. 63
. 64
. 65
. 66
. 67
. 68
. 68
. 68
. 70
. 71
. 73
. 75
. 76
. 77
. 79
. 87
. 87
. 89
. 91
. 93
. 95
. 96
. 107
. 108
. 109
. 110
. 111


Beliefs About Empowerment . 120
Expectations About the Instrument of Change Views on School Integration and . 128
Workplace Equality. . 133
Summary and Analysis of Findings . 148
8- THE POLITICAL VIEW OF CHANGE . 157
Impementation of Change and CDM Governance . 157
Constituency Issues . 159
Who Runs the School? . 166
Governance Structures . 179
Communication Rituals . 183
Summary and Analysis of Findings . 187
9. FINDINGS ACROSS ONE YEAR. . 192
Summary Highlights .... . 192
Reflections on Cultural Rootedness . 196
Reflections on Teaching .... . 202
Reflections on School Reform Policy Reflections on Education and Political . 204
Experience ..... . 207
Implications ...... . 209
School Culture and the Training of Teachers and Principals .... School Culture and Collaborative . 210
Decision-Making .... . 212
APPENDICES
A. TEACHERS' WRITTEN INTERVIEW FORM. . .214
B. INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR CDM MEMBERS .222
C. GRACELAND PARENT, TEACHER, AND ADMINISTRATOR QUESTIONNAIRE . .225
D. REQUEST FOR PANEL DISCUSSION VOLUNTEERS .229
REFERENCE UST .231
IX


TABLES
5.1 Time line of Data, Collection, and Analysis .81
8.1. Racial, Ethnic, and Teacher Job Category of CDM
Members in October, 1991 .160
8.2 Racial and Ethnic Composition at Graceland in
October, 1991 .161
8.3 Breakdown of Column C, in Table 8.2 . .161
x


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
What happens when a school is directed to implement a new policy
or contract meant to improve some aspect of the school? This study
described the interaction between a school's culture and its instrument of
change. To capture the intricacies of that inteaction, three elements were
isolated: the school's culture, the 1991 Denver Public Schools (DPS) and
Denver Classroom Teachers' Association (DCTA) labor and reform
contract, and the school's resulting collaborative decision-making
processes. In this chapter, all three elements were examined, along with
the purpose of the study, and its significance in the field of education.
School Culture
While much has been written about the culture of business
organizations, Deal, writing in 1988, commented that, "In the field of
education, the idea of culture related to schools has not become as
popular as it has in business. School administrators continue to
emphasize climate or effective schools' characteristics as guiding
concepts" (p. 207).
These guiding concepts, however, have permeated education's
relatively new focus on culture, as evidenced in the rational direction of
cultural studies. According to Ouchi and Wilkins (1988), studies focusing
1


on organizational culture tend to fall into two general categories: "case
descriptions of planned change efforts, and advice to executives (p. 241).
Whether school or business related, Ouchi and Wilkins' categories
demonstrate an assumption that culture has an intentionalness amenable
to prescribed change.
The bulk of culture studies in both business and education have
sought an orderly common ethos (Waller, 1932), a common sacredness of
beliefs, values, and assumptions (Rossman, Corbett and Rrestone, 1988;
Schein, 1985), or a common set of defining functions (Meyer and Rowan,
1977). But set within this linear context, cultural studies have indirectly
given legitimacy to the institutionalization of references to people as
"deviants," irrationally behaved, culturally deprived, disenfranchised,
subcultured (Deal and Peterson, 1987), and countercultured (Martin and
Siehl, 1983).
This research was rooted in the fields of anthropology and
sociology, two traditions which have grappled with culture studies longer
than the fields of educational administration or business. Both
anthropology and sociology contain broader views of culture than those
contained in the rational paradigm described above. Anthropology,
through its involvement in the centuries old debate between holders of an
"enlightened" world view and those whose views characterize them as
"romantics" (Durant, 1926), formulated a phenomenon described as
nonratfonai culture.
L Levy-Bruhl (1910) is considered the founding father of
2


romanticism. Later anthropologists (Shweder, 1984; DAndrade, 1984;
Geertz, 1973) departed from Levy-Bruhl's mystical characterization of the
nonrational. Shweder's (1984) description of culture additionally invites
inductive and subjective approaches to its study. More important to this
study, Shweder's description of the nonrational suggests a shift in
paradigm from rational models of culture to a paradigm with greater
applicability to school culture:
There are many points in a cognitive structure beyond
the reach of universal standards of logic and science, many
points where questions of truth and falsity, error and validity,
practicality and efficiency are simply beyond the point. At those
points there is no rule of logic and no law of nature dictating what is
proper or necessary for us to believe. We enter the realm of the
arbitrary. It is a realm where man is free to create his own distinctive
symbolic universe, free to spend time in customary practices and
ritual performances... (p. 39).
Shweder's description of the nonrational separates the
phenomenon from the "irrational." The latter term is used as an antonym
for that which is rational. In anthropological research the irrational more
often describes the actions of an informant who has either failed to apply or
failed to acquire some standard the informant recognizes as authoritative
or proper (p. 37).
Cognitive anthropologists also contributed through Clifford Geertz
(1973), lending a purpose and method for seeking the "natives point of
view," that is, a purpose for examining the language and mind-set of the
people to be studied. [W]hat man is may be so entangled with where he
3


is, who he is, and what he believes that it is inseparable from them" (p. 35).
His method involved "thick description" from immersion into the lives and
complex symbolism of cultures under investigation.
The fteld of sociology also has had a long tradition of examining the
nonrational side of culture. Durkheim (1947) offered a firm theoretical base
from which knowledge was borrowed in the formation of organizational
culture studies. Durkheim suggested that symbols such as myths and
rituals are the social ties which bind people together and are, therefore, the
objects to be studied in seeking knowledge concerned with the social
order of a people. This tradition also argued that culture involved the study
of what is implicit and nonrational in a society, and not simply the study of
what is explicit and rational (Toennies, 1957; Ouchi and Wilkins, 1988;
Collins, 1985).
This present study, sought symbols and paradigms as frames of
culture and as ways of knowing an organization. Shweder (1984) defines
paradigms and frames as "absolute presuppositions... statements about
the world whose reality can be neither confirmed nor disconfirmed" (p. 40).
Such statements might include, "Man's only motive is to maximize pleasure
and minimize pain" (p. 40) or, more apropos to this study, "With decision-
making authority schools exercise the flexibility and creativity to tailor
programs and instruction to unique student needs (The Denver Contract's
Executive Summary).
4


Describing Culture: Paradigm Shifting
There are inherent pitfalls in studies that assume their subject to be
nonrational, just as there are pitfalls in studies which have a rational base.
Studies which assume their subject to be rational (for example, an
organization as the subject), infer that processes within the organization
are orderly and intentional or that they can be made orderly and intentional
through some type of management (Huberman and Miles, 1986). Such
studies also infer that stripping away the context will leave behind the
isolated "variables" which are either the simplistic causes or the simplistic
effects of complex and multidimensional phenomena (ibid).
In contrast, studies which assume their subject to be nonrational
must somehow capture loose-endedness and conflict in methodical ways
so that findings do not appear as mystical revelation or as a researcher's
fairytale.
In discussing primary pitfalls in the study of nonrational reality,
Shwederand Bourne (1984) extensively examined cultural characteristics
through universalistic, evolutionistic and relativistic perspectives. They
then cautioned researchers to examine their own interpretation of
researched findings against these three differing perspectives. They
explained, "that the relationship between what one thinks about (e.g., other
people) and how one thinks (e.g., "contexts and cases") may be mediated
by the world premise to which one is committed (e.g., holism) and by the
metaphors by which one lives" (see Lakoff and Johnson, 1980, in Shweder
and Bourne, p. 195). In other words, the researcher brings with her her
5


own culture or world premise which, if not identified, may blind the
researcher from important findings or lose the reader's trust.
There are also contextual elements in this study which suggest a
need for a broad description of culture, one that would encompass both
universalistic and relativistic perspectives. In other words, elements of the
study itself suggests two paradigms through which this study may be
mediated.
In the first paradigm, this study was concerned with one school's
culture~a school residing within a district of public schools, under court-
ordered busing to achieve integration (see Keyes v. Denver). This real
circumstance suggested that an applicable frame of culture should include
local and universal perspectives and perhaps sub- and counter cultural
perspectives. To do otherwise would predetermine findings based on a
notion of culture to which diverse races and ethnic groups become
appendages to a main (i.e., universal, sacred or neighborhood) culture.
The researcher has made no apologies for mediating reality, and presents
a cultural frame used in this study, against which readers may judge the
study's internal congruence.
in the second paradigm, this study was concerned with an urban
middle school in the DPS system. Its population reflects urban diversity
psychologically, politically, and economically as well as ethnically and
racially. To capture this diversity, assorted nonrational characteristics of
culture were used to organize the flow of meaning from the sometimes
conceptually chaotic conditions at work in the school. From organizational
6


sociology, characteristics were used as described by Deal and Kennedy
(1982) and Peters and Waterman (1982). From education, norms were
used as described by Bird and Little (1986), and from anthropology,
characteristics of culture were used, as suggested by Shweder (1984).
In sum, these authors contributed to this study a total of thirteen
characteristics applied to the school's culture: values, heroes and
heroines, priests and priestesses, rites and rituals, cultural network, myths,
storytellers, sagas, symbols and discourse.
School Culture and Change
Sarason (1973,1991) offered persuasive arguments that teachers
responded to innovation in ways that reflected their beliefs, assumptions
and values. Schein (1985) and Schlechty (1991) emphasized that
effective schools' research can be implemented only if school culture
which includes the beliefs, assumptions and values of school members, is
understood. All three authors suggested that only when changes were
made to facilitate innovation with an awareness of the entire complex
culture would reform take place.
Several researchers have suggested ways to operationalize the link
between culture and change. For Huberman and Miles (1986), change is
best examined as an expansion of rationalist paradigms. They suggest
that rationalist paradigms be expanded to include conflict paradigms "in
which the explanation of social change is rife with power, uncertainty,
continuous negotiation, loose-endedness, and local history," (p. 62).
7


Corbett, Dawson and Firestone's study of school context stated that
"[C]hange implementation and continuation outcomes [are] products of the
interactions between local school conditions and the change process" (p.
3). The schematic elements in their study suggest a possible systematic,
albeit linear and rational, approach to initial data-gathering. But their
inclusion of "local school conditions" suggests a similar operational
strategy for examining nonrational school characteristics.
Operationally, this study accepted the notion that change in schools
best occurs when organizations are perceived and acted upon through
several differing paradigms. For Deal (1986), change is accomplished
when there is interplay among individual, structural, political and symbolic
approaches to the implementation of any school innovation. A symbolic
approach which includes cultural perspectives is just one of four possible
pathways to change. Furthermore, this pathway through symbolic
meaning, he contends, is neither linear nor rational.
Instrument of Change: The DPS and DCTA Contract
The instrument of change in this study was the 1991 negotiated
contract between the Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the Denver
Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA), effective from January 1,1991
through August 31,1994. This contract was the result of intervention by
Colorado's Governor, Roy Romer, in order to halt a threatened strike by
teachers over demands for salary increases and an authoritative voice in
school affairs.
8


While stipulating wages, hours, and conditions of employment, the
additional intent of this labor contract was to improve student achievement,
students' completion rate, and the community's confidence in its schools.
To that end, the contract, which was like no other in the school system's
history by its combination of labor conditions and education reform,
established immediately after signing a collaborative decision-making
(CDM) team at each Denver school site. Each CDM was composed of the
principal, teachers, parents, a classified employee, a business employer,
and students at the middle and high school level. Decisions were to be
made by consensus, and the principal had veto power.
The first page of this instrument of change, coupled with its
Executive Summary, carried influence in its own right No prior DPS and
DCTA contract began as an order under the Colorado Revised Statutes,
with the signatures of both the executive director of the Department of
Labor and Employment, and the Governor of the state, as overseers to its
implementation.
Contract Features
Four features characterized this contract as nontraditional (Conley,
1991): (1) CDMs are based at each school site, (2) CDM members have
parity through checks and balances in performance evaluations, (3) CDM
decisions have authority delegated to the group by the Board of Education,
and (4) CDM members are given training to help them assume their new
roles:
9


The authority which CDM Committees are empowered
to exercise includes, but is not limited to, the
following:
1) . Design an instructional program for children,
including those who are enrolled in special and
bilingual education programs;
2) . Organize the content of the courses, programs
and the curriculum; and
3) . Organize the school and classrooms to make the
most effective use of the time and talents of the
students and the teachers, within the school calendar
established by the Board.
4) . Set school goals that are consistent with the
district's goals and strategic plan.
5) . Establish relationships with the community.
6) . Make decisions regarding the hiring of all instructional
staff. These decisions will be referred to the Board of
Education for final action in accordance with C.R.S.
section 22-32-109.
7) . Develop school procedures and policies.
8) . Establish budget priorities and allocate school
budgets at the school site.
9) . Determine the use of equipment, supplies, staff
and space.
10) . Organize and assign staff time during the school
week, including: instructional time, preparation
time, planning time, lunch time, student contract time,
length and number of classes and availability of
teaching personnel.
10


11). Determine classroom organization and other
issues relating to school structure (Contract, pp 11-12).
This instrument of change gives group authority to the school
administrator, teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, and a representative of
the business community. However, the primary focus of this study is on the
changed role of teachers relative to the negotiated contract.
The emergence of teacher "voice" was an expected outcome of
contract implementation. Although the contract does not define voice,
description linking it to decision-making had been noted since 1986, when
the National Governors' Association, which Governor Romer chaired,
recommended giving teacher "a real voice in decisions." In current reform
literature, possession of decision-making power is a descriptor of teacher
empowerment (Lewis, 1989). And from the contract's Executive Summary
comes the statement, "But most of all, collaborative decision-making
empowers and motivates those closest to students to take responsibility for
the educational product and experience." Thus teacher empowerment has
a referent base in the negotiated contract and its Executive Summary. An
ethos of empowerment was therefore treated as an inferred fifth contract
feature.
Implementation of Change: CDM Governance
To describe the contract's implementation is to first examine the
policies, by-laws, decisions, communication network, and procedural
habits generated by the school's CDM. This study looked at the processes
11


of implementation through a screen of thirteen cultural characteristics
derived from sociology, and anthropology.
Primary focus was directed toward teachers in the school and how
they implemented change. Nothing contractual compels parents or
business community members to become participants of the CDM.
However, in this instrument of change, teachers, the principal, and
classified personnel are compelled by contractual obligation.
Study Limitations
In all, 177 days of participant observations, interviews, and
examinations of school artifacts focused on the members of a single middle
school. Particular attention was given to its teachers. As school members
conversed and interacted with essential communities of parents and
educators outside the school, this study additionally captured that
discourse and activity.
The study was limited to the 1991-1992 school year, thus limiting
this study's ability to determine the continuation of change beyond June of
1992. Changes caused by transferring and retiring personnel made time a
factor in the examination of culture.
Problem
in criticizing a rational mind-set that sees a linear connection
between policy and results, Deal (1988) reiterated the problem of setting
research into a position which demonstrates that change policies are
f2


usually mutually adapted by school members or minimally implemented
over relatively short periods of time. Deal alternatively suggested that
"policy-making, evaluation and research serve as important rituals,
ceremonies or symbols" and that "policy making is social drama" (p. 200),
for a public needing to rekindle its faith in public schools.
Fullan (1990) believed that "Neither centralization nor
decentralization has worked in achieving educational reforms." And
Sarason (1990) believes that researched observation continues to suggest
that when offered, teachers do not utilize decision-making power.
Second wave reform literature which followed the release to the
public of A Nation Prepared. (19861 advocated restructuring schools and
applied a linear cause and effect relationship between restructuring and
improvement Consistent with this literature is Denver's negotiated
contract, which implies a connectedness among six hoped-for results: high
student achievement, significantly higher completion rate, improvement in
the community level of confidence, quality teaching, high teacher morale,
and positive learning environments for children (Contract, pp. 1 and 2). All
of these desired results involved teachers.
Research, on the other hand, does not indicate that these results are
likely to occur together (Sarason, 1990; Malen and Ogawa, 1988;
Chapman, 1990). And, although limited research exists, when school-site
decision-making models can be categorized as "non-traditional" (Conley
and Bacharach, 1991), these implied and hoped-for characteristics of
change appear unlikely to occur at all (Chapman, 1990). Delving into a
13


rational mind-set in order to examine the orderly and intentional elements
in such research is warranted to understand the meaning of its results.
This researcher will pose the problem of such research within a different
paradigm.
"Traditional" forms of site-based management, described by Conley
and Bacharach (1991), have as a purpose the decentralization of school
systems. Within a school site they operate bureaucratically, with the
principal as prime decision-maker. Examples of this type of site-based
decision-making include, but are not limited to, advisory boards,
departmental structures and faculty senates. These authors suggested that
the purpose of "non-traditionar' site-based management is to address
weaknesses in previous, traditional forms by promoting decision-making at
the school site which is both collegial and collaborative. Because
Denver's contract addresses the issue of site-based management with
directives for collaboration, it falls within the parameter of a non-traditional
school governance model.
Additionally, Conley (1991) distinguished between "vertical" and
"horizontal" participation in decision-making Vertical participation means
that teachers participate "in decisions made at higher organizational
levels" (p. 242), while "horizontal" decisions are made with peers over
instructional issues and the like. This contract provided teachers the
opportunity for vertical decision-making and gave authority to those
decisions made collaboratively through the CDM. Seen in this context,
Denver Public School teachers were granted a variety of decisional
14


opportunities.
Two related and relevant studies, Chapman (1990) in Australia and
Maien and Ogawa (1988) in Utah, demonstrated first a rational
conceptualization of culture, and second, the predictability of reform failure
within such a context. Both studies concerned site-based management in
schools.
Unlike Denver's contract in which principals have veto rights, one of
these two studies, Maien and Ogawa's, reports a situation in which no
member of the site-based governance group had such power. These two
studies showed that over time (three years, in the case of Utah), decision-
making patterns reverted to traditional categories of influence, summarized
by Maien and Ogawa as, "[Pjrincipals control building policy and
procedures, teachers control the instructional component, and parents
provide the support" (p. 258).
Maien and Ogawa considered their research to be a "critical test" for
four reasons, all similar to characteristics of Denver's situation: (1) its
school councils were site- or school-based, (2) the councils had broad
jurisdiction and formal policy-making authority, (3) its members had parity,
and (4) its council members received training. They found that, "Despite
the presence of these highly favorable conditions, teachers and parents
did not wield significant influence on significant issues in site-council
arenas" (p. 266). Maien and Ogawa attributed this to a congenial political
culture, both the oversight and intermittent support from the district, norms
of propriety and civility on issues which diminished confrontation and
15


questioning, and a principal's dominant influence.
What we do not know from the above studies lies in a research
tendency to interpret reality through one paradigm at a time. We do not
know what is at work at the school site to impede teachers' compliance
with contracts of reform offering them some power over the very matters in
which they have an expressed interest. Wording the problem in this
manner highlights the nonrational, conflicting sense-making of the issues.
All of which leads to the question, what dynamics occur between teachers
empowered to make decisions and the school's complex culture to account
for the real-life roles teachers play in the implementation of reform?
Purpose and Significance
This research had two purposes. First, this study sought
explanations for numerous researched failures in site-based
empowerment structures. In analyzing their own "confounding" case study,
Malen and Ogawa (1990) suggest a direction for continued research which
this study addresses:
What is the relationship between environmental factors and
reform success?... In this case, the environment was, on major
indicators, a congenial and stable environment Can schools be
decentralized and democratized in this context, or must reformers
wait for the environment to generate issues that precipitate or
provoke challenges to existing arrangements? (p. 115).
Similarly, the interaction between one school's culture and the OPS
and DCTA contract was cast in a challenging environment The contract
16


itself was created in the midst of high drama that included threats of a
strike, possible consequent firings, and lengthy hearings that involved the
Governor of the State of Colorado. This study suggests that unpredicted
events provoked teachers to address the issues of reform found within the
contract
Second, this study sought a description of change through a lens
capable of detecting more than a rational mind-set had previously offered.
The instrument of change in this study offered collective and legitimate
power to participants, and that power was observed through the governing
group's consensus process, policies and decisions. Chaos and
uncertainty from other school members were embraced rather than
minimized. The school's values, heroes and heroines, priests and
priestesses, rites and rituals, cultural network, myths, storytellers, sagas,
symbols, and discourse became stage props in a relevant drama of
change.
This study's significance rests on three factors. First the change
instrument in this study was relatively unique. As a non-traditional site-
based participatory decision-making form of governance, the contract
intended to empower teachers along with other stake holders. By doing
so, it responded to a national call to restructure governance patterns in
schools. Yet, we know very little about how teachers are likely to respond
to status changes that open the door to their involvement in a broad range
of decisions.
Second, this study focused on teachers both as pivotal players in
17


the distribution of decision-making power and as a captive audience by
virtue of their employment. Reform writers and researchers, speaking of
the importance of parents and community members, nonetheless continue
to focus on teachers as the key to educational improvement (Murphy, 1991;
Rossman, Corbett and Firestone, 1988). This study opens up the lens to
get a more inclusive picture of their role.
And third, although a cultural perspective has least often been used
in education research, it has been frequently endorsed. How culture
shapes response to change in schools remains a constant question.
Lundberg (1985) explains that "organizational culture is seen by some as
either the means or the target for change" (p. 169). Yet, provocatively,
Sprague (1992) suggests that "to empower another is, in one sense, to
perpetuate dependency" (p. 193).
18


Summary
This study took an in-depth view of the intricate interaction between
a school's culture and an externally mandated education reform measure.
With the same view of culture found in the fields of cognitive anthropology
and Durkheimian sociology, one school and its entire population were
examined through systematic and continuous observation with teachers
the primary focus. The researcher was totally immersed the school's
culture because she was a teacher employed within the school.
19


CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter reviewed literature on school culture in search of
assumption-driven or identifying characteristics of culture that could be
used as a guide to fieldwork. The search for pertinent literature was,
therefore, begun before and during data collection.
A review of literature on change related to school culture was also
conducted to find operationalized assumptions through which reform
studies and culture were currently viewed.
School Culture
This researcher looked at the instrument of change (the DPS and
DCTA contract) and its implementation through the complex perspective of
culture. Rossman, Corbett and Firestone, (1988) and Deal, (1986), have
pointed out that school reform has also been viewed respectively through
technical (McNeil, 1987), individual, structural (Perrow, 1970), and political
(Cyertand March, 1963) perspectives.
However, a cultural perspective was chosen for use in this study for
two reasons. First, some of the most eloquent students of modem reform
efforts (Sarason, 1973; 1990; Schlechty, 1990), argue passionately that
reform cannot take place unless school culture is addressed. Second,
20


cultural perspectives have enjoyed growing popularity in the literature
during the eighties and early nineties, but remain a multidimensional
challenge for researchers and other educators (Little, 1990) wishing to
change school culture.
As discussed earlier, culture has been treated in the bulk of
research concerning organizations as a rational, linear entity amenable to
methodic change. Such an assumption addresses what falls outside the
range of commonly held ethos within organizations, as sub- or
counterculture, profane belief, deviantness, irrational behavior and the like.
This researcher, therefore, reviewed assumptions heavily utilized in
research related to culture in an attempt to find a set of cultural descriptors
more in line with anthropological and sociological approaches to the topic.
School Culture Assumptions
Rossman, Corbett, and Firestone (1988) make a distinction between
beliefs, values, assumptions and knowledge that are either sacred or
profane. The former designates views which are immutable, the latter
designates views which are subject to change. Their thesis suggested an
answer to why some reforms (involving profane beliefs, values, and
assumptions) are accepted by teachers, while other changes (involving
sacred beliefs, values and assumptions) are not. Similar distinctions have
been made by Schein (1988), who distinguished between deep patterns of
assumptions and superficial beliefs.
Jacob Getzels and Egon Guba (1958) conducted much of the
2T


pioneering work in combining sociological (roles) and psychological
(personality) perspectives to organizations. Later Getzels added cultural
dimensions to his 1950s "Getzels-Guba Model" and produced a more
open social system by the end of the 1960's (Getzels, Lipham and
Campbell, 1968).
The discussion by Getzels, et al. (1968) analyzed values as a
component of culture. They were able to identify four secular values,
claimed to be more prone to greater alteration than sacred values: "the
work-success ethic," "future-time orientation," "independence or the
autonomous self," and "Puritan morality or, more broadly, moral
commitment." They identified the following sacred values, which, though
"stressed and strained" have remained "relatively stable." They are:
"democracy," "equality," "individualism," and "human perfectibility" (pp. 97-
98).
The above assumptions are supported by a rational view of culture
originating in the philosopher's Enlightenment period extending from the
seventeenth to the eighteenth century, from Spinoza to Voltaire (Durant,
1926). These assumptions are succinctly described by Shweder (1984):
...the mind of man is intendedly rational and scientific,
...the dictates of reason are equally binding for all regardless of time,
place, culture, race, personal desire, or individual endowment, and...
in reason can be found a universally applicable standard forjudging
validity and worth (p. 27).
This study sought to apply a broader understanding of culture than
22


conveyed by the traditional rational view for two reasons. First, the
descriptors themselves suggest the values of a specific researcher. The
study's contract speaks to issues of power and where, across the
organization, power will lie. But power is neither sacred nor profane, as
Getzels suggested, by its absence, from his list of values. In fact, power
had no value, at least at the time Getzels, et.ai. wrote their book in 1968.
The Counter Culture, which peaked in 1968 challenged many traditional
centers of power in American life, perhaps rendering any discussion of
power politically provocative at the time. This, in turn, suggests the high
susceptibility of sacredness and profaneness to the influences of political
climate and researcher preference (Bruner, 1986).
Second, cultural descriptors like those above are problematic in
field research method. While such distinctions of values are not
discernible by imposing the objective constructs associated with the
traditional rational view of research, the researcher's imposition of any
highly provocative and value-laden construct renders cultural description
vulnerable to a cry of foul play. Egon Guba (1978), in criticizing
rationalistic-based research and traditional ''science," points out that:
The problem of valuing-of determining merit, utility, or worth-
obviously cannot be dealt with by methods of science. Values are
intensely personal, social, and cultural. What is valued by one
individual or group may be devalued by another individual or group.
Most of the evaluation approaches referenced above [responsive,
judicial, transactional, connoisseurship, and illuminative] rely on
some concept like issue, probfem, concern, or question as the basis
23


for analysis, and such concepts imply an underlying value structure.
CP- 41).
Guba ends his comment by saying that naturalistic inquiry is an
alternative methodology that uncovers, interprets and reports such
elements in a useful way. This research, therefore, treated values
inductively-that is, as an element to be uncovered by data rather than
interpreting behavior against predetermined and fixed constructs of value.
But this does not solve the issue of mediated reality. Geertz (1973)
suggests that the plan of culture study is at least as important as its
descriptors.
\J]he whole field-what shall we call it? thematic analysis?-
is wedded to an ethic of imprecision. Most attempts to find general
cultural conceptions displayed in particular social contexts are
content to be merely evocative, to place a series of concrete
observations in immediate juxtaposition and to pull out (or read in)
the pervading element by rhetorical suggestion... The scholar
who wishes to avoid this sort of perfected impressionism has thus to
build his theoretical scaffold at the time that he conducts his analysis
(p. 312).
Any cultural descriptors, then, must rise from the field in which the
study is being conducted and as the study is unfolding. Recent studies
about culture in schools focused on the following elements: local
phenomena, and school commonalities (Smylie, 1991). Whether or not
these elements tend to rise from cultural studies as applicable
generalizations to the study presented here in examined next.
24


Local Phenomena
A number of studies, for example, Metz, (1986) Fullan, (1982)
Erickson, (1992) address schools as local phenomena that differentiate
one school from another. Studies which rely heavily on interviews, surveys
or observations done in the school, do not necessarily tap those
characteristics of school culture which are universal (McPherson, 1972).
Characteristics which, though absent and not obvious to either informants
or the researcher (Martin and Siehl, 1983), can still be culturally
influencing elements.
A similar problem occurs when one school is studied but is
influenced by the district to which it belongs. Again, broader characteristics
of a school's culture may help focus on its attachments to the District and
neighborhood community in which the school resides. Yet another
influential agent, that does not reside in the school, is the teachers' union
or association.
Anthropological theories of culture which examine the variability of
culture across human populations may provide an answer to this dilemma
through a wider perspective. Such theories rest upon the examination of
discourse and symbols (Shweder, 1990). Newspapers, mail, memos
bearing discourse and connected to the population under study were
added to interviews, surveys and the like as a means of examining the
school's broader yet influential attachments.
25


School Commonalities
Another set of elements, grouped together in this study as school
commonalities, are reflected in research treatments of subgroups and
countercultures (Martin and Siehl, 1983). This researcher, to date, has not
uncovered studies which, after identifying sub or counter groups in schools
have then reported the nature of their connectedness or disconnectedness
to the whole organization.
Deal and Peterson (1987), however, suggest that subgroups are
inevitable in schools just as they are in business. Yet sharedness, or
ethos, has permeated the research on culture in schools, such that the
limited amount of research which does address school culture tends to
celebrate sameness, or perceive it as a goal, rather than investigate the
multicultural meaning of schools. Smylie (1991) points out that "It would be
a mistake ...to imply that where sharedness is lacking, a school culture is
weak or nonexistent" (p. 27). This study then, did not search for "the"
common ethos but sought to let the data demonstrate their own sameness
or disparity.
Characteristics of School Culture
Deal and Peterson's (1987) definition of culture and a Deal and
Kennedy (1982) outline of culture characteristics were central to this study.
Deal and Peterson's definition is broad in its focus, leaving very little
under the roof of the school to escape undetected as a characteristic of
culture:
26


Culture is the stable underlying social meanings that
shape behavior over time...historically rooted, socially
transmitted set of deep patterns of thinking and ways of
acting that give meaning to human experience, that
unconsciously dictate how experience is seen, assessed and
acted on (pp. 5 & 8).
Deal and Kennedy's symbolic characteristics of organizational
culture were augmented with cultural characteristics described by Peters
and Waterman (1982), norms of educational culture described by Bird and
Little (1986), and anthropological perspectives on culture provided by
Shweder (1984). Combined, these authors contributed to this study
thirteen characteristics of school culture: values, heroes and heroines,
priests and priestesses, rites and rituals, cultural network, myths,
storytellers, stories and rumors (considered organizational), norms of
civility, norms of instruction, norms of improvement (considered
educational) and symbols and discourse (considered anthropological).
How these authors described each dimension provided direction for
each one used as a characteristic or signpost on a cultural map.
Values
Deal and Kennedy (1982) explain values as basic concepts and
beliefs about an organization which define success and establish
standards of achievement They are not hidden, but are written or
expressed verbally with pride. As slogans carrying the organization's
belief, they represent the philosophy of a company, known and shared by
27


everyone working in the organization.
Heroes and Heroines
In Deal and Kennedy's first edition of Corporate Cultures f1982V
only heroes were discussed. Heroes, and now heroines, personify the
organization's values. They are distinguishable from other organization
workers as those persons referred to most by others with pride or as an
explanation of the organizations' direction. Deal and Kennedy compare
the difference between a manager and company heroes:
The one quality that ...marks a manager is decisiveness, but
heroes are often not decisive; they're intuitive... Managers are busy;
heroes have all the time in the world because they make time.
Managers are routinizers; heroes are experimenters. Managers are
disciplined; heroes are playful and appreciate..."hoopla,"
...managers will spend hours refining their numbers, while
heroes will plant a garden so that it will look just right (p. 37).
Priests and Priestesses
Priests and priestesses not only carry stories about the organization
throughout the workplace, they recite and explain ritual or the ways the
organization does things. In so doing, they also are conveying the
organizations values to new recruits.
Rites and Rituals
Deal and Kennedy explain rites and rituals, not only as special
ceremonies and reward presentations, but also as all procedures that
28


encompass the notion that this is "how we do things around here." This
includes the way forms are filled out or requisitions are handled. The
authors make the point that, in the absence of rituals, values have no
impact; without expressive events, any culture will die.
Cultural Networks
Cultural networks, explain Deal and Kennedy, are composed of
spies, storytellers, priests, priestesses. They form the "hidden hierarchy"
which is considered the primary means of communication. They are
powerful because they "can reinforce the basic beliefs of the organization,
enhance the symbolic value of the heroes by passing on stories of their
deeds and accomplishment, and seta new climate for change" (p. 86).
They afso point out that managers tap into the network to accomplish
organizational goals.
Myths
From Peters and Waterman (1982), myths are explained as stories
about organizational values. The stories need not be true, but they
exemplify the organization's ideals or vision.
Storytellers, and Sagas
According to Deal (1990), storytellers and gossips preside over
each school's culture. Combined with priests and priestesses many
29


occupy roles located everywhere throughout the school Secretaries, food
service workers and custodians are not excluded because their longevity
in many places provides them with a history of past practices and
memorable incidents. Deal suggests that if not included in school reforms,
they may sabotage the effort
Symbols and Discourse
Anthropologists (Schweder, 1984; Geertz, 1973) look at the study of
culture through an examination of both its symbols and its discourse. Such
discourse may be considered a union of content analysis and an
ethnography of communication (Tesch, 1990) where not only what people
say but the patterns and frequency of discourse which form ritual
interactions were studied.
This study was additionally concerned with expressive symbols
which Shweder defines as:
anything that "stands for" or says something about
something else. It can be an object: a piece of cloth, the
national emblem. It can be a physical disturbance: a
pattern of sound, a word. It can be a movement: a gesture,
bowing low (p. 45).
Each characteristic of culture was used as an interpretive frame of
reference and not as a guiding principle to which information had to
adhere. One-to-one correspondence in the field was therefore never
anticipated. These characteristics served as a lexicon in the world of the
30


nonrational.
Change Related to School Culture
Reform literature and research present several operationalized
assumptions concerning change, each representing the perspective from
which it was generated. By the mid 1980's, several authors categorized
these assumptions according to the assumptions or paradigms on which
they were based.
Deal (1986) suggested that studies about change are of two main
types: those which suggest a rational order of "purposeful action,
reasonableness, and certainty..."(p.117) on the part of the individuals or
groups being studied; and those assumptions which reveal the more
"expressive or symbolic side of organizations." The first category of studies
accounts for change, or the lack of it, in two ways. One group directs
attention toward the individual or small groups by identifying their attitudes,
norms, and problem-solving skills. The second group of studies attend to
whole organizational patterns played out in goals, roles, collaboration, and
formal incentives. Deal also added political assumptions about change to
this first category of studies by claiming that they, too, rest on a rational
identification and isolation of motives such "that power can directly
influence outcomes, and that conflict will decide winners and losers" (p.
118). Studies which examine culture as evolving human invention fall into
the second category.
Huberman and Miles (1986) also make two categories, not of
31


assumptions about change but of paradigms or orientations about how to
initially conduct research on change and how to operationalize research
findings. Their rationalist and conflict paradigms resemble Deals
classification of types of assumptions. However, Huberman and Miles are
more concerned with showing that their two paradigms need not be
incompatible when determining the usefulness of results from research
findings.
Whether classroom contained, school-wide, or district-wide, change
can be seen as a series of hypothesized "reciprocal 'transformations'
among users" (p. 64). If Deal is to be understood literally, however,
Huberman and Miles' operationalized assumptions suggest a rational
order of intent on the part of the subjects in the study.
This study took the advice of Deal, that is, that culture is evolving
human invention. As such, its study required a design consistent with
dynamic and nonrational rather than static and intentional dimensions.
Such designs are found in qualitative and naturalistic study. Geertz (1973)
further explains that:
Operationism as a methodological dogma never made
much sense so far as the social sciences are concerned, and
except for a few rather too well-swept comers-Skinnerian
behaviorism, intelligence testing, and so on-it is largely dead
now. But it had, for all that, an important point to make... if you
want to understand what a science is, you should look in the
first instance not at its theories or its findings, and certainly
not at what its apologists say about it; you should look at what the
practitioners of it do (p. 5).
32


Summary
Broad assumptions and currently studied elements of culture
directed this study toward an examination of nonrational characteristics.
The literature review on change and culture examined ways of
operationalizing assumptions about culture and directed the research
toward qualitative methodology which focuses on the study's participants
as cultural practitioners.
33


CHAPTER 3
LITERATURE REVIEW
The intent of DPS contract authors was to remove the arbitration
language of previous DPS and DCTA contracts and, with it, the specificity
which hindered reform. Without contract specificity, however, teacher
empowerment, an inferred contract feature, could be derived only from the
participants in this study.
Teacher Empowerment
The DPS and DCTA contract did not define the term, teacher
empowerment, but implied its outgrowth from contract implementation. The
term was relatively new and there were questions about teacher
empowerment that required answers, in order to identify its existence or
absence at the field site.
Ultimately, answers to these questions came directly from school
participants in this study. However, their answers deserved the attention
and examination of a review of the historical literature giving a fuller
meaning to their use of the term teacher empowerment
As Strauss and Corbin (1990) suggest, the literature can help
stimulate questions. They isolate this purpose of literature as one of five
uses in qualitative study. Like Lincoln and Guba, (1985) they also insist
that
34


[W]ith grounded theory research, rather than testing the
relationships among variables, we want to discover relevant
categories and the relationships among them; to put together
categories in new, rather than standard ways. So, if you begin with
a list of already identified variables (categories), they may~and are
indeed very likely to-get in the way of discovery. Also... you want to
explain phenomena in light of the theoretical framework that
evolves during the research itself; thus, you do not want to be
constrained by having to adhere to a previously developed theory
that may or may not apply to the area under discussion (p. 49).
Therefore, this chapter organized assumptions about teacher
empowerment as a stimulus for further questions during the data gathering
and analysis processes.
The Quest for Questions
Teacher empowerment designated something teachers wanted.
Teachers' representatives during contract negotiations between the
Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the Denver Classroom Teachers'
Association (DCTA) asked for a say in decisions made in their schools. By
inference, we can assume that providing teachers' voice at the decision-
making table resolved the request, at least within negotiated compromise.
But is decision-making, then, teacher empowerment or simply one form of
it? Have teachers been empowered to do one specific task and no other,
or has the profession itself been empowered? Can other terms be
considered synonymous, like teacher leadership, or the redesign of
teachers' work?
Is teacher empowerment a process or a state of being? If it is a
35


process, is it one of continuous struggle or is it a step-wise ritual which,
when completed, renders a teacher empowered? If it is a state of being, is
it bestowed for a certain time period? Who is the bestower and can the
bestower take it away?
Such questions led to yet another set of questions identifying the
source of knowledge, Who in the literature would know what teacher
empowerment means? Who could best define it in the literature? It would
seem that if the latter questions were answered first one could develop
assumptive modes of analysis or paradigms within which the other
questions could be asked.
Assumptive Modes
The literature was divided into three sources of questions
concerning teacher empowerment. These three sources provided a
theoretical base to questions concerned with the nature of an empowered
teacher. The following discussion focuses on (1) critical theory, (2)
functionalist or organizational theory, and (3) populist political theory as
ways of understanding the empowered teacher phenomenon.
Critical Theory and Teacher Empowerment
Sprague (1992) summarized the types of topics in this assumptive
mode, which were never separated from their critical aspect She says that
critical scholarship addresses:
36


(a) questions of ends rather than means and, specifically
questions about how some human beings come to be used as
means to others' ends; (b) questions about power arrangements in
social life; and (c) questions about how those power arrangements
are discursively maintained or resisted (p.181).
In recent years, scholars within this mode have begun to stress "a
language of possibility," in order to help teachers seek the right of decision-
making power (Bolin, 1989). Prior to the mid 1980's scholars in this mode,
or paradigm, dwelt on the collection and dissemination of literature and
research that documented deterrents to teacher empowerment or the
causes of powerlessness.
Teacher powerlessness or teacher demotivation (Bacharach, Bauer,
1986), has been attributed to the (1) ideology of domesticity (Vaughn-
Roberson; 1992); (2) lack of a technical body of knowledge (Boyer, 1983;
Lortie, 1975); (3) deskilling and technical rationality (Taylor, 1916 and
Fayol,; Tanner and Tanner, 1987); (4) privatization which separates the
profession; (5) constant surveillance by administrators (Blase, 1987;
Flinders, 1988); (6) the intensification of teachers work (Apple, 1988).
More focused examples of literature explaining the demotivating
quality of teachers' work follow. Gene Maeroff, in Education Week, after
analyzing a project entitled Collaboratives for Humanities and Arts
Teaching (CHART) suggested that such things as phones in and keys to
classrooms, teacher conferences held in city museums, libraries, and
universities, and business cards for teachers, did much to enhance
"teachers' sense of importance" (p. 25). Punching time clocks and never
37


being treated to lunch were described as indignities:
On top of other indignities, teachers are infantilized,
transformed into adult workers who sometimes have an
almost parent-child relationship with their principals....
Such treatment of teachers runs counter to what psychologists say is
an important component of good mental health, namely, the sense
of being in control of one's destiny... (p. 32).
Hargreaves and Dawes (1989) observed what they called "contrived
collegiality," which they found was "characterized by a set of formal,
specific bureaucratic procedures... in initiatives such as peer coaching,
mentor teaching, joint planning in specially provided rooms, formally
scheduled meetings and clear job descriptions and training programs for
those in consultative roles" (p. 19).
Little (1989) examined collegiality as interdependence and
autonomy as individualism. Having first created an independence-
interdependence continuum, Little determined that most coaching and
mentoring programs have little impact on a school's culture because of the
superficiality of the relationship. She determined that joint work involves a
collective conception of autonomy, support for teachers' initiative and
leadership, as well as group affiliations grounded in professional work.
Within this paradigm, teacher empowerment (1) was linked to
student empowerment (Sleeter, 1991); (2) was also linked to workplace
democracy (Giroux, 1988) (3) was built on moral responsibility (Freire,
1985), and (4) had as a purpose the liberation of all people and the
38


democratizing of the schools (Garms, Guthrie, and Pierce, 1978).
Critical theory mapped a road to power for teachers to travel. Critical
theory pointed to researchers who emphasized coifegiality and
collaboration, (transformative vision (Giroux, 1988; Green, 1988; Darling-
Hammond, 1985), shared leadership or decision-making and restructuring
(Joyce, 1986; Sizer, 1984), redesigning administrative work (Gitlin and
Price, 1992) and courage-gathering through historical accounts
(Altenbaugh, 1992).
In a project designed to translate critical theory into a concrete
program, Gitlin and Price (1992) reported on a teacher evaluation process
they label "horizontal evaluation" based on the ideologies expressed by
Freire (1985) and Giroux (1989), among others. According to Gitlin and
Price, evaluation is dialogue and empowerment is voice.
[Vjoice is an articulation of one's critical opinions and a
protest not simply a gripe but a challenge to domination and
oppression. (Hirschman, 1970, p.62)
Karen Price related her experiences with horizontal evaluation
which required, as a first step, a local or personal history, then teaming with
a colleague. Over three evaluations or "laps," each person acted as both
an observer and a teacher. She explains that practice with this form of
evaluation is needed to break down the subordinate role characteristics of
traditional supervision models. No indication was given about the time
required to complete this method nor the decision-making opportunities
39


available to both colleagues.
Janet Miller's book, Creating Spaces and Finding Voices: Teachers
Collaborating for Empowerment (1990), was a qualitative study outlining
her attempt at emancipatory action research in which, as a college
professor, she invited five students "to continue working together, beyond
the formal context of [her] graduate classrooms" (p. 1). Her intent was to
direct the teachers-as-researchers, but questioned if this would be
liberating. Journal writing and sharing became a major portion of their
work together. They grew to become an intimate support group,
considering themselves challengers to the oppression they met within their
work.
Altenbaugh (1992) reports a case study relying on the oral testimony
of thirty-six retired Pittsburgh schoolteachers whose mean age was
seventy-four in order "to shed some light on the responses by twentieth-
century urban, public schoolteachers to the imposition of a corporate
structure on the schools..." (p. 157). One teacher's phrase stands out from
the others:
Now, I have a brother-in-law who is a lawyer, and I have a
brother-in-law who is a physician and they say you teachers are not
professionals, because they are not self-employed and because
they submit to supervision. That's what makes a professional in the
eyes of a pure professional... (p. 167).
40


Functionalist or Organizational
Theory and TeactieLEmpQ.w.erment
According to Griffiths (1982) virtually every theory new and old,
within the field of educational administration is grounded in functionalist
theory. And according to Burrell and Morgans (1980) theory which uses
cell classifications of related paradigms, such as functionalist theory is
characterized by models which are positivistic, realistic, and deterministic.
Within this assumptive mode then, would fall most school districts
plans for teacher empowerment. Also included within this mode is
literature used in administrative training programs. Within this grouping of
the literature, teacher empowerment is closely linked to decision-making
within the organization.
It is Mintzberg (1979) who distinguishes wherein along the lines of
organizational structure, decision decentralization occurs. He
distinguishes three locations: vertical, horizontal, and selective, then links
each to an appropriate organizational structure. He has linked horizontal
decision-making with bureaucracies, the structure used in public schools.
Conley (1991) has explained that traditional forms of site-based decision-
making found in schools use horizontal decision structures. That means,
for the most part, teachers get to make decisions about their own particular
job area with other colleagues, rather than make decisions about the
whole school.
Within this paradigm, teacher empowerment literature (1) is most
often linked to decision-making (Kierstad and Mentor, 1988) (Johnson,
41


1990; Clark and Meloy, 1990; Conley and Bacharach, 1991; Elmore,
1990), but is also connected to professionalization (Lewis, 1989), (2) is to a
lesser degree linked with job redesign (Hackman and Oldham, 1980;
Darling-Hammond, 1990; Barley and Tolbert, 1991; Sykes, 1990), and
career ladders (Frieberg and Knight, 1991), (3) either has no discussion of
its origin or implicitly posits the organization (sometimes acknowledges the
collective bargaining agent as well) as the bestower (Marburger, 1985;
Kerchner and Koppich, 1991), (4) usually has steps to its implementation,
(5) has guidelines within which empowerment must be contained or, has a
set of delineated responsibilities at least as large as its bestowed powers
(Lewis, 1989), and (5) has as its purpose, student achievement (Schlechty,
1990; Liebermanand Miller, 1990; Joyce, 1990).
More focused examples of the kinds of research done within this
assumptive mode included the following studies and strategies that
illustrate the above characteristics of teacher empowerment.
Smylie (1992) suggested that studies on teacher participation in
decision-making are advanced on the logic of benefits. Administrators get
more front line information, and teachers get to feel committed to the
decisions being made and are thus motivated to carry them out. He refers
to a study conducted by Duke, Showers, and Imbers (1981) which
revealed another benefit from teacher participation, that of "workplace
democracy", which Duke et.al., describe in organizational sociological
terms. But note the orderliness of stripped variables. "Involvement [in
decision-making] is dependent on the presence of both organization
42


opportunities for involvement and the willingness of organization members
to become involved" (p. 342). They also cite Showers (1981) as
discovering that "decision-making was positively related to both
opportunities for collaborative decision-making and the level of teachers'
perceived self-efficacy with respect to decision-making competence" (ibid.).
White (1992) studied three districts that had instituted
decentralization for at least five years, all of which had highly decentralized
budgets, curriculum, and staffing decision procedures. Unlike the Malen
and Ogawa (1988) and Chapman (1990) studies, no legitimate "authority"
was attributed to teachers' decisions. Teachers' decisions in White's study
were advisory to the principal. Yet White described her study as providing
"ideal" school-site autonomy. Principals also controlled the amount of
input teachers gave.
Interviews with ninety teachers across the three districts prompted
White to conclude that decentralization produced teachers who were more
involved in decisions, engaged in a variety of roles, were encouraged to
work in teams, and teachers who attended numerous meetings chaired by
other teachers. Teachers also felt they improved their knowledge of what
was going on in schools. Improvement in student motivation and greater
retention of qualify teachers was also cited.
Staff development is controversial in recessionary times.
Lunenberg and Ornstein (1991) presented a balanced debate around the
question, "Is this allocation of resources justified?" (p. 225). Staff
development trainers have recently examined their own cost efficiency, but
43


are also addressing cultural change. Bruce Joyce (1991) explained that,
[T]here is increasing recognition that all [staff development
programs] depend on the ethos of the profession and the culture of
the school. Individually oriented programs touch only small
percentages of staffs. Most teachers do not take advantage of them,
even when they are based on careful needs assessments.
Successful school-based staff development needs unusual faculty
cohesion. Because most faculties are not collegial
organizations, many teachers opt to "sit out" school improvement
efforts, even when they can determine the focus and nature of the
activities (p. xvii).
The ASCD 1990 Yearbook was entirely devoted to staff
development. Although empowering teachers was mentioned throughout
the book, autonomy was assumed to be a negative side of collegiality. And
equality was not discussed at all.
Conley (1991) suggested that "school-site based management
alone does not guarantee administrative decentralization" (p. 127). Nor
does decentralization assume a collegial or culturally supportive
environment.
Rrestone and Bader (1991) looked at three schools that redesigned
teachers' work, two through career ladders and one through shared
governance, finding that, "...some programs that have attempted to make
teaching more professional actually increased the bureaucratic constraints
under which teachers operate" (p. 67).
44


Populist Political Theory and Teacher Empowerment
The populist movement can be simply stated as power to the
people. This is its major tenet. Yet in modern terms, it has many
contradictory voices. According to Boyt (1986), "In subsequent years the
administration has proven strikingly hostile to independent grassroots
citizen initiatives" (p. 11). Brown v. the Board of Education is still perceived
as a demonstration of populisms finest hour (Marable, 1986).
The populist movement is a movement trying to find itself, but a
movement nonetheless. This paradigm is scattered throughout various
literature sources reflecting the diversity of the people who claim to accept
its major tenet Its common threads are not discussions on democracy nor
the down trodden proletariat. It is found in the telling of citizens' initiatives,
attempting to be heard across the nation. Ross Perot, Mothers Against
Drunk Driving, Green Peace, all attest to a populist movement.
Within this paradigm, teacher empowerment (1) is linked to the
whole school, whole district, state legislature, or federal government (A
Nation at Risk. 1984), (2) wants competency testing for teachers and
students as well as charter schools and schools of choice (Coons and
Sugarman, 1978), (3) usually originates from laws, acts, or court orders,
yet, starts at grass roots level (Bingham, 1988) (4) uses tactics such as
door-to-door, lobbying, to bully pulpit propaganda, and (5) has as a
purpose, accountability, that is, a return of educated citizens for every tax
dollar invested in public education.
45


Daniel Brown's (1990) research in Edmonton, Canada includes an
extensive review of literature on two types of decentralization: political and
organizational. He notes that in politically decentralized organizations,
personnel are accountable to the persons who elected them; in
organizationally decentralized organizations, they are accountable to
those higher in the organization.
While discussing politically decentralized organizations from the
literature, Brown focuses on the presentation by Garms, Guthrie and Pierce
(1978), suggesting three key values in a free society which impact the way
schools are organized and financed: (1) equality, (2) educational
efficiency and (3) freedom. Garms, et al., give school management
recommendations for decentralized schools based on these key values.
Brown makes the point that school or educational efficiency is a concept
shared by both political and organizational theorists and thus influential on
both constructs of decentralization. But "equality and freedom are not
especially relevant concepts among organizational theorists" (p. 72). Such
notions of decentralization, Brown concludes, lie in political rather than
organizational perspectives of decentralization.
46


Summary
Each of these three assumptive modes generated questions of the
sort asked at the beginning of this chapter And each, with its own referent
point to legitimate authority, placed teacher empowerment at various levels
in relation to that authority. It is populist political theory which even within
in its own theory contains wide variations in the theme of teacher
empowerment, perhaps reflecting the diversity and conflict within its own
ranks. West (1986) describes the contradictory nature of the populist
movement by saying that:
On the one hand, it [American populism] is opposed to
big business, big government, and big labor. This opposition is
put forward in the name of decentralized control and in response to
steep declines in the quality of life. On the other hand, populism is
locked into the mainstream American quest for economic growth in
order for more Americans to get in on the high standard of living in
this country. Yet this growth presupposes the high levels of
productivity and efficiency of big business, big government, and big
labor (p. 209).
Critical theory makes its point clear, that teacher empowerment is
the result of democratic equalizing that should be occurring in the general
society and most particularly in the classroom. Functionalist or
organizational theory empowers teachers within restricted boundaries,
maintaining for the organization or government, all control.
47


CHAPTER 4
LITERATURE REVIEW
Teacher participants in this study continually isolated autonomy and
equality as descriptors of teacher empowerment, making it incumbent upon
the researcher to search for additional understanding. Understanding the
historical development of autonomy and equality, related to teaching, from
the beginning of the twentieth century to the present, gives added
dimension to the term teacher empowerment
Autonomy And Equality
The DPS and DCTA contract offered no definition of teacher
empowerment, but clearly implied it. Negotiations had stopped in the fall of
1990 because two issues were not agreed upon: teachers' salaries and
teacher voice in school decision-making.
Through observations, reconstructed dialogue, panel discussions,
and written and oral interviews involving every teacher assigned to the
school under investigation (described in greater detail in Chapter 7), a
working definition of teacher empowerment was formulated following field
research. This literature review was conducted after data analysis to track
historical sources connected with ideas strongly expressed by teachers.
This, a posteriori use of the literature review, has its foundation in
the tenets of qualitative and naturalistic study. As examples, according to
48


Strauss and Corbin (1990):
Since discovery is our purpose, we do not have
beforehand knowledge of all the categories relevant to our
theory. It is only [authors' emphasis] after a category has
emerged as pertinent that we might want to go back to the
...literature to determine if this category is there, and if so,
what other researchers have said about it (p. 50).
And according to Lincoln and Guba (1985):
The call for an emergent design by naturalists is not
simply an effort on their part to get around the "hard
thinking" that is supposed to precede an inquiry; the desire to permit
events to unfold is not merely a way of rationalizing what is at bottom
"sloppy inquiry." The design specifications of the conventional
paradigm for a procrustean bed of such a nature as to make it
impossible for the naturalist to lie in it-not only uncomfortably, but
at all [author's emphasis] (p. 225).
Empowerment Themes in History
Two ideas, autonomy and equality, were continually expressed by
teachers at the site of this study, as necessary to teaching. In an effort to
better grasp the teachers' version of "empowerment," this researcher made
an historical investigation of the ideas of teacher autonomy and equality in
the twentieth century.
Autonomy
From the turn of the century, the historical literature on educational
49


governance pointed to two major opposing ideologies regarding teacher
autonomy. Both the ideology of "domesticity" and classic organization
theory in the form of Scientific Management, advanced by Frederick
Winslow Taylor, acted as uncontested deterrents to teachers' self-
governance in classrooms.
Courtney Vaughn-Roberson (1992) examined the concept of
"domesticity" and its influence on the lives of women teachers from the
early twentieth century in three western states: Oklahoma, Texas and
Colorado. She attributed to social theorists at the end of the eighteenth
century the origination of this ideology and summarized the thought in this
way:
[Wjomeris proper role lay in the care of children, the
nurture of the husband, the physical maintenance of the
domicile, and the guardianship of both home and social
morality (p. 13).
Vaughn-Roberson asserted that scholars differ over the impact of
this belief on teaching, some holding that it perpetuated anti-intellectualism
in education to the present (Lortie, 1975; Leggatt, 1970), while others
consider it a guidepost for restricted behavior that also provided
professional opportunity for women involved in shaping the morals of
children.
Vaughn-Roberson contacted 547 women who had taught in the
western United States in the early part of this century. She maintained
50


from their reports that there was little evidence of opposition toward women
who worked outside the home as teachers. Her findings show that women
teachers themselves saw no contradiction between their teaching and the
ideology of domesticity. But critics of women in teaching roles attribute to
this ideology the turning of classrooms into workshops for motherhood and
the perpetuation of anti-intellectualism (Lortie, 1975).
Female teachers usually did not marry, since teaching contracts
prohibited it, but those who did and those who were discovered pregnant,
particularly during the Depression and Dust Bowl era, were not chastised
or fired for either marriage or pregnancy unless there were also problems
in teaching.
Many of the retired female teachers Vaughn-Roberson interviewed
were not aware of sexism in instruction, nor in the spheres of male and
female performance to which they seemed, in their interviews, to have
directed students. Female Coloradans, according to Vaughn-Roberson
(1992) such as Helen Grenfell and Mary Bradford (p. 17), who gained
prominence in the state between the turn of the century and 1921, did not
see conflict between "professional" positions in education, and marriage,
including motherhood.
The ideology of domesticity remains a plausible link to women's
struggles for autonomy and self-governance in the face of oppressive laws.
The teaching force was dominated by women at the turn of the century. In
New York City, the Davis Law of 1900 abolished equal pay for equal work
in Brooklyn, establishing an inequitable wage schedule between men and
51


women teachers. This law and similar ones across the United States were
likely the ideology of domesticity dressed in political garb.
According to Marjorie Murphy (1981), the centralization of public
schools began when men were trained to "scientifically" manage
organizations at the beginning of the twentieth century. The centralization
of schools with men in the central office could also be explained by the
desire of men to climb above the status of teacher, where its ranks were
dominated by women fighting for guaranteed equal pay, and finally
winning, in New York, in 1910 (Carter, 1992).
Scientific Management or 'Taylorism" offered a way to manage men
in large centralized industrial facilities. When it was later adapted for
schools by Franklin Bobbitt (1924), scientific management not only took
decision-making away from teachers, it took away responsibility as well,
and placed all significant responsibility into the domain of predominantly
male managers.
Efforts to centralize school systems were combined with the
movement toward professionalism. And both were initially propagated by
a newly formed managerial staff, using Bobbitt's model of organization.
Professionalism was also offered to teachers, according to Murphy, in an
attempt to separate teachers from their affiliation with the working class
community, the community which first experienced the effects of scientific
management However, teachers' affiliation with the working cfass grew
stronger as teachers became dissatisfied with management Dissatisfied
teachers became the foundation group to enlist with unions.
52


Professionalism, Murphy (1990) suggested, was a tool for
...reshaping the lines of authority in school
administration, for weeding out those of less desirable ethnic and
social origins through requirements of higher education, and for
instilling a sense of loyalty... to the school principal, superintendent,
and educational professoriate [sic] (p. 23).
A closer look at both Frederick Taylor's (1916) management intent,
as well as his four principles of scientific management is useful in
explaining the mechanics behind a systematic loss of autonomy for
teachers in a rapidly growing public system of schools. His principles are
also presented here to call attention to a view of organizations in which
people will, or should, act in common accord. This orderliness is
characteristic of a paradigm that considers organizations and their culture
to function rationally.
Taylor is credited with being the "Father of Scientific Management"
He felt that both workers and foremen believed that if productivity
increased by half then half the workers would be out of a job. Taylor did
not blame the workers for this, a condescension which flavors his writing.
He wrote The Principles of Scientific Management to remedy two
situations in industry: (1) labor-saving devices were making less work for
fewer people, instead of making more work for more people and (2) the
development of soldiering, that is, through mismanagement workers were
encouraged to do no more than the next man. To rid industry of these two
prevailing problems, he offered four principles for managers. Bobbitt
53


subsequently, applied the same principles to schools.
In the first principle, managers had to educate themselves by
"gathering together the great mass of traditional knowledge by the means
of time and motion study." The source of traditional knowledge "has been
in the heads of the workmen, recording it, tabulating it, reducing it in most
cases to rules, laws, and in many cases to mathematical formulae..."
Through time and motion study, managers learned what workers were
doing. Once learned, managers had the foundation of a body of
knowledge for managers.
The second principle was "the scientific selection of the workers and
their progressive development." When managers discovered from the
workers what they did, then managers could train new workers as needed.
Also, one of the earlier lessons taught by the new group known as
managers, was professionalism.
The third principal of scientific management was "the bringing
together of this science, just described, and the trained worker, by offering
some incentive to the worker". Only Taylor's description gives it justice.
Offer him a plum, something that is worth while. There are
many plums offered to those who come under scientific
management-better treatment, more kindly treatment, more
consideration for their wishes, and an opportunity for them to
express their wants freely... An equally important side is, whenever
a man will not do what he ought, to either make him do it or stop. If
he will not do it let him get out (p. 41).
The fourth principle is "a complete redivision of the work of the
54


establishment, to bring about democracy and cooperation between the
management and the workers." Taylor explained that:
All of that work which formerly was done by the workmen
alone is divided into two large sections, and one of those sections is
handed over to management.. It is this real co-operation, this
genuine division of work between the two sides, more than any
other element which accounts for the fact that there never will be
strikes under scientific management (p. 42).
But, in fact, as the century continued, "scientifically managed"
workers increasingly engaged in strikes. Taylor created an image of work
at the Bethlehem Steel, Midvale Steel and Cramps Shipbuilding
companies of unified efficiency. But in fact, the confusion of expansion, the
arrival of an immigrant work force, and the emerging politics of the
regulatory state (Cremin, 1961) reveal a different story, not captured in the
telling of an organization's rational guiding concepts. What is captured is
the contradictory illusion of organization as an orderly environment based
on sets of rational guiding concepts versus the historical reality of
confusion and worker dissatisfaction.
In Robert Salisbury's (1970) description of school autonomy in the
1920's and 1930's, he gives an explanation for the contradictory illusions
between a rational and orderly picture of organization in schools and the
dissatisfaction growing within the schools.
We know that many big-city school systems operate with
substantial formal autonomy. They are not run by the political or
55


administrative leaders of the city, but are insulated from those
leaders and the interests they represent In part this autonomy is a
consequence of various formal features of local government which
give to the schools the authority to run their affairs with little or no
reference to the demands of other city officials. Perhaps in larger
part, however, the insulation of the schools may be a function of the
ideology, propagated by schoolmen but widely shared by the larger
public, that schools should be free from "politics," i.e., the influence
of nonschool officials... (p. 18).
The ideology propagated by schoolmen to which Salisbury refers is
later broadened in the same article. It is explained as an amalgamation of
democratic beliefs seen in the writings of Horace Mann, John Dewey and
George Counts, and which became part of teacher preparation courses
during the Progressive Era (Cremin, 1961):
[T]hat is, regardless of ethnic, racial, religious, economic, or
political differences and group conflicts in other arenas of urban life,
education need not, and should not if it could, recognize or
legitimize those differences. Education is a process that must not be
differentiated according to section or class. Learning is the same
phenomenon, or should be, in every neighborhood. Physical
facilities and personnel should be allocated without regard to
whatever group conflicts might exist in the community (p. 20).
While on the one hand, schools refused to recognize ethnic, racial
or political differences, new teachers in the 1920's were entering afield full
of differentiated jobs among educated people. Union activism was strong
between the 1920's and the 1950's, continuing into the McCarthy era. And
this period was not without strikes (Murphy, 1990). School administrators
continued to preserve hierarchies by instituting more "scientific" tools such
56


as clinical supervision and "teacher proof" curriculum. These management
strategies were consistent with Frederick Taylor's first and fourth principles.
By the early 1960s, autonomy enjoyed by school system managers
within the arena of city politics was being challenged by complaints from
outside the school system over "proposed changes in curriculum and
instruction, problems of disadvantaged pupils, and dilemmas of de facto
segregation..." (Rosenthal, 1970; p. 90). Reflecting the larger American
counter Culture and its challenge of existing authority, teachers were no
longer aligning themselves with a system which did not share autonomy
with its teachers. Several writers, among them Christie, (1973) and Guthrie
and Craig, (1973) contend that the new militancy of the 1960s "brought an
end to the myth that teachers and principals are united in a common
purpose" (Christie; p. 124).
Equality
The two most often cited teacher union demands from the 1960's
were increased salary and "some sort of guarantee that teachers will not
only be listened to on matters concerning school policy but that they shall
be given an active part in determining this policy" (see Doherty in
Rosenthal, 1966, p. 101). History suggests that seeking equality in
decision-making may have been a continued way to seek autonomy.
Principals, as perceived by teachers, were already listened to on matters
concerning school policy (Lieberman, 1973).
The types of policies teachers most often sought during the 1960rs
57


included sick leave benefits, duty-free lunch periods, and due process or
grievance procedures, most of which were enjoyed by principals and
central office administrators (Guthrie and Craig, 1973). While these
policies were won during the late 1960's and early 1970's, neither
autonomy nor equal status were gained.
Arthur Wise (1988) recalls the education community of the 1970's in
this way:
It was a world in which policy dominated, schools were
bureaucratic, and students were processed. It was a world in which
state government called the shots; in which state and local boards of
education became irrelevant; in which teachers were told what,
when, and how to teach; and in which administrators, caught in the
crossfire, could not figure out whether to follow their instincts or the
law (p. 328).
Wise saw little change within the first wave of reform, beginning
around the mid 1970's, which attempted to regulate the quality of
education through standardized tests and teacher evaluation criteria at the
state and national levels. Yet Wise explained that equal educational
opportunity (not educational quality) could perhaps be advanced only by
regulation:
Problems of inequity in the allocation of educational
opportunities, resources, and programs can be solved by
mandates issued by a central authority. Because of self-
interest and parochialism, such problems might otherwise be
insoluble (p. 329).
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Acknowledgment that desegregation could be achieved only
through federal or other central authority remains a divisive argument
between Anglo- and Afro-Americans (James, 1991). Notions of
decentralized, neighborhood, autonomous schools created a suspicion of
racially discriminatory intent echoed in the 1950's.
But the issue of equality, foremost in the minds of educators in the
1960's, as a result of Brown versus the Board of Education, was now being
discussed relative to a real and legitimate democracy and equality in the
workplace. Prior to the mid-fifties, equality in the workplace was more
cosmetic than real. Henri Fayol (1916), in his General Principles of
Management acknowledged equity and equality of treatment as
aspirations of employees. He advised managers to, "strive to instill a
sense of equity throughout all levels of the scalar chain" (p. 63). Only a
"sense of equity", not equity itself, could fit into a rational "chain of superiors
ranging from the ultimate authority to the lowest ranks" (p. 60).
Brown versus the Topeka Board of Education had far-reaching
effects for Afro-American and Anglo-American children as well as their
parents. The same law had noticeable effects in the literature concerning
the acceptance of equality in terms of its visible, legal construction and
protection for a group of people. In a sense, teachers wanted what was
given to Afro-American children, i.e., real, legally supported equality.
Union demands for considerations on a par with administrators and
education literature's examination of teacher inequities began to surface in
the early 1960's.
59


During the late 1970's, the first wave of the education reform was
characterized by efforts to improve student education by establishing
measurable, highly centralized, bureaucratic standards of accountability,
particularly in the areas of curriculum (reflecting newer "scientific" tools
beyond time and motion studies discussed in Taylor's first principle) and
teacher evaluation (Taylor's second principle). Teachers had become the
subject of reform but were rarely asked to participate in the formulation of
reform policy, a reflection of Taylor's fourth principle, as well as the rational
realization that equality could not fit into a scheme of hierarchies and
chains of command.
By the mid 1980's, shortly after the publication of A Nation Prepared
(1986), a second wave of reform had emerged through the writings of
several researchers (Goodlad, 1984; Sizer, 1984; Michaels, 1988; Conley,
1991), urging a shift in focus toward restructured, site-based, managed
schools which could ideologically support a work force of teachers
empowered to make decisions about their work.
Rist (1989) traces teacher empowerment to the 1986 Carnegie
report This report to the public presented eight proposals designed to
create "a system in which school districts can offer the pay, autonomy and
career opportunities necessary to attract to teaching highly qualified
people who would otherwise take up other professional careers" (p. 55).
Of those eight elements, the following three and their variations still appear
in education literature with frequency: (1) the restructuring of traditional
hierarchical strata in schools so that lead teachers could themselves run
60


the schools, (2) the creation of a professional environment wherein
teachers could determine how best to meet the educational needs of
students, and (3) the increase of teacher salaries to a level competitive with
those of other professions.
A passage taken from A Nation Preoared provides an interesting
notion of equality:
One of the most attractive aspects of professional work is the
way professionals are treated in the workplace. Professionals are
presumed to know what they are doing, and are paid to exercise
their judgment. Schools on the other hand operate as if consultants,
school district experts, textbook authors, trainers, and distant officials
possess more relevant expertise than the teachers in the schools.
Bureaucratic management of schools proceeds from the view that
teachers lack the talent or motivation to think for themselves (p. 58).
Reflected in the above passage are two separate notions of equality.
Both notions were explained by Robert Dworkin and cited in King (1979).
The first, that teachers wish for "equal treatment over a range of goods...
such that each person gets the same as the next," (p. 16), A Nation
Prepared held that teachers ought to be treated the same way that other
professionals are treated.
Dworkin's second meaning of equality is, "the right to be treated as
an equal" (p. 16). This meaning suggests that teachers are the same as
others in the schools, such as school district experts, authors, etc.,
requiring a leveling of hierarchical positions. A Nation Prepared attacked
bureaucratic management of schools with its implicit assumption that
61


teachers are less intelligent than administrators, concerning the reform
agenda.
62


Summary
Teacher empowerment was first looked at from with the confines of
its sources in academic literature. There, questions concerning the nature
of teacher empowerment fell into three categories of assumptive modes:
critical theory, functionalist or organization theory and populist political
theory. The data from one school site is interesting in its dominant political
theme, emanating from teacher descriptors of teacher empowerment,
namely, autonomy and equality.
From this literature came guidelines for implementing reform. It is
also this literature which dominates the training of administrators.
Functionalist or organizational can be characterized as devoid of political
value, a highly regarded stance best captured during this country's
Progressive Era. Salisbury (1970) explained the viewpoint, that:
Regardless of ethnic, racial, religious, economic, or
political differences and group conflicts in other arenas of
urban life, education need not, and should not if it could,
recognize or legitimatize those differences (p.20).
But by not recognizing those differences, school systems may have
created a type of political stance, which critical theory points to as having
created teacher and community powerlessness.
63


CHAPTER 5
METHOD
This researcher used Bolman and Deals (1984, p. 223) assumption
of nonrationality to drive the study's method because nonrational reality, as
described in Chapter 1, assumes a nonlinear world in which events and
concepts are not discardable for their failure to demonstrate congruence
with a deeply held conviction, a rationalized standard, or an agreed-upon
and objective guidepost. Concepts like linearity and orderliness of intent,
characteristics of rational organizations and a rational world, assume that
opposites to such description are irrational at best and dysfunctional at
their worst. In the middle of these worst-case scenarios lies man without
goals or direction.
The researcher looked at culture through the lens of anthropological
and sociological perspectives that invite inclusiveness (Geertz, 1973;
Durkheim in Collins, 1985). Inclusiveness rests on man's subjective,
nonrational and symbolic response to life in customary practices. And,
according to Shweder, (1984):
...social life demands an answer to certain existential
questions that neither logic nor science can provide. Does the
group have authority over the individual? From where does that
authority derive? Is the "will of the group" a mere aggregation of
individual wills (hence, tally up a vote), or is it greater than the sum
of the parts (hence, understood only by great leaders)? Is it
64


"normal" to be self-sufficient or interdependent? What Justifies the
unequal distribution of life's pleasures? How should burdens and
benefits be distributed (p. 47)?
The theoretical assumptions on which this research is based claim
that these kinds of questions are answerable in descriptions of man's
symbolic, nonrational choices. Chapter 4 explains why qualitative
methods were employed to describe both the process and reality of these
choices.
The research design presented in Chapter 5 forms a simplistic wave
pattern of collecting and analyzing and collecting and analyzing until the
researcher was satisfied that as many questions that were raised by the
data were examined.
Rationale for Qualitative Study
Robert Donmoyer (1991), in his discussion of postpositivist
evaluation, drew a conclusion about the data which contributes to this
study's assumption of nonrationality:
The bottom line should now be clear: No knowledge is
objective; all knowledge whether we are talking about the folk
knowledge of ordinary people or the formal knowledge generated
by research- is ideological. AH knowledge has values embedded
within it; hence all knowledge inevitably benefits some and hurts
others (p. 268).
And, in fact, this study is driven by a concept of collected data which
65


is subjective, no matter its source or purpose. This premise translates into
a study that does not search for truth against predetermined and "objective"
criteria, but treats participants' responses and actions as having meaning
in their own right
Qualitative method was the tool of choice for this study because it
facilitated and guided four features in this research not amenable to more
traditional approaches using hypothesis testing. This study used
qualitative methods because this research: (1) posed questions
concerning processes, hidden elements and meaning which stem from
real life issues and events, (2) studied an entire school population of
teachers without prior manipulation of groups or without the use of
inhibiting impositions to its population in the conduct of that research, (3)
did not discard what was richly present in the population, while offering
disciplined, systematic rigor applied to subjective reality, and (4) used
themes and case reporting to emphasize the importance of communication
directly from the data (Guba,.1978; Lincoln and Guba, 1989).
Answers Questions Concerning Process.
Hidden Elements, and Meaning
This study described interaction in real time and place with a holistic
view of human subjects. Recognizing the interaction and its meaning gave
rise to questions concerned with process such as: How does the school's
culture influence teachers' response to change?
66


This research question reflects interaction among three elements:
(1) the school's culture, (2) the instrument of change, and (3) the
implementation of the change instrument According to Marshall and
Rossman (1989):
In qualitative research, questions and problems for research
most often come from real-world observations, dilemmas, and
questions. They are not stated as if-then hypotheses derived from
theory. Rather, they take the form of wide-ranging inquiries... (p. 28).
The following questions abstracted from preceding pages of this
study demonstrate the emphasis on process from a wide range of inquiry.
Descriptive
What aspects of the contract (the instrument of change) are
particularly susceptible to influence by characteristics of the school's
culture?
What dynamics of both teachers empowered to make decisions
about their work and the dynamics of the school's culture account for the
role teachers play in the participatory decision-making process?
What is the relationship between environmental factors and reform
success?
Exploratory
How does the school's culture influence teachers' response to
67


change (the contract, instrument of change)?
This study also emphasized hidden elements. Durkheim believed
that symbols and rituals were the glue that held societies together and thus
were the elements to be studied. A symbol, according to Deal and Bolman
(1984), "stands for something else- usually something broader and more
complex" (p. 217). Identifying symbols and their meaning required
immersion into the culture of the school in this research (Geertz, 1973).
Studies an Entire Group Without Prior Manipulation
Lincoln and Guba (1978) and Eisner (1991) suggest that when the
subjects of a study cannot be manipulated or separated into experimental
groups, or when the study requires the investigation of phenomena in its
natural setting, in this case its culture, field study is appropriate.
The single case study, a strategy requiring the use of systematic
methodology, according to Yin (1984), is most often chosen as a strategy
when "what" questions and "how" questions are asked (p. 17).
Uses Disciplined, Systematic Rigor
"Subjective adequacy," as Bruyn (1966) suggests, has six indices,
presented here and cited in Huber (1988; p 47) as conditions against
which trustworthiness and reproducibility study can be measured. They
are built into the design of this study:
1. Time The more time an individual spends with a
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group the more likely it is that an accurate
perception of the social meaning its members live by will be
obtained.
2. Place The closer the researcher works
geographically to the people being studied, the more
accurate should be the conclusions and
interpretations.
3. Social circumstances The number and variety of
social circumstances which the observer encounters
within the social structure of the community increases
accuracy.
4. Language The researcher and the subjects should
share a common language.
5. Intimacy ~ The greater degree of intimacy the researcher
achieves, the greater will be the accuracy of the findings.
6. Consensus The researcher should attempt to obtain
confirmation that the interpretations of meaning are correct
(pp. 181-182).
This researcher spent 177 working days at the site teaching
regularly scheduled classes, writing notes on observations of every social
engagement the researcher as a teacher-villager could report on.
Dialogue was reconstructed daily from conversations held throughout the
school. Other activities included memoing, refining questioning,
organizing incoming mail as an unobtrusive measure of communication,
organizing panel discussions, and reviewing written interviews. These
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measures addressed what Lincoln and Quba (1985) refer to as "prolonged
engagement," enabling the researcher to experience both multiple
influences through "persistent observation" (p. 304).
The faculty was told individually of this researcher's purpose by the
researcher. The researcher's purpose was also placed in CDM minutes
and distributed.
Triangulation, Denzin (1970) suggests, is the result of using multiple
sources, methods, investigators or theories to collect the same information.
This additional technique was employed to strengthen subjective
adequacy, and included multiple sources, methods and theories.
This researchers original intent was to ask the principal to clarify or
verify hand-recorded statements. But the assigned principal, during the
first semester, became ill and vacated his post This researcher made the
decision, therefore, that the second semester's principal would not be
given a greater opportunity to clarify and verify statements. Two other main
participants present during the entire year read the chronological display of
findings, and their comments were incorporated into the study.
Presents Findings in Thematicized
and Case Study Narrative
According to Yin (1984), just as it is important to determine the unit
of analysis in quantitative methodology, so it is in qualitative study. The
unit of analysis in this research was the entire population of adult
personnel at one middle school in the DPS system. A teacher was defined
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as having all three of the following characteristics: assigned full or part-
time to the school under examination, maintained a roll book of students
assigned to him or her, and graded in part or totally, those assigned
students upon completion of the course he or she taught
Assumptions about the school's culture expanded the study of the
school's population to personnel, parents and other stake holders outside
the school who shared in day-to-day discourse. Such personnel included
central administrators who sent memos and newsletters directly to the
faculty, and parents who exerted influence.
Yet, analysis in this study more accurately went beyond addressing
one school as an individual unit of phenomena. Analysis sought the
collection of participants' perceptions. These perceptions were organized
by themes and interrelatedness.
The Research Design of this Study
As described in Chapter 4, this study used qualitative methods
because this research: (1) posed questions concerning processes, hidden
elements and meaning which stem from real life issues and events, (2)
studied an entire school population of teachers without the statistical prior
manipulation of groups or without the use of inhibiting impositions to its
population in the conduct of that research, (3) did not discard what is richly
present in the population, while offering disciplined, systematic rigor
applied to subjective reality, and (4) used themes and cases to emphasize
the importance of communication in reporting findings from data.
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Having accepted as a fundamental premise that, whether generated
by research, taken from the literature, or from "folk knowledge of ordinary
people," knowledge is subjective, this research was designed to proceed
through the qualitative processes of discovery and verification much like
the wave illustration advanced by Guba (1978).
This researcher cycled through observations which proposed
categories and readings which, in turn, led the researcher to verify those
categories through subsequent observations, but with those subsequent
observations selected to add more detail to what was previously observed.
Raw data were labeled with low inference terms or open codes and
then grouped under these codes. Low inference terms grew into
descriptive concepts expanding on the properties and dimensions of
grouped data. This prompted the researcher's return to directed
observations to verify inferences. Open coded data were constantly
compared to other groups of coded data. Connections were verified
through continued observations. This process initiated axial coding
(Strauss and Corbin, 1990). Through a "constant comparison" of codes
(Glaser, 1969), themes emerged and were again refined through
additional observation. The study was conducted in this manner from
August of 1991 to June 1992, utilizing data from the entire school's
population.
After the school year ended, the data suggested that school history
had played an important role in the culture of the school. Deeply-rooted
disparate perceptions and feelings had surfaced. This researcher felt that
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further investigation was warranted and began that investigation in June of
1992.
The researcher investigated the school from its opening in 1957, to
the current year using yearbooks and interviews with former students,
administrators, parents, teachers, and other school personnel.
A Participant Who Observes
Jorgensen (1989) described the form of participant observation
utilized in this study. When the observer becomes the phenomenon, stated
Jorgensen, the observer becomes a strategy for penetrating human
experience, which can result in more detailed description and thus more
accurate analysis. The researcher was a teacher assigned to the school in
this study and responded as she would have had she not been conducting
research. The researcher, therefore, reported her own and other
participants' responses as members of the studied population.
Gold (1969) distinguished four types of observer roles: complete
participant, participant observer, observer as participant, and complete
observer. They are each different by the degree of knowledge the
informant has about the field worker. The complete participant is someone
pretending to be one of the subjects to be studied. The informant has no
knowledge that the field worker is anything other than someone like
himself.
The complete observer role, at the other end of the continuum,
requires no interaction between the informant and the observer. The role
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this observer played was that of participant as observer. Every member of
the school was informed by the researcher and by CDM minutes that this
researcher, for her dissertation, wanted to study the school. The
researcher explained that her intent was to learn how the school handled
contract implementation and empowerment.
There were times, however, when the researcher relied on being an
unobtrusive observer, by counting on both the trust and the forgetfulness of
others. Bernard (1988) describes this role as a nonreactive "strategy for
studying people's behavior without their knowing it" (p. 271). This strategy
was used in the collection of the school mail and reconstructed dialogue.
To some extent, this was similar to Gold's complete participant.
In data-gathering, the participant observer, according to Zelditch
(1962), uses three methods: enumeration to document frequency data;
participant observation to describe incidents; and informant interviewing to
learn institutionalized norms and statuses (p. 566). Because this
researcher was a participant who also observed, the researcher is a part of
the frequency data she tallied, her actions also created incidents she
described, and she relates her own participation as a part of the group's
institutionalized way of receiving and acting upon information.
Separating the researcher from the study's findings, conclusions
and recommendations would have required rationalization uncalled-for by
the assumptions on which this study was based.
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Site Selection
This researcher was familiar with many schools in the DPS system,
having worked as a resource teacher, special education teacher, regular
classroom teacher, a cadre teacher, and a workshop facilitator. Over the
past eighteen years, the researcher developed a network of friends and
colleagues at schools in which the researcher herself had never been
assigned. This provided a wealth of information relevant to site-selection.
Consistent with Miles and Huberman (1984), this study used four
sampling parameters: (1) setting, (2) actors, (3) events, and (4) processes,
to determine if the school to which the researcher was currently assigned
was indeed the most study-relevant source of data. The assumptions on
which this study was based, namely that culture is a nonrational, thus
nonlinear and unintentional phenomenon requiring total immersion into its
dynamics, suggested more than occasional visits to a site. While Marshall
and Rossman (1989) offered a generic vignette for studying school culture
consisting of twelve schools, with a researcher spending a total of twenty-
five days at each school, the assumptions in this study indicated that within
one school could be found in considerably more depth, the intricate
mechanisms heretofore uncovered by other researchers in the interaction
between a change instrument and a schools culture. Thus, as Miles and
Huberman (1984) insist, "the sampling parameters are set by the
framework and the research question..." (p. 37), and not by the
researcher's prior specification of the sample.
As they later explained, sampling means taking a chunk of a larger
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universe, and, on all four measures identified above, this researcher
wished to be able to draw from the "meatiest" or most "data-rich" source.
Discussion with colleagues, and reflection on the researcher's experiences
at this site and at others, provided what Lincoln and Guba (1985) explain is
a "purposeful" sampling process in site-selection.
This middle school had enjoyed a glorious mythology since the late
fifties within a scenic community. Within a year after the appointment of the
school's first Black principal, and continuing into the year of this study,
racial and organizational tension over school process and purpose were
thoroughly in place. This site was chosen for its unique "meatiness" in all
four parameters of sampling.
Anonymity
Participant anonymity was preserved in several ways, and its
purpose was two-fold: to prevent identification of participants by
participants themselves, and to prevent identification of participants by
non-participants.
Preservation of anonymity was done in the following ways:
1. Some of the male participants were identified as female and vice
versa, while other participants were discussed with only the use of their
titles. The researcher apologizes for the cumbersome construction
resulting from the continued use of titles.
2. All proper names used are pseudonyms.
3. There was limited use of direct quotes from main characters,
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again to avoid identification and to avoid holding them to statements made
during the research.
4. Direct quotes were seldom used when describing meetings.
Direct speech would have tended to identify the speaker as well as the
person spoken to in the parameters of formal meetings.
5. When comments were displayed, each comment represented a
different speaker. The speakers are not numbered because participants in
the school could have been identified from a profile of comments.
6. Race and ethnicity remained true to the site because these
concerns dominated several issues.
7. This researcher recorded comments or reconstructed dialogue
from every teacher in the school. Each teacher's comments, as well as
office, custodial and support staff, were utilized at least twice in the
reporting of this study.
Terminology
The following terms and phrases were used throughout Chapters 6,
7, 8, and are explained here rather than detract from the sequence of
events as they are described.
School Improvement and Advisory Committee (SI ACT The School
Improvement and Advisory Committee was created through the Colorado
Public School Finance Act of 1988. It required that:
77


No later than June 15,1989, and June 15 of each year
thereafter, the advisory accountability committee for each school
building in the state shall adopt high, but achievable goals and
objectives for the improvement of education in its building,
consistent with the state Board's goals and objectives, and shall
adopt a plan to Improve educational achievement in the school and
to implement methods of maximizing graduation rates from the
secondary schools of the district (Part 2 HB1341).
Wheel Teacher/Wheel Subjects. There were two wheels:
expressive arts and industrial arts. The term "wheel" describes how groups
of students were rotated through these courses in a circular fashion
throughout the semester. Sixth through eighth grade students were rotated
through the two wheels, which included music, art, foreign language, home
economics, and business, industrial, computer education respectively.
Core Teacher/Core Subjects. Usually four teachers comprised a
core team, each one teaching one core subject: Math, Science, Language
Arts/English, or Social Studies. Two-person teams meant that each
teacher taught two of the above core subjects. Three-person teams meant
that each of the teachers taught their own subject plus one period of a core
subject which each agreed to share.
Elective Teacher/Elective Subjects. These were classes offered by
teachers in teachers' areas of skill and knowledge such as creative writing,
journalism, and Math Counts, a course providing opportunity for math
competition.
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School Building Committee (SBCV According to the !988-to-1990
labor agreement between the Denver Public Schools and the Denver
Classroom Teachers' Association, the School Building Committee's
primary function was to discuss school operations and questions relating to
the implementation of the DCTA and DPS Agreement It was not
considered a negotiating unit. The SBC and principal were "to strive to
arrive at conclusions that [were] mutually acceptable." Principals tended to
regard it as an advisory group.
Chronology and Collection of Data
The time line of procedures is displayed in Table 1 to demonstrate
the numerous data collection sources used in this study. The time line is
separated into two phases which coincide with the end of the school's two
semesters. Initially, during the first semester, data was collected with a
predominant focus around two of the three elements of this study: (1) the
instrument of change with its empowerment features, and (2) the school's
cultural characteristics with attention to teacher beliefs. Each numbered
item below represents an explanation of the source of data collection.
Discussion of the analysis of that data follows in the next section of this
chapter.
1. The collection of teachers' mail began August 26,1991, and
continued until June 5,1992. Its purpose was to provide data related to the
discourse, communication network, and hidden hierarchy dimension of
school culture. Smylie (1991) describes school culture as a mixture of
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local and the universal elements of the culture.
School culture includes the influence of communication from
agencies outside the school as well as communication among players
within the school. Also, an anthropological view of culture includes the
study of voice and discourse as necessary elements of culture transmitted
through language (Shweder, 1984). Teachers' mail answered the
questions: (1) who speaks, (2) to whom does one speak, (3) how often
does one speak, and (4) what is the content of that speech? Mail provided
the link to universal elements outside the school while influencing culture
within the school.
Three teachers and this observer collected all items found in
mailboxes. The criteria for the selection of teachers was derived by
calculating the smallest number of teachers involved in the study, while at
the same time having all school program areas represented. The three
teachers and this researcher represented each grade level, the core,
wheel, and elective programs, and the special, regular, and bilingual
education programs. The researcher grouped the mail by weekly
chronology, originator voice and content. By November, 1991, all credit
union and commercial advertising was discarded and no longer collected.
2. Participant observations at faculty meetings were a source of
teachers' and administrators' comments about internal school
management, CDM policies, faculty beliefs and values, the empowerment
of faculty and staff, the power and leadership of the principal and assistant
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TABLE 5.1
TIME LINE OF DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Phasel (1991) Phased (1992)
Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July
1. Collection of
Teacher's Mail x
2. Participant
Observation/ x
Faculty Meetings
3. Participant
Observation/
CDM Meetings
4. Participant
Observation/Sub-
Committee Meetings
5. Participant Obs.
Reconstructed x
Dialogue
6. Open and Axial
Coding of
Dialogue
7. Panel Discussions/
Teaching
Staff
8. Open and Axial
Coding of
Panel Discussions
9. Written Interviews/
Teaching
Staff
10. Open Ended
Interviews/CDM
Members
11. Analysis of
Data/Generating
Theory
12. Historical Sagas
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
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principal, contract implementation, curriculum implementation, and central
administration perspective and directives.
Like the school mail, these observations were also a source of
discourse, and therefore contributed to knowledge of the school's culture.
Comments as well as action episodes or the telling of episodes within
faculty meetings were recorded and later analyzed against school cultural
characteristics, empowerment beliefs and contract implementation. This
process was much like taking the minutes of a meeting and, unlike the
process used by this researcher during CDM meetings, is discussed in
item four.
3. Participant observations at CDM meetings also provided
discourse patterns and action episodes. Discourse patterns included
tallies of types of utterances (questions or statements) by individual
members, and to whom the committee, as a group, spoke verbally and in
writing. The researcher did not take minutes; it would have been
duplication and impossible to achieve while simultaneously recording
information in different ways for this study. But distributed CDM minutes
were analyzed against the researcher's hand-recorded utterances,
committee communication, and observations of action episodes.
Action episodes refer to the recording of physical movement
involving either agenda items or coded concepts that were seen during
meetings. The researcher was many times directed by themes emerging
from the data, agenda items themselves, or committee discussions into
following the train of thought, the posturing, and the conflicting or agreeing
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stances of members and groups of members.
Also, the researcher did not wish to call attention to her activity
during meetings by appearing to take copious notes. Therefore, a simple
diagram of the table at which members sat and various symbols such as
tally marks, question marks, directional lines, etc., contained a coded
account of proceedings.
4. This observer requested from the CDM the formation of a
subcommittee to investigate and formulate a School Reading Program.
The request was granted. Seven teachers and two parents expressed a
desire to participate. This request was made to direct the CDM's attention
toward educational issues in the school. During the first two months, the
CDM was being directed by central administration directives toward what
the faculty observed were trivial pursuits. In counting teachers' mail (see
procedure 1) most memos directed toward teachers from the central
administration were about academic programs needing to be
implemented.
Intervention by this observer in requesting from the CDM the
formation of a subcommittee to investigate and formulate a School
Reading Program was not without precedent (Jorgensen, 1989; Gold,
1969). Additionally, there was the ethical question of being in possession
of information as a result of this study which, were it not revealed, could
have served as a barrier to the progress of the CDM and this study.
However, members of the CDM looked upon this researcher as a resource
of knowledge about CDM activity throughout the district.
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The subcommittee position also gave this researcher access to
teacher comments related to Bird and Little's (1986) norms of improvement
and instruction, as well as information related to the myths and symbols of
the school.
5. Reconstructed dialogue refers to the way this observer obtained
data during the first and second stages of the study to formulate a
framework of teacher beliefs about empowerment and a matrix of the
school's cultural characteristics. Teacher comments were listened for or
elicited from teachers in the hallways, the lobby, and the cafeteria. This
researcher then returned to her classroom and wrote what was heard.
6. Open coding is the breaking down of data into labeled
categories. Axial coding (Strauss and Corbin, 1990) refers to a process of
recategorization whereby data is put "back together in new ways" (p. 97).
This process from grounded theory development was also used with
teacher comments about empowerment, school cultural characteristics and
contract implementation. It is discussed in more detail under Data Analytic
Processes in this chapter.
7. There were three panel discussions organized by the researcher,
with eight different teachers volunteering for each of three topics. This
number (24 teachers) utilized approximately half of the faculty. Tapes were
reviewed to determine whether panel discussions flowed naturally over the
topics.
The purpose of the panels was twofold: (1) to verify or modify
cultural characteristics, and (2) to insure comments around each of the
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three elements of the study. The topic in March 1992, was: What does the
term "teacher empowerment" mean to the teachers at this school? The
April topic: How can we describe the "culture" of this school? And the May
topic was: How does the culture of the school and our beliefs about
empowerment affect the role teachers played in the empowering process
this school year?
Each session was recorded on audio tape and each participant
addressed the topic question. The researcher served as the moderator-
observer, asking at times for clarification, summarizing frequently-
expressed concepts for clarification, and moving the discussion along.
Sessions ranged from forty minutes to one hour.
Rewards such as food, ceramic cups and book certificates were
offered as incentives to participants. To obtain racially, ethnically and
sexually balanced groups, the researcher asked some teachers to sign up
for a different group from their original selection.
8. Recorded teacher comments were categorized by cultural
characteristics. (See step 6.) The second panel discussion, in April,
brought out the notion of teacher autonomy so strongly that the concept
suggested the possibility of adding it as another educational norm.
9. There were thirty-nine teachers in the school who were not on the
CDM committee or who did not act as alternates. Each one was given a
written interview form which asked questions not clarified from other
sources about CDM, contract implementation, school culture and teacher
empowerment. The choice of words used on the form had been recorded
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in previous teacher comments. Asking teachers to edit statements was a
deliberate contrivance to encourage written response in a manner that was
not foreign to teachers' normal work activity. (See Appendix B.) Sixty-nine
percent of this population returned the forms.
Grounded theory presents methodological steps in forming linkages
based on the assumption (Strauss and Corbin, 1990) that the researcher is
able to go back to the original data or to the site to verify findings. When
June 5,1992, passed, however, school was over and personnel were
dispersed.
10. Each CDM member was interviewed with open-ended
questions meant to verify the perspectives of teachers and to provide
latitude for CDM members to express feelings about their experiences with
contract implementation and teacher empowerment. (See Appendix C.)
11. Analysis began on June 6 1992. This researcher contacted the
CDM Chairperson and requested a reading of the findings which this
researcher had put into chronological order. Responses from the CDM
Chairperson modified the discussion on school governance patterns.
12. During the summer and fall of 1992, data suggested that the
school's history had played an important role in the current culture of the
school. Disparate perceptions and feelings between groups about the
school's myths and ritual warranted further investigation. This time, the
researcher examined the opening of the school in 1957, through the
collection and use of yearbooks, and also interviewed former students,
administrators, parents, teachers and other school personnel.
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This later addition of data and analysis is not inconsistent with
grounded theory. Strauss and Corbin (1990) quote Diesing in their
explanation of procedures for grounded theory:
The procedures are not mechanical or automatic, nor do they
constitute an algorithm guaranteed to give results. They are
rather to be applied flexibly according to circumstances; their
order may vary, and alternatives are available at every step (p. 14).
Analytic Processes
This study used inductive data analysis, described by Lincoln and
Guba (1984) as taking raw units of data accumulated in the field to
subsuming categories of information (p. 203).
Content Analysis
From August 26,1991, to June 5,1992, three teachers and this
researcher collected and saved the school mail. The researcher used the
mail from the other teachers as verification that the same things were being
received. This researcher grouped the mail every Friday by weekly
chronology, originator voice and topic.
This process gave a quick visual analysis according to the size of
the piles, in determining discourse patterns. Because this study was built
on the assumption that culture has both universal and local characteristics,
it was insufficient to look solely at the workings of the school from inside.
The researcher necessarily looked at discourse coming in from outside the
87


school because of the school's relationship to a system of Denver schools,
several neighborhoods, and a community of educators.
The mail identified a source of conflict in the school, and
demonstrated why teachers' isolation from one another did not isolate
them from the number of directives they had to address. The mail also
revealed the lack of discourse patterns with other schools' CDM's as well
as the type of discourse teachers had all year with the Denver Classroom
Teachers' Association (DCTA).
Yearbooks from 1957 to 1974 were useful in finding informants, in
providing an approximate count of racial and ethnic representation, and in
learning about school activities and historical perspectives.
Minutes from CDM meetings either verified or did not verify other
teachers' comments and this researcher's perceptions of what had
transpired. During the first four weeks of the school year, this was the
researcher's only link to CDM activity because this was also the major link
CDM as a group had with the majority of teachers in the building.
Individual teachers on CDM interacted with individual teachers not on
CDM. CDM teacher members later established meetings with teachers
providing yet another source of information about its functioning.
This researcher requested and obtained documents from the central
office of the Denver Public Schools on racial distribution by school for
1973, the first year such information was compiled, and obtained a
definition and purpose of the SIAC committee. This information
supplemented historical sagas and perceptions obtained from persons
88


formerly attached to the school, and also provided Information which was
included in the terminology section of this study.
Constant Comparisons. Memoing
In 1967, Glaser and Strauss published methodology useful in
generating theory from verbal data by means of "constant comparisons."
Responding to knowledge resulting from a constant comparison of data
formed the wave-like or emergent design of
Is study. Lincoln and Guba (1985) explain that
...because what will be learned at a site is always
dependent on the interaction between investigator and context, and
the interaction is also not fully predictable; and because the nature
of mutual shapings cannot be known until the are witnessed...these
factors underscore the indeterminacy under which the naturalistic
inquirer functions...(p. 208).
This researcher began the wave cycle through observations
beginning in late August from three main sources, teachers' mail, faculty
meetings, and reconstructed dialogue. Raw data in the form of teacher
comments and memo topics originating both inside and outside the school,
proposed broad categories and additional reading.
To illustrate, words and phrases like "political," 'Til close my door,"
"no trust," "it looks like more of the same" were expressed often during the
first week of school from two of the three data sources, faculty meetings
and reconstructed dialogue. Through open coding, the researcher used
89


low inference words to label and consequently group these words and
phrases into categories.
To illustrate this process, words and terms, "I'll close my door,"
"depressing," "you won't hear a peep from me" helped create a new label
of 'isolation' which could be verified in observations. But, because
"isolation" and "alienation" were, based on the researcher's readings,
characteristics of a sociological tradition of conflict that was not observed in
the first week of school, the researcher changed "isolation" to "withdrawal"
and began to expand the term according to its observed properties and
dimensions. This began a process referred to in grounded theory as axial
coding. The researcher wanted to be certain, for example, that she knew
all conditions and consequences that gave rise to it in the school.
Low inference terms used to group observations and dialogue grew
into descriptive concepts or terms which the researcher wrote into memos.
To illustrate with the word "withdrawal" again, axial coding looked at the
conditions which gave rise to it, the context in which it occurred, the action
interaction strategy surrounding it, and its consequences. This researcher
was able to observe the conditions giving rise to withdrawal, the context in
which it was discussed by teachers, the mechanisms surrounding how
withdrawal was earned out, and the results of withdrawal.
This information helped build a continuum of teacher expectations
about the contract, based on the observation of activity from withdrawal to
participation. The continuum was later related to another term, "autonomy"
which underwent the same axial coding process. Withdrawal was later
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Full Text

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ONE SCHOOL, ITS CULTURE, AND CONTRACT REFORM by Cordia Elizabeth Booth A.B., Dunbarton College of Holy Cross, 1965 M.S . Catholic University of America, 1969 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Educational Leadership and Innovation 2000

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Copyright 2000 by Cordia E. Booth All Rights Reserved

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This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by Cordia E. Booth has been approved for the School of Education

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Booth, Cordia E. (Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Innovation) One School, Its Culture, and Contract Reform Thesis directed by Associate Professor Michael Murphy ABSTRACT The study's purpose was to describe interaction among three elements: one school's culture, the 1991 contract between the Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the Denver Classroom Teachers' Association (DCTA) and, contract implementation in that schooL If educators and legislatures continue to create change policies in the belief that schools can both implement and be improved by such policies, then research must look beyond cause and effect studies which generally show no significant impact or no improvement During the first full year of contract implementation, this study observed the adult population of a single middle school. This research isolated and examined nonrational parts of culture such as symbols, rituals, myths, heroes and heroines, priests and priestesses. For over 177 days, qualitative methods of data gathering were used: oral and written interviews, reconstructed dialogue, observations, panel discussions, and artifact and document examination. The school's history and sagas were recorded in the summer of 1992. The site was selected iv

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for its meaty example of cultural fragmentation and past racial and ethnic conflict Numerous discreet and specialized cultures were formed, anchored around single subject areas or a single race or ethnicity. These cultures, with their own school heroes, myths, priests and priestesses were interdependent upon one another. One teacher could belong to more than one school culture. The school's year long events could be partitioned into academic and political affairs. Findings suggested that some teachers' resistance to change, as well as participation in collegial activity, was directly related to their need to protect cultural symbols. Some teachers who embraced change also sought to preserve their culture, but through newly instituted political means. The cultural ritual of this school held that teaching was an intimate act. Two symbols emanating from the school's various cultures were teacher autonomy and teacher equality. Change that threatened the life of a culture was tantamount to war. The culture empowered teachers to preserve their educational rituals and symbols. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. recommend its publication. v

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS l wish to thank the entire 1991-1992 membership of Graceland Middle school. Without their candid responses, this one year snap shot of a complex, and sometimes painful reality could not have been made. I am deeply grateful to my sons Noah James Barwick and Ross Charles Barwick, and to my friends Dr. Judy Stirling, Dr. Bill King, and Dr. Michael Murphy for their steadfast confidence in me. I owe my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin James Booth, everything.

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CHAPTER 1. 2. 3. CONTENTS Tables INTRODUCTION School Culture Describing Culture: Paradigm Shifting School Culture and Change Instrument of Change: DPS and DCTA Contract Contract Features Implementation of Change: COM Governance Study Limitations Problem Purpose and Significance Summary UTERATURE REVIEW School Culture School Culture Assumptions Local Phenomena School Commonalities Characteristics of School Culture. Values Heroes and Heroines Priests and Priestesses Rites and Rituals Cultural Networks Myths. Storytellers. and Sagas Symbols and Discourse Change Related to School Culture Summary UTERATURE REVIEW Teacher Empowerment A Quest for Questions vii .X 1 1 .5 .7 .8 .9 11 12 12 16 19 20 20 21 25 26 26 27 28 28 28 .29 .29 .29 .30 31 .33 34 34 .35

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4. 5. 6. 7. Assumptive Modes Critical Theory and Teacher Empowerment Functionalist or Oganizational Theory and Teacher Empowerment Populist Political Theory and Teacher Empowerment Summary LITERATURE REVIEW Autonomy and Equality Empowerment Themes in History Autonomy Equality Summary METHOD Rationale for Qualitative Study Answers Questions Concerning Process, Hidden Elements, and Meaning Descriptive Exploratory Studies Entire Group Without Prior Manipulation Uses Disciplined, Systematic Rigor Presents Rndings in Thematicized and Case Study Narrative The Research Design of This Study A Participant Who Observed Site Selection Anonymity Terminology Chronology and Collection of Data Analytic Processes Content Analysis Constant Comparisons. Memoing The Reporting Scheme Summary GRACELAND MIDDLE SCHOOL The Sagas Summary and Analysis of Findings THE ACADEMIC VIEW OF CHANGE The School's Culture and Teacher Perspective Graceland's O.K. Corral Emotional Responses to Emotional Challenges viii 36 37 41 .45 47 .48 .48 .49 49 .57 .63 .64 65 .66 67 .68 .68 .68 70 71 73 75 76 .77 79 87 87 89 91 93 95 96 107 108 109 110 111

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8. 9. Beliefs About Empowerment Expectations About the Instrument of Change Views on School Integration and Workplace Equality. Summary and Analysis of Findings THE POLITICAL VIEW OF CHANGE lmpementation of Change and COM Governance Constituency Issues Who Runs the School? Governance Structures Communication Rituals Summary and Analysis of Findings FINDINGS ACROSS ONE YEAR Summary Highlights Reflections on Cultural Rootedness Reflections on Teaching Reflections on School Reform Policy Reflections on Education and Political Experience Implications School Culture and the Training of Teachers and Principals School Culture and Collaborative Decision-Making APPENDICES 120 128 133 148 157 157 159 166 179 183 187 192 192 196 202 204 207 209 210 212 A. TEACHERS' WRITTEN INTERVIEW FORM. 214 B. INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR COM MEMBERS 222 C. GRACELAND PARENT, TEACHER, AND ADMINISTRATOR QUESTIONNAIRE . 225 D. REQUEST FOR PANEL DISCUSSION VOLUNTEERS 229 REFERENCE UST . 231 ix

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TABLES 5.1 Time line of Data, Collection, and Analysis 81 8.1. Racial, Ethnic, and Teacher Job Category of COM Members in October, 1991 160 8.2 Racial and Ethnic Composition at Graceland in October, 1991 161 8.3 Breakdown of Column C. in Table 8.2 161 X

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION What happens when a school is directed to implement a new policy or contract meant to improve some aspect of the school? This study described the interaction between a school's culture and its instrument of change. To capture the intricacies of that inteaction, three elements were isolated: the school's culture, the 1991 Denver Public Schools (DPS) and Denver Classroom Teachers' Association (DCTA) labor and reform contract, and the school's resulting collaborative decision-making processes. In this chapter, all three elements were examined, along with the purpose of the study, and its significance in the field of education. School Culture While much has been written about the culture of business organizations, Deal, writing in 1988, commented that, "In the field of education, the idea of culture related to schools has not become as popular as it has in business. School administrators continue to emphasize climate or effective schoorsr characteristics as guiding concepts't (p. 207). These guiding concepts, however, have permeated education's relatively new focus on culture, as evidenced in the rational direction of cultural studies. According to Ouchi and Wilkins (1988), studies focusing 1

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on organizational culture tend to fall into two general categories: "case descriptions of planned change efforts, and advice to executives" (p. 241). Whether school or business related, Ouchi and Wilkins categories demonstrate an assumption that culture has an intentionalness amenable to prescribed change. The bulk of culture studies in both business and education have sought an orderly common ethos (Waller. 1932), a common sacredness of beliefs, values, and assumptions (Rossman, Corbett and Rrestone, 1988; Schein, 1985), or a common set of defining functions (Meyer and Rowan, 1977). But set within this linear context, cultural studies have indirectly given legitimacy to the institutionalization of references to people as "deviants," irrationally behaved, culturally deprived, disenfranchised, subcultured (Deal and Peterson. 1987), and countercultured (Martin and Siehl, 1983). This research was rooted in the fields of anthropology and sociology, two traditions which have grappled with culture studies longer than the fields of educational administration or business. Both anthropology and sociology contain broader views of culture than those contained in the rational paradigm described above. Anthropology. through its involvement in the centuries old debate between holders of an "enlightened't world view and those whose views characterize them as "romantics" (Durant, 1926), formulated a phenomenon described as nonratfonal culture. L Levy-Bruhl (191 0) is considered the founding father of 2

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romanticism. Later anthropologists (Shweder, 1984; D'Andrade, 1984; Geertz, 1973) departed from Levy-Bruhl's mystical characterization of the nonrational. Shweder's (1984) description of culture additionally invites inductive and subjective approaches to its study. More important to this study, Shweder's description of the nonrational suggests a shift in paradigm from rational models of culture to a paradigm with greater applicability to school culture : There are many points in a cognitive structure beyond the reach of universal standards of logic and science, many points where questions of truth and falsity, error and validity, practicality and efficiency are simply beyond the point. At those points there is no rule of logic and no law of nature dictating what is proper or necessary for us to believe. We enter the realm of the arbitrary. It is a realm where man is free to create his own distinctive symbolic universe, free to spend time in customary practices and ritual performances ... (p. 39). Shweder's description of the nonrational separates the phenomenon from the "irrational." The latter term is used as an antonym for that which is rational. In anthropological research the irrational more often describes the actions of an informant who has either failed to apply or failed to acquire some standard the informant recognizes as authoritative or proper {p. 37). Cognitive anthropologists also contributed through Clifford Geertz (1973), lending a purpose and method for seeking the "native's point of view," that is, a purpose for examining the language and mind-set of the people to be studied. "[Wlhat man is may be so entangled with where he 3

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is, who he is, and what he believes that it is inseparable from them" (p. 35). His method involved "thick description" from immersion into the lives and complex symbolism of cultures under investigation. The field of sociology also has had a long tradition of examining the nonrational side of culture. Durkheim (1947) offered a firm theoretical base from which knowledge was borrowed in the formation of organizational culture studies. Durkheim suggested that symbols such as myths and rituals are the social ties which bind people together and are, therefore, the objects to be studied in seeking knowledge concerned with the social order of a people. This tradition also argued that culture involved the study of what is implicit and nonrational in a society, and not simply the study of what is explicit and rational (Toennies, 1957; Ouchi and Wilkins, 1988; Collins, 1985). This present study, sought symbols and paradigms as frames of culture and as ways of knowing an organization. Shweder (1984) defines paradigms and frames as "absolute presuppositions ... statements about the world whose reality can be neither confirmed nor disconfirmed" (p. 40). Such statements might include, "Man's only motive is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain" (p. 40) or, more apropos to this study, "With decision making authority schools exercise the flexibility and creativity to tailor programs and instruction to unique student needs" (The Denver Contract's Executive Summary). 4

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Qescrjbjng Culture: Paradigm Shifting There are inherent pitfalls in studies that assume their subject to be nonrational, just as there are pitfalls in studies which have a rational base. Studies which assume their subject to be rational (for example, an organization as the subject), infer that processes within the organization are orderly and intentional or that they can be made orderly and intentional through some type of management {Huberman and Miles, 1986). Such studies also infer that stripping away the context will leave behind the isolated "variables" which are either the simplistic causes or the simplistic effects of complex and multidimensional phenomena {ibid). In contrast, studies which assume their subject to be nonrational must somehow capture loose-endedness and conflict in methodical ways so that findings do not appear as mystical revelation or as a researcher's fairy tale. In discussing primary pitfalls in the study of nonrational reality, Shweder and Bourne (1984) extensively examined cultural characteristics through universalistic, evolutionistic and relativistic perspectives. They then cautioned researchers to examine their own interpretation of researched findings against these three differing perspectives. They explained, "that the relationship between what one thinks about (e.g., other people) and how one thinks (e.g . "contexts and cases") may be mediated by the world premise to which one is committed (e.g . holism) and by the metaphors by which one lives'r (see Lakoff and Johnson, 1980. in Shweder and Bourne, p. 195). In other words, the researcher brings with her her 5

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own culture or world premise which, if not identified, may blind the researcher from important findings or lose the reader's trust. There are also contextual elements in this study which suggest a need for a broad description of culture, one that would encompass both universalistic and relativistic perspectives. In other words, elements of the study itself suggests two paradigms through which this study may be mediated. In the first paradigm, this study was concerned with one school's culture--a school residing within a district of public schools, under court ordered busing to achieve integration (see Keyes v. Denver). This real circumstance suggested that an applicable frame of culture should include local and universal perspectives and perhaps suband counter cultural perspectives. To do otherwise would predetermine findings based on a notion of culture to which diverse races and ethnic groups become appendages to a main (i.e., universal, sacred or neighborhood) culture. The researcher has made no apologies for mediating reality, and presents a cultural frame used in this study, against which readers may judge the study's internal congruence. In the second paradigm, this study was concerned with an urban middle school in the DPS system. Its population reflects urban diversity psychologically, politically, and economically as well as ethnically and racially. To capture this diversity, assorted nonrational characteristics of culture were used to organize the flow of meaning from the sometimes conceptually chaotic conditions at work in the schooL From organizational 6

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sociology, characteristics were used as described by Deal and Kennedy (1982) and Peters and Waterman (1982). From education, norms were used as described by Bird and Uttle (1986), and from anthropology, characteristics of culture were used, as suggested by Shweder (1984). In sum, these authors contributed to this study a total of thirteen characteristics applied to the school's culture: values, heroes and heroines, priests and priestesses, rites and rituals, cultural network, myths, storytellers, sagas, symbols and discourse. School Culture and Change Sarason (1973, 1991) offered persuasive arguments that teachers responded to innovation in ways that reflected their beliefs, assumptions and values. Schein (1985) and Schlechty (1991) emphasized that effective schools' research can be implemented only if school culture which includes the beliefs, assumptions and values of school members, is understood. All three authors suggested that only when changes were made to facilitate innovation with an awareness of the entire complex culture would reform take place. Several researchers have suggested ways to operationalize the link between culture and change. For Huberman and Miles (1986), change is best examined as an expansion of rationalist paradigms. They suggest that rationalist paradigms be expanded to include conflict paradigms "in which the explanation of social change is rife with power, uncertainty, continuous negotiation. loose-ended ness, and local history, IT (p. 62). 7

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Corbett, Dawson and Firestone's study of school context stated that "[C}hange implementation and continuation outcomes [are} products of the interactions between local school conditions and the change process" (p. 3). The schematic elements in their study suggest a possible systematic, albeit linear and rational. approach to initial data-gathering. But their inclusion of "local school conditions" suggests a similar operational strategy for examining nonrational school characteristics. Operationally, this study accepted the notion that change in schools best occurs when organizations are perceived and acted upon through several differing paradigms. For Deal (1986), change is accomplished when there is interplay among individual, structural, political and symbolic approaches to the implementation of any school innovation. A symbolic approach which includes cultural perspectives is just one of four possible pathways to change. Furthermore, this pathway through symbolic meaning, he contends, is neither linear nor rational. Instrument of Change: The pes and DCTA Contract The instrument of change in this study was the 1991 negotiated contract between the Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA), effective from January 1, 1991 through August 31, 1994. This contract was the result of intervention by Colorado's Governor, Roy Romer, in order to halt a threatened strike by teachers over demands for salary increases and an authoritative voice in school affairs. 8

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While stipulating wages, hours, and conditions of employment, the additional intent of this labor contract was to improve student achievement, students' completion rate, and the community's confidence in its schools. To that end, the contract, which was like no other in the school system's history by its combination of labor conditions and education reform, established immediately after signing a collaborative decision-making (COM) team at each Denver school site. Each COM was composed of the principal, teachers, parents, a classified employee, a business employer, and students at the middle and high school leveL Decisions were to be made by consensus, and the principal had veto power. The first page of this instrument of change, coupled with its Executive Summary, carried influence in its own right No prior DPS and DCTA contract began as an order under the Colorado Revised Statutes, with the signatures of both the executive director of the Department of Labor and Employment, and the Governor of the state, as overseers to its implementation. Contract Features Four features characterized this contract as nontraditional (Conley, 1991): (1) CDMs are based at each school site, (2) COM members have parity through checks and balances in performance evaluations, (3) COM decisions have authority delegated to the group by the Board of Education, and (4} COM members are given training to help them assume their new roles: 9

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The authority which COM Committees are empowered to exercise includes, but is not limited to, the following: 1 ). Design an instructional program for children, including those who are enrolled in special and bilingual education programs; 2). Organize the content of the courses, programs and the curriculum; and 3). Organize the school and classrooms to make the most effective use of the time and talents of the students and the teachers, within the school calendar established by the Board. 4). Set school goals that are consistent with the district's goals and strategic plan. 5). Establish relationships with the community. 6). Make decisions regarding the hiring of all instructional staff. These decisions will be referred to the Board of Education for final action in accordance with C.R.S. section 22-32-1 09. 7). Develop school procedures and policies. 8). Establish budget priorities and allocate school budgets at the school site. 9). Determine the use of equipment, supplies, staff and space. 10). Organize and assign staff time during the school week, including: instructional time, preparation time, planning time, lunch time, student contract time, length and number of classes and availability of teaching personneL 10

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11). Determine classroom organization and other issues relating to school structure (Contract, pp 11-12). This instrument of change gives group authority to the school administrator, teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, and a representative of the business community. However, the primary focus of this study is on the changed role of teachers relative to the negotiated contract. The emergence of teacher "voice" was an expected outcome of contract implementation. Although the contract does not define voice, description linking it to decision-making had been noted since 1986, when the National Governors' Association, which Governor Romer chaired, recommended giving teacher "a real voice in decisions." In current reform literature, possession of decision-making power is a descriptor of teacher empowerment (Lewis, 1989). And from the contract's Executive Summary comes the statement, "But most of all, collaborative decision-making empowers and motivates those closest to students to take responsibility for the educational product and experience." Thus teacher empowerment has a referent base in the negotiated contract and its Executive Summary. An ethos of empowerment was therefore treated as an inferred fifth contract feature. Implementation of Change: COM Governance To describe the contract's implementation is to first examine the policies, by-laws, decisions, communication network, and procedural habits generated by the schools COM. This study looked at the processes 11

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of implementation through a screen of thirteen cultural characteristics derived from sociology, and anthropology. Primary focus was directed toward teachers in the school and how they implemented change. Nothing contractual compels parents or business community members to become participants of the COM. However, in this instrument of change, teachers, the principal, and classified personnel are compelled by contractual obligation. Stydy Limitations In all, 177 days of participant observations, interviews, and examinations of school artifacts focused on the members of a single middle school. Particular attention was given to its teachers. As school members conversed and interacted with essential communities of parents and educators outside the school, this study additionally captured that discourse and activity. The study was limited to the 1991-1992 school year, thus limiting this study's ability to determine the continuation of change beyond June of 1992. Changes caused by transferring and retiring personnel made time a factor in the examination of culture. Problem In criticizing a rational mind-set that sees a linear connection between policy and results, Deal (1988) reiterated the problem of setting research into a position which demonstrates that change pol icies are 12

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usually mutually adapted by school members or minimally implemented over relatively short periods of time. Deal alternatively suggested that "policy-making, evaluation and research serve as important rituals, ceremonies or symbols" and that "policy making is social drama" (p. 200), for a public needing to rekindle its faith in public schools. Fullan (1990) believed that "Neither centralization nor decentralization has worked in achieving educational reforms." And Sarason (1990) believes that researched observation continues to suggest that when offered, teachers do not utilize decision-making power. Second wave reform literature which followed the release to the public of A Natjon Prepared. (1986) advocated restructuring schools and applied a linear cause and effect relationship between restructuring and improvement Consistent with this literature is Denver's negotiated contract, which implies a connectedness among six hoped-for results: high student achievement, significantly higher completion rate, improvement in the community level of confidence, quality teaching, high teacher morale, and positive learning environments for children (Contract, pp. 1 and 2). All of these desired results involved teachers. Research, on the other hand, does not indicate that these results are likely to occur together (Sarason, 1990; Malan and Ogawa, 1988; Chapman, 1990). And, although limited research exists, when school-site decision-making models can be categorized as "non-traditional" (Conley and Bacharach, 1991), these implied and hoped-for characteristics of change appear unlikely to occur at an (Chapman, 1990). Delving into a 13

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rational mind-set in order to examine the orderly and intentional elements in such research is warranted to understand the meaning of its results. This researcher will pose the problem of such research within a different paradigm. "Traditional" forms of site-based management, described by Conley and Bacharach (1991), have as a purpose the decentralization of school systems. Within a school site they operate bureaucratically, with the principal as prime decision-maker. Examples of this type of site-based decision-making include, but are not limited to, advisory boards, departmental structures and faculty senates. These authors suggested that the purpose of "non-traditional" site-based management is to address weaknesses in previous, traditional forms by promoting decision-making at the school site which is both collegial and collaborative. Because Denver's contract addresses the issue of site-based management with directives for collaboration, it falls within the parameter of a non-traditional school governance model. Additionally, Conley (1991) distinguished between "vertical" and "horizontal'' participation in decision-making Vertical participation means that teachers participate "in decisions made at higher organizational levels" (p. 242), while "horizontal" decisions are made with peers over instructional issues and the like. This contract provided teachers the opportunity for vertical decision-making and gave authority to those decisions made conaboratively through the COM. Seen in this context, Denver Public Schoof teachers were granted a variety of decisional 14

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opportunities. Two related and relevant studies, Chapman (1990) in Australia and Malen and Ogawa {1988) in Utah, demonstrated first a rational conceptualization of culture, and second, the predictability of reform failure within such a context. Both studies concerned site-based management in schools. Unlike Denver's contract in which principals have veto rights, one of these two studies, Malen and Ogawa's, reports a situation in which no member of the site-based governance group had such power. These two studies showed that over time (three years, in the case of Utah), decisionmaking patterns reverted to traditional categories of influence, summar ized by Malen and Ogawa as, "[P]rincipals control building policy and procedures, teachers control the instructional component, and parents provide the support'' (p. 258). Malan and Ogawa considered their research to be a "critical test" for four reasons, all similar to characteristics of Denver's situation: (1) its school councils were siteor school-based, (2) the councils had broad jurisdiction and formal policy-making authority, (3) its members had parity, and (4) its council members received training. They found that, "Despite the presence of these highly favorable conditions, teachers and parents did not wield significant influence on significant issues in s i te-council arenas" (p. 266). Malen and Ogawa attributed this to a congenial political culture, both the oversight and intermittent support from the district, norms of propriety and civility on issues which diminished confrontation and 15

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questioning. and a principal's dominant influence. What we do not know from the above studies lies in a research tendency to interpret reality through one paradigm at a time. We do not know what is at work at the school site to impede teachers' compliance with contracts of reform offering them some power over the very matters in which they have an expressed interest. Wording the problem in this manner highlights the nonrational, conflicting sense-making of the issues. All of which leads to the question, what dynamics occur between teachers empowered to make decisions and the school's complex culture to account for the real-life roles teachers play in the implementation of reform? Pyrpose and Significance This research had two purposes. First. this study sought explanations for numerous researched failures in site-based empowerment structures. In analyzing their own "confounding" case study, Malen and Ogawa (1990) suggest a direction for continued research which this study addresses: What is the relationship between environmental factors and reform success? ... In this case, the environment was, on major indicators. a congenial and stable environment Can schools be decentralized and democratized in this context, or must reformers wait for the environment to generate issues that precipitate or provoke challenges to existing arrangements? (p. 115). Similarly, the interaction between one school's culture and the DPS and DCTA contract was cast in a challenging environment The contract 16

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itself was created in the midst of high drama that included threats of a strike, possible consequent firings, and lengthy hearings that involved the Governor of the State of Colorado. This study suggests that unpredicted events provoked teachers to address the issues of reform found within the contract Second, this study sought a description of change through a lens capable of detecting more than a rational mind-set had previously offered. The instrument of change in this study offered collective and legitimate power to participants, and that power was observed through the governing group's consensus process, policies and decisions. Chaos and uncertainty from other school members were embraced rather than minimized. The school's values, heroes and heroines, priests and priestesses, rites and rituals, cultural network, myths, storytellers, sagas, symbols, and discourse became stage props in a relevant drama of change. This study's significance rests on three factors. First, the change instrument in this study was relatively unique. As a non-traditional site based participatory decision-making form of governance, the contract intended to empower teachers along with other stake holders. By doing so, it responded to a national call to restructure governance patterns in schools. Yet, we know very little about how teachers are likely to respond to status changes that open the door to their involvement in a broad range of decisions. Second. this study focused on teachers both as pivotal players in 17

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the distribution of decision-making power and as a captive audience by virtue of their employment Reform writers and researchers. speaking of the importance of parents and community members, nonetheless continue to focus on teachers as the key to educational improvement (Murphy, 1991; Rossman, Corbett and Firestone, 1988). This study opens up the lens to get a more inclusive picture of their role. And third, although a cultural perspective has least often been used in education research. it has been frequently endorsed. How culture shapes response to change in schools remains a constant question. Lundberg (1985) explains that "organizational culture is seen by some as either the means or the target for change" (p. 169). Yet, provocatively, Sprague (1992) suggests that "to empower another is, in one sense, to perpetuate dependency" (p. 193). 18

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Summary This study took an in-depth view of the intricate interaction between a school's culture and an externally mandated education reform measure. With the same view of culture found in the fields of cognitive anthropology and Durkheimian sociology, one school and its entire population were examined through systematic and continuous observation with teachers the primary focus. The researcher was totally immersed the school's culture because she was a teacher employed within the school. 19

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CHAPTER2 LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter reviewed literature on school culture in search of assumption-driven or identifying characteristics of culture that could be used as a guide to fieldwork. The search for pertinent literature was, therefore, begun before and during data collection. A review of literature on change related to school culture was also conducted to find operationalized assumptions through which reform studies and culture were currently viewed. Schoof Culture This researcher looked at the instrument of change (the DPS and DCTA contract) and its implementation through the complex perspective of culture. Rossman, Corbett and Firestone, (1988) and Deal, (1986), have pointed out that school reform has also been viewed respectively through technical (McNeil, 1987), individual, structural (Perrow, 1970), and political (Cyert and March, 1963) perspectives. However, a cultural perspective was chosen for use in this study for two reasons. First, some of the most eloquent students of modem reform efforts (Sarason. 1973; 1990; Schlechty, 1990), argue passionately that reform cannot take place unless school culture is addressed. Second, 20

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cultural perspectives have enjoyed growing popularity in the literature during the eighties and early nineties, but remain a multidimensional challenge for researchers and other educators {Little, 1990) wishing to change school culture. As discussed earlier, culture has been treated in the bulk of research concerning organizations as a rational, linear entity amenable to methodic change. Such an assumption addresses what falls outside the range of commonly held ethos within organizations, as subor counterculture, profane belief, deviantness, irrational behavior and the like. This researcher, therefore, reviewed assumptions heavily utilized in research related to culture in an attempt to find a set of cultural descriptors more in line with anthropological and sociological approaches to the topic. School Culture Assumptions Rossman, Corbett, and Firestone {1988) make a distinction between beliefs, values, assumptions and knowledge that are either sacred or profane. The former designates views which are immutable, the latter designates views which are subject to change. Their thesis suggested an answer to why some reforms {involving profane beliefs, values, and assumptions) are accepted by teachers, while other changes {involving sacred beliefs, values and assumptions) are not Similar distinctions have been made by Schein {1988), who distinguished between deep patterns of assumptions and superficial beliefs. Jacob Getzels and Egan Guba {1958) conducted much of the 21

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pioneering work in combining sociological (roles) and psychological (personality) perspectives to organizations. Later Getzels added cultural dimensions to his 1950's "Getzels-Guba Model" and produced a more open social system by the end of the 1960's (Getzels, Upham and Campbell, 1968). The discussion by Getzels, et at. (1968) analyzed values as a component of culture. They were able to identify four secular values, claimed to be more prone to greater alteration than sacred values: "the work-success ethic," "future-time orientation," "independence or the autonomous self," and "Puritan morality or, more broadly, moral commitment." They identified the following sacred values, which, though "stressed and strained" have remained "relatively stable." They are: "democracy," "equality," "individualism," and "human perfectibility" (pp. 97-98). The above assumptions are supported by a rational view of culture originating in the philosopher's Enlightenment period extending from the seventeenth to the eighteenth century, from Spinoza to Voltaire (Durant, 1926). These assumptions are succinctly described by Shweder (1984): ... the mind of man is intendedly rational and scientific, ... the dictates of reason are equally binding for an regardless oftime, place, culture, race, personal desire, or individual endowment, and ... in reason can be found a universally applicable standard for judging validity and worth (p. 27). This study sought to apply a broader understanding of culture than 22

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conveyed by the traditional rational view for two reasons. First, the descriptors themselves suggest the values of a specific researcher. The study's contract speaks to issues of power and where, across the organization, power will lie. But power is neither sacred nor profane, as Getzels suggested, by its absence, from his list of values. In fact, power had no value, at least at the time Getzels, et.al. wrote their book in 1968. The Counter Culture, which peaked in 1968 challenged many traditional centers of power in American life, perhaps rendering any discussion of power politically provocative at the time. This, in tum, suggests the high susceptibility of sacredness and profaneness to the influences of political climate and researcher preference (Bruner, 1986). Second, cultural descriptors like those above are problematic in field research method. While such distinctions of values are not discernible by imposing the objective constructs associated with the traditional rational view of research, the researcher's imposition of any highly provocative and value-laden construct renders cultural description vulnerable to a cry of foul play. Egon Guba (1978), in criticizing rationalistic-based research and traditional"science," points out that: The problem of valuing--of determining merit, utility, or worth obviously cannot be dealt with by methods of science. Values are intensely personal, social, and cultural. What is valued by one individual or group may be devalued by another individual or group. Most of the evaluation approaches referenced above [responsive, judicial, transactional, connoisseurship, and illuminative] rely on some concept like issue. problem. concern, or question as the basis 23

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for analysis, and such concepts imply an underlying value structure. (p. 41). Guba ends his comment by saying that naturalistic inquiry is an alternative methodology that uncovers, interprets and reports such elements in a useful way. This research, therefore, treated values inductively-that is, as an element to be uncovered by data rather than interpreting behavior against predetermined and fixed constructs of value. But this does not solve the issue of mediated reality. Geertz (1973) suggests that the plan of culture study is at least as important as its descriptors. [T]he whole field--what shall we call it? thematic analysis? is wedded to an ethic of imprecision. Most attempts to find general cultural conceptions displayed in particular social contexts are content to be merely evocative, to place a series of concrete observations in immediate juxtaposition and to pull out (or read in) the pervading element by rhetorical suggestion ... The scholar who wishes to avoid this sort of perfected impressionism has thus to build his theoretical scaffold at the time that he conducts his analysis (p. 312). Any cultural descriptors, then, must rise from the field in which the study is being conducted and as the study is unfolding. Recent studies about culture in schools focused on the following elements: local phenomena, and school commonalities (Smylie, 1991). Whether or not these elements tend to rise from cultural studies as applicable generalizations to the study presented here in examined next 24

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Local Phenomena A number of studies, for example, Metz, (1986) Fullan, (1982) Erickson, (1992) address schools as local phenomena that differentiate one school from another. Studies which rely heavily on interviews, surveys or observations done in the school, do not necessarily tap those characteristics of school culture which are universal (McPherson, 1972). Characteristics which, though absent and not obvious to either informants or the researcher (Martin and Siehl, 1983), can still be culturally influencing elements. A similar problem occurs when one school is studied but is influenced by the district to which it belongs. Again, broader characteristics of a school's culture may help focus on its attachments to the District and neighborhood community in which the school resides. Yet another influential agent, that does not reside in the school, is the teachers' union or association. Anthropological theories of culture which examine the variability of culture across human populations may provide an answer to this dilemma through a wider perspective. Such theories rest upon the examination of discourse and symbols (Shweder, 1990). Newspapers, mail, memos bearing discourse and connected to the population under study were added to interviews, surveys and the like as a means of examining the school's broader yet influential attachments. 25

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School Com monalitjes Another set of elements, grouped together in this study as school commonalities, are reflected in research treatments of subgroups and countercultures (Martin and Siehl, 1983). This researcher to date, has not uncovered studies which, after identifying sub or counter groups in schools have then reported the nature of their connectedness or disconnectedness to the whole organization. Deal and Peterson (1987), however, suggest that subgroups are inevitable in schools just as they are in business. Yet sharedness, or ethos, has permeated the research on culture in schools, such that the limited amount of research which does address school culture tends to celebrate sameness, or perceive it as a goal, rather than investigate the multicultural meaning of schools Smylie (1991) points out that "It would be a mistake ... to imply that where sharedness is lacking, a school culture is weak or nonexistent" (p. 27). This study then, did not search for "the" common ethos but sought to let the data demonstrate their own sameness or disparity Characteristics of Schoof Culture Deal and Peterson's (1987) definition of culture and a Deal and Kennedy (1982) outline of culture characteristics were central to this study. Deal and Peterson's definition is broad in its focus. leaving very little under the roof of the school to escape undetected as a characteristic of culture: 26

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Culture is the stable underlying social meanings that shape behavior over time ... historically rooted, socially transmitted set of deep patterns of thinking and ways of acting that give meaning to human experience, that unconsciously dictate how experience is seen, assessed and acted on (pp. 5 & 8). Deal and Kennedy's symbolic characteristics of organizational culture were augmented with cultural characteristics described by Peters and Waterman (1982), norms of educational culture described by Bird and Uttle (1986), and anthropological perspectives on culture provided by Shweder (1984). Combined, these authors contributed to this study thirteen characteristics of school culture: values, heroes and heroines, priests and priestesses, rites and rituals, cultural network, myths, storytellers, stories and rumors (considered organizational), norms of civility, norms of instruction, norms of improvement (considered educational) and symbols and discourse (considered anthropological). How these authors described each dimension provided direction for each one used as a characteristic or signpost on a cultural map. Yalues Deal and Kennedy (1982) explain values as basic concepts and beliefs about an organization which define success and establish standards of achievement They are not hidden, but are written or expressed verbally with pride. As slogans carrying the organization's belief, they represent the philosophy of a company, known and shared by 27

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everyone working in the organization. Heroes and Heroines In Deal and Kennedy's first edition of Corporate Cultures (1982), only heroes were discussed. Heroes, and now heroines, personify the organization's values. They are distinguishable from other organization workers as those persons referred to most by others with pride or as an explanation of the organizations' direction. Deal and Kennedy compare the difference between a manager and company heroes: The one quality that ... marks a manager is decisiveness, but heroes are often not decisive; they're intuitive... Managers are busy; heroes have all the time in the world because they make time. Managers are routinizers; heroes are experimenters. Managers are disciplined; heroes are playful and appreciate ... "hoopla,1 ... managers will spend hours refining their numbers, while heroes will plant a garden so that it will look just right (p. 37). Priests and Priestesses Priests and priestesses not only carry stories about the organization throughout the workplace, they recite and explain ritual or the ways the organization does things. In so doing, they also are conveying the organizations values to new recruits. Bites and Bjtuals Deal and Kennedy explain rites and rituals, not only as special ceremonies and reward presentations, but also as an procedures that 28

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encompass the notion that this is "how we do things around here." This includes the way forms are filled out or requisitions are handled. The authors make the point that, in the absence of rituals, values have no impact; without expressive events, any culture will die. Cultural Networks Cultural networks, explain Deal and Kennedy, are composed of spies, storytellers, priests, priestesses. They form the "hidden hierarchy'' which is considered the primary means of communication. They are powerful because they 11can reinforce the basic beliefs of the organization, enhance the symbolic value of the heroes by passing on stories of their deeds and accomplishment, and set a new climate for change" (p. 86). They also point out that managers tap into the network to accomplish organizational goals. Myths From Peters and Waterman (1982), myths are explained as stories about organizational values. The stories need not be true, but they exemplify the organization's ideals or vision. Storyte!lers,and Sagas According to Deal (1990), storytellers and gossips preside over each school's culture. Combined with priests and priestesses many 29

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occupy roles located everywhere throughout the schooL Secretaries, food service workers and custodians are not excluded because their longevity in many places provides them with a history of past practices and memorable incidents. Deal suggests that if not included in school reforms, they may sabotage the effort Symbols and Djscoyrse Anthropologists (Schweder, 1984; Geertz, 1973) look at the study of culture through an examination of both its symbols and its discourse. Such discourse may be considered a union of content analysis and an ethnography of communication (Tesch, 1990) where not only what people say but the patterns and frequency of discourse which form ritual interactions were studied. This study was additionally concerned with expressive symbols which Shweder defines as: anything that "stands for" or says something about something else. It can be an object: a piece of cloth, the national emblem. It can be a physical disturbance: a pattern of sound, a word. It can be a movement: a gesture, bowing low (p. 45). Each characteristic of culture was used as an interpretive frame of reference and not as a guiding principle to which information had to adhere. One-to-one correspondence in the field was therefore never anticipated. These characteristics served as a lexicon in the world of the 30

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non rational. Change Related to School Culture Reform literature and research present several operationalized assumptions concerning change, each representing the perspective from which it was generated. By the mid 1980's, several authors categorized these assumptions according to the assumptions or paradigms on which they were based. Deal (1986) suggested that studies about change are of two main types: those which suggest a rational order of "purposeful action, reasonableness, and certainty ... "(p.117) on the part of the individuals or groups being studied; and those assumptions which reveal the more "expressive or symbolic side of organizations." The first category of studies accounts for change, or the lack of it, in two ways. One group directs attention toward the individual or small groups by identifying their attitudes, norms, and problem-solving skills. The second group of studies attend to whole organizational patterns played out in goals, roles, collaboration, and formal incentives. Deal also added political assumptions about change to this first category of studies by claiming that they, too, rest on a rational identification and isolation of motives such ''that power can directly influence outcomes, and that conflict will decide winners and losers" (p. 118). Studies which examine culture as evolving human invention fall into the second category. Huberman and Miles (1986} also make two categories, not of 31

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assumptions about change but of paradigms or orientations about how to initially conduct research on change and how to operationalize research findings. Their rationalist and conflict paradigms resemble Deal's classification of types of assumptions. However, Huberman and Miles are more concerned with showing that their two paradigms need not be incompatible when determining the usefulness of results from research findings. Whether classroom contained, school-wide, or district-wide, change can be seen as a series of hypothesized "reciprocal 'transformations' among users" {p. 64). If Deal is to be understood literally, however, Huberman and Miles' operationalized assumptions suggest a rational order of intent on the part of the subjects in the study. This study took the advice of Deal, that is, that culture is evolving human invention. As such, its study required a design consistent with dynamic and nonrational rather than static and intentional dimensions. Such designs are found in qualitative and naturalistic study. Geertz (1973) further explains that: Operationism as a methodological dogma never made much sense so far as the social sciences are concerned, and except for a few rather too well-swept corners-Skinnerian behaviorism, intelligence testing, and so on-it is largely dead now. But it had, for all that. an important point to make ... if you want to understand what a science is, you should look in the first instance not at its theories or its findings, and certainly not at what its apologists say about it; you should look at what the practitioners of it do (p. 5). 32

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Summary Broad assumptions and currently studied elements of culture directed this study toward an examination of nonrational characteristics. The literature review on change and culture examined ways of operationalizing assumptions about culture and directed the research toward qualitative methodology which focuses on the study's participants as cultural practitioners. 33

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CHAPTER3 LITERATURE REVIEW The intent of DPS contract authors was to remove the arbitration language of previous DPS and DCTA contracts and, with it, the specificity which hindered reform. Without contract specificity, however, teacher empowerment, an inferred contract feature, could be derived only from the participants in this study. Teacher Empowerment The DPS and DCTA contract did not define the term, teacher empowerment, but implied its outgrowth from contract implementation. The term was relatively new and there were questions about teacher empowerment that required answers, in order to identify its existence or absence at the field site. Ultimately, answers to these questions came directly from school participants in this study. However, their answers deserved the attention and examination of a review of the historical literature giving a fuller meaning to their use of the term teacher empowerment As Strauss and Corbin (1990) suggest, the literature can help stimulate questions. They isolate this purpose of literature as one of five uses in qualitative study. Uke Uncoln and Guba, (1985) they also insist that 34

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[W]ith grounded theory research, rather than testing the relationships among variables, we want to discover relevant categories and the relationships among them; to put together categories in new, rather than standard ways. So, if you begin with a list of already identified variables (categories), they may-and are indeed very likely to-get in the way of discovery. Also ... you want to explain phenomena in light of the theoretical framework that evolves during the research itself; thus, you do not want to be constrained by having to adhere to a previously developed theory that may or may not apply to the area under discussion (p. 49). Therefore, this chapter organized assumptions about teacher empowerment as a stimulus for further questions during the data gathering and analysis processes. The Ouest for Ouestjons Teacher empowerment designated something teachers wanted. Teachers' representatives during contract negotiations between the Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the Denver Classroom Teachers' Association (DCTA) asked for a say in decisions made in their schools. By inference, we can assume that providing teachers' voice at the decisionmaking table resolved the request, at least within negotiated compromise. But is decision-making, then, teacher empowerment or simply one form of it? Have teachers been empowered to do one specific task and no other, or has the profession itself been empowered? Can other terms be considered synonymous, like teacher leadership, or the redesign of teachers' work? ls teacher empowerment a process or a state of being? If it is a 35

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process, is it one of continuous struggle or is it a step-wise ritual which, when completed, renders a teacher empowered? If it is a state of being, is it bestowed for a certain time period? Who is the bestower and can the bestower take it away? Such questions led to yet another set of questions identifying the source of knowledge, Who in the literature would know what teacher empowerment means? Who could best define it in the literature? It would seem that if the latter questions were answered first one could develop assumptive modes of analysis or paradigms within which the other questions could be asked. Assymptjye Modes The literature was divided into three sources of questions concerning teacher empowerment. These three sources provided a theoretical base to questions concerned with the nature of an empowered teacher. The following discussion focuses on (1) critical theory, (2) functionalist or organizational theory, and (3) populist political theory as ways of understanding the empowered teacher phenomenon. Critical Theory and Teacher Empowerment Sprague (1992) summarized the types of topics in this assumptive mode, which were never separated from their critical aspect She says that critical scholarship addresses: 36

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(a) questions of ends rather than means and, specifically questions about how some human beings come to be used as means to others' ends; (b) questions about power arrangements in social life; and (c) questions about how those power arrangements are discursively maintained or resisted (p.181 ). In recent years, scholars within this mode have begun to stress "a language of possibility," in order to help teachers seek the right of decisionmaking power (Bolin, 1989). Prior to the mid 1980's scholars in this mode, or paradigm, dwelt on the collection and dissemination of literature and research that documented deterrents to teacher empowerment or the causes of powerlessness. Teacher powerlessness or teacher demotivation (Bacharach, Bauer, 1986), has been attributed to the (1) ideology of domesticity (VaughnRoberson; 1992); (2) lack of a technical body of knowledge (Boyer. 1983; Lortie, 1975); (3) deskilling and technical rationality (Taylor, 1916 and Fayol,; Tanner and Tanner, 1987); (4) privatization which separates the profession; (5) constant surveillance by administrators (Blase, 1987; Flinders, 1988); (6) the intensification of teachers work (Apple, 1988). More focused examples of literature explaining the demotivating quality of teachers' work follow. Gene Maeroff, in Education Week. after analyzing a project entitled Collaboratives for Humanities and Arts Teaching (CHARn suggested that such things as phones in and keys to classrooms, teacher conferences held in city museums, libraries, and universities, and business cards for teachers, did much to enhance ''teachers' sense of importance" (p. 25). Punching time clocks and never 37

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being treated to lunch were described as indignities: On top of other indignities, teachers are infantilized, transformed into adult workers who sometimes have an almost parent-child relationship with their principals .... Such treatment of teachers runs counter to what psychologists say is an important component of good mental health, namely, the sense of being in control of one's destiny ... (p. 32). Hargreaves and Dawes (1989) observed what they called "contrived collegiality," which they found was "characterized by a set of formal, specific bureaucratic procedures ... in initiatives such as peer coaching, mentor teaching, joint planning in specially provided rooms, formally scheduled meetings and clear job descriptions and training programs for those in consultative roles" (p. 19). Little (1989) examined collegiality as interdependence and autonomy as individualism. Having first created an independence interdependence continuum, Little determined that most coaching and mentoring programs have little impact on a school's culture because of the superficiality of the relationship. She determined that joint work involves a collective conception of autonomy, support for teachers' initiative and leadership, as well as group affiliations grounded in professional work. Within this paradigm. teacher empowerment (1) was linked to student empowerment (Sleeter, 1991 ); (2) was also linked to workplace democracy (Giroux, 1988) (3) was built on moral responsibility (Freire, 1985). and (4) had as a purpose the liberation of an people and the 38

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democratizing of the schools (Garms, Guthrie, and Pierce, 1978). Critical theory mapped a road to power for teachers to travel. Critical theory pointed to researchers who emphasized collegiality and collaboration, (transtormative vision (Giroux, 1988; Green, 1988; Darling Hammond, 1985), shared leadership or decision-making and restructuring (Joyce, 1986; Sizer, 1984), redesigning administrative work (Gitlin and Price, 1992) and courage-gathering through historical accounts (Aitenbaugh, 1992). In a project designed to translate critical theory into a concrete program Gitlin and Price (1992) reported on a teacher evaluation process they label "horizontal evaluation" based on the ideologies expressed by Freire (1985) and Giroux (1989), among others. According to Gitlin and Price, evaluation is dialogue and empowerment is voice. Moice is an articulation of one's critical opinions and a protest not simply a gripe but a challenge to domination and oppression. (Hirschman, 1970, p.62) Karen Price related her experiences with horizontal evaluation which required, as a first step, a local or personal history, then teaming with a colleague. Over three evaluations or "laps," each person acted as both an observer and a teacher. She explains that practice with this form of evaluation is needed to break down the subordinate role characteristics of traditional supervision models. No indication was given about the time required to complete this method nor the decision-making opportunities 39

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available to both colleagues. Janet Miller's book, Creating Spaces and Finding Voices: Teachers Collaborating for Empowerment (1990), was a qualitative study outlining her attempt at emancipatory action research in which, as a college professor, she invited five students "to continue working together, beyond the formal context of [her} graduate classrooms" (p. 1). Her intent was to direct the teachers-as-researchers, but questioned if this would be liberating. Journal writing and sharing became a major portion of their work together. They grew to become an intimate support group, considering themselves challengers to the oppression they met within their work. Altenbaugh (1992) reports a case study relying on the oral testimony of thirty-six retired Pittsburgh schoolteachers whose mean age was seventy-four in order "to shed some light on the responses by twentieth century urban, public schoolteachers to the imposition of a corporate structure on the schools ... (p. 157). One teachers phrase stands out from the others: Now, l have a brother-in-law who is a lawyer, and I have a brother-in-law who is a physician and they say you teachers are not professionals, because they are not self-employed and because they submit to supervision. That's what makes a professional in the eyes of a pure professionaL. (p. 167). 40

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Eynctionalist or Organizational Theory and Teacher Empowerment According to Griffiths (1982) virtually every theory new and old, within the field of educational administration is grounded in functionalist theory. And according to Burrell and Morgan's (1980) theory which uses cell classifications of related paradigms, such as functionalist theory is characterized by models which are positivistic, realistic, and deterministic. Within this assumptive mode then, would fall most school districts' plans for teacher empowerment. Also included within this mode is literature used in administrative training programs. Within this grouping of the literature, teacher empowerment is closely linked to decision-making within the organization. It is Mintzberg (1979) who distinguishes wherein along the lines of organizational structure, decision decentralization occurs. He distinguishes three locations: vertical, horizontal, and selective, then links each to an appropriate organizational structure. He has linked horizontal decision-making with bureaucracies, the structure used in public schools. Conley (1991) has explained that traditional forms of site-based decisionmaking found in schools use horizontal decision structures. That means, for the most part, teachers get to make decisions about their own particular job area with other coneagues, rather than make decisions about the whole schooL Within this paradigm, teacher empowerment literature (1) is most often linked to decision-making (Kierstad and Mentor, 1988) (Johnson, 41

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1990; Clark and Meloy, 1990; Conley and Bacharach, 1991; Elmore, 1990), but is also connected to professionalization (Lewis, 1989), (2) is to a lesser degree linked with job redesign (Hackman and Oldham, 1980; Darling-Hammond, 1990; Barley and Tolbert, 1991; Sykes, 1990), and career ladders (Frieberg and Knight, 1991 ), (3) either has no discussion of its origin or implicitly posits the organization (sometimes acknowledges the collective bargaining agent as well) as the bestower (Marburger, 1985; Kerchner and Koppich, 1991), (4) usually has steps to its implementation, (5) has guidelines within which empowerment must be contained or, has a set of delineated responsibilities at least as large as its bestowed powers (Lewis, 1989), and (5) has as its purpose, student achievement (Schlechty, 1990; Ueberman and Miller, 1990; Joyce, 1990). More focused examples of the kinds of research done within this assumptive mode included the following studies and strategies that illustrate the above characteristics of teacher empowerment. Smylie (1992) suggested that studies on teacher participation in decision-making are advanced on the logic of benefits. Administrators get more front line information, and teachers get to feel committed to the decisions being made and are thus motivated to carry them out. He refers to a study conducted by Duke, Showers. and lmbers (1981) which revealed another benefit from teacher participation, that of "workplace democracy", which Duke et.al.. describe in organizational sociological terms. But note the orderliness of stripped variables. "Involvement [in decision-making} is dependent on the presence of both organization 42

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opportunities for involvement and the willingness of organization members to become involved" (p. 342). They also cite Showers (1981) as discovering that "decision-making was positively related to both opportunities for collaborative decision-making and the level of teachers' perceived self-efficacy with respect to decision-making competence" (ibid.). White (1992) studied three districts that had instituted decentralization for at least five years, all of which had highly decentralized budgets, curriculum, and staffing decision procedures. Unlike the Malen and Ogawa (1988) and Chapman (1990) studies, no legitimate "authority" was attributed to teachers' decisions. Teachers' decisions in White's study were advisory to the principal. Yet White described her study as providing "ideal" school-site autonomy. Principals also controlled the amount of input teachers gave. Interviews with ninety teachers across the three districts prompted White to conclude that decentralization produced teachers who were more involved in decisions, engaged in a variety of roles, were encouraged to work in teams, and teachers who attended numerous meetings chaired by other teachers. Teachers also felt they improved their knowledge of what was going on in schools. Improvement in student motivation and greater retention of quality teachers was also cited. Staff development is controversial in recessionary times. Lunenberg and Ornstein (1991) presented a balanced debate around the question, "Is this allocation of resources justified?" (p. 225). Staff development trainers have recently examined their own cost efficiency. but 43

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are also addressing cultural change. Bruce Joyce (1991) explained that, [T]here is increasing recognition that all [staff development programs} depend on the ethos of the profession and the culture of the school. Individually oriented programs touch only small percentages of staffs. Most teachers do not take advantage of them, even when they are based on careful needs assessments. Successful school-based staff development needs unusual faculty cohesion. Because most faculties are not collegial organizations, many teachers opt to "sit out" school improvement efforts, even when they can determine the focus and nature of the activities (p. xvii). The ASCD 1990 Yearbook was entirely devoted to staff development. Although empowering teachers was mentioned throughout the book, autonomy was assumed to be a negative side of collegiality. And equality was not discussed at all. Conley (1991) suggested that "school-site based management alone does not guarantee administrative decentralization" (p. 127). Nor does decentralization assume a collegial or culturally supportive environment. Rrestone and Bader (1991) looked at three schools that redesigned teachers' work, two through career ladders and one through shared governance, finding that '' ... some programs that have attempted to make teaching more professional actually increased the bureaucratic constraints under which teachers operate" (p. 67). 44

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Populist Political Theory and Teacher Empowerment The populist movement can be simply stated as power to the people. This is its major tenet. Yet in modern terms, it has many contradictory voices. According to Boyt (1986), "In subsequent years the administration has proven strikingly hostile to independent grassroots citizen initiatives" (p. 11 ). Brown v. the Board of Education is still perceived as a demonstration of populism's finest hour (Marable, 1986). The populist movement is a movement trying to find itself, but a movement nonetheless. This paradigm is scattered throughout various literature sources reflecting the diversity of the people who claim to accept its major tenet. Its common threads are not discussions on democracy nor the down trodden proletariat. It is found in the telling of citizens' initiatives, attempting to be heard across the nation. Ross Perot, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Green Peace, all attest to a populist movement. Within this paradigm, teacher empowerment (1) is linked to the whole school, whole district, state legislature, or federal government (A_ Natjon at.Bisk. 1984), (2) wants competency testing for teachers and students as well as charter schools and schools of choice (Coons and Sugarman, 1978), (3) usually originates from laws, acts, or court orders, yet, starts at grass roots level (Bingham, 1988) (4) uses tactics such as door-to-door, lobbying. to bully pulpit propaganda, and (5) has as a purpose, accountability, that is, a return of educated citizens for every tax dollar invested in public education. 45

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Daniel Brown's (1990) research in Edmonton, Canada includes an extensive review of literature on two types of decentralization: political and organizational. He notes that in politically decentralized organizations, personnel are accountable to the persons who elected them; in organizationally decentralized organizations, they are accountable to those higher in the organization. While discussing politically decentralized organizations from the literature, Brown focuses on the presentation by Garms, Guthrie and Pierce (1978), suggesting three key values in a free society which impact the way schools are organized and financed: (1) equality, (2) educational efficiency and (3) freedom. Garms, et al.. give school management recommendations for decentralized schools based on these key values. Brown makes the point that school or educational efficiency is a concept shared by both political and organizational theorists and thus influential on both constructs of decentralization. But "equality and freedom are not especially relevant concepts among organizational theorists" (p. 72). Such notions of decentralization, Brown concludes, lie in political rather than organizational perspectives of decentralization. 46

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Summary Each of these three assumptive modes generated questions of the sort asked at the beginning of this chapter. And each, with its own referent point to legitimate authority, placed teacher empowerment at various levels in relation to that authority. It is populist political theory which even within in its own theory contains wide variations in the theme of teacher empowerment, perhaps reflecting the diversity and conflict within its own ranks. West (1986) describes the contradictory nature of the populist movement by saying that: On the one hand, it [American populism] is opposed to big business, big government, and big labor. This opposition is put forward in the name of decentralized control and in response to steep declines in the quality of life. On the other hand, populism is locked into the mainstream American quest for economic growth in order for more Americans to get in on the high standard of living in this country. Yet this growth presupposes the high levels of productivity and efficiency of big business, big government, and big labor (p. 209). Critical theory makes its point clear, that teacher empowerment is the result of democratic equalizing that should be occurring in the general society and most particularly in the classroom. Functionalist or organizational theory empowers teachers within restricted boundaries, maintaining for the organization or government, all controL 47

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CHAPTER4 UTERATURE REVIEW Teacher participants in this study continually isolated autonomy and equality as descriptors of teacher empowerment, making it incumbent upon the researcher to search for additional understanding. Understanding the historical development of autonomy and equality, related to teaching, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present, gives added dimension to the term teacher empowerment. Autonomy And EQuality The DPS and DCTA contract offered no definition of teacher empowerment, but clearly implied it Negotiations had stopped in the fall of 1990 because two issues were not agreed upon: teachers' salaries and teacher voice in school decision-making. Through observations, reconstructed dialogue, panel discussions, and written and oral interviews involving every teacher assigned to the school under investigation (described in greater detail in Chapter 7), a working definition of teacher empowerment was formulated following field research. This literature review was conducted after data analysis to track historical sources connected with ideas strongly expressed by teachers. This, a posteriori use of the literature review, has its foundation in the tenets of qualitative and naturalistic study. As examples, according to

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Strauss and Corbin (1990): Since discovery is our purpose, we do not have beforehand knowledge of all the categories relevant to our theory. It is only [authors' emphasis] after a category has emerged as pertinent that we might want to go back to the .. .literature to determine if this category is there, and if so, what other researchers have said about it (p. 50). And according to Uncoln and Guba (1985): The call for an emergent design by naturalists is not simply an effort on their part to get around the "hard thinking" that is supposed to precede an inquiry; the desire to permit events to unfold is not merely a way of rationalizing what is at bottom "sloppy inquiry." The design specifications of the conventional paradigm for a procrustean bed of such a nature as to make it impossible for the naturalist to lie in it-not only uncomfortably, .b.u1. at.aiL [author's emphasis} (p. 225). Empowerment Themes ;n History Two ideas, autonomy and equality, were continually expressed by teachers at the site of this study, as necessary to teaching. In an effort to better grasp the teachers' version of "empowerment," this researcher made an historical investigation of the ideas of teacher autonomy and equality in the twentieth century. Autonomy From the tum of the century, the historical literature on educational 49

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governance pointed to two major opposing ideologies regarding teacher autonomy. Both the ideology of "domesticity'' and classic organization theory in the form of Scientific Management, advanced by Frederick Winslow Taylor, acted as uncontested deterrents to teachers' self governance in classrooms. Courtney Vaughn-Roberson (1992) examined the concept of "domesticity'' and its influence on the lives of women teachers from the early twentieth century in three western states: Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado. She attributed to social theorists at the end of the eighteenth century the origination of this ideology and summarized the thought in this way: [W]omen's proper role lay in the care of children, the nurture of the husband, the physical maintenance of the domicile, and the guardianship of both home and social morality (p. 13). Vaughn-Roberson asserted that scholars differ over the impact of this belief on teaching, some holding that it perpetuated anti-intellectualism in education to the present (Lortie, 1975; Leggatt. 1970), while others consider it a guidepost for restricted behavior that also provided professional opportunity for women involved in shaping the morals of children. Vaughn-Roberson contacted 547 women who had taught in the western United States in the early part of this century. She maintained 50

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from their reports that there was little evidence of opposition toward women who worked outside the home as teachers. Her findings show that women teachers themselves saw no contradiction between their teaching and the ideology of domesticity. But critics of women in teaching roles attribute to this ideology the turning of classrooms into workshops for motherhood and the perpetuation of anti-intellectualism (Lortie, 1975). Female teachers usually did not marry, since teaching contracts prohibited it, but those who did and those who were discovered pregnant, particularly during the Depression and Dust Bowl era, were not chastised or fired for either marriage or pregnancy unless there were also problems in teaching. Many of the retired female teachers Vaughn-Roberson interviewed were not aware of sexism in instruction, nor in the spheres of male and female performance to which they seemed, in their interviews, to have directed students. Female Coloradans, according to Vaughn-Roberson (1992) such as Helen Grenfell and Mary Bradford (p. 17), who gained prominence in the state between the turn of the century and 1921 did not see conflict between "professional" positions in education, and marriage, including motherhood. The ideology of domesticity remains a plausible link to women's struggles for autonomy and self-governance in the face of oppressive raws. The teaching force was dominated by women at the turn of the century. In New York City, the Davis Law of 1900 abolished equal pay for equal work in Brooklyn, establishing an inequitable wage schedule between men and 51

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women teachers. This law and similar ones across the United States were likely the ideology of domesticity dressed in political garb. According to Marjorie Murphy (1981 ), the centralization of public schools began when men were trained to "scientifically'' manage organizations at the beginning of the twentieth century. The centralization of schools with men in the central office could also be explained by the desire of men to climb above the status of teacher, where its ranks were dominated by women fighting for guaranteed equal pay, and finally winning, in New York, in 1910 (Carter, 1992). Scientific Management or ''Taylorism" offered a way to manage men in large centralized industrial facilities. When it was later adapted for schools by Franklin Bobbitt (1924), scientific management not only took decision-making away from teachers, it took away responsibility as well, and placed all significant responsibility into the domain of predominantly male managers. Efforts to centralize school systems were combined with the movement toward professionalism. And both were initially propagated by a newly formed managerial staff. using Bobbitt's model of organization. Professionalism was also offered to teachers, according to Murphy, in an attempt to separate teachers from their affiliation with the working class community, the community which first experienced the effects of scientific management However, teachers' affiliation with the working class grew stronger as teachers became dissatisfied with management Dissatisfied teachers became the foundation group to enlist with unions. 52

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Professionalism, Murphy (1990) suggested, was a tool for ... reshaping the lines of authority in school administration, for weeding out those of less desirable ethnic and social origins through requirements of higher education, and for instilling a sense of loyalty ... to the school principal, superintendent, and educational professoriate [sic] (p. 23). A closer look at both Frederick Taylor's (1916) management intent, as well as his four principles of scientific management, is useful in explaining the mechanics behind a systematic loss of autonomy for teachers in a rapidly growing public system of schools. His principles are also presented here to call attention to a view of organizations in which people will, or should, act in common accord. This orderliness is characteristic of a paradigm that considers organizations and their culture to function rationally. Taylor is credited with being the "Father of Scientific Management" He felt that both workers and foremen believed that if productivity increased by half then half the workers would be out of a job. Taylor did not blame the workers for this, a condescension which flavors his writing. He wrote The Prjncjples of Scientific Management to remedy two situations in industry: (1) labor-saving devices were making less work for fewer people, instead of making more work for more people and (2) the development of soldiering, that is, through mismanagement, workers were encouraged to do no more than the next man. To rid industry of these two prevailing problems, he offered four principles for managers. Bobbitt 53

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subsequently, applied the same principles to schools. In the first principle, managers had to educate themselves by "gathering together the great mass of traditional knowledge by the means of time and motion study." The source of traditional knowledge "has been in the heads of the workmen, recording it, tabulating it, reducing it in most cases to rules, laws, and in many cases to mathematical formulae ... Through time and motion study, managers learned what workers were doing. Once learned, managers had the foundation of a body of knowledge for managers. The second principle was "the scientific selection of the workers and their progressive development." When managers discovered from the workers what they did, then managers could train new workers as needed. Also, one of the earlier lessons taught by the new group known as managers, was professionalism. The third principal of scientific management was "the bringing together of this science, just described, and the trained worker, by offering some incentive to the worker". Only Taylors description gives it justice. Offer him a plum, something that is worth while. There are many plums offered to those who come under scientific management-better treatment, more kindly treatment, more consideration for their wishes, and an opportunity for them to express their wants freely... An equally important side is, whenever a man will not do what he ought. to either make him do it or stop. If he will not do it, let him get out (p. 41). The fourth principle is "a complete redivision of the work of the 54

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establishment, to bring about democracy and cooperation between the management and the workers." Taylor explained that: All of that work which formerly was done by the workmen alone is divided into two farge sections, and one of those sections is handed over to management.. It is this real co-operation, this genuine division of work between the two sides, more than any other element which accounts for the fact that there never will be strikes under scientific management (p. 42). But, in fact, as the century continued, "scientifically managed" workers increasingly engaged in strikes. Taylor created an image of work at the Bethlehem Steel, Midvale Steel and Cramps Shipbuilding companies of unified efficiency. But in fact, the confusion of expansion, the arrival of an immigrant work force, and the emerging politics of the regulatory state (Cremin, 1961) reveal a different story, not captured in the telling of an organization's rational guiding concepts. What is captured is the contradictory illusion of organization as an orderly environment based on sets of rational guiding concepts versus the historical reality of confusion and worker dissatisfaction. In Robert Salisbury's (1970) description of school autonomy in the 1920's and 1930's, he gives an explanation for the contradictory illusions between a rational and orderly picture of organization in schools and the dissatisfaction growing within the schools. We know that many big-city school systems operate with substantial formal autonomy. They are not run by the political or 55

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administrative leaders of the city, but are insulated from those leaders and the interests they represent. In part this autonomy is a consequence of various formal features of local government which give to the schools the authority to run their affairs with little or no reference to the demands of other city officials. Perhaps in larger part, however, the insulation of the schools may be a function of the ideology, propagated by school men but widely shared by the larger public, that schools should be free from "politics," i.e., the influence of nonschool officials ... (p. 18). The ideology propagated by schoolmen to which Salisbury refers is later broadened in the same article. rt is explained as an amalgamation of democratic beliefs seen in the writings of Horace Mann, John Dewey and George Counts, and which became part of teacher preparation courses during the Progressive Era (Cremin, 1961): [T}hat is, regardless of ethnic, racial, religious, economic, or political differences and group conflicts in other arenas of urban life, education need not, and should not if it could, recognize or legitimize those differences. Education is a process that must not be differentiated according to section or class. Learning is the same phenomenon, or should be, in every neighborhood. Physical facilities and personnel should be allocated without regard to whatever group conflicts might exist in the community (p. 20). While on the one hand, schools refused to recognize ethnic, racial or political differences, new teachers in the 1920's were entering a field full of differentiated jobs among educated people. Union activism was strong between the 1920's and the 1950's, continuing into the McCarthy era. And this period was not without strikes (Murphy, 1990). School administrators continued to preserve hierarchies by instituting more "scientific" tools such 56

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as clinical supervision and "teacher proof" curriculum. These management strategies were consistent with Frederick Taylor's first and fourth principles. By the early 1960's, autonomy enjoyed by school system managers within the arena of city politics was being challenged by complaints from outside the school system over "proposed changes in curriculum and instruction, problems of disadvantaged pupils, and dilemmas of de facto segregation ... (Rosenthal, 1970; p. 90). Reflecting the larger American counter Culture and its challenge of existing authority, teachers were no longer aligning themselves with a system which did not share autonomy with its teachers. Several writers, among them Christie, (1973) and Guthrie and Craig, (1973) contend that the new militancy of the 1960's "brought an end to the myth that teachers and principals are united in a common purpose" (Christie; p. 124). Egya!ity The two most often cited teacher union demands from the 1960's were increased salary and "some sort of guarantee that teachers will not only be listened to on matters concerning school policy but that they shall be given an active part in determining this policy" (see Doherty in Rosenthal, 1966, p. 101). History suggests that seeking equality in decision-making may have been a continued way to seek autonomy. Principals, as perceived by teachers, were already listened to on matters concerning school policy (Lieberman. 1973). The types of policies teachers most often sought during the 1960rs 57

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included sick leave benefits, duty-free lunch periods, and due process or grievance procedures, most of which were enjoyed by principals and central office administrators (Guthrie and Craig, 1973). While these policies were won during the late 1960's and early 1970's, neither autonomy nor equal status were gained. Arthur Wise (1988) recalls the education community of the 1970's in this way: It was a world in which policy dominated, schools were bureaucratic, and students were processed. It was a world in which state government called the shots; in which state and local boards of education became irrelevant; in which teachers were told what, when, and how to teach; and in which administrators, caught in the crossfire, could not figure out whether to follow their instincts or the law (p. 328). Wise saw little change within the first wave of reform, beginning around the mid 1970's, which attempted to regulate the quality of education through standardized tests and teacher evaluation criteria at the state and national levels. Yet Wise explained that equal educational opportunity (not educational quality) could perhaps be advanced only by regulation: Problems of inequity in the allocation of educational opportunities, resources, and programs can be solved by mandates issued by a central authority. Because of self interest and parochialism, such problems might otherwise be insoluble (p. 329). 58

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Acknowledgment that desegregation could be achieved only through federal or other central authority remains a divisive argument between Anglo-and Afro-Americans (James, 1991 ). Notions of decentralized, neighborhood, autonomous schools created a suspicion of racially discriminatory intent echoed in the 1950's. But the issue of equality, foremost in the minds of educators in the 1960's, as a result of Brown versus the Board of Education, was now being discussed relative to a real and legitimate democracy and equality in the workplace. Prior to the mid-fifties, equality in the workplace was more cosmetic than real. Henri Fayol (1916), in his General Principles of Management acknowledged equity and equality of treatment as aspirations of employees. He advised managers to, "strive to instill a sense of equity throughout all levels of the scalar chain" (p. 63). Only a "sense of equity", not equity itself, could fit into a rational "chain of superiors ranging from the ultimate authority to the lowest ranks" (p. 60). Brown versus the Topeka Board of Education had far-reaching effects for Afro-American and Anglo-American children as well as their parents The same law had noticeable effects in the literature concerning the acceptance of equality in terms of its visible, legal construction and protection for a group of people. In a sense, teachers wanted what was given to Afro-American children, i.e., real, legally supported equality. Union demands for considerations on a par with administrators and education literature's examination of teacher inequities began to surface in the early 1960's. 59

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During the late 1970's, the first wave of the education reform was characterized by efforts to improve student education by establishing measurable, highly centralized, bureaucratic standards of accountability, particularly in the areas of curriculum (reflecting newer "scientific'' tools beyond time and motion studies discussed in Taylor's first principle) and teacher evaluation (Taylor's second principle). Teachers had become the subject of reform but were rarely asked to participate in the formulation of reform policy, a reflection of Taylor's fourth principle, as well as the rational realization that equality could not fit into a scheme of hierarchies and chains of command. By the mid 1980's, shortly after the publication of A Natjon Prepared (1986), a second wave of reform had emerged through the writings of several researchers (Goodfad, 1984; Sizer, 1984; Michaels, 1988; Conley, 1991 ), urging a shift in focus toward restructured, site-based, managed schools which could ideologically support a work force of teachers empowered to make decisions about their work. Rist (1989) traces teacher empowerment to the 1986 Carnegie report This report to the public presented eight proposals designed to create "a system in which school districts can offer the pay, autonomy and career opportunities necessary to attract to teaching highly qualified people who would otherwise take up other professional careers" (p. 55). Of those eight elements, the following three and their variations still appear in education literature with frequency: (1) the restructuring of traditional hierarchical strata in schools so that lead teachers could themselves run 60

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the schools, (2) the creation of a professional environment wherein teachers could determine how best to meet the educational needs of students, and (3) the increase of teacher salaries to a level competitive with those of other professions. A passage taken from A Nation Prepared provides an interesting notion of equality: One of the most attractive aspects of professional work is the way professionals are treated in the workplace. Professionals are presumed to know what they are doing, and are paid to exercise their judgment. Schools on the other hand operate as if consultants, school district experts, textbook authors, trainers, and distant officials possess more relevant expertise than the teachers in the schools. Bureaucratic management of schools proceeds from the view that teachers lack the talent or motivation to think for themselves (p. 58). Reflected in the above passage are two separate notions of equality. Both notions were explained by Robert Dworkin and cited in King (1979). The first, that teachers wish for "equal treatment over a range of goods ... such that each person gets the same as the next," (p. 16), A Natjon Prepared held that teachers ought to be treated the same way that other professionals are treated. Dworkin's second meaning of equality is, "the right to be treated as an equal" (p. 16). This meaning suggests that teachers are the same as others in the schools, such as school district experts, authors. etc . requiring a leveling of hierarchical positions. A Natjon prepared attacked bureaucratic management of schools with its implicit assumption that 61

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teachers are less intelligent than administrators, concerning the reform agenda. 62

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Summary Teacher empowerment was first looked at from with the confines of its sources in academic literature. There, questions concerning the nature of teacher empowerment fell into three categories of assumptive modes: critical theory, functionalist or organization theory and populist political theory. The data from one school site is interesting in its dominant political theme, emanating from teacher descriptors of teacher empowerment. namely, autonomy and equality. From this literature came guidelines for implementing reform. It is also this literature which dominates the training of administrators. Functionalist or organizational can be characterized as devoid of political value, a highly regarded stance best captured during this country's Progressive Era. Salisbury (1970) explained the viewpoint, that Regardless of ethnic, racial, religious, economic, or political differences and group conflicts in other arenas of urban life, education need not, and should not if it could, recognize or legitimatize those differences (p.20). But by not recognizing those differences, school systems may have created a type of political stance, which critical theory points to as having created teacher and community powerlessness. 63

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CHAPTERS METHOD This researcher used Solman and Deal's (1984, p. 223) assumption of nonrationality to drive the study's method because nonrational reality, as described in Chapter 1 assumes a nonlinear world in which events and concepts are not discardable for their failure to demonstrate congruence with a deeply held conviction, a rationalized standard, or an agreed-upon and objective guidepost. Concepts like linearity and orderliness of intent, characteristics of rational organizations and a rational world, assume that opposites to such description are irrational at best and dysfunctional at their worst. In the middle of these worst-case scenarios lies man without goals or direction. The researcher looked at culture through the lens of anthropological and sociological perspectives that invite inclusiveness (Geertz, 1973; Durkheim in Collins, 1985). Inclusiveness rests on man's subjective, nonrational and symbolic response to life in customary practices. And, according to Shweder, (1984): ... social life demands an answer to certain existential questions that neither logic nor science can provide Does the group have authority over the individual? From where does that authority derive? rs the "will of the group" a mere aggregation of individual wills (hence, tally up a vote), or is it greater than the sum of the parts (hence, understood only by great leaders)? Is it 64

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to be self-sufficient or interdependent? What justifies the unequal distribution of life's pleasures? How should burdens and benefits be distributed (p. 47)? The theoretical assumptions on which this research is based claim that these kinds of questions are answerable in descriptions of man's symbolic, nonrational choices. Chapter 4 explains why qualitative methods were employed to describe both the process and reality of these choices. The research design presented in Chapter 5 forms a simplistic wave pattern of collecting and analyzing and collecting and analyzing until the researcher was satisfied that as many questions that were raised by the data were examined. Rationale for Qualitative Study Robert Donmoyer (1991), in his discussion of postpositivist evaluation, drew a conclusion about the data which contributes to this study's assumption of nonrationality: The bottom line should now be clear: No knowledge is objective; all knowledgewhether we are talking about the folk knowledge of ordinary people or the formal knowledge generated by researchis ideological. All knowledge has values embedded within it; hence aU knowledge inevitably benefits some and hurts others (p. 268). And. in fact. this study is driven by a concept of collected data which 65

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is subjective, no matter its source or purpose. This premise translates into a study that does not search for truth against predetermined and "objective" criteria, but treats participants' responses and actions as having meaning in their own right Qualitative method was the tool of choice for this study because it facilitated and guided four features in this research not amenable to more traditional approaches using hypothesis testing. This study used qualitative methods because this research: (1) posed questions concerning processes, hidden elements and meaning which stem from real life issues and events, (2) studied an entire school population of teachers without prior manipulation of groups or without the use of inhibiting impositions to its population in the conduct of that research, (3) did not discard what was richly present in the population, while offering disciplined, systematic rigor applied to subjective reality, and ( 4) used themes and case reporting to emphasize the importance of communication directly from the data (Guba,.1978; Uncoln and Guba, 1989). Answers Questions Concernjng Process. Hidcten Elements. and Meaning This study described interadion in real time and place with a holistic view of human subjects. Recognizing the interaction and its meaning gave rise to questions concerned with process such as: How does the school's culture influence teachers' response to change? 66

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This research question reflects interaction among three elements: (1) the school's culture, (2) the instrument of change, and (3) the implementation of the change instrument. According to Marshall and Rossman (1989): In qualitative research, questions and problems for research most often come from real-world observations, dilemmas, and questions. They are not stated as if-then hypotheses derived from theory. Rather, they take the form of wide-ranging inquiries ... (p. 28). The following questions abstracted from preceding pages of this study demonstrate the emphasis on process from a wide range of inquiry. Oescrjptjve What aspects of the contract (the instrument of change) are particularly susceptible to influence by characteristics of the school's culture? What dynamics of both teachers empowered to make decisions about their work and the dynamics of the school's culture account for the role teachers play in the participatory decision-making process? What is the relationship between environmental factors and reform success? ExpJoratory How does the school's culture influence teachers' response to 67

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change (the contract, instrument of change)? This study also emphasized hidden elements. Durkheim believed that symbols and rituals were the glue that held societies together and thus were the elements to be studied A symbol, according to Deal and Solman (1984), "stands for something elseusually something broader and more complex (p. 217). Identifying symbols and their meaning required immersion into the culture of the school in this research (Geertz, 1973). Studies an Entire Group Without Prior Manjpulatjon Uncoln and Guba (1978) and Eisner (1991) suggest that when the subjects of a study cannot be manipulated or separated into experimental groups, or when the study requires the investigation of phenomena in its natural setting, in this case its culture, field study is appropriate. The single case study, a strategy requiring the use of systematic methodology, according to Yin (1984), is most often chosen as a strategy when "what" questions and .. how" questions are asked (p. 17). Uses pjscjpHned. Systematic Bjgor .. Subjective adequacy," as Bruyn (1966) suggests, has six indices, presented here and cited in Huber (1988; p 47) as conditions against which trustworthiness and reproducibility study can be measured. They are built into the design of this study: 1. Time -The more time an individual spends with a 68

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group the more likely it is that an accurate perception of the social meaning its members live by will be obtained. 2. Place -The closer the researcher works geographically to the people being studied, the more accurate should be the conclusions and interpretations. 3. Social circumstances -The number and variety of social circumstances which the observer encounters within the social structure of the community increases accuracy. 4. Language -The researcher and the subjects should share a common language. 5. Intimacy -The greater degree of intimacy the researcher achieves, the greater will be the accuracy of the findings. 6. Consensus -The researcher should attempt to obtain confirmation that the interpretations of meaning are correct (pp. 181-182). This researcher spent 177 working days at the site teaching regularly scheduled classes, writing notes on observations of every social engagement the researcher as a teacher-villager could report on. Dialogue was reconstructed daily from conversations held throughout the schooL Other activities included memoing, refining questioning. organizing incoming mail as an unobtrusive measure of communication, organizing panel discussions, and reviewing written interviews. These 69

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measures addressed what Uncoln and Guba (1985) refer to as "prolonged engagement," enabling the researcher to experience both multiple influences through "persistent observation" (p. 304). The faculty was told individually of this researcher's purpose by the researcher. The researcher's purpose was also placed in CDM minutes and distributed. Triangulation, Denzin (1970) suggests, is the result of using multiple sources, methods, investigators or theories to collect the same information. This additional technique was employed to strengthen subjective adequacy, and included multiple sources, methods and theories. This researcher's original intent was to ask the principal to clarify or verify hand-recorded statements. But the assigned principal, during the first semester became ill and vacated his post This researcher made the decision, therefore, that the second semester's principal would not be given a greater opportunity to clarify and verify statements. Two other main participants present during the entire year read the chronological display of findings, and their comments were incorporated into the study. Presents Ejodjngs jn Thematjcjzed and Case Study Narrative According to Yin (1984), just as it is important to determine the unit of analysis in quantitative methodology, so it is in qualitative study. The unit of analysis in this research was the entire population of adult personnel at one middle school in the DPS system. A teacher was defined 70

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as having all three of the following characteristics: assigned full or part time to the school under examination, maintained a roll book of students assigned to him or her, and graded in part or totally, those assigned students upon completion of the course he or she taught. Assumptions about the school's culture expanded the study of the school's population to personnel, parents and other stake holders outside the school who shared in day-to-day discourse. Such personnel included central administrators who sent memos and newsletters directly to the faculty, and parents who exerted influence. Yet, analysis in this study more accurately went beyond addressing one school as an individual unit of phenomena. Analysis sought the collection of participants' perceptions. These perceptions were organized by themes and interrelatedness. The Research Design of thjs Study As described in Chapter 4, this study used qualitative methods because this research: (1) posed questions concerning processes, hidden elements and meaning which stem from real life issues and events. (2) studied an entire school population of teachers without the statistical prior manipulation of groups or without the use of inhibiting impositions to its population in the conduct of that research, (3) did not discard what is richly present in the population. while offering disciplined, systematic rigor applied to subjective reality, and ( 4) used themes and cases to emphasize the importance of communication in reporting findings from data. 71

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Having accepted as a fundamental premise that, whether generated by research, taken from the literature, or from "folk knowledge of ordinary people," knowledge is subjective, this research was designed to proceed through the qualitative processes of discovery and verification much like the wave illustration advanced by Guba (1978). This researcher cycled through observations which proposed categories and readings which, in turn, led the researcher to verify those categories through subsequent observations, but with those subsequent observations selected to add more detail to what was previously observed. Raw data were labeled with low inference terms or open codes and then grouped under these codes. Low inference terms grew into descriptive concepts expanding on the properties and dimensions of grouped data. This prompted the researcher's return to directed observations to verify inferences. Open coded data were constantly compared to other groups of coded data. Connections were verified through continued observations. This process initiated axial coding (Strauss and Corbin,1990). Through a "constant comparison" of codes (Glaser, 1969), themes emerged and were again refined through additional observation. The study was conducted in this manner from August of 1991 to June 1992. utilizing data from the entire school's population. After the school year ended, the data suggested that school history had played an important role in the culture of the schooL Deeply-rooted disparate perceptions and feelings had surfaced. This researcher felt that 72

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further investigation was warranted and began that investigation in June of 1992. The researcher investigated the school from its opening in 1957, to the current year using yearbooks and interviews with former students. administrators, parents, teachers, and other school personnel. A Partjcjpant Who Observes Jorgensen (1989) described the form of participant observation utilized in this study. When the observer becomes the phenomenon, stated Jorgensen, the observer becomes a strategy for penetrating human experience, which can result in more detailed description and thus more accurate analysis. The researcher was a teacher assigned to the school in this study and responded as she would have had she not been conducting research. The researcher, therefore, reported her own and other participantsr responses as members of the studied population. Gold (1969) distinguished four types of observer roles: complete participant. participant observer. observer as participant. and complete observer. They are each different by the degree of knowledge the informant has about the field worker. The complete participant is someone pretending to be one of the subjects to be studied. The informant has no knowledge that the field worker is anything other than someone like himself. The complete observer role, at the other end of the continuum, requires no interaction between the informant and the observer. The role 73

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this observer played was that of participant as observer. Every member of the school was informed by the researcher and by COM minutes that this researcher, for her dissertation, wanted to study the schooL The researcher explained that her intent was to learn how the school handled contract implementation and empowerment. There were times, however, when the researcher relied on being an unobtrusive observer, by counting on both the trust and the forgetfulness of others. Bernard (1988) describes this role as a nonreactive "strategy for studying people's behavior without their knowing it" (p. 271 ). This strategy was used in the collection of the school mail and reconstructed dialogue. To some extent, this was similar to Gold's complete participant. In data-gathering, the participant observer, according to Zelditch (1962). uses three methods: enumeration to document frequency data; participant observation to describe incidents; and informant interviewing to learn institutionalized norms and statuses (p. 566). Because this researcher was a participant who also observed, the researcher is a part of the frequency data she tallied, her actions also created incidents she described, and she relates her own participation as a part of the group's institutionalized way of receiving and acting upon information. Separating the researcher from the study's findings, conclusions and recommendations would have required rationalization uncalled-for by the assumptions on which this study was based. 74

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Sjte Selection This researcher was familiar with many schools in the DPS system, having worked as a resource teacher, special education teacher, regular classroom teacher, a cadre teacher, and a workshop facilitator. Over the past eighteen years, the researcher developed a network of friends and colleagues at schools in which the researcher herself had never been assigned. This provided a wealth of information relevant to site-selection. Consistent with Miles and Huberman (1984), this study used four sampling parameters: (1) setting, (2) actors, (3) events, and (4) processes, to determine if the school to which the researcher was currently assigned was indeed the most study-relevant source of data. The assumptions on which this study was based, namely that culture is a nonrational, thus nonlinear and unintentional phenomenon requiring total immersion into its dynamics, suggested more than occasional visits to a site. While Marshall and Rossman (1989) offered a generic vignette for studying school culture consisting of twelve schools, with a researcher spending a total of twenty five days at each school, the assumptions in this study indicated that within one school could be found in considerably more depth, the intricate mechanisms heretofore uncovered by other researchers in the interaction between a change instrument and a school's culture. Thus, as Miles and Huberman (1984) insist, "the sampling parameters are set by the framework and the research question ... (p. 37), and not by the researcher's prior specification of the sample. As they rater explained, sampling means taking a chunk of a larger 75

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universe, and, on all four measures identified above, this researcher wished to be able to draw from the "meatiest" or most "data-rich" source. Discussion with colleagues, and reflection on the researcherrs experiences at this site and at others, provided what Uncoln and Guba (1985) explain is a "purposeful" sampling process in site-selection. This middle school had enjoyed a glorious mythology since the late fifties within a scenic community. Within a year after the appointment of the schoolrs first Black principal, and continuing into the year of this study, racial and organizational tension over school process and purpose were thoroughly in place. This site was chosen for its unique "meatiness" in all four parameters of sampling. Anonymity Participant anonymity was preserved in several ways, and its purpose was two-fold: to prevent identification of participants by participants themselves, and to prevent identification of participants by non-participants. Preservation of anonymity was done in the following ways: 1. Some of the male participants were identified as female and vice versa. while other participants were discussed with only the use of their titles. The researcher apologizes for the cumbersome construction resulting from the continued use of titles. 2. All proper names used are pseudonyms. 3. There was limited use of direct quotes from main characters, 76

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again to avoid identification and to avoid holding them to statements made during the research. 4. Direct quotes were seldom used when describing meetings. Direct speech would have tended to identify the speaker as well as the person spoken to in the parameters of formal meetings. 5. When comments were displayed, each comment represented a different speaker. The speakers are not numbered because participants in the school could have been identified from a profile of comments. 6. Race and ethnicity remained true to the site because these concerns dominated several issues. 7. This researcher recorded comments or reconstructed dialogue from every teacher in the school. Each teacher's comments, as well as office, custodial and support staff, were utilized at least twice in the reporting of this study. Terminology The following terms and phrases were used throughout Chapters 6, 7, 8, and are explained here rather than detract from the sequence of events as they are described. School Improvement and Advjsory Committee (SJAC>. The School Improvement and Advisory Committee was created through the Colorado Public School Rnance Act of 1988. It required that: 77

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No later than June 15, 1989, and June 15 of each year thereafter, the advisory accountability committee for each school building in the state shall adopt high, but achievable goals and objectives for the improvement of education in its building, consistent with the state Board's goals and objectives, and shall adopt a plan to improve educational achievement in the school and to implement methods of maximizing graduation rates from the secondary schools of the district (Part 2 HB1341). Wheel Teacher/Wheel Subjects. There were two wheels: expressive arts and industrial arts. The term "wheel" describes how groups of students were rotated through these courses in a circular fashion throughout the semester. Sixth through eighth grade students were rotated through the two wheels, which included music, art, foreign language, home economics, and business, industrial, computer education respectively. Core Teacher! Core Subjects. Usually four teachers comprised a core team, each one teaching one core subject: Math, Science, Language Arts/English, or Social Studies. Two-person teams meant that each teacher taught two of the above core subjects. Three-person teams meant that each of the teachers taught their own subject plus one period of a core subject which each agreed to share. Electjye Teacher/Elective Sybjects. These were classes offered by teachers in teachers' areas of skill and knowledge such as creative writing, journalism. and Math Counts, a course providing opportunity for math competition. 78

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School Building Commjttee (SBC). According to the 1988-to-1990 labor agreement between the Denver Public Schools and the Denver Classroom Teachers' Association, the School Building Committee's primary function was to discuss school operations and questions relating to the implementation of the DCTA and DPS Agreement. It was not considered a negotiating unit. The SBC and principal were "to strive to arrive at conclusions that [were} mutually acceptable}' Principals tended to regard it as an advisory group. Chronology and Col!ectjon of Data The time line of procedures is displayed in Table 1 to demonstrate the numerous data collection sources used in this study. The time line is separated into two phases which coincide with the end of the school's two semesters. Initially, during the first semester, data was collected with a predominant focus around two of the three elements of this study: (1) the instrument of change with its empowerment features, and (2) the school's cultural characteristics with attention to teacher beliefs. Each numbered item below represents an explanation of the source of data collection. Discussion of the analysis of that data follows in the next section of this chapter. 1. The collection of teachers' mail began August 26, 1991, and continued until June 5, 1992. Its purpose was to provide data related to the discourse, communication network, and hidden hierarchy dimension of school culture. Smylfe (1991} describes school culture as a mixture of 79

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local and the universal elements of the culture. School culture includes the influence of communication from agencies outside the school as well as communication among players within the school. Also, an anthropological view of culture includes the study of voice and discourse as necessary elements of culture transmitted through language (Shweder, 1984). Teachers' mail answered the questions: (1) who speaks, (2) to whom does one speak, (3) how often does one speak, and ( 4) what is the content of that speech? Mail provided the link to universal elements outside the school while influencing culture within the school. Three teachers and this observer collected all items found in mailboxes. The criteria for the selection of teachers was derived by calculating the smallest number of teachers involved in the study, while at the same time having all school program areas represented. The three teachers and this researcher represented each grade level, the core, wheel, and elective programs, and the special, regular, and bilingual education programs. The researcher grouped the mail by weekly chronology, originator voice and content. By November, 1991, an credit union and commercial advertising was discarded and no longer collected. 2. Participant observations at faculty meetings were a source of teachers' and administrators' comments about internal school management, COM policies, faculty beliefs and values, the empowerment of faculty and staff, the power and readership of the principal and assistant 80

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TABLE 5.1 TIME LINE OF DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Phase I (1991) Phase II (1992) Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July 1. Collection of Teacher's Mail X X X X X X X X X X X 2. Participant Observation/ X X X X X X X X Faculty Meetings 3. Participant Observation/ X X X X X X X X X COM Meetings 4. Participant Observation/Sub-X X X Committee Meetings 5. Participant Obs. Reconstructed X X X X X X X Dialogue 6. Open and Axial Coding of X X X X X Dialogue 7. Panel Discussions/ Teaching X X X Staff 8. Open and Axial Coding of X Panel Discussions 9. Written Interviews/ Teaching X X Staff 1 0. Open Ended Interviews/COM X X Members 11. Analysis of Data/Generating X X Theory 12. Historical Sagas X 81

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principal, contract implementation, curriculum implementation, and central administration perspective and directives. Like the school mail, these observations were also a source of discourse, and therefore contributed to knowledge of the school's culture. Comments as well as action episodes or the telling of episodes within faculty meetings were recorded and later analyzed against school cultural characteristics, empowerment beliefs and contract implementation. This process was much like taking the minutes of a meeting and, unlike the process used by this researcher during COM meetings, is discussed in item four. 3. Participant observations at COM meetings also provided discourse patterns and action episodes. Discourse patterns included tallies of types of utterances (questions or statements) by individual members, and to whom the committee, as a group, spoke verbally and in writing. The researcher did not take minutes; it would have been duplication and impossible to achieve while simultaneously recording information in different ways for this study. But distributed COM minutes were analyzed against the researcher's hand-recorded utterances, committee communication, and observations of action episodes. Action episodes refer to the recording of physical movement involving either agenda items or coded concepts that were seen during meetings. The researcher was many times directed by themes emerging from the data, agenda items themselves, or committee discussions into following the train of thought, the posturing, and the conflicting or agreeing 82

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stances of members and groups of members. Also, the researcher did not wish to call attention to her activity during meetings by appearing to take copious notes. Therefore, a simple diagram of the table at which members sat and various symbols such as tally marks, question marks, directional lines, etc., contained a coded account of proceedings. 4. This observer requested from the COM the formation of a subcommittee to investigate and formulate a School Reading Program. The request was granted. Seven teachers and two parents expressed a desire to participate. This request was made to direct the COM's attention toward educational issues in the school. During the first two months. the COM was being directed by central administration directives toward what the faculty observed were trivial pursuits. In counting teachers' mail (see procedure 1) most memos directed toward teachers from the central administration were about academic programs needing to be implemented Intervention by this observer in requesting from the COM the formation of a subcommittee to investigate and formulate a School Reading Program was not without precedent (Jorgensen, 1989; Gold, 1969). Additionally, there was the ethical question of being in possession of information as a result of this study which, were it not revealed, could have served as a barrier to the progress of the COM and this study. However, members of the COM looked upon this researcher as a resource of knowledge about COM activity throughout the district 83

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The subcommittee position also gave this researcher access to teacher comments related to Bird and Uttle's (1986) norms of improvement and instruction, as well as information related to the myths and symbols of the school. 5. Reconstructed dialogue refers to the way this observer obtained data during the first and second stages of the study to formulate a framework of teacher beliefs about empowerment and a matrix of the school's cultural characteristics. Teacher comments were listened for or elicited from teachers in the hallways, the lobby, and the cafeteria. This researcher then returned to her classroom and wrote what was heard. 6. Open coding is the breaking down of data into labeled categories. Axial coding (Strauss and Corbin, 1990) refers to a process of recategorization whereby data is put "back together in new ways" (p. 97). This process from grounded theory development was also used with teacher comments about empowerment, school cultural characteristics and contract implementation. It is discussed in more detail under Data Analytic Processes in this chapter. 7. There were three panel discussions organized by the researcher, with eight different teachers volunteering for each of three topics. This number (24 teachers) utilized approximately half of the faculty. Tapes were reviewed to determine whether panel discussions flowed naturally over the topics. The purpose of the panels was twofold: (1) to verify or modify cultural characteristics, and (2} to insure comments around each of the 84

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three elements of the study. The topic in March 1992, was: What does the term "teacher empowerment'' mean to the teachers at this school? The April topic: How can we describe the "culture" of this school? And the May topic was: How does the culture of the school and our beliefs about empowerment affect the role teachers played in the empowering process this school year? Each session was recorded on audio tape and each participant addressed the topic question. The researcher served as the moderatorobserver, asking at times for clarification, summarizing frequently expressed concepts for clarification, and moving the discussion along. Sessions ranged from forty minutes to one hour. Rewards such as food, ceramic cups and book certificates were offered as incentives to participants. To obtain racially, ethnically and sexually balanced groups, the researcher asked some teachers to sign up for a different group from their original selection. 8. Recorded teacher comments were categorized by cultural characteristics. (See step 6.) The second panel discussion, in April, brought out the notion of teacher autonomy so strongly that the concept suggested the possibility of adding it as another educational norm. 9. There were thirty-nine teachers in the school who were not on the COM committee or who did not act as alternates. Each one was given a written interview form which asked questions not clarified from other sources about COM, contract implementation, school culture and teacher empowerment. The choice of words used on the form had been recorded 85

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in previous teacher comments. Asking teachers to edit statements was a deliberate contrivance to encourage written response in a manner that was not foreign to teachers normal work activity. (See Appendix B.) Sixty-nine percent of this population returned the forms. Grounded theory presents methodological steps in forming linkages based on the assumption (Strauss and Corbin, 1990} that the researcher is able to go back to the original data or to the site to verify findings. When June 5, 1992, passed, however, school was over and personnel were dispersed. 10. Each COM member was interviewed with open-ended questions meant to verify the perspectives of teachers and to provide latitude for COM members to express feelings about their experiences with contract implementation and teacher empowerment. (See Appendix C.} 11. Analysis began on June 6 1992. This researcher contacted the COM Chairperson and requested a reading of the findings which this researcher had put into chronological order. Responses from the COM Chairperson modified the discussion on school governance patterns. 12. During the summer and fall of 1992, data suggested that the school's history had played an important role in the current culture of the school. Disparate perceptions and feelings between groups about the school's myths and ritual warranted further investigation. This time, the researcher examined the opening of the school in 1957, through the collection and use of yearbooks, and also interviewed former students, administrators, parents, teachers and other school personneL 86

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This later addition of data and analysis is not inconsistent with grounded theory. Strauss and Corbin (1990) quote Diesing in their explanation of procedures for grounded theory: The procedures are not mechanical or automatic, nor do they constitute an algorithm guaranteed to give results. They are rather to be applied flexibly according to circumstances; their order may vary, and alternatives are available at every step (p. 14). Analytic Processes This study used inductive data analysis, described by Uncoln and Guba (1984) as taking raw units of data accumulated in the field to subsuming categories of information (p. 203). Content Analysjs From August 26, 1991, to June 5, 1992, three teachers and this researcher collected and saved the school mail. The researcher used the mail from the other teachers as verification that the same things were being received. This researcher grouped the mail every Friday by weekly chronology, originator voice and topic. This process gave a quick visual analysis according to the size of the piles, in determining discourse patterns. Because this study was built on the assumption that culture has both universal and focal characteristics, it was insufficient to look solely at the workings of the school from inside. The researcher necessarily looked at discourse coming in from outside the 87

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school because of the school's relationship to a system of Denver schools, several neighborhoods, and a community of educators. The mail identified a source of conflict in the school, and demonstrated why teachers' isolation from one another did not isolate them from the number of directives they had to address. The mail also revealed the lack of discourse patterns with other schools' COM's as well as the type of discourse teachers had all year with the Denver Classroom Teachers' Association {OCTA). Yearbooks from 1957 to 197 4 were useful in finding informants, in providing an approximate count of racial and ethnic representation, and in learning about school activities and historical perspectives. Minutes from COM meetings either verified or did not verify other teachers' comments and this researcher's perceptions of what had transpired. During the first four weeks of the school year, this was the researcher's only link to COM activity because this was also the major link COM as a group had with the majority of teachers in the building. rndividuar teachers on COM interacted with individual teachers not on COM. COM teacher members later established meetings with teachers providing yet another source of information about its functioning. This researcher requested and obtained documents from the central office of the Denver Public Schools on racial distribution by school for 1973, the first year such information was compiled, and obtained a definition and purpose of the SIAC committee. This information supplemented historical sagas and perceptions obtained from persons 88

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formerly attached to the school, and also provided information which was included in the terminology section of this study. Constant Comparisons. Memojng In 1967, Glaser and Strauss published methodology useful in generating theory from verbal data by means of "constant comparisons." Responding to knowledge resulting from a constant comparison of data formed the wave-like or emergent design of !s study. Uncoln and Guba (1985) explain that ... because what will be learned at a site is always dependent on the interaction between investigator and context, and the interaction is also not fully predictable; and because the nature of mutual shapings cannot be known until the are witnessed ... these factors underscore the indeterminacy under which the naturalistic inquirer functions ... (p. 208). This researcher began the wave cycle through observations beginning in late August from three main sources, teachers' mail, faculty meetings, and reconstructed dialogue. Raw data in the form of teacher comments and memo topics originating both inside and outside the school, proposed broad categories and additional reading. To illustrate, words and phrases like "political," "I'll close my door," "no trust," "it rooks like more of the same" were expressed often during the first week of school from two of the three data sources, faculty meetings and reconstructed dialogue. Through open coding, the researcher used 89

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low inference words to label and consequently group these words and phrases into categories. To illustrate this process, words and terms, "I'll close my door," "depressing," "you won't hear a peep from me" helped create a new label of 'isolation' which could be verified in observations. But, because "isolation" and "alienation" were, based on the researcher's readings, characteristics of a sociological tradition of conflict that was not observed in the first week of school, the researcher changed "isolation" to "withdrawal" and began to expand the term according to its observed properties and dimensions. This began a process referred to in grounded theory as axial coding. The researcher wanted to be certain, for example, that she knew all conditions and consequences that gave rise to it in the school. Low inference terms used to group observations and dialogue grew into descriptive concepts or terms which the researcher wrote into memos. To illustrate with the word "withdrawal" again, axial coding looked at the conditions which gave rise to it, the context in which it occurred, the action interaction strategy surrounding it, and its consequences. This researcher was able to observe the conditions giving rise to withdrawal, the context in which it was discussed by teachers, the mechanisms surrounding how withdrawal was carried out, and the results of withdrawal. This information helped build a continuum of teacher expectations about the contract, based on the observation of activity from withdrawal to participation. The continuum was later related to another term, "autonomy'' which underwent the same axial coding process. Withdrawal was later 90

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related to a mapped feature of cultural characteristics, the school's myth. "Withdrawal" itself was short-lived. It developed into "isolation" when it later became very much related to conflict and "spectatorship" when teachers moved out of their classrooms to discuss important issues. And, as the findings chapters will show, "isolation," too, was short-lived. Themes provided impetus for memos linking related data. Themes also acted as repositories for additional data as it arose. Axial coding was used to break the researcher's conventional thinking and interpretation into newer patterns by linking categories with causal conditions, context, intervening conditions, strategies and consequences (Strauss and Corbin, 1990; p. 99). The Reporting Scheme The next three chapters present the study's findings in three ways. Chapter 6, although the first in relating its findings, was the last data collected. The sagas were gathered to help explain the historical source of disparity in perceptions about Graceland between teachers and Administrators, Blacks and Whites. Although Chapter 7 appears to be a complete story, it has been greatly condensed by relating here those events which were particularly expressive concerning the interaction of school culture, the negotiated contract. and its implementation through the COM process. Chapter 8 relates findings around school politics and political activity As the reader will see, "politics" had no single dominant definition, but it had a definite 91

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effect on the school's attitude toward a contract of change and the culture of the schooL In some ways Chapter 8 is a retelling of the story through a focus on the emerging governance structure brought about by the negotiated contract 92

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Summary This study observed what would happened when a negotiated contract meant to improve and reform Denver public schools, was implemented in one of many schools in the district. The unit of analysis in this study was the entire teacher population of one school. Yet to study that population within the context of its culture is to examine relationships among the teacher population, the school's administrators, support personnel, parents, students, and central administration personneL Qualitative methodology was used in this descriptive study because it provided advantages in research questions that involve a search for meaning and in research questions that examine process interaction. The many steps in the methodology were designed to intentionally address trustworthiness, reproducibility, and generarizability. Trustworthiness in this study was captured by two generative processes: collecting the expressed beliefs of teachers about the meaning of empowerment, and the continual reevaluation and informant questioning surrounding the development of categories. Through the use of low-inference descriptors (Goetz & LeCompte, 1984) in the categorization processes, mechanically recorded open-ended interviews, and standardized prompts used to elicit description from every teacher, reproducibility was created. Since teachers at this school site were generating their own continuum of meanings, the framework for this study will necessarily vary at 93

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each school. What was meant to be generalized in this study was the methodology for examining the major dimensions of culture. 94

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CHAPTERS GRACELAND MIDDLE SCHOOL Graceland Middle School's culture was a dynamic composite of individual, group, local and societal assumptions, values, and beliefs. To extract meaning from this kinetic montage of both discrete and blending parts, a nonrational screen was used to view both the school's internal organization and its connectedness to larger societies. Graceland's artifacts, symbols, rituals, myths, heroes, heroines, priests, priestesses, spies, storytellers, its rumors, hidden hierarchies, communication patterns, as well as its norms of instruction, improvement and civility were examined over one school year, from August 1991 to June 1992. This time period marked the first full academic year of the new contract's implementation. Special focus was given to the teacher population of Graceland, both those who were elected members of the COM and those who were not, as they worked through their understanding of the contract This chapter describes Graceland's roots. Curious about the contradictory perceptions of Graceland's participants during the course of the 1991-1992 school year, the researcher sought Graceland's historic sagas and tales. Feelings about Graceland had been expressed in extremes; as a place to love or a place to hate. According to Clark (1972), a saga is an organization's convincing story, held with conviction by its participants. and based on historical events. In accumulating historical 95

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accounts, neither truth nor "objective" fact were used to evaluate the accuracy of sagas. This study rests on an assumption that all knowledge is subjective. Causation was not a factor either. Instead personal perceptions through sagas gave meaning to the disparity among comments. Former students, employees, parents and grandparents were interviewed, and yearbooks and district documents were examined. Accounts of Graceland's history were collected after June 5, 1992, and continued to be collected through January of 1993. The Sagas On the surface, the story of Graceland Middle School is not unique. More than one urban school across the United States found itself with changing demographics between the 1960's and 1980's. Whether caused or mitigated by expanding or declining populations, school integration orders, economic conditions, or the deterioration of city infrastructures, the result nationally suggested a need for educational reform. However, looking beyond its common national traits, it is also Graceland's history which created its uniqueness. Unraveling its stories also uncovered the many perspectives upon which its culture grew and continues to grow in the face of reform. Graceland Junior High opened in January 1956 and, at the time, boasted such modem amenities as an accordion door between the girls' and boys' gyms, radiant heating in the lobby floor, conference rooms, and 96

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a public address system (Yearbook, 1957). Its long exterior walls, composed mostly of glass and metal windows, revealed a simpler time when gas and oil were apparently considered perpetual resources. Opening with an enrollment of 566 students in 1956, Graceland bulged to 919 only a year later, with post-World War II baby boomers reaching their teens. The school served a neighborhood population which was then characterized as middle-class, approximately half Jewish and half Gentile. Perusal of Graceland's first yearbook, published in 1957, shows no Afro-American or Hispanic American faculty photographs among administrators, cafeteria workers, custodians, or support staff. Based on surnames and confirmation by former students, now adults in their late forties and early fifties, these data suggested that approximately 0.2% of the student body was Hispanic and 1% was African American. Yearbook data were important Prior to 1973, racial and ethnic data were not recorded. This was in keeping with philosophic sentiment from the 1920's reported in Chapter 3-that schools should not be the arena to recognize and legitimatize ethnic, racial, religious, economic or political differences. One thing made clear by the lack of documentation by race and ethnicity during this time period was that both Hispanic and Afro-American students were attending schools elsewhere-in their own neighborhoods, where they were taught by the few minority faculty in the system. Graceland opened two years after the Brown v. Topeka Board of Education decision. The Denver Public Schools, in its defense against the 97

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charge brought in July 1969, (Keyes v. Denver) that it intentionally maintained segregated schools, claimed that if any segregation existed, it was "by reason of maintaining neighborhood schools and natural migration" (p. 281 ), a position held unconstitutional in 1973 by the United States Supreme Court. Amid Graceland's historic roots, there lies the source of disparity in the expressed feelings between Whites and Afro-Americans connected with Graceland over the past thirty-six years, including the school year in which this research was conducted. Descriptions of experiences from former White Graceland students, attending in the late 1950's and early 1960's, contain elements of euphoria. Dads had returned from the war, and in the community of small but picturesque homes, families were ready to form a community based on the American Dream. Temple Sinai, located nearby, opened its synagogue doors for Reformed Jews in the same year Graceland opened. Restricted neighborhoods were a reality in the 1950's. But I remember thinking that I didn't want to live anywhere else in the world. (Former student) In the summer, there were bandwagons with singers and dancers wearing western costumes in Locust park. I don't remember any talk of curfews in those days. either. I once tied a friend up to a tree in that park. We were playing cowboys and Indians. and he stayed there most of the night until his brother found him. (Former Student) 98

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That was really a different time. We had nicknames for all the teachers. I think some knew about them, too. But it was all in fun. (Former Student) There weren't any race problems in those days. There weren't many Blacks. (Former Student) Look. Here's a picture of Jim. He was my best friend in all the world. I went to his house every day after school. Graceland was a great place. We had the best school in the city. It was brand new. Denver was new. (Former Student) Remember Wally and the Beaver? That wasn't somebody else on TV. (Former Student) For an expanding Jewish community, this was a growing and for some, a long awaited opportunity to build their own neighborhood, away from downtown's center core. And, according to a few residents, Jews were being "steered" there, a practice by Realtors who promoted specific city areas to clients in collaboration with certain banks to encourage and insure continued sales to a particular group of people. You know, I can remember being promised that we'd get our own High School. (Former Neighborhood Resident) I hope you understand that Jews don't like to talk about "restricted neighborhoods." It didn't matter how much money you had, we couldn't live in the Denver Country Club. And there were quite a few Jews that enioyed looking down on it from the hilL At least that's the way some thought (Former Neighborhood Resident) 99

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I don't think most people looked at it as steering. Uving there was an opportunity, a step up. (Resident) 1 think the minute my wife mentioned something about wanting a synagogue nearby, we were steered there. But honestly, I would have moved there anyway. (Resident) By contrast, comments from former students, school staff, parents, and administrators of Afro-American descent, going back to the mid 1970's when busing began, varied over whether the experience at Graceland was good or not. But all comments included some unsolicited reference to racism, discrimination, segregation, or dissatisfaction. I liked it I was voted president of the ninth grade class. There may have been some incidents of racism, but l didn't find that it was generally the way the school was run. (Former Student) Oh yesl It was considered the best school in Denver. Anyway, I was determined my daughter would go there. But it was racist There's no denying that (Parent} The only thing that will improve that school is to burn it down or blow it up. (Former Employee) We were able to live in that neighborhood because we paid cash. We sold our house to buy the property, so we had very little to do with the banks. You couldn't get loans for some neighborhoods and this was one of them. It was worth it though. But I'll tell you, I was up at that school an the time. I wouldn't let those teachers get away with anything. (Parent} This school is no better than when I was a student here. They're still hoping we'll go away or that busing is 100

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temporary. (Former Student, Parent) You weren't here then. You didn't see the way those teachers treated our kids. It was shameful. They'd put one or two of us in their bright classes and call it integrated. Our kids would be the only ones standing in the hallways outside classrooms because they'd been cutting up. And the Hispanic kids, well they'd refer to them as "those Mexicans". And that principal they always talk about-it was just a clique of people she let run the school. (Former Employee) "Academics" was a kind of code word for separate classes. Some activities were offered before school so the kids bused from the Alpine area couldn't participate in them. It was clever. Some teachers were really covering up the fact that they had never taught from scratch before. (Former Employee) When volunteer open enrollment began in Denver in the early 1970's, Graceland was invaded by those who lived beyond the invisible walls of its neighborhood. But, by the mid 1970's, court-ordered busing and a bilingual program propelled Graceland into a metropolitan city. In 1973, Phi Delta Kappan carried an article by Thomas Shannon, then deputy superintendent of the San Diego Schools, that explained how Denver's Keyes case affected education nationally. In describing that article, Kappan editors said: A school district will no longer be able to wave off legal challenges to racial imbalance by citing its "neighborhood schoolsrr policy. Thus we can expect more districts located in the North and West to be judicially reclassified from de facto to de jure segregation ... (p. 6) 101

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In preparation for full middle school operation, the ninth grade was pulled from junior high schools district-wide and relocated into high schools around the district. The name was changed from Graceland Junior High School to Graceland Middle School in 1977. Reorganization according to the middle school model meant students were assigned to a team of teachers. Teachers had team planning time as well as personal planning time. Graceland prided itself on continuing college preparatory classes as a Middle School, which made it competitive with Farnsworth, a nearby private school. A teacher included in this current study during the 1991-1992 school year believed he was the first Hispanic teacher at Graceland. He was hired in 1976, at a time when the majority of Hispanic teachers were recruited outside the state ostensibly to avoid hiring those Hispanic persons associated with political activists in Denver who were demanding equal educational opportunity for Spanish-speaking children through bilingual education. According to another set of beliefs, the teacher explained, out-of-state recruitment ensured that classical Spanish or Castillian Spanish was taught rather than Tex-Mex or any other Americanized derivatlve. Throughout the entire 1970rs, Graceland boasted a large complement of administrative staff. Teachers employed at Graceland during this period explained that, even though many did not receive the pay of administrators, they were considered to have that status because 102

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they did not have classroom responsibilities. In 1957, Graceland had, besides its principal, an assistant principal, a dean of girls and a coordinator. In 1973, the first year CPS recorded ethnic and racial distribution, Graceland had, besides the principal, an assistant principal, a dean, a coordinator, three counselors, a social worker, a nurse, a librarian, 5 office personnel, 7 custodians, and 11 lunchroom staff. The school also had 1 ,370 students; there were no Native Americans, 422 were AfroAmerican, 29 were Asian American, 37 were Spanish surnamed, and 882 were Others. In the fall of 1988, sixth grade classrooms were taken out of the elementary schools in the district and relocated into the Middle Schools, thus the final steps were put into place for Middle School operation. Graceland had had three consecutive Black assistant principals between 1980 and 1988. Throughout most of the 1970's, its dean was Black. But in 1989, Graceland had its first Afro-American principal and its first Hispanic American assistant principal. Teachers at Graceland viewed their school as an academic institution and not, as one teacher put it, a place to dispense "warm fuzzies." That teacher was explaining the contrast between how the faculty viewed the school and how the principal wished it would become. The principal wanted Graceland to place student needs first. By the end of the 1991-1992 school year, consensus was easily achieved among teachers regardless of race or ethnicity over the view that Graceland's purpose was to teach all its students without coddling misbehavior. 103

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Tensions grew yearly as the Black principal continued to point out the discrepancies between courses offered at Graceland and the Middle School curriculum of the Denver Public Schools. Teachers of courses like geometry, algebra and semantics, in 1989, claimed that only students scoring in the ninetieth percentile on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills could benefit from them. The principal urged that these courses be dropped because they were not a part of the middle school model and they excluded minority students. In dropping the courses, he suggested a link to unconstitutionality, apparently hinting that this practice of ability grouping created an internal "neighborhood schools" policy similar to the external neighborhood policy that was declared unconstitutional because of its deliberate manipulation of student attendance zones and school site selection to conform with neighborhood populations. An internal neighborhood school's policy manipulated class prerequisites that eliminated minority participation in its highly academic class offerings. The principal's declaration to bring Graceland into line with other middle schools scared teachers who strongly believed that Graceland was the best school in the system or believed that Graceland could become the best school in the system based on previous performance. Several parents were also afraid that Graceland's myth of being number one in the city was being undermined. They complained to as many school board members and school officials as would listen. An outside consulting firm was brought in by the Denver Public Schools to 104

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help in the assessment of Graceland's problems in the second semester of Mr. Clements' principalship. They presented their report dramatically in the auditorium with overhead projectors. A portion of the firm's written report said: There appears to be three distinct camps at Graceland Middle School: those in support of the administration, those vehemently against it and those who choose to remain neutral. The staff as a whole thinks that it is a highly qualified one. This raises questions as to why the staff is so divided. Rnally, some staff members consider diversity a value, even though it was not said overtly. Some staff members were more direct in stating that diversity was a problem. This indicates the importance of the equity issue, even though some staff members are not willing to realize its importance. From the spring of 1991 and during the school year in which this study took place there was pride attached to the oft-expressed notion that Graceland was "a third, a third, and a third," denoting its racial and ethnic distribution. The phrase became offensive to Afro-Americans who heard it because it failed to notice that, by 1991, fully two-thirds of the school was "minority." Graceland's total student population on October 1 1991 stood at 674: 2 American Indians, 193 Afro-Americans, 20 Asians, 190 Hispanic Americans. 269 Anglos. At the same time, Graceland had 43 faculty members, 8 paraprofessionals, 5 custodians including manager, 7 lunchroom workers including manager, 7 support personnel which included the counselor, 1 library media specialist, 1 part time psychologist, 105

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1 student advisor, 1 nurse, 1 social worker and 1 speech therapist, 4 office personnel. and 2 administrators including the principal. The racial and ethnic distribution among faculty members was 1.5% Afro-American, 0.5% Hispanic American, and 98% Anglo. Among classified personnel 46% were Afro-American, 21% were Hispanic American, and 33% were Anglo American. Approximately 27% of the faculty were males 106

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Summary and Analysis of Rndjngs Graceland symbolized diverse experiences to many people. Its myth, though tarnished in the 1990's by lower test scores and accusations of racist intent, remained more than a memory. The school's myth of being number one continued to be a hope to White and minority parents. While its yearbooks ignited vivid memories of happy days for some, it also brought painful memories of exclusion to other former students and parents. Generally, most people connected with the school, past and present, agreed that its reputation as a highly academic school was, and still is, the reason most families were attracted. Whether every student enjoyed that advanced academic opportunity was called into question by Graceland's first Afro-American principal. Those accusations and school practices created emotional pain for parents; teachers; the principal, Mr. Clements; and at least some portion of its minority population of students, who could hardly have been unaffected. 107

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CHAPTER 7 THE ACADEMIC VIEW OF CHANGE The instrument of change in this study was the DPS and DCTA contract, with five features described in Chapter 1, which make it nontraditional. Those five features included the contractual stipulation that (1) Collaborative Decision Making Committees (CDM)s are school site based, (2) COM members have parity through checks and balances in performance evaluations, (3) COM decisions have authority delegated to the group by the Board of Education, ( 4) COM members are given training, and (5) stake holders in the school are empowered (i.e., teachers are empowered), with voice at the decision-making table. Both in this chapter and the next, the reader will view the ways in which each feature interacted with participants in this study. Events were arranged in chronological order to demonstrate changing teacher awareness throughout the year. The data suggest that the contract, as an instrument of change. contributed to teachers' (1) emotional responses to change, (2) beliefs about empowerment. (3) perspectives on teaching. ( 4) expectations about the instrument of change, and (5) views on school integration and workplace democracy. These five themes are related to teachers' understanding of the contract. 108

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The School's Culture and Teachers' Perspective An important element of culture is the history of a group. As was shown in chapter 6, conflict existed at Graceland prior to the contract's implementation. Workshops were offered around the district for those DPS personnel and parents who were not elected to CDM, but who wished to know more about the contract's processes. Training of CDM members at Graceland, according to interviews, consisted of team-building activities and discussion, with role-playing around how consensus is achieved. According to one COM member, training was a repeat of 10,000 human relations meetings teachers have been involved with over the years. Many teacher members made similar comments. Training, they said, emphasized listening, taught how to rephrase what you hear, and explained how to conduct and facilitate a meeting, making sure that everyone had a tum. Graceland was a school whose culture was fragmented. Deal and Kennedy (1982) describe the characteristics of such a culture in this way: The problem with fragmented cultures is that they do not mesh well when they need to. When people from the different cultures come together, each listens to different drummers, and confusion and frustration results from the inability to see eye to eye on matters that need to be discussed and resolved. The frustration in tum deadens motivation and affects performance (p. 137). The school year began with teacher isolationism, unusual when compared to the vitality observed prior to initiation of the DPS/DCTA 109

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contract at Gracerand. The length of the school day had been extended by the State Legislature, and the school's schedule had been changed accordingly. New to this year was the addition of teacher duty assignments, the shortening of team planning, the addition of central administration education and testing programs, the clerical monitoring of these programs, and greater monitoring of SIAC initiatives to insure academic goals. By the third week of school, isolationism began to melt away as teachers' attention was directed toward numerous administrative directives. Attendance at COM meetings, during the first three weeks of school was very low. More directed observations of COM are presented in Chapter 8. As a group, teachers first directed their attention toward the wording and form of the contract-not its implementation. Graceland's OX. Corral By the third week there were recorded complaints from teachers about individual tasks. Patterns emerged. Reconstructed dialogue from teachers revealed a pile up of multiple administrative tasks that were suddenly being required of teachers ... Is everybody supposed to do the book reports? Now, when do those have to be turned in? Who is supposed to be covering that sixth grade lunch period? I know I'm not Or are we supposed to do that too? 110

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That's supposed to be turned in every Thursday? My God, I may be tutoring one week, meeting with parents another, going to get materials somewhere the next ... Have you had a chance to see the latest from SIAC, that memo about the multicultural activities? I bet it's in your box. You've got to report all the multicultural activities you're going to do... Well, you'll see. Researcher routines were developed which included collecting the school mail, reading the COM minutes, taking notes at faculty meetings and reconstructing comments heard in hallways, the office, the cafeteria and the lounge. Data were examined at night, before school, and every weekend on top of grading papers and planning lessons. Another pattern was forming from the mail. Core teachers were receiving the bulk of central administrative directives. Wheel, core, and special education teachers were feeling the impact of additional duty schedules, SIAC (see Terminology, Chapter 5) requests for proof of educational activities, and various COM requests such as filling out a form on how teachers spent their time. Emotjonal Responses to Emotional Challenges Graceland still had three camps of concern, identified one and a half years earlier by an educational consultant: those in support of the administration, those vehemently against it and those who chose to remain neutraL Many who were vehemently against it had chosen to appear neutral, visibly concealing their emotional self-torment. Their comments 111

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are documented in Chapter 8 because they are reactions to the implementation of change. "Emotion" as a concept may reside more comfortably in the realm of psychology than anthropology and sociology. "Emotion," however, is what was observed, though perhaps more rightly explained within the assumptions of this research as "arbitrariness." In the midst of increased frenzy connected with new demands on teachers described above, the Reading Specialist called a meeting of core teachers to announce what we were going to do with the reading program this year, how we were going to do it, when we were going to do it, and what needed to be returned to her by specific dates, showing that we had done it, accompanied by the names of students who would need to be remediated. In other words, the reading specialist was putting further detail into memos we had received about the program begun early last school year. The reading program had fallen by the wayside for some teams because, it had reportedly, taken time away from other curriculum demands. At the meeting with the reading specialist. a teacher asked, "What reading program are you referring to?" This was not a facetious question. Programs came and disappeared with regularity. Another teacher asked who was to implement this program? It should be clarified that all sixth grade teachers taught reading, and usually the seventh and eighth grade Language Arts or English teacher took care of reading instruction. The new program. on the other hand, 112

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asked teachers in all subject areas to cover specific reading skills using their subject textbook. The mandated program was replete with teacher scripts and papers to distribute to students. Teachers were also given timetables as to when skills were supposed to be learned by students. Here is a sampling of statements teachers whispered during that meeting: Look at all these papers and dates! When did she say we were going to have time to do this? I thought the reading specialist was going to teach some of the students who had problems reading? She's got to be kidding about all this paper work. One teacher gave me a demure and knowing smile, which all of us in the profession know to mean, "Uke hell I wiiHn The Reading Specialist was asked if she would be willing to come into classrooms and see what was being done for reading and analyze whether current practices were in compliance, or needed to be improved. If improvement was needed, she was asked if she would provide appropriate consultation. The Reading Specialist said she did not have time because she had to make sure everyone instituted the reading program she was in charge of. Reactions to that answer ranged from numbness to disbelief. Then she was asked if she could help us devise a reading program for this school. 113

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one that all teachers would help develop. Her answer was, "No." Teacher comments recorded during the second and third weeks of school reflected ethical concerns emerging in relationship to fulfilling their perceived roles as teachers: Nobody cares about the quality of teaching. They talk a good game but they don't care. They don't ever give us time to do a good job. I'm the one that's still got to care, and how can I? I've got an obligation to teach. I was hired to teach wasn't I? have to keep reminding myself when I've got all this other stuff to do. This isn't right When I first started teaching, I had more time to think up fun things to do with kids. Other teachers were solving the lack-of-time dilemma by not complying at all or reducing the quality of their responses to required directives: Are you talking about those yellow sheets? I just put down anything. Oh, when was that due? How can you tell them all the multicultural activities by each month into 1992? So, l just gave them activities we did last year and if we get to them on the months l put them by, well, I just lucked out. I've got to test my kids. I don't have time for that Still other teachers commented on a relationship between the extra 114

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work and the new DPS and DCTA contract.. This is punishment Downtown wants to show us who's boss. I heard the DCTA president and the Superintendent are feuding about who actually runs the schools. That's what this teacher busy-work is about I don't see why it's too late to strike. They never asked the teachers to vote on this contract In processing commonly held information in systematic ways, patterns emerged. First, that teachers were being deluged with directives not experienced in years past at the school. Negative responses from teachers were not based on an exaggeration of circumstances. Second, the Central Administration Office was the major source of memos containing directives to teachers. There were also considerable memos from the principal that endorsed statements from the Central Office. The Central Administration Office used more separate sheets of paper to convey directives (measurement by girth). In some cases, their directives were supplemental to COM memos. Third, the content of the memos from Central Administration going directly to teachers contained directives for educational programs (content analysis). This was an area, according to its absence in COM minutes that was not touched by that committee. Since June 1991, the COM had been engaged in a variety of what could be termed non instructional activities, e.g., creating a sixth grade orientation schedule. fixing broken telephones, 115

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hiring a paraprofessional for the pass room, establishing detention procedures, leaving the copy machine in the same room, developing procedures for the ice cream social, etc. While the contract may have been unclear about teacher voice, it was not unclear on the relationship between the COM and its "authority and responsibility to establish instructional programs, schedules and structures that will promote the achievement of district outcomes by students in that schooln (p. 11 ). One Central Administration memo hinted at a rationale for establishing instructional programs in spite of the contract's wording. The subheading, written in capital letters, read, SYNOPSIS OF MIDDLE SCHOOL CONTINUATION OF PROGRAMS BEGUN LAST YEAR. Before September 1991 ended, this researcher was forced to ask the question, "What would I be morally compelled to do if I were not the observer?" The role of the participant observer is to finish the research and contribute in the building to which I was assigned. Teachers wanted to know what the research divulged. These summary comments traveled throughout the building and prompted discussion toward a remedy. Findings regarding the source of school directives and Central Administration's absorption with educational instruction were shared with teacher members of the COM. They were interested, but all said the same thing, such information needed to be on the COM agenda, because of the "political" nature of those meetings. The meaning of the term "political" had more bearing on the implementation of change than on the instrument of 116

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change itself, and is discussed further in Chapter 8. Near the end of September 1991, the Central Administration clarified through the Principal that their directives were in reference not to a reading program but to a "skills" program. later referred to as a "remediation" program. Said program is referred to as the reading program because no one referred to it in other terms, and it was, and continued to be, even as a "skills" program. administered by a reading specialist. Research conducted by Cohen and Ball (1990); Elmore and McLaughlin (1988), predict what happens with educational programs implemented from the top down. What appears to be a glorious program at higher levels of administration is not necessarily what gets implemented into the local setting. There seemed to be general agreement in the field of education, over the reading program's aims presented in a September 4, memo from the DPS Central Administration. But what transpired in reality was a program that demeaned the integrity of both the child and the teacher. Each comment below is from a different teacher ... The kids aren't stupid. They know who passed and who didn't They know because she doesn't pay any attention to the ones that passed. And so you know how eager they are to see her coming toward them. l didn't know I was the one who had to keep order while all this was going on. It's intrusion enough as it is. 117

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1 confess. I was glad when she lett and so were the kids. Its somewhat demoralizing. I think her strong suit is administering a program not teaching it. But we were under the impression last year that a reading specialist would help cut the teacher-pupil ratio. We don't need another administrator. They imply that I don't cover these skills, I'm not successful in covering these skills, I don't want to cover these skills. Then they shoot my program to hell, as if I've been here doing nothing all this time. We don't have a reading program for the kids who need to be challenged. This isn't it. Well, yes, I taught the skill before I tested it You think I wanted someone in my room remediating the kids who didn't pass? Why can't they give all of us more time and less kids to do what she's doing? Then we wouldn't have to pull them out or label them inside our rooms. And the paper work... Why do we have to send the names of these poor kids to some downtown computer? How extensively was this program researched on kids before it was adopted? I'd like to know before I spend so much time on it I've seen enough programs come and go because they were flash-in-the-pan ideas that worked some places and not others. They sure don't trust us downtown. do they? And the more they try to step into my classroom and tell me how to do my job the more I don't trust them. You can't teach this class from downtown. Don't they know that? The Principal and Reading Specialist met with core teams individually. At such a meeting the researcher's team was told that it could 118

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apply to the Board for a waiver from the program. But in offering the waiver Mr. Clements stipulated that he would not grant such a waiver to any other team. This offer came after the principal listened to an explanation of the reading program's problems both in procedure and content The offer of a waiver, seemed either differential or hostile treatment, based on unclear educational motives. The researcher's team made the suggestion that Graceland had enough talented and qualified teachers who, would probably prefer to put together what could be call the Graceland Reading Program and do all the things the Central Administration program was attempting to do in bits and pieces of skills, with a better understanding of the students at Graceland. The researcher's team decided not to request the offered waiver. Comments from teachers about the reading program were becoming so numerous that the researcher was having trouble keeping up. Two types of information were emerging simultaneously. First, the nature of the teaching act itself was surfacing in teachers' discussions over dissatisfaction with the reading program as well as their personal perspectives on teaching. There were no favorable comments about the program itself. The program, had become a symbol and had to be examined. Second, while there was no network in the Deal and Kennedy (1982) sense of the term, there was the emergence of open discussion among teachers, and with the principal, about the reading program and its implementation. This appeared to be a significant initial step toward a 119

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communication network. Teachers were sharing their experiences with one another and to a limited extent, with the principal and the reading specialist The idea of creating Graceland's own reading program was an idea to share. Several teachers saw the advantages while others saw disadvantages. What was being proposed was not a reinvention of the wheel, but rather identifying what teachers were using already, and presenting it as a package to the COM. After all, the COM was involving itself in noneducational matters, and was not yet focused on the reading program. Researcher involvement with the COM is given more detail later in Chapter 8, but is mentioned here in its chronological position because of its later interaction with teachers' perspectives on the instrument of change. Beliefs About Empowerment As will be shown in the following pages, empowerment, as it began to emerge from teachers. surrounded the professional performance of teaching. Still, within the first three weeks of school. teachers at Graceland were not paying attention to COM meetings. According to Ourkheim's (see Collins, 1985) definition of "ritual," teaching itself is a ritual: Usually, the more people that are brought together. the more intense the ritual. But it also heightens the contact; by going through common gestures. chants. and the like. people focus their attention on the same thing. They are not only assembled. but they become overwhelmingly conscious of the group around them. As a result. 120

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certain ideas come to represent the group itself by becoming its symbols (p. 128). Axial coding is a process that breaks up a phenomenon into the conditions which give rise to it, the specific properties in which it is embedded, the ways it is managed, and the consequences of that management (Strauss and Corbin, 1990). Research at Graceland recorded data such as, to teach well you had to be "left alone," students had to "trust" you, and that the teaching act also meant preserving student dignity. In coding these comments from the data, emerging notions revealed that teaching was inseparable from being able to create or control the conditions of the act itself. Teaching was inseparable from autonomy; that teaching (whether a skill or advanced subject material) was a personal act replete with personal, not standardized, decisions and choices. Typically "freedom of choice" in current literature, pertained to students and parents deciding on schools and whole courses, but it was not related to teachers and teaching. However, at Graceland, freedom of choice involved the sometimes very minute aspects of the teaching act, teachers were choosing the nature of the act What's more, isolation was providing the means to be individually autonomous, that is, being hidden provided the necessary cover for freedom of choice. The term ''political" which continued to pop up in teachers' comments, is covered in more depth in Chapter 8 because it relates more to the thematic conceptualization of implementing the instrument of 121

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change. But there was overlap in the way "political" was used by teachers. During the first semester of school, it was not clear from the data what "political" was (noun reference) to teachers, but it was crystallizing as to what it did (verb reference) within the realm of the teaching act Teachers not on the COM used the term "politics" as a hindrance to freedom of choice within the confines of the teaching activity or teaching as a professional body of behaviors. Counteracting this hindrance was a matter of employing isolationist tactics, behind which freedom of choice, again within the confines of generally understood teacher practice, could be exercised. Teachers expressed this phenomenon as follows: What the reading specialist calls "minute questioning," I've been doing for years as a natural style of my teaching. I don't even think about it Now, if she wants me to think about it, okay. So, if r don't fill out this form by next Thursday with the kids' names written down here, she'll think I didn't do it? Is that insane or what? Where's my free choice in all of this anyway? I had a parent tell me his kid needed more hands-on "stuff." God, r had to bite my tongue. What are the parents supposed to provide nowadays? [Pointing to own head} My stuff is in here and I can't pull it out with my hands. [Pointing to mouth} I pull it out with this. And that's what I'm teaching kids to do. I must have had four kids come into my room this morning with messages. That, plus the intercom... Does this happen an the time? How do you get started around here. Just when I thought l was clicking, boom! Another interruption( l don't know how to teach without my space. 122

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I thought I'd try this new thing l saw at the math workshop I took this summer. You pass out these cards and so forth. Then [the name of the Reading Specialist} walked in and stood there, smiling at me, like I was supposed to stop. Then the kids got curious. You can't teach with someone looking over your shoulder. You've got to keep your door locked. I think its politics that's running the schools this year. I've decided to stay as far away from it as possible. I don't want it to affect me or my teaching. I haven't seen you in a long time. I've been upstairs with my door closed. That's the only way you can teach. What's been going on down here, anything? I should get out more; walk around, but.. Its nice upstairs. I think the kids like it, too. I feel I'm getting some things accomplished, for once. If teachers don't have autonomy in the classroom then what was the sense of going to college to get certified. I don't care what goes on politically, that shouldn't change. What follows are examples of the relationship between teaching method, intimacy, and autonomy from teacher comments ... I teach when r can, when nobody interferes, when nobody is blasting over that P A system and nobody is bringing some note to my crass. Then we get down to the basics. I talk to them in the way I can. Oh, I've made some changes over the years. I'm making changes now. But they've got to know those basics and with an the distractions, in the home and at school, it's hard. It's getting harder to see results. I'd like to throw this in the trash. [The teacher was holding some of the script of the reading program] And there are some good things in here. Its only because you can't shove stuff down somebody's throat, not when you've got to teach 123

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kids that don't even have the foundations. They don't know these kids like l do. Memos on the nature of the teaching act were forming. The data showed that intimacy was primal to the act of teaching for many of Graceland's teachers regardless of their teaching perspective. I think outlining is a more important skill than the others this program covers. I've had successful students by getting them to outline each chapter of the book all year. It helps non English speakers organize, as well as students who speak only a little Spanish. I don't mind covering it during the dates they have here, I'd cover it anyway. But I think if they continue to interfere with the rapport I have in my room, I can't take responsibility for my students' learning. These teachers were talking beyond the content matter of the subjects they taught and were accommodating student needs. But teachers with this perspective were not the only ones who referred to rapport, intimacy and connectedness ... Some strategies are so intimate and personal, so tiny, you don't even remember them when they're over. I remember when [name of student}'s mother died. I realized later I was teaching [name of subject} with a soft voice all period long. I don't even know what made me remember that now. But you can't dictate those things, and you can't teach with somebody standing over your shoulder, either. As stated previously, teacher comments about the reading program were prolific. Some teachers had reported their feelings directly to the 124

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Principal and to the Reading Specialist Communication among teachers was also emerging. In a faculty meeting meant to explain both the new teacher evaluation procedures and the purpose of the reading program, (Mr. Clements held up the fat notebooks the reading specialist used), the Principal made several interesting statements concerning both the contract and the reading program. First, he said, the "Governor's contract'' was not the first time teachers had had an opportunity to make decisions about educational instruction and we had not made any or hadn't been successful in implementing the decisions we had made (the meaning was not clear to), so the Central Administration was ensuring success this time by continuing the programs it had started prior to the contract Second, this was not a reading program. The principal apologized for the mislabeling. This was the "Organizing for Learning Program,'' a skills program replacing the Middle School's Reading Program. And third, he would consider any teacher who did not implement this program, to be insubordinate. The Principal was defining for us all, the way in which he and the Central Administration office interpreted the contract His statements also had an impact on the ethos of the school, as the outline of cultural characteristics pointed out The Principal had not changed his authoritarian way of managing the school since the very first day of his principalship at Graceland in the fall of 1989. This contract according to his 125

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message to the faculty, was to be handled no differently. That the memo was the preferred form of communication for Mr. Clements and Central Administrators was evidenced by the copious notes Mr. Clements took at every meeting, and in the abundant memos sent to teachers from Central Administration in the first weeks of school. The driving force of Mr. Clements' authority came from those he quoted most, the members of Central Administration. Under Mr. Clements' principalship, teacher comments revealed their feelings that the school's myth-Graceland was number one in the district and had gotten there all by itself-was being eroded. For those teachers holding a highly academic perspective of teaching, the imposed reading program represented an anti intellectual curriculum. For those teachers who were attracted to the self-determination aspects of the myth, the culture was becoming one of domination and oppression rather than an arena for creativity and growth. Priests and priestesses who had once carried stories of the school's myths had long since been defrocked by the Principal. Some teachers felt that Mr. Clements was shifting these roles to the Reading Specialist, who was to carry the new story of the reading/skills program throughout the school. Nothing was said in response to Mr. Clements' dramatic and provocative statement at the meeting. Faculty silence perhaps was an indicator of its emotional impact. However, in the aftermath, the communication network was broadening far beyond what had been in 126

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place even in prior years. Conversation dealt primarily with issues of professional equality ... Mr. Clements must know what he's doing. I guess it had to come to this. He's still responsible for this entire school. I don't know what to think. I knew Hattie Thornton. I think that's who Mr. Clements is trying to imitate. You didn't have to be smart in Hattie's day, just tough, so you could stay on top. Now I understand how the Reading Specialist got this job. They really are eye to eye on this mess, aren't they? Well, children, [speaking to three teachers] I hope you got the message. I had my kids color pictures today. I'm beginning to believe that producing intelligent kids is not the goal of this school. Did I get the message right? Did you notice that he referred to his peers as other principals. Not any of us, God forbid. And certainly not you lowly teachers. Can you teach to his image of this school? If I transferred out. maybe I'd be letting this school down. But I think I could teach better in an environment that thought I was good enough to make decisions about my job. Who did he think he was talking tol I think he was talking to them, those teachers who think they can run this school their way. l don't want to be a principal. I don't want to make decisions about anything. I just want to go into my classroom and do my job. 127

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You can't run away from it, can you? You can't close your door to this, can you? He's telling us we've got to stand up and fight, isn't he? Otherwise, we'll never get to teach. By the very end of September 1991, something was beginning to happen to the culture of the schooL The teachers' section of the cafeteria, more often empty than full, was now more often full than empty. From the end of September, when the principal announced his view of the contract, teacher insubordination and the reading program, there was more gossip, and more expressed opinion on the school's management of educational programs. Teachers, in a sense, were opening their doors and coming out. The isolationism, characteristic of the first two weeks of school, was disappearing. Both autonomy and equality as symbols of teaching, as necessary ingredients for teaching, were expressed throughout the school year. Their expression was so strong in panel discussions at the end of the 1991-1992 school year that they had to be considered norms of instruction. Later in this chapter, additional events demonstrate the relation between equality and autonomy to teacher empowerment Expectations About The Instrument of Change At the COM meeting, the idea of constructing a reading program for Graceland, had received permission from the committee. The COM's first first subcommittee was formed. Such a move by the COM had created commotion in the school among teachers. 128

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In the days that immediately followed the October COM meeting, the Principal brought in his supervisor to sit down with individual core teams to discuss the Central Administration's reading program. Compromises were offered surrounding both the clerical aspects and the duration of the reading/skills program. Teachers became curious as they watched sixth grade teachers in particular engaged in meetings with the creator of the program, the principal's supervisor and the PrincipaL The sixth grade teachers had been particularly vocal about their dislike of the district's reading program. It would have been premature to say that anything like Deal and Kennedy's (1982) cultural communication network had formed, because there were still no identifiable parts to it There were no new priests and priestesses, no new or clarifying myths, and no heroes and heroines yet The Reading Specialist perceived her teaching job as one that reported directly to the PrincipaL She said this to many teachers, and no one thought otherwise. The Reading Specialist was very open, honest and professional about that relationship and, in tum, teachers were open to the extent that they understood her role. They particularly saw it as an administrative position because the Reading Specialist had no classroom of students. The Reading Specialist was also informative about the reading program. To this extent she was a spy in the positive cultural sense of the role. She had access to everyone and freely exchanged information. She explained to teachers for example, that her reporting system to downtown was taking a great deal of time away from actually 129

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teaching in the format of the program. ln November a possible alternative reading program was to be presented to the COM. A memo to all teachers asked for volunteers and also solicited parent commitment after the October COM meeting. The subcommittee worked hard and fast. Teachers and parents were working around the building, obtaining survey data, finding reading materials, interviewing experts and administrators on an education-related issue under the auspices of the COM The reading subcommittee was in full view of all Gracefand teachers and administrators. During this time, the researcher, as a member of the subcommittee gathered serendipitous information concerned with teachers' perspectives on teaching as the entire subcommittee gathered information on what teachers wanted in the way of a reading program. The following incident is included here because it revealed teachers' shifting view of empowerment, their several perspectives of teaching within the same school, and their emotions surrounding the instrument of change itself. A teacher serving on the new reading subcommittee was asked by the Reading Specialist to hand over to her some book report forms which were a part of a SlAG-requested student activity. The teacher's response was that the COM had not yet made a decision about that activity yet This was not the first time the Reading Specialist had gotten that response from a teacher But this time it prompted her to communicate immediately with the PrincipaL The Principal very quickly sent a memo to the teacher on the 130

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reading subcommittee. The subsequent events demonstrate the gradual build-up of a cultural communication network, a hidden hierarchy, as Deal and Kennedy (1982) label it-which unlike the communication network in prior years at Graceland-was now accumulating a broader base of teacher involvement Upon receiving the memo from the Principal, the teacher ran off copies and gave them to other teachers she felt she could trust There was no question that she was walking a fine line of insubordination, although there was a growing number of teachers who were beginning to believe that it was the COM which should be implementing education programs in the building, as stipulated in the contract A few teachers, the researcher included, suggested that the important person to whom the Principal's latest memo should be taken was the chairperson of the COM. It is interesting to note here that it never occurred to anyone that the teacher should contact the OCTA. That may have been prompted by the content of the memo. Upon receipt of the memo, the COM chairperson told the teacher that the matter would be looked into. Before the last week of October, the COM members had planned a retreat together. There they were to create their mission statement at that time. According to every source within the school's developing communication network, the Chairperson of COM revealed the memo at the retreat One key phrase in the Principal's memo had been very telling: 131

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" ... COM does not run the school." The COM Chairperson explained to Mr. Clements that if he considered the COM to be merely advisory, COM members were prepared to resign on the spot The continuation of this incident belongs in Chapter 8, where full discussion of the implementation of change takes place. It is introduced here because it signaled the beginning of an empowered teacher perspective which was transmitted through a newly formed communication network within the building This incident became the seed of a new myth of empowerment... I hear it's a zoo downtown. Thars why it's taking so long for them to tell us how this contract is supposed to work. If we don't tell him what this contract says, he's going to tell us. And it's going to be the same thing we've heard in all the other years hats been here. I'm just going to wait and see what happens You know that things come and go so quickly that this contract may become one of those things that goes tomorrow, too I don't need this contract to give me any power. I've always had the power to do my job the best way I can. I'm glad now I didn't get on that committee [COM]. I couldn't have done that [referring to rumor}. If you don't expect much, you don't get disappointed. But l'm going to start going to some of these COM meetings because I'm disappointed. They don't seem to be making any decisions at all. I think we should tell them [COM] what we want done around here besides getting more copy fluid. 132

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I feel good about what happened. But I don't trust this principal, based on his past record. He's likely to drop the other shoe. Some teachers slowly put aside isolation and began to attend COM meetings while some continued to stay away from participative activity. Some teachers avidly watched what transpired, but all teachers expressed their opinions freely. Just as Goodman (1972) and Sweder had arranged expressive symbols along a continuum, I was able to arrange expectations about the contract along a continuum of participation (see Chapter 8). Vjews on School Integration and Workplace EQuality The questions that arose at the time of the incident described above included why teacher empowerment and decentralized participatory management were not considered by the Principal to be in the best interest of the Administration? Why were the tenets of this contract so undesirable? Why was teacher empowerment granted in this contract a threat to Graceland's Principal? Through inquiries and stories stemming from rumored meetings in which the Superintendent was said to have charged that racial intent was at the bottom of the DPS and DCTA negotiated contract, possible motives of the principal began to form. Such rumors began to surface in newspapers; see Stevens, March 7, 1992). The following statements are from White and minority parents and teachers connected with Graceland during the year of this study ... 133

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When I was in school, I was punished for speaking Spanish. That's why we need bilingual core classes. They expect our kids to learn just like the White ones yet all they know how to do is water down the curriculum for them. My child reads a lot on his own and I want him challenged. Anything that turns him into a tutor for other kids all day isn't acceptable. If parents can't come to me and get their kids, I go to where they live. I take the kids home and tell them what they did at school. They have come to me wondering why their names are not on the honor roll and if I answer their questions, or if we dialogue about it, there are other teachers who think I am being negative. They live in a fantasy of equal opportunity. Well, I don't care anymore. I think its my job to discuss reality. I'm afraid when I hear some teachers say they want bilingual students integrated into their classes because I know they don't know how to teach them. When I was growing up, there was no difference between Black kids and White kids and Mexicans. They were all the same. We need to have a reading program just for those kids who need it It's worked before. Statements like these were less frequent than statements on specific educational practices. Formal meetings tended to be where the few minority teachers spoke out, and usually only in response to a suggested plan that would put minority students at a disadvantage. For example, one suggestion for a school fund-raiser, hoped that 134

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students would pay for candy in advance of the sale. A minority teacher pointed out that fund-raisers already limited participation by minority students who knew few who could afford the product whether magazines or candy. To also ask them to pay in advance, the teacher contended, would eliminate their participation totally. In addition, this teacher raised the issue of rewarding those who had sold a lot of product when the rewards (usually special movie showings) tended to have all-Anglo attendance, not because Hispanic and African Americans did not have school spirit, but because they did not have opportunity. Such remarks from minority teachers tended to heighten awareness and increase discussion on equity. Teachers would speak of alternative processes to include more students but few plans were actualized. Besides fund-raisers, there were other programs handled with similar insensitivity, like the Martin Luther King, Black History month, and Cinco de Mayo programs that would not get started or completed unless minority staff members took charge of them. The bus to the Golden Sky Ski Resort still carried only or mostly White students, although it was financed by a program seeking minority students interested in science careers. The reply to the researchers inquiries had always contained the belief that because not enough minority students signed up (many did not have the supplemental money). White students should be given the opportunity to fill vacant seats. None of the remarks from minority teachers suggested that during the year of this study, a more heightened social consciousness concerning 135

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racial issues was at work around them. While equal opportunity and equitable treatment for minority students was captured in reconstructed dialogue and through observations at meetings, neither of these data sources revealed any perception on the part of parents or teachers that the instrument of change was itself racist or supported racist purposes. To understand a possible administrative belief that the contract may have had racist motivations suggested the importance of viewing the new contract against the history of desegregation in the City and County of Denver. Brown versus the Board of Education was not implemented in 1955. Twenty years of noncompliance (prior to the Keyes decision) attest to that The historic 1954 Brown decision was finally implemented in Denver by purposeful, court-ordered steps to centralized the school system so that a citywide busing program and a citywide curriculum could be implemented to address the needs of all students uprooted from one section of the city to another. Therefore. efforts to undo the centralization of the city's schools would likely be seen as an effort to stop integration. James (1991 ). for example, advances the idea that centralized districts can best implement federal rulings and programs. If the Brown and Keyes decisions had influenced the principalts anti empowerment stance, Mr. Clements never explained his rationale to COM members, at least according to COM minutes. The COM chairperson. however. having read my chronological account of events, explained that Mr. Clements very often did speak of racism during meetings and with 136

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individual members of the COM, saying that he thought racism was active throughout Graceland. Receiving this information drew my attention toward two important elements of Graceland's culture. First, this additional information suggested that rational and bureaucratic culture had no discussion mechanism nor answers for the intrusion of non rational issues like inequality, inequity and racism. Racism was swept aside as an issue, not as valued as those which could be addressed rationally, like equity. The principal had challenged the credibility of COM decisions because the group did not represent the racial make-up of the school's students (see Chapter 8). Equality, on the other hand, is not easily argued by an organization that values unequal status through structured hierarchical levels of employment Reconstructed dialogue pointed to increasing expression from teachers that equality, like autonomy, was an environmental condition necessary for good teaching. Thus, while discussion took place in COM meetings about racism, it was apparently not deemed to have the same value as those issues addressed by the COM like making certain that teachers had copy fluid, or forming a reading subcommittee, etc. Mr. Clements reviewed COM minutes before they were distributed to teachers and apparently saw no disturbance in the absence of his comments about racism. Axial coding also synthesized the possibility that "equity" issues were not the same as "equality" issues. Mr. Clements addressed equity by eliminating geometry and semantics so that all students would have the 137

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same class offerings. Equity was also addressed by the administrative implementation of a reading program which would be taught and monitored with sameness throughout the building. Addressing equality, on the other hand, suggested that, regardless of race and ethnicity, students would all have the same opportunity to benefit from highly academic courses, whatever that would entail, and that a school reading program would consider the decisions made by teachers about that program to be of equal value as those made by administrators. The Principal's insubordination speech revealed that he saw his role hierarchically by function. This was in contrast to the increasing comments this researching was receiving indicating that Graceland was a collection of varying cultures determined not only by race and ethnicity but also by role. And that people moved easily from one cultural group to another within the school. There were subject matter cultural groups with priests and rituals. Meanwhile, the reading subcommittee compiled its report for November 7. The first semester was halt over. Whatever was to be recommended had to be something that could be implemented immediately and without time-consuming training. What was needed was something that teachers already knew and were convinced was successful. What was also needed was a reading program that preserved the dignity of students needing extra help while challenging the school's strong readers. What better source for such a reading program than the teachers 138

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themselves. A survey asked them to name, from their own experience, reading programs they knew worked. All that was needed was to compile teachers' responses into one program, create an in-school reporting system of results, find materials and resources around the building that could support such a program, and create a built-in support system to assist teachers in carrying it out In November 1991, the teachers voted against the alternative program. The reasons add additional dimension to the emerging cultural characteristics within the school. Talking to teachers about the results one week after the vote produced these remarks: This is too much work when my alternative is really to do neither one. Quite frankly, I've been doing what works for me with the kids since school started. No, I haven't been doing that reading program from downtown. Are you kidding? Perhaps next year when there's more time to devote to learning about it That's what was wrong with the one from the administration buHding, too. The greatest part about all this was that we got to vote. We were free to vote. Nobody was there to say we had to do either one. Now l don't know how long this will last, but I liked the freedom to choose. Did you hear the Reading Specialist say this was just a one semester program? That teachers wouldn't have to do anything more after December with this because all the students would have been remediated at that point? That's laughable, but it meant the dragon was dead. So why vote 139

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for this? Those who voted against the alternative reading program called attention to its involvement during team planning of which there was very little, (the schedule had virtually abolished it for many teams), and that overall it was cumbersome in its reporting system. Those few who voted for it cited the opportunity to do a mixed bag of activities they created. A few of the reading subcommittee members were hurt They had adopted this program internally and saw merit in its range of choices. As its Chairperson, this researcher personally looked at the alternative reading program as a compilation of everyone else's ideas. But the vote and the teacher comments told me a great deal, especially when combined with other statements and observations about the school's culture. Autonomy and equality were not just beginning to surface as notions of empowerment. Their relatedness had appeared in analytic memos as early as September. Isolationism was disappearing. However, autonomy, with its freedom to make choices in teaching, and equality, with its voice for teachers as contributors to education decisions in the school, were replacing the need to practice teaching in hidden ways. At the start of the year. the administration's reading program had been a symbol of centralized control. But. as compromises had been established to dilute its control and to abolish its use after one semester. it had become a symbol of autonomy and equality. By voting for the Central Administration's reading program. teachers had not voted for its 140

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implementation, but for its promised extinction. The opportunity to vote at all was provided by the COM, of which many teachers had been skeptical at the start of the school year. A different culture was emerging with a communication network. Priests and priestesses carried the news of COM's courage, and saga of self-determination. From that voting process to the end of the first semester. CDM minutes showed an increase in teacher attendance at its meetings. By January 1992, seventy-five percent of Graceland's faculty was participating in at least one subcommittee of the COM and, in some cases, more than one. In December 1991, less than a week before the winter break and the close of the first semester, Mr. Clements collapsed in his office. The Principal was rushed to the hospital barely conscious. He had been suffering from flu symptoms the week before and had been on medication. Even then, the cultural network of storytellers visited the hospital and reported back to teachers on his condition. He was doing well, but he never returned to Graceland after two and a half years as its first Afro American Principal. Within a few days, !he school reacted as if he had never been at Graceland at all. The new principal, Mr. Harrison, was White. As he introduced himself in January 1992, at the first faculty meeting of the second semester, he mentioned the name of the school's heroine, Amelia Shaw, a former principal known for displaying confidence in "her" teachers by permitting them to do their job. Mr. Harrison also described Graceland's myth as 141

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having been number one in the district and its teachers as having gotten the school to that position themselves. Mr. Harrison invited Amelia Shaw, Graceland's retired principal and heroine, to come visit within his newly created Open Forum. Amelia Shaw was frequently referred to by former priests and priestesses as the ultimate principal. Graceland's heroine. While seated in the school's community room for an open forum, she made this observation: I always felt that our teachers, once given the materials and time they needed would do the job expected of them. And I communicated that belief. Teachers at Graceland during the time of Amelia Shaw's principalship continued to talk about her: She treated everyone fairly. She thought nothing of having faculty meetings at nearby homes where we drank. She provided the breakfast during morning meetings and cinnamon rolls at other meetings. She knew discipline was important. Whenever she asked for a favor. you did it because you knew she was working hard to make our lives at school successful. She was certainly more visible than the one [Mr. Clements] we had. 142

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This was a unique research situation. With the same population of teachers. the researcher would be able to chart two distinctly different management techniques. The first had been a decidedly bureaucratic management perspective, and the second was management through the use of nonrational aspects of organizational culture. This study had paid particular attention to nonrational characteristics of the school from the very beginning of the first semester. Now I would be able to observe those same characteristics manipulated into management routines. By the end of January, the researcher was examining a different school culture from that in its first semester. There was a heroine and a hero (the latter, a teacher, returned in January after a one-semester leave of absence), priests and priestess, and an informal communication network of which the Principal was a part Mr. Harrison aligned himself with a highly academic perspective, and also expressed an interest in bilingual education. He had been a former English teacher who enjoyed teaching college-bound students. Within a few weeks of his arrival, all morning announcements were spoken in both Spanish and English, and all office rooms were painted with both Spanish and English designations over the door. Mr. Harrison seemed more accessible than Mr. Clements. and teachers moved in and out of his office explaining how things should be at Graceland. The following teacher comments were recorded ... Maybe we can teach now. 143

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I like him. He's more attuned to our needs than Mr. Clements was. l bet he understands the Junior High School concept. We talked a long time about where we need to bring back the academic strength of the schooL It's like fresh air. He was so nice. He even sent a note thanking us. Can you remember anything like that before? Parents are going to have somebody they can talk to now. There were more teachers congregating in the haUways, more gathering for Friday goodies, more joint efforts over lunchroom coverage and other areas of supervision, more subcommittee meetings after school, more laughter from teachers in the front office. There was more interaction between classified and certificated personnel: the school's financial specialist organized the Martin Luther King assembly, a cafeteria manager explained her hurt feelings over teachers' rules prohibiting students from getting their lunch until they were quiet, thus prolonging the lunchroom staff's day. The rule was modified, as wen as the manager's hostility toward teachers. The manager had affected policy and was willing to become part of the discipline process. According to these statements from parents, they also were aware of a change ... 144

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The new principal is understanding, tough, and very approachable. It looks like goals are being set and long-range planning is being done. My children say that Mr. Harrison is visible and interacts with students. We need a principal like him. Hopefully, Mr. Harrison will push for more accelerated classes. Incoming mail from Central Administration had dwindled considerably since December, with an extensive memo guaranteeing outcomes and another concerning Bill of Rights celebrations. This was to some extent the result of Mr. Harrison retaining memos directed to principals rather than forwarding them on to teachers. The past hero had returned after a one semester absence and almost immediately petitioned COM for the return of semantics classes. He also requested that language arts be taken off the core teams for the following year. COM later, at a meeting described in Chapter 8, agreed to the former and not to the latter At the meeting at which Graceland's hero made the requests, the researcher argued against tracking as immoral. Everyone listened politely and voted quickly. The hero won. To everyone's dismay, student crime appeared to escalate in seriousness beginning in the same month the new principal arrived. It was hard to determine whether serious incidents were usually hidden from teachers to protect student rights and allay teacher's fears, or whether 145

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incidents of weapon-carrying had gone undetected for a long time. Can it be said that no one was minding the store, that teachers were too involved with empowerment, reading programs and isolationism to see what was going on with students? The data cannot rule out that possibility. The quote from Deal and Kennedy describing fragmented cultures at the beginning of this chapter, .... .they do not mesh well when they need to ... For fully the first half of the first semester, morale was low. And if Bandura (1977) is also right, that self-imposed isolation can point to mental illness, the climate may have created a stage on which students destructively played out the roles around them. Mr. Harrison, however, was very reassuring, promising expertise in this area and a strong policy of suspension and expulsion for offenders. These remarks were very well received by teachers ... Isn't that what a principal is supposed to be doing? I don't think we'll be listening to a lot of student pandering anymore. It's about time somebody got tough around here. He's been in the school system long enough to know what it is that principals have to do to be considered competent. They can't tolerate disruptions in the classroom and expect teachers to do their job. I think we're going to get back to normal now. I had recorded Mr. Harrison as saying in early February that he realized this was a honeymoon period. But, by the end of February 1992, 146

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the euphoria was over. By the second semester of school, however, the COM subcommittees were in place, as well as a communication network that had developed by the end of the first semester. The COM was involved in educational programs to the degree of determining direction, time scheduling and future goals. 147

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Summary and Analysis of Fjndjngs This chapter focused on teachers' cultural participation and reaction to change resulting from the negotiated contract The focus of the chronological events were academic in nature. By attempting to keep events within the chronological space in which they happened, teachers' changing perceptions about the contract were explained within the context of those events. During the first week of school, no cultural network of communication existed. This was a year begun by closing the door, sitting it out, waiting and seeing. It had no priests and priestesses as in the past, actively telling stories about specific rituals or myths. Isolationism was the school culture's predominant characteristic, and, during the third week of September, in spite of more talk about the reading program, Graceland's predominant cultural characteristic remained isolationist with a mounting coalescence forming around similar complaints about teachers' frenzied existence. It was the mail from the principal and Central Administration that brought the outside world inside. There was little sharing between teachers except at faculty meetings. The data suggested that the contract, as an instrument of change, contributed to teachers' (1) emotional responses to change, (2) beliefs about empowerment. (3) perspectives on teaching, (4) expectations about the instrument of change. and (5) views on school integration and workplace democracy. This chapter suggested that teachers' emotional responses to 148

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change were arbitrary and that change seemed to be an interference with the task of teaching. Central Administration had increased its dialogue directly with teachers and teachers began to feel the pressure of this dialogue as an unanticipated process of change. Teachers' beliefs about empowerment were linked more to the act of teaching than to the contract's decision-making opportunities. Seen through a rational and linear approach or a mind-set that travels from policy directly to results, this study verified what Sarason (1990) found, that when offered, teachers did not utilize decision-making power. However, only teachers willing to take elected positions on the COM were trained in the decision-making role. Other teachers started the year by ignoring what they did not feel trained to handle. Teachers' perspectives on teaching were more varied and more specific than their perspectives and informed understanding of teacher empowerment. However, by the end of the year, more teachers participated in COM meetings and subcommittees. Teacher expectations about the instrument of change were, therefore, in a year long evolving process that became catalyzed by volatile crises. The notion that teaching is intimate and requires an autonomous teacher were constants throughout the year of this study. Teachers' views on school integration seemed to reflect the teachers' own-and not their students' own-fight for equality. Some teachers had been very sensitive to the principal's reference to his peers as being other principal's rather than other teachers. But many teachers 149

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saw equality as the opportunity to make decisions about their own work. The faculty, having started their year as a fragmented group of single actors, later broadened their communication and affiliation to include the entire faculty-something not seen in the three years prior to this study. Teachers shared a common bond, a need for autonomy and equality in order to teach. They, therefore, shared common symbols. The COM provided the temple in which to celebrate or ritualize the attainment of those symbols. While teachers' emotional responses to change continued to emerge throughout the year, the discussion of the reading program and later the COM meetings demonstrated that step wise administrative program implementation can in fact be perceived as arbitrary and nonrational. Generally, teachers attitude toward the institution of a reading program became more righteous as the year went forward. Where did this righteous feeling come from? One possible answer is suggested by its history. Graceland's faculty felt itself highly competent, as seen in the number of teachers who viewed themselves and their job as professionaL From the mid-1980's to the current year, Graceland had one to two Ph.D. faculty members and, during the year of this study, also had one teacher who had just passed the Denver Bar Exam. Add to this number those teachers in various stages of degree attainment. as well as those teachers who had years of experience at the elementary, middle school, high 150

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school, and college level. Consequently, teachers at Graceland were self confident about their views on education. Rossman, Corbett and Firestone (1988), in their study of Monroe High School, categorized four perspectives they found in the school, all of which were present at Graceland. The "academic perspective" of teaching, they suggested, included teachers committed to their subject matter, demonstrated through their determination to introduce students to the more advanced aspects of their field. They also believed their competence in teaching was derived from their knowledge of the subject matter and how it was presented. Their competence was not believed to come through the acquisition of knowledge outside their field such as social work or psychology {pp. 32-33). Parenting as a field of knowledge can also be added to this category of perspective at Graceland. Statements documented at Graceland are almost duplicates of those at Monroe: I'm not a trained therapist I'm a teacher. They want me to act like the kid's mother, father and social worker, on top of being her teacher. These teachers described teaching as an interest in students' academic achievement, and found any other student need to be outside the parameters of their training. The right kind of student was usually college-bound. The "balanced perspective" was representatively expressed by those teachers who were interested in their subject matter, but who were 151

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also interested in their students' goals and levels of achievement. Thus, this perspective was a blend of two accommodations: the adjustment of inteUectual content and an adherence to behavioral prerequisites to teaming, according to Rossman et.aL This perspective at Monroe, the researchers found, was most often labeled the "elementary orientated" view (p. 34), and it directly corresponded at Gracetand to teachers who had been relocated with sixth grade students from elementary to middle school. More process-orientated, these teachers were ideologically more able to line their students up to attend assembly programs and to protect them from the social influences and peer demands of older students in the building. The "vocational perspective" and the "psychological development perspective." described by Rossman et. al. as the third and fourth perspectives respectively, were found to be combined at Graceland. The vocational perspective at Monroe High School was discovered among teachers in the industrial arts. business. home economics, health and physical education programs (p. 34). At Graceland. it included teachers in the bilingual education program in addition to the programs listed above. Teachers holding the vocational perspective were tess concerned with teaching advanced courses than those teachers holding an academic perspective. The former were concerned with knowledge that would enhance their students' ability to obtain good jobs, offer better educational opportunities. or make them good citizens. They additionally promoted their department's value in the face of a strongly academic perspective at 152

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Graceland, through what Rossman et. al. call a psychological development perspective or an emphasis on developing self-esteem in students (p. 34). Subcommittee surveys which meant to seek a common reading program all teachers would use, showed three categories of criticism concerned with the Central Administration's program. From a balanced perspective of teaching, the Central Administration's program implementation process demeaned kids not grouped by ability; from an academic perspective, the reading program was not academic nor did it align itself to the kind of teaching done in advanced academic fields; and from a vocational/psychological development perspective, it held some promise, but not in its demeaning method of delivery. By far, the majority of teachers who responded to the subcommittee's survey held a highly academic perspective. This correlation was created because the teachers being asked to teach the Central Administration's reading program were core or academic teachers. The second largest grouping of teachers, by teaching perspective, was the balanced perspective and this view seemed to correlate with numbers of sixth grade teachers. Here are a few of the comments which tried to described an alternative: Balanced Perspective Whatever we use, it should have lots of hands-on activity for an learners. 153

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I like using the four guidelines (outlining, etc.) as a focus for teaching any of the curriculum-however, they are not a substantial core alone and really nothing new. We have so many reading levels in one room and all of them need to be challenged. Even the ones who think they already have all the skills they'll ever need. Highly Academic I would like to see acceleration for those students who are reading well above grade level and who are becoming increasingly more bored daily! I am a promoter of basal readers, a traditionalist in philosophy. I like the structure, repetition, and consistency of a basal. I've taught [name of subject area} without a book. I thought I got better results from more students in the class. Different programs are needed for different skill levels. This "skills" program contains the very skills taught as I teach [name of subject area]. So why tum those skills into a grandiose program meant to distract from the subject itself. I feel confident that teachers who need help teaching reading will get the help they need from people they consider experts. vocatjonai!Psychologjcal I'd like to become trained as a Reading Specialist from a vocational perspective. Is reading only to perform well on tests? We have an odd focus. 154

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How on earth can students who read at 1st, 3rd, or 4th grade levels (we have many) gain in reading skills by attempting to read 6th, 7th, or 8th grade level material? These children are ignored even today because our system appears blind to the fact that we need high interest, lower level materials. A few parents responded to the survey as well. My child reads very well with no help. This is an area [reading} I feel rests with teacher judgment based on their expertise. Graceland's first semester could be described as highly bureaucratic. According to Deal and Kennedy (1982; p. 108) bureaucracy encourages, a "process culture" or, as Owens and Steinhoff (1988) describe it, a "machine culture," both of which tend to discourage and then extinguish the very vibrancy and creativity that Mr. Clements, on other occasions, had expressed a wish to see in teachers. A process or machine culture is marked by certain characteristics that were present in Mr. Clements' management style at Graceland. Deal and Kennedy (1982) describe these characteristics as follows: A world of little or no feedback where employees find it hard to measure what they do; instead they concentrate on how its done ... small events take on major importance-a certain telephone call ... or the section head's latest memo. People in these cultures tend to develop a rrcover your ass" mentality. The most trivial event becomes the subject of a memo. Those fellow sufferers who receive the memo don't want to acknowledge that they've missed anything. So they send an answer, often as detailed as the originaL Everything goes into a fife so that they can prove that they didn't make the mistake ... (pp 108,120). 155

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Owens and Steinhoff (1988) add that: The driving force seems to come from the structure of the organization itself, ... its mission is protection rather than warmth (p. 74). By contrast, Mr. Harrison had a command of the nonrational components of an organization After inaugurating open forums for teachers to speak directly with him (establishing a communication network in which he would play a part), the Principal invited Amelia Shaw, Graceland's retired principal (aligning himself with the school's heroine), to come visit within the format of his own forums. He immediately placed himself within the culture of the school, not just the Central Administration's hierarchy 156

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CHAPTERS THE POLITICAL VIEW OF CHANGE The DPS and OCT A contract called for the formation of a Collaborative Decision Making (COM) committee in each DPS school and charged them to perform specific duties described in Chapter 1 We have seen that the contract, itself, interacted with teachers' understanding of its provisions, relative to the culture in which teachers worked. During the year at G raceland, that interaction provided data that could be characterized under several themes: (1) constituency issues, (2) who runs the building? (3) governance structures, and ( 4) communication rituals. The Implementation of Change: COM Governance Reconstructed dialogue showed mounting teacher use of the term 'political' in various grammatical forms from the first day of schooL In teachers' comments, "political" seemed to be regarded as a hindrance to accepted teaching procedures and instructional quality, The term also was used to explain COM meetings. COM minutes once in June and again in early August 1991, showed interest by teachers not on COM in participating in the decision-making process. In the June instance, teachers not on COM wanted to be a part of decisions concerning teacher assignments to specific teams. In the August 157

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instance, one teacher, again not on COM, requested the proactive participation of an teachers in decisions. In the first case, changes the principal, Mr. Clements, had made in team assignments without teacher input were consensually agreed to by COM. In the second case, there was no mention in the minutes that the COM committee responded to the teacher's request. Teacher statements like those that follow confirmed the growing use of the word "political" linked with decision-makers. But, in the first three weeks of school teachers made no statements revealing a desire to make decisions. I don't mind going to a Sunday [ice cream] Social, but to be told means COM is just as political as the Board. I wonder who you have to know politically around here to get a duty like office messenger? It's all political. Everybody gets told by somebody else what to do. OCTA should have known the Governor's contract was hype. Teacher members of COM used the term "political" at their first full meeting with the faculty in a seemingly different context than teachers used it casually around the building. COM teacher members used the term "political" to describe decision-making processes; the one parent present at that first meeting described COM meetings themselves as "political." COM minutes from June, 1991 showed that the committee elected a teacher as chairperson. Later COM stipulated in by-raws that a principal could not be chairperson. In talking with a COM member a week after their 158

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first meeting with faculty, the person explained the "political" aspect of COM by reinforcing the belief that teachers had to attend meetings if they were to have any voice at all. When asked why that was, since the teacher members of COM had been elected to provide that voice, the COM member responded in this way ... You have to be there to understand. For one thing, we don't represent the school, the principal has already implied that. So, when we bring something up in opposition, it sounds as if "we" are the ones complaining, not the school. The other thing is, we're supposed to reach consensus. There's not supposed to be a constant debate. Constituency lssyes In answer to This researcher's question. "Why aren't my representatives treated as people who represent me?" the racial, ethnic and job description of the teacher COM members was brought to bear. There were four COM teacher representatives. In spring 1991, all four elected teachers were White, and none of them were core subject teachers. When one transferred to another school in early summer, one Black core teacher was elected to be the replacement. This configuration of teachers was to remain intact until the close of the school year in June 1992 and into the second summer. There were no Hispanic teachers on the committee. The one Hispanic parent who had been elected in spring 1991. notified the committee in September that she was unable to meet on Thursdays. The 159

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minutes show that she attended three meetings prior to leaving the committee. Table 8.1 below shows the racial, ethnic and job category of members in October 1991, after the one Hispanic parent left. Table8.1 Racjal Ethnjc. and IeacherJob CategorvotCDM Members jn Octobed991 Principal Afro-American Business Representative Afro-American Classified Employee Representative Anglo Parents Student Representatives Teachers Core Wheel Wheel Non Core/Non Wheel Table8.2 Racial and Ethnic Composition at Gracefand October. 1991 (Student Data Obtained From Official October Count) ColumnA Column B ....ccM Stydents American 0% .3% Indian Afro36% 27.2% American Asian 0% 3.5% Hispanic 0% 25.3% Anglo/Other 64% 43.7% 160 Anglo Anglo Afro-American Anglo Afro-American Anglo Anglo Anglo ColumnC 0% 21% 0% 12.% 67%

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According to one COM teacher and one parent not on COM but a regular visitor to its meetings, the Principal, Mr. Clements, implied a nonrepresentational distribution by race and ethnicity. What was not clear was whether the principal was comparing the distribution to student enrollment or to the school adult population from which teacher and classified representatives are drawn. Table 8.2 compares both distributions with COM representatives. Column C is misleading because job category affects voting for COM representatives. Classified personnel vote from among other classified personnel only, and teachers vote from among teachers. Table 8.3 breaks down Column C into job and racial/ethnic categories compared to the number of classified and teacher representatives. The largest discrepancies across the chart are in Hispanic categories, and Graceland is a bilingual school. However, the problem is Table8.3 Column D Column E COM COM Classified IeactuiltS Qlauifiect TeachetS American 0 0 0% 0% Indian Afro0 1 46% 0.1% American Asian 0 0 OOk 0% Hispanic 0 0 21% 0.06% Anglo/Other 1 3 33% 99.84% 161

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further complicated by comparing column B in Table 3 with Column E in Table 4. When minority representation was required, as in the case of COM committees (and this was not the only committee requiring minority participation), there is only a shallow pool from which to draw. Lack of minority participation cannot be solely attributed to racist intent. School staffing procedures at Graceland may have more impact on minority participation in COM committee work than implied racism. Attracting minority parent participation was and continued to be a problem at Graceland. The majority of minority parents do not live within walking distance of the school. I told them I was available any time. And do you think the chairperson [of a COM subcommittee} ever called me to tell me when the meeting was? Never. Mr. Clements asked me to attend and I did a few times, but my job started going into overtime and I couldn't. But I didn't have a vote. and I was just one Black person at one of those meetings. It didn't make sense for me to keep going. Are you going? If you go maybe I'll go. I saw only two others there. Is that all there are at Graceland? Es dificil. No hablo angles que bueno. There was no statement in COM minutes saying the principal or COM teachers believed that teacher members were not racially or ethnically representative of their constituencies. Nor was there any 162

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notation that anyone felt that the absence of a minority background hampered their ability to represent their constituency. There were, however, concerns in the minutes about obtaining minority substitutes and alternates, a problem that remained until the end of the year. The minutes also showed no reports of dissenting voices or a record of oppositional issues with the one exception, already cited in the June dissent over team assignments. And there were also no voting records because every decision, as stipulated in the contract, was to be made by consensus What was reported during the first semester was the final consent and, indeed, the record shows that what the principal proposed from June through September 1991, was consensually agreed upon, according to the official record of those proceedings. The contract's stipulation to arrive at consensus, along with participants' understanding of that process, limited any reflection in the minutes that COM members were examining a full range of information and perspectives on specific topics through dissenting opinions. Dissenting opinions were never recorded. And, as a COM member explained earlier in this chapter, ''There's not supposed to be a constant debate If the meetings were "political," meaning as the COM members and the parent suggested-that representational governance was not respected because of its under representation of minorities-COM minutes did not reflect this. The issue of representation was expressed by a few Graceland 163

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teachers: I felt they [COM members] were always ready to let me represent myself. I do feel that it was my responsibility to appear at meetings of my interest and speak for myself. They did not thwart, they encouraged, my desires to represent my own interests. I don't see any reason to go [to COM meetings]. They don't have any power to do anything but talk about issues. They can talk as well as l can. If teachers had to be present in order to have any voice at all, it suggested three things to the researcher: (1} that the same might be true of parents and classified personnel, (2} that the term "political" used by COM teachers may include more than the concept of nonrepresentational governance, and (3} that the minutes were not reflecting what went on in meetings. Because most staff did not attend meetings, they relied heavily on their minutes, during the first weeks of schooL At least one teacher felt differently . I don't even think most of the teachers know COM is having meetings, much less that they could exercise any decisionmaking at them. Throughout the course of the year, all members of the COM were noticed by their colleagues individually and collectively. However, attendance only increased as topics became sensitive to teachers. 164

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The COM is controlled by a few of its members. Only what I've heard from a COM member. Some COM members are there physically but rarely add any new ideas. They just agree with the majority and never take a stance. Teachers developed a platform by the end of the year, focused on what they thought their representatives needed to know about its relationship to the classroom: I'm not sure how much COM has been involved in the classroom, but I'd say this is the teachers' domain ultimately. I think that when teachers feel they have some say in school decisions, morale goes up. Although we really don't have more power, we have hopes that we will, and a direction to put these hopes in. Hopefully, schedule decisions, day-to-day operation decisions, etc., will be made that do not stifle teachers' creativity and methods that work and will help those having problems with attaining achievement. I didn't know COM was involved in the classroom. If I don't get students' cooperation, I call parents anyway. COM has nothing to do with Teachers in the classroom control achievement COM should be involved to the point of curriculum, not actual teaching methods or philosophies unless they are school wide. Let the teachers do their jobs or get rid of usl 165

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While most teachers at Graceland thought the COM should not involve itself in classrooms, there were those who felt it should not delve into internal or administrative affairs either: I feel the principal should be the one for internal management. I see the teachers as being set up to take all the blame for failures. Who Buns the School? The researcher attended a COM meeting at the end of September in order to be put on the agenda for the next meeting, a procedure explained by the three CDM teacher members. Two parents fidgeted across the table from the researcher. The meeting had been underway a half hour when one of those parents leaned toward the other and said in a voice loud enough for only those at the end of the table to hear, "When are they going to talk about what we want to talk about?" When the parent was called on, she apparently wanted to relate something to the group that the principal had prior knowledge of. Mr. Clements began to explain a step-wise administrative procedure that the parent had to follow. There was an unmistakable look of frustration on both parents' faces as the committee turned to other business. They quietly got up from the table and left They never appeared at another COM meeting during the year of this study. Reflecting on Malen and Ogawa's (1990) study, it did not appear in September that anyone on the COM committee had settled into traditional 166

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roles. Certainly the parents were not there to lend support. The business representative was not there at all. The teachers, the chairperson, the principal all seemed to be searching for their respective roles. Members looked at each other searching for verification that they had just done or said the right thing in terms of procedural etiquette. Sometimes they asked the question of each other outright. If it were not for the fact that the principal seemed to have prescribed answers to most questions. while the other members sat in nonverbal attention. Tension was not readily detected among any of the members. There were no minority parents present. A parent representative spent some time explaining that the process of speaking at a COM meeting was very time-consuming, and that members had not even had time to write their by-laws. COM was therefore, thinking of having some meetings closed to the public so that they could handle the enormous number of things that had to be done. This made the few people in the audience rustle in their seats. At the following meeting the researcher asked the COM to enter into the arena of educational instruction because while they were attending to other business, a centralized approach to educational programs was flourishing-this in a year when the contract specifically intended to decentralized the education effort. The discussion led to a recommendation that a subcommittee be established to create a Graceland reading program that would attend to the needs of all students at the school while addressing the District's curriculum goals. 167

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Prior to the meeting, the principal. Mr. Clements, had asked the CDM chairperson not to begin without him. But it was a rainy evening. No one wanted to stay late. There were enough people to be concerned about seating. I had encouraged teachers to come. It was apparently time for the COM chairperson to make a decision. The chairperson decided to start the meeting with others on the agenda and expressed the hope that the principal would be there shortly. The principal was not there shortly. The chairperson then made the decision that I would speak Fifteen minutes into my discussion, and forty-five minutes into the total meeting, the principal arrived. The COM chairperson apologized profusely for starting without him, the principal was visibly and verbally upset, and the meeting continued. There were four minority parents in attendance. There was a very distinct difference in this meeting and the previous one. At the previous meeting there had been an unspoken hierarchy; there was a head of the table and a end part. The parents and the researcher had been seated at the end. From the head of the table, the principal was able to answer questions by explaining a proper procedure. The COM chairperson sat beside him. In contrast, COM members sat along the length of the table. Chairs formed a large U-shape around the room. The COM chairperson was the facilitator and moderated everyone's entry into the discussion, including the principaL All other meetings I attended after that one were conducted in this same fashion. From observations at COM meetings, the term "Political," flowed 168

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directly from the principal, and could be described as maneuvering to achieve an upper hand or hierarchical position. His political behavior was consistent with his overall management perspective, which was demonstrated throughout his career at Graceland. But COM members considered his behavior to be political rather than facilitating. By the October 1991 retreat, at which COM members explained that they would resign if they were considered only advisory, the position of the COM within the school might have been interpreted as strong. However, the school's culture contained diverse histories, teaching perspectives, and expectations about the contract, as these comments support ... I don't know how you feel about COM, but I think some of the members on that committee are filled with themselves and that they're wanting to preserve their own turf. That [COM] chairperson wields a lot of power. We'd all better be careful. I don't think it's right that they should undermine the principal's authority like that. The principal is suppose to run the building. What's the difference? They're [COM] just one more layer of administration when you come right down to it I know I don't want to be governed by a bunch of teachers. We're just as ignorant as they [administrators} are. I'm going to the next COM meeting. I'm going to support them. COM's determination to resign if considered advisory rested on 169

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three observations. First, finding replacement members would have been questionable. The amount of work and time commitment as a COM member was understood by everyone in the school to be incredible. That anyone within the school would have been willing to be a part of an advisory board with the amount of additional work involved was doubtful. Keeping parent and business representatives in attendance on the committee already was difficult. Second, there was an underlying form of reciprocity and member parity. The new contract had put teacher evaluation in a two-year cycle and those evaluations were to be done by the principal. The chairperson of the COM committee was to be evaluated that year But the contract had also put principals on an annual evaluation, and had stipulated that COM committee ratings of the principal were a part of their evaluation input. A mass COM resignation would have been difficult to ignore. Events show a favorable conclusion to the crisis. At the retreat, COM members created their mission statement They returned to Graceland as equal partners in participatory management. Mr. Clements' strategy to control Grasslands educational programs through the SIAC (see Terminology Chapter 5) committee was seen by teachers as a political move. To delve into the specific authority and mission of SIAC would be distracting here. What is germane to this study is Mr. Clements' attention to that authority and mission. SlAC had become a small committee that determined educational goals and activities for the entire school, goals 170

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which had to be adhered to by state law. It met at odd hours and had created a very ambitious set of goals, not all of which were clearly understood by teachers who had to put them into workable order. The principal was the chairperson of that committee. The two most significant sources of educational instruction residing in the school during the beginning of the first semester were the Central Administration's reading program and the SIAC committee's educational goals. The reading program was administered by the principal and the reading specialist, and, as was later discovered, the SIAC committee was, during the beginning of the 1991 school year, administered by the principal and one parent To anyone concerned with instituting participatory decision-making. this would have seemed a predicament, one which needed to be brought to the attention of teachers. The researcher's analytic memos concerned with the teaching act, however, suggested that teachers may not have been participating in SIAC activities because of the intimate nature of the teaching act itself, meaning that group goal-setting and group-developed activities to achieve those goals may not have been compatible with the very nature of teaching. as seen by the teachers at Graceland. As described in the literature review on teacher empowerment. SIAC may have represented what Hargreaves and Dawes (1988) called "contrived collegiality. The COM committee, which included the principal as a member. dug out the sources of control of education instruction and created COM's own position as that of an umbrena for other committees in the school. 171

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The role of the COM chairperson in relation to the principal's role was not often commented upon under the principalship of Mr. Clements or Mr. Harrison. These teacher comments express their perspective on the role of the COM chairperson as well as the person who occupied the position. For some, role and person were separate issues for others, they were inseparable concepts: I do know that the COM chairperson is a tremendously important force on the COM. This person is strong and yet unwilling to damage the school with abrasiveness When I think of a leader, I think of someone who is able to initiate things. This role is still a reactionary one. We're always reacting to what the principal says. Not until teachers are able to initiate programs and implement them will that position be one of leadership. Our chairperson is good at watching out for our interests. The majority of teachers at Graceland, however, felt that the role of the principal had changed, but they did not all agree whether this was due to COM processes. They also had two completely different reactions to two principals with different management styles. The role of the principal seemed to depend on the individual who occupied that role. Mr. Harrison was considered a collaborator, while Mr. Clements was a ruler. I feel I more fully understand the operation of the building as a result of COM and the principal's role. The principal's role will depend on the strength of COM. 172

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The principal still has to get COM approval for decisions. The principal no longer handles budget or school philosophy alone. There is less policy-making (more policy-explaining, consensus-building, etc.). According to Peters and Waterman (1982), it does not matter whether the stories told within the network are true or not. What matters is that they are believed by the members of the organization and that they are told to reinforce the values of that organization. From the third week of October 1991, Denver newspapers carried a few editorials with criticism of the School Board, the Superintendent, and the COM process. One school was being monitored by a local radio station and another by a national television network. The Central Administration offices sent out "A School Survey," asking school personnel to rate CD Ms. Graceland's CDM members felt it was too soon to ask for data. They wrote a letter voicing this position in response. And many of my reconstructed comments at this time start out with something to this effect: I have a friend on the COM at ____ and he/she said that they heard that... Discourse had begun between buildings, but not formally. One story which persisted, growing into a fully operational rumor, was that many principals had requested clarification of their role within the parameters of 173

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the contract's COM process from Central Office administrators. And principals were told by those administrators that they must maintain control of their CDMs, and that losing control would be duly noted on their evaluations. which were now annual. Comments recorded in the school at that time expressed concern over the amount of stress all principals, including Mr. Clements, must be under, reflecting almost school-wide receipt of oral-network-distributed information, both within and from outside the school: I heard [name of downtown administrator} isn't supporting Mr. Clements anymore. That has got to be hard to work under. My daughter teaches at [name of school} and she says [name of principal at the other school} shouted at her COM members at a meeting. Something must be going on. It confirms what we thought was happening all along. But I bet it wasn't Mr. Clements who asked what his role was. The question of 'who runs the school' never went away, even into the second semester with a new principaL Chapter 7 closed with a related incident. Mr. Harrison, on a Friday in March, after most teachers had left the building, met with special education teachers at his request. They were told by Mr. Harrison, as the story goes, that he intended to make Graceland a bilingual, multicultural school and that he was going to post an their jobs as vacancies in order to get bilingual teachers into special education positions. 174

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Mr. Harrison had a fully developed rationale. The COM, in a series of meetings had been discussing the school's focus; what could Graceland become to attract a thriving population and assure that it would not be closed? Mr. Harrison was leaning toward the idea of a multicultural school specializing in language acquisition. But the COM had not yet made a decision about it, and many of the special education teachers were incredulous at the thought of suddenly losing their jobs. A poised communication network was still viable. All teacher members of the COM were notified by other teachers over the weekend. The critical issue for teachers was not what Mr. Harrison was proposing. The greatest threat to teachers was not even that the principal was proposing it without COM input The COM committee by now had the full support of its constituencies who were ready and armed with group participatory power. Many were confident the principal's lone decisions and actions could be thwarted. At issue was what might be called a perpetuity problem. How many times would the COM teachers have to establish rules and regulations for decision-making? And would principals win out by perpetually ignoring the contract and wearing down those teachers demanding a voice. Would all agreement need to be established over and over again when new people joined the COM. like the principaL The most stable representatives on COM were those representing certificated personnel (teachers, the nurse. etc.), classified personnel (lunchroom, clerical staff, etc.). and students. None of those members had changed since the middle of June 1991. but students had no vote. 175

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Business representation had a 100% turnover rate in less than seven months, parent representation had a 50% turnover rate, and the principalship had a 100% turnover rate. In the case of the principalship, as an example, in my four years at Graceland, Mr. Harrison was my third principal. At issue was how to preserve COM's work from the precariousness of inevitable changes in administrators All levels of concern were being discussed at once by all interested parties. The researcher was not certain whether the principal understood the complexity of all the levels being discussed, as teachers politely listened to his assurance that his honest personality, his trust in people, and his obligation not to divulge personnel matters had something to do with the multilevel interests of the people crowding the meeting. COM members and non members were convinced that the principal had stepped out of line. The members decided that no policy could cover an the issues this problem posed, so each issue would be handled as it came up. Those attending with a memory of the previous semester spoke with assumption-laden language, explaining that teacher voice was in jeopardy. The language of dissension may have seemed confrontational or condescending to a new principal, who made some concessions and admonitions. It was suggested that the by-laws needed to reflect agreements made with other principals, namely that each member had equal status, and that, in the future, agreements always would need to be written. COM 176

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agreed "that any final decisions regarding the future of bilingual education at Graceland Middle School would be made by the entire COM Committee" (COM minutes, March 12, 1992). COM made no attempt to add agreements made with Mr Clements. And, in fact, the minutes showed no sign of the rowdy verbal dissent which actually took place The rhetoric of that meeting was not without its aftermath. Mr. Harrison, at the following CDM meeting, suggested that meetings be closed to the public so that "I can understand who I need to negotiate with and who I don't...". After all, he explained, he was a new member on the committee and didn't know everyone well yet. The maneuver was duly comprehended, but COM decided by consensus that it would not close its meetings, and that visitors would be quiet unless asked to participate. The COM did, however, according to its by-laws which were to be finalized on April fool's day, stipulate that ''The Chair and Principal shall agree to call an executive session for voting members only to discuss sensitive matters when they occur." In September, there was an invisible but no less present head and end to a small table in which the members sat at attention while the principal explained Central Administrative procedures for doing this or that, in which meeting etiquette was important and issues were small, and in which parents felt frustrated. The COM in its second semester had become a sophisticated organization with several subcommittees working at once. It now had an opportunity for what it called "executive sessions." Where it once had needed teachers to attend its meetings, if teachers were to have 177

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any voice at all, it would now close its meetings to those same teachers and the public when discussing "sensitive matters." Compared to the September image, COM meetings were by March, sometimes exciting "political" forums sprinkled with wit and a daring directness. Goodies were served. The principal, Mr. Harrison, made certain that comfort levels were met, something Amelia Shaw, Graceland's heroine, had done. The element of togetherness replaced most conflict and tension. Mr. Harrison had admitted that in his prior position he had not worked with the COM at that school, had not taken the training, and so needed to understand its workings from ground zero. The COM was becoming a new rituaL Members were tired. Meetings were occurring weekly. And the COM chairperson was beginning to articulate a position which that person reiterated several times throughout the second semester: I don't want to be an administrator. You can't pay me to do that job. I want the principal to do his job and that's to manage this schooL Tally counts of utterances of all members on the COM committee during meetings indicated that the principal did not speak more often than the chairperson. The chairperson was quite verbal and, in fact, always had the last word. Because the principal's statements were generally informational (see Communication Rituals), had the principal, Mr. Harrison been the chairperson, the principal would likely have dominated the 178

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discourse of the meeting ... Ours [COM] appears to be run pretty well! They are making progress in a difficult process. I realize this is the first year of the COM committee. I believe the committee has made the effort to communicate what they're doing and how decisions are being jointly made. The COM chairperson is a gmat facilitator. I don't know if COM or change in principal has impacted morale in our building, but morale does seem better this year. It seems as though the principal has the most say. I think its controlled by Mr. Harrison, but the COM chairperson tries to manage it with tied hands. When their own issues were at stake, the teachers at Graceland tended to want their representatives on COM to be assertive and leaning toward the aggressive side of a continuum of behavior: I think it never accomplishes much to alienate others. However, I want them [COM teacher representatives} to be able to stand up and assertively push teacher views. They need to fight for our causes. Governance Structures Very early on in his administration, Mr. Harrison had used a technique to bring information to COM members which did not employ the 179

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memo. Mr. Harrison brought what he referred to as "information papers" to COM committee meetings. They were typed and provided for a group of overworked people something they didn't have-organized information. He would introduce these reports with words like these; "These are my thoughts on... They're not carved in stone or anything... I thought I'd share with you my thinking on these issues ... These were not memo directives like the ones experienced during the first semester. In fact. COM members began requesting that the principal prepare other reports on specific topics brought before the COM, as in the case of whether gym uniforms could be instituted. COM members were sincerely grateful for the organized manner and the professional energy displayed by such initiative. In likewise fashion, Mr. Harrison, at the March 5, 1992, COM meeting, brought in a list of suggested changes for the 1992-1993 school year which were forthwith voted upon and passed in toto without fanfare. COM members had arrived at consensus in less time than it had taken Mr. Harrison to read them. Unfortunately, two of Mr. Harrison's suggested changes for the new year involved topics for which COM subcommittees had been established. The people on these committees were equally overworked because, like COM members themselves, they too had stayed after school for many nights preparing their reports to newly emerging heroes, the COM members. The issues had concerned how many teachers would be on each team. A subcommittee had suggested that sixth grade teachers be 180

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configurated in two-person teams and the principal wanted four-person teams at every grade level. The COM subcommittee also looked at the feasibility of taking math off the core teams. The principal wanted math on the teams for at least the next year, and that is what the COM had also agreed to when it moved quickly to accept the principal's "information paper. n Teacher participation on COM subcommittees had increased in March, 1992. The COM members had recognized as early as October, 1991, that subcommittee work, as a way of attending to the many topics before them, was advantageous. Subcommittees become so important to the COM that it believed participation should be considered an area of evaluation by the principal, and that teachers applying for positions at Graceland be evaluated on their willingness to work on subcommittees. Members also suggested to Mr. Harrison that the role of the principal was to make sure that COM decisions like those just described would be carried out The principal did not express resentment or approval that his job was being mapped out by the COM committee, but listened attentively. Responses from subcommittee members took on another perspective by the end of the year: I would like COM to be willing and able to stand up to the principal, such that the school is led cooperatively and not run by a single individuaL However. I also think they need to be able and willing to delegate authority to subcommittees. 181

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I don't get paid enough to run the school and do my job too. Then to have them act like I'm not here ... Nothing was decentralized this year. We simply had more opportunity to discuss our problems at the school level. Subcommittees make it difficult to have representation of the entire faculty. Another challenge to the governance structure came at the very end of the second semester. Mr. Harrison made the decision-with absolutely no input from the COM--to change every teacher's classroom for the next school year. The COM committee, according to the COM chairperson, met with the principal, pointed out the negotiated contract and began negotiating on where teachers should have their classrooms moved. In some cases, they were different from the places where the principal had changed them. After this incident, the following teacher comments arose: COM and other committees have really changed the personalities of those involved. I think they've lost their guts. I believe this year's COM committee stuck to their guns in some sticky situations and never backed down. Very pleased with their authority. I feel they really stuck up for the teachers. Why didn't COM call Mr. Harrison into the community room and ask him what the hell hers doing? 182

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Communication Rituals Focusing again on the March COM meeting in which Mr. Harrison's suggestions were agreed upon by a quick-vote consensus, the COM had felt pressed to come to an immediate decision because they were tired and because of time constraints. Mr. Harrison had been very clear about the need for a time line of decisions. Parents and students needed information about elective courses within a timely framework to make decisions. And so did Central Office administrators. Budget development made it necessary for Central Administration offices to know the needs of its schools within a timely period. In the case of the time line of decisions, certain decisions were due into Central Administration Offices by certain dates, and, no matter who participated in the decision at the school, the date given to the principal was when that decision was due. Such was the procedural description given by Mr. Harrison. Time. therefore, was changing the process of collaboration. By the end of the year, decisions were done quickly. The end of the year brought additional changes to the COM. The end-of-the-year budget problems inOPS, coupled with cuts in staff allocations, may have been a hindrance to teacher parity in decision making on the COM. These two factors also demonstrated ways Central Administration continued to communicate to schools. Some of the jobs held by COM teacher members were the very jobs under scrutiny for elimination because they belonged to a category of jobs considered for individual school discretion. l observed that when members 183

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of the COM attested to one another's job value, a bonding took place based on feelings of thankfulness and appreciation. This could be be expected when something as crucial as a person's job is involved. Built-in member interdependency, however, may have created distance and suspicion from the teachers they represented, as reflected in these comments: The Budget Committee decided that funding my department was not a worthwhile investment because of the numbers serviced, yet these numbers are directly controlled by the Scheduling Committee that did not allow all students to participate. A balance of power is important in decision-making. Whenever teacher cuts loom toward the end of the year. ifs important to have level-headed representation. Teacher members are placing their interests first and then the rest of the faculty according to their own pecking order. Additionally, school budget information went directly to the principal from Central Administrators, as in years past. Central Administration's communication rituals did not change. There was one exception. Mr. Harrison's supervisor asked for input from the COM committee concerning whether they felt Mr. Harrison should be retained as principaL The COM opened it up for a ballot vote from the school, another example of majority rule governance placed behind several consensual decisions made by the COM. Mr. Harrison won that 184

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vote with a clear majority. By the end of the school year, approximately 85% of the teachers at Graceland believed that the role of Central Administration in DPS had not changed or had become more controlling as a result of the contract. .. I don't believe Central Administration has accepted the COM concept. A power struggle and bureaucracy seem to exist at the administrative level. They still are into "power," they should be "into the schools" more. They still want to impose their philosophies on the schools, but I think schools have a bit more say than they once did. They hold the money strings. We are the children. Still appears to dictate much of our policy and direction. They still dictate based on $, not on humanness or children. Their job now is to sabotage everything for a few years, break the DCTA and come back after this contract as the all powerful savior of kids. Considering the entrenched and unresponsive stance of downtown, it fs possible we should provide our COM members with bricks and bats. During the last weeks of school and continuing into the summer, the COM committee tackled school money-raising ventures which included the formation of a grant-writing subcommittee and finalization of a school fiesta. Determining whether the school's focus should be a multicultural school. a fundamental school. an International Baccalaureate Preparatory school. or a school emphasizing science and computer technology was left 185

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unanswered. While many schools lost large percentages of personnel to the early retirement incentive program, Graceland did not. Its COM teacher members stayed to face another year. Only its business representative left because his firm relocated. 186

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Summary and Analysis of Andjngs Within the parameters of school culture, preserving the symbols of empowerment-autonomy and equality-had become only one of the COM's greatest challenges. This chapter focused on the school's engagement with contract implementation. Several themes emerged from the data: (1) constituency issues, (2) who runs the building? (3) governance structures, and (4) communication rituals. Consensus wasn't everyone's idea of democratic process. For example, in 1960, Hans Morgenthau (cited in Wirsing, 1983) argued that forced consensus, by itself, fundamentally erodes the representational form of governance that had been the intent of the American Founding Fathers. And in fact one of COM's first challenges came in September when the principal questioned the committee's ability to represent an teachers, staff, parents and students because of its racial and ethnic make-up. Over the course of a year, COM struggled with numerous processes to achieve consensus, from voting to ratifying. In other words, their most meaningful rituals were never canonized. And the question of constituency voice was continually brought up, whenever consensus was not going to be reached or when a vote did not satisfy the proponents of an issue. The heroes of the COM were never really anointed by one another. And both principal's were frustrated with the COM's mode of governance. Teachers in effect had no representatives. They were told by their representatives that an they had to attend meetings in order to have their voice heard. To Graceland's credit, teachers came and continued to come 187

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throughout the year. Many were afraid not to come. Many votes became school-wide votes. By the end of the year, running the building was a decided duty of the principaL Teachers were running out of energy and they did not feel that the running a school was their job. But they never wanted to be surprised by decisions made by the principal which effected their jobs as teachers. Each time that happened during the year of this study, the teachers met the challenge with some type of political maneuver equal to that of the bureaucratic maneuvering of both principals. To keep that balance of power stable, teachers had to keep involved and keep informed. They volunteered to join subcommittees which gave them access to decision-making and information about the future of their jobs. The governance structure of the contract was deceptively more complex than the school's adult population had originally thought Its writers had deliberately wiped out the specificity usually seen in labor contracts. Mr. Clements' use of the School Improvement and Accountability Committee, a group of two people, to preserve academic control, was neatly circumvented by the umbrella approach of the COM. The COM was able to flaunt its influence over the academic pie, once its members understood the contract's lack of restrictions. The governance structure surrounding the COM's first educational subcommittee had made inroads. Every member of the faculty voted on the reading subcommittee's creation of a Graceland Reading Program, and when it was voted down 188

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that was the end of voting, although the COM suggested they would be willing to look at it again if members of the subcommittee wanted more time to work on parts of it based on comments in the voting. By the end of the school year school-wide voting had become a regular occurrence A general lack of education all around confused the issue of governance. While principals had prior knowledge of and familiarity with bureaucratic processes, teachers highly trained in their subject areas, did not None of the major school players however, had any familiarity with politics. Referring to Chapter 5 to explain once more the process of collecting comments from teachers, Initial categorization put "political', under a label of "power.11 But later verification through observation and more directed dialogue with teachers assured the researcher that participants had no intentional reference to "politicaln in relation to "power." "Political" had many meanings and was even synonymous, during the first semester, with Mr. Clements. As Sergiovanni et. al. (1980) explain, "Schools are political in the sense that they, along with most other organizations, confront and respond to essentially political questions." Teachers almost universally throughout the school tended to believe that that which was political had no place in schooL Communication rituals between the Central Administration and Graceland did not change to accommodate reform. That said, communication rituals within the school changed drastically from September to June. The extremes run from individual isolationism at the 189

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beginning of the school year to large group activities that took up several hours after the school day. Teachers went from self-imposed exile to an unwritten agreement to work beyond the school day and year. An internal communication network was established among teachers, where there had been no communication at aiL Cultural interdependency for information and ultimately to exert power, changed a fragmented school Into a focused one. The COM's year long nonrational power struggle among its constituencies continued to the last day of the school year. According to Collins (1985) ... Durkheim was a severe critic of utilitarian conceptions of psychology or economics that declare people simply move about making rational choices for rewards and punishments, investments and payoffs. Not that people may not try to do this at times, but that is only the surface of society ... Ourkheim proved that society could not possibly be held together in that way; rationality always has a nonrational foundation from which it emerges (p. 130). Near the end of the school year, the COM chairperson commented that, "It's only the beginning." By the end of the school year, teachers were better able to look back at their expectations: I expected the COM to be a complete sham, wasting the time of all participants because administrators would arbitrarily overrule decisions. 190

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Over the years, I've spent a lot of time trying to make changes, staying late at night And after using all that involvement time and spending an my energy on committees, nothing ever came of it. So I spend my energy in my classroom because I can see results there. I didn't realize initially how much time would be involved just in keeping some little guarantees in place. This contract requires 191

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CHAPTER9 FINDINGS ACROSS ONE YEAR One year's events were partitioned into two sections forming Chapters 7 and 8. Chapter 7 examined the school's culture to determine how the negotiated contract and school academic processes were integrated. Chapter 8 focused on the contract's implicit change process and how that change come about within the school's culture. In this chapter the researcher summarized the events by significant highlights. Highlighted events were then grouped by significant themes in the study: (1) cultural rootedness, (2) teaching, (3) school reform policy, and (4) education and political experience. This chapter ends with implications for the future Summary at Highlights It is safe to say that more than a few people in the Denver education community and the Denver community at large held out hope that this contract, between DPS and OCT A, would achieve what reformers had hoped for: improved schools with students happily learning, empowered teachers eagerly instructing, and a community of parents and neighbors proudly supporting their public schools. After all, the Governor of the State of Colorado had intervened to make certain that hope would be realized. 192

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And because the Governor had entered into the negotiations, there was a belief that his presence would add a political ethos to the contract and that the contract would, therefore, bestow a type of power at most, but at the very least, a voice, for teachers, parents, and community members. Parents came to the very first meetings of the COM because they had believed they would be able to see their there educational values put into action. Several of Graceland's parents caught on quickly, however, as they realized that Mr. Clements controlled the agenda, and that there would never be enough time for their concerns. Controlling the agenda, was a powerful management technique and that technique was not unseen by the teacher members of the COM. Early in the school year, the central Administration of the Denver Public Schools initiated an educational agenda for the year unlike any agenda before it. The central administration spoke directly to its teachers through numerous memos. Directive after directive, contained information about a uniform reading program to be implemented district wide. All of this occurred within the first few months of a school year that was suppose to give teachers voice. The reading program's constant monitoring, and general Big Brother attitude toward Graceland teachers, who felt they were highly competent prior to the use of the district's reading program, gave rise to verbally expressed tension felt throughout the school. These verbal rantings were full of nonrational cultural characteristics that were isolated for analysis, much the same way the anthropologist or sociologist would study the verbal transactions of a different village. This 193

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study was able to verify a process proposed by Deal and Kennedy (1982) and explained by Collins (1985) and Durkheim (1947). Using thirteen cultural characteristics to identify and observe a single school over the course of one year, provided an opportunity to view what is sometimes lost in research that only looks at policies and results. The school's daily cultural life revealed motivations and manipulations that would not otherwise have been visible. Had Central Administration purposefully wanted to flex muscles to demonstrate that was still the seat of power? Because rumor is a valued element of culture like ritual, in a nonrational approach to culture, the study can relate that such a thought was a part of common discourse in the school. Teachers' verbal expressions also provided discussion on the essence of the teaching profession and their passionate response to being ignored in the decision-making about academic matters. Only a handful of teachers had had any training in the use of collaborative-decision making. Those few were members of the COM. The other teachers in the building, like their counterparts on the COM committee, had no training in the creation and implementation of political policies. Teachers were looking for abilities they had never had to use before and many were feeling uncomfortable about the entire experience. The COM in many cases created rules as they went along, much the way both principals had done when working alone. Observing two different principals, gave additional insight into the 194

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direction of the central administration. But it also displayed what happens when a school's culture is ignored and when that same culture in manipulated as a part of management Rumors abounded that the superintendent was concerned that parents and teachers would try to control the schools. Put another way, the rumor stated that the superintendent was concerned that the Governor had stripped the first Black superintendent of power and given it to teachers and parents. Whatever the Superintendent's motivation, she told principals to take back control of their schools or their evaluations would reflect it There is reason to believe, based on Mr. Clements past principalship, and reliance on bureaucratic governance at Graceland, that a struggle for power between teachers and the principal would have been a long and bloody one, had Mr. Clements remained Principal for the entire year. Mr. Clements' changes in course offerings were fleeting even though he had been the principal for two and a half years. Sarason (1990) would have said that none of his changes were attached to the school's cultural life (Sarason, 1990). Changes made by Mr. Harris, increased bilingual programs. They were made quickly and remained ongoing into the following school year. Only time will verify what culturalists would claim, that change needs to be attached to the school's culture in order to take effect After the school year ended in June. and during the following summer of 1992, data suggested that school history had played an important role in the culture of the schooL Deeply-rooted disparate 195

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perceptions and feelings had surfaced throughout the year. There were past reading programs at Graceland that teachers claimed created high test scores among students. And that had been a past principal who had catalyzed the teachers into professional performance. This researcher felt that further investigation was warranted. This one year study revealed a year long battle for power between teachers and principals, both obligated by employment to become members of the COM committee. By the end of the year teachers had emerged as victors on some issues and the principal became victors, on others. There were several winners. The Reading Specialist felt less pressured, was freed from classroom monitoring duties, and could attend to the children she was assigned to help. Teachers won the opportunity to hear about changes in academics before they were implemented. And to a certain degree they had choices to make that they had not made before. The second principal in the school year was able to negotiate for concessions. He was also able to assert authority without question in some areas, but was challenged in others. The Central Administration Office remained as centralized as ever. And the parents lost out entirely because they were never able to enjoy the exercise of voice as teachers had. Reflections on Cultural Rootedness This study's findings support Sarason's (1973; 1990) and Schlechty's (1991) view that reform cannot take place unless school 196

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culture is addressed by reformers. During the year of this study, we saw Mr. Clements attempt two types of academic reforms. Although the first of those reforms occurred prior to this study, it was frequently referred to by school participants during the year of the study. That reform consisted of eliminating courses such as algebra and geometry, which he said excluded minority students and was not a part of the DPS curriculum. The second academic reform had to do with the implementation of a district-wide reading program. Mr. Clements made no excuse for ignoring Graceland's rituals and symbols. The culture had, during his term as principal at Graceland, become fragmented and isolationist. Graceland's culture was not one that he seemed happy with. Had his intention been to eliminate Graceland's culture? But how would one do that? He had ignored the priests and priestesses. He had placed himself in a separate category from them but had failed to replace the rituals of anointing himself the chief priest with more attractive group rituals. A third reform measure instituted by Mr. Clements was the implementation of the COM committee, which was controlled by Mr. Clements until he appeared late for one critical meeting to discuss the COM's intervention into the academic life of the schooL The teacher members of the COM took encouragement from their colleagues and stepped into the leadership role they interpreted the new negotiated contract to provide. A month after Mr. Clements conapsed, his reforms were reversed. 197

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We saw a return to old practices when another principal, Mr. Harris, took advantage of the school's past priestess and other symbols which had sustained Graceland's myth of being number one. Mr. Harris wanted to guarantee Graceland's sizable enrollment by making certain it had programs that would attract students Deal and Kennedy explain rites and rituals not only as special ceremonies and reward presentations, but as all procedures that encompass the notion that this is .. how we do things around here... This includes the way forms are filled out or requisitions are handfed. They make the point that in the absence of rituals, values have no impact; and that without expressive events, any culture will die. The culture at the beginning of the year could easily have died--it was already fragmented-had its culture not been challenged so aggressively. Collins (1985} explains Durkheim in greater detail concerning ritual A ritual is a moment of extremely high social density. Usually the more people that are brought together, the more intense the ritual. But it also heightens the contact; by going through gestures. chants, and the like. people focus their attention on the same thing .... As a result. certain ideas come to represent the group itself by becoming its symbols (p.128). Teachers were focused for the first time in years at Graceland. over their dislike for the Reading Program' s implementation. COM meetings with food and congeniality, were became normal school ritual, by the end 198

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of the year. Geertz (1973), in describing Indonesia, added his own twist to social density ... As heir to Polynesian, India, Islam, Chinese. and European traditions. it probably has more hieratic symbols per square foot than any other large land expanse in the world (p. 313). Graceland was a large school. Certainly not as large as Indonesia. But it could boast a lot of symbols, priests and priestesses because it housed several cultural groupings which thus increased the complexity of its cultural characteristics. These cultural groupings, however, were glued together by race, ethnicity, teaching perspective, role perspective, grade level, subject area, and targeted client. Specialization makes individuals more different from one another while insuring interdependency (Collins, 1985). This complex array also permitted members to traverse from one culture to another. The multi cultured nature of Graceland had not happened overnight This phenomenon was created as Jews and Gentiles inaugurated its founding years; as Afro-American students teachers and administrators were added in the early 1970's; as bilingual students and their teachers were added in the mid 1970's; as teachers were reconfigured in teams for middle school in the late 1970's, and as sixth grade teachers were added in the late 1980's. Geertz (1973), Durkheim (1947), and Collins (1985) suggest that 199

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differing cultures, even competing cultures, can and do exist side by side with no guarantees that their purposes will ever be aligned. Graceland, therefore, could continue to have several cultures within its walls, each able to cultivate myths and rituals, some with racist or ethnically discriminating practices. Each culture could possibly continue to work interdependently in a system that protects interdependence, if not dignity. Schein (1985) and Rossman, Corbett and Rrestone (1988) would argue that the school's myth and teaching perspectives were sacred beliefs (p. 41) and, therefore, immutable in the face of change. On the other hand, Central Administrators had armed its principals with the bureaucratic skills to get whatever job done it needed. Immutability is something most cultures want. It is the way to maintain the long life of a culture. Does reform, therefore, require the annihilation of the school's culture? What if the students weren't learning at the school? Would that justify the annihilation of a school's culture?. That is exactly what Mr. Clements tried to do since minority children were not learning and had not been learning during the years the school had high test scores. Minority test scores remain consistently low over those same years. But could a school consisting of diverse cultures be destroyed by rigid bureaucratic process? The culture at Graceland was not destroyed at Graceland. It was fragmented and may have remained that way. But the culture at Graceland was ignited into action by passion and anger during the year of this study. 200

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A description of an incident can reveal more than one theme. This one is presented here because it reiterates Mr. Harrison's command of cultural symbols of the organization and demonstrate how they worked for him. Sixth grade teachers thought themselves strong disciplinarians. They thought they had volunteered temporarily to handle the supervision coverage of the eighth grade lunchroom period at the beginning of the school year, only to find that they had acquired the job all year long. They thought they had done a marvelous job of organizing, so when a teacher related the dismal lack of teacher and paraprofessional coverage during the seventh grade lunch period. Sixth grade teachers came to the rescue after organizing a meeting and developing a plan. The teacher who came to us had already been to the office, discussed the problem with the assistant principal, and according to the teacher, received no assistance. We tested the plan. which meant some of us were giving up our own lunch period for a week. After the first trial balloon, we stood in the hallway discussing what needed to be shored up the following day. Mr. Harrison appeared in the hallway and declared that the group was all wearing black. This could have been attributed to a lot of things including current fashion and the winter months. The collection of seventh and sixth grade teachers represented every ethnicity and race on the faculty. Mr. Harrison told the group with a smile. not wear black so much. He said it looked as if they were in mourning. There was no compliment about doing a good job with something 201

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that no administrator had asked them to do. I later discovered in individual discussions with COM members, that Mr. Harrison thought he had seen an expression of guilt and mourning throughout the staff over Mr. Clements. which, I suggest, revealed Mr. Harrison's deep awareness of symbols and his ability to make his knowledge work for him. This group of teachers would never have formed under Mr. Clements' administration. Teachers were locked away inside their classrooms remaining isolated at the beginning of the school year. Those teachers had formed an active cross racial and multi-ethnic cultural grouping within the schooL Mr. Harris taught that group of teachers a valuable lesson. That praise from colleagues, who know what conditions you must work under, can have more meaning than the simplistic observations of someone outside the profession or outside the culture. Reflections on Teaching Teachers in their expressions about the reading program began to define what their profession as a whole and their specific task of teaching required. Through this process, autonomy and equality drifted to the surface of concerns about the necessary ingredients for successful teaching. The notion that teaching required intimacy-was dependent upon a special relationship formed between teacher and studentsgradually received clarification such that the absence of intimacy, teachers said, prevented teaching from taking place. This was a serendipitous finding. The researcher had no idea that the school"s participants as 202

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member of a complex cultural group could be moved in similar ways to define their profession. Graceland was a large school. Office staff loved the intercom. The intercom saved steps but was also a tool which formed hierarchies. Some teachers were never going to get the opportunity to speak on a loud speaker. It was also intrusive and not unlike students who interrupted class to bring notes from the office or other teachers who did the same thing. Time to establish those magic moments, those mystical eye-opening frontiers for children was cherished. After all, that is what bought adults to the profession in the first place. That teaching was described as intimate says something about the teachers who were attracted to teach at Graceland. Graceland had teachers who immersed themselves in their field of study and considered themselves highly academic. Ideas for Durkheim, were charged particles, "circulating among people and lodging for awhile in their individual minds, but particles that originate in group rituals (CoUins, 1985). As conflict surrounded the act of teaching and drove teachers into the hallways and teachers' lounge to talk about what was disturbing them most in the reading/skills program, ideas flew like charged particles. The researcher had a difficult time during that period keeping up with the influx of data. Group ritual was beginning to emerge to form a communication network. Group ritual helps produce the same ideas among people. Teachers at Graceland had the same ideas. They felt they should 203

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be autonomous and equal to any other role player in the school. These were teachers' sacred beliefs and teachers could not be shaken easily by the criticism of one principal. Can we say then that Denver's negotiated contract empowered the teachers at Graceland? Or were teachers already empowered by their cultural beliefs? Did they simply use the negotiated contract to back up what they already felt? Or was conflict the only way to win the voice that the contract offered. Over the course of one year, the researcher saw more evidence to support the the notion that teachers at Graceland were already empowered. Empowerment already had definition at Graceland through the self-determination portion of its myth, suggesting that the school's number one status had been achieved through its teachers' quality. Graceland's myth implied empowered participants. The teachers who had been trained for decision-making claimed the training fell far short of its goal. Teachers not on the COM committee were not moved to action by the contract They were moved to action by the encroachment of the reading specialist and a program that had to be implemented in very specific ways. The majority of the teachers had taught for three years or more. They were veterans and understood from experience what they were never taught in school about political persuasion. Aeflectjons on School Reform Policy Of the three assumptive modes from the literature, both critical 204

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theory and populist political theory addressed teacher empowerment in terms that could be linked to the ways in which the term was understood by teacher participants in this study. By contrast, it is from within functionalist and organizational literature that school systems draw their expertise. Smylie (1992) suggested that studies on teacher participation in decision-making were advanced on the logic of benefits. Administrators get more front line information, and teachers get to feel committed to the decisions being made and are thus motivated to carry them out This is a good description of the way the year ended. Teachers also benefited from decisions which stopped the implementation of certain programs that they had not control or input in designing to their classroom specifications. Smylie also refers to a study conducted by Duke, Showers, and lmbers (1981) which revealed another benefitfrom teacher participation, that of "workplace democracy'r. Workplace democracy assumes a sense of equality among its participants and this too, was seen at the end of the year though not to the extent hoped for by teachers. The principal, at year's end changed afl room assignments without input or acknowledgement from the COM. This seemed a symbol of the administration's desire to find a trump card of some kind that would establish dominance. The teacher members of COM tried to accommodate the wishes of the principal, but they also negotiated changes from the principals original plan. Collaborative decision making over the course of one year seemed to have no effect on decision-making by central administrators. The district remained as highly centralized as it had in previous years. Principals still 205

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had meetings every week "downtown". While the superintendent did not share some power with parents and teachers, both principals, to a relative extent, share some of their decision-making prerogative with teachers at Graceland. Fullan's (1990) position that "Neither centralization nor decentralization has worked in achieving educational reforms", suggests that reform is not a function of centralization or decentralization, but is rather a function of people. This study used a nonrational collection of ideas to break down the events of change in order to observe what goes on inside the normally chaotic year of a school. Processes that had not taken place in the school a year earlier, took place during the year of this study. The reform process suggested that parents and teachers would be able to influence decisions made in a school. This was not achieved for parents and it was only achieved for teachers because they were pushed into it A rational model would have demonstrated that the teachers at Graceland were resistant to change. A functionalist paradigm would show that teachers even worked against change when threatened by the principal. Insubordination is one step away from being fired. But a look back to Greek and Roman cultures suggests that teachers are not surprised that some of their colleagues were put to death for their beliefs. At Gracerand, resistance to change, within a nonrational paradigm, was a proactive way to preserve the very culture upon which the public school system was built Without the ability to become intimate with their 206

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students, Graceland teachers said, no teaching is taking place, no learning exists. Reform that jeopardizes teaching and learning should at least be examined before its implemented. And as several teachers suggested, it was not the program but the manner in which it was implemented that created terrible problems. One question that was implied but not investigated was whether a teacher was intelligent enough to make such determinations. At Graceland, teachers did not take the implication seriously. Teachers there felt highly academic both in their education and experience. That was and had been for a long time, a part of the school's myth. Mr. Clement's had not been successful in eradicating it Reflections on Edycatjon and Political Experience The year at Graceland differed from the study done by Malen and Ogawa (1988). They considered their research to be a "critical tesr because it had four characteristics that were similar to the characteristics found in the Denver's negotiated contract First, its school councils were site or school-based. Second, the councils had broad jurisdiction and formal policy-making authority. Third, its members had parity. And fourth, its council members received training. Yet, they found that, "Despite the presence of these highly favorable conditions, teachers and parents did not wield significant influence on significant issues in site-council arenas" (p. 266). Malen and Ogawa attributed this to a congenial political culture, both the oversight and 207

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intermittent support from the district, norms of propriety and civility on issues which diminished confrontation and questioning, and a principal's dominant influence. At Graceland, the faculty members were angered by the loss of autonomy and equality, both considered symbols of their profession. And so they stood their ground refusing to permit the principal to have a dominant influence. While the majority of the teachers supported the teachers on the COM, there were critical comments as well. Fears rose that there was no barrier against the power of the COM, if its members chose to work against teachers. Teacher at Graceland do have significant influence on significant issues. But that influence needs to be fought for each time and parents did not do as well. While there was some instruction given to COM teachers, its value was questioned by aU teacher members of the COM. But the other teachers in the building had no training at an. Hargreaves and Dawes (1989) observed what they called "contrived collegiality," which was similar to training described by COM teachers. They found this training to be "characterized by a set of formal, specific bureaucratic procedures .. .in initiatives such as peer coaching, mentor teaching, joint planning in speciaUy provided rooms, formally scheduled meetings and clear job descriptions and training programs for those in consultative roles" (p. 19). Showers (1981) discovered that "decision-making was positively related to both opportunities for collaborative decision-making and the 208

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level of teachers' perceived self-efficacy with respect to decision-making competence" (ibid.). The teachers and support staff at Graceland felt self-efficacious about their abilities. But ultimately, other than team building and how to reach consensus, they had no prior experience with the new contract. Sergiovanni et. al (1980) felt that there were skills needed to work successfully within a political organization to reconcile differences. He lists four "time honored ways" that include persuasion, voting, bargaining and authority (p. 1 05). By the end of the year, teachers on COM still had not been given, nor had they requested, training in persuasion techniques or various ways to vote or bargain. lmplicatjons This study used one school to examine how culture can be observed in a complex school organization and how a school's culture would interact with a reform policy. The generalizability of this study rests in the study's process-a process that can be duplicated and transported to any or school in the same district or different state by a participant observer. The study cannot make generalized recommendations based on the events of one school. But it can point out year long patterns that may suggest implications for the future. While Malen and Ogawa's research suggested was that tension. anger, or passion had to be present in order to prompt teacher participants 209

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to exercise their voice. This study's findings suggest the same. But can we, therefore, predict future events in policy implementation at other schools, based on a researcher's ability to track cultural tension during policy implementation. Year-long patterns emerged surrounding the following general themes: (1) school culture and the training of teachers and principals and (2) school culture and the collaborative decision-making process. School Culture and the Training of Teachers and Prjncjpals Teachers. A former superintendent once said essentially that colleges and universities should not bother to train teachers to be leaders, because if they were, no one would hire them. While there is a lot of truth in that statement, it explains the predicament of reform. Teachers should not simply be overgrown children with a lot of information in a particular area. They should be leaders, leading children in directions that improve our country. But as some reforms take hold, particularly the ones that purport to empower, it is the veteran teacher who must leap forward, with little concern for daintiness in order to make such policies work. Probationary teachers, and teachers without contracts will always be among the faint hearted in such endeavors. Researchers such as Malen and Ogawa and anthropologists like Durkheim insist that voice can only be won, not accepted as a gift, and only with passion, revolt, anger, and the like. 210

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This would certainly have been another study had all the teachers buckled down to teach the reading program verbatim and performed every task given to them by the Central Administration. Yet teachers are more often rewarded by principals for being loyal than they are for being good teachers. And good teachers should know wherein Hes the problem of a particular program. This study suggests a need to revamp the training of teachers because at the heart of this year-long saga was a group of teachers who felt they knew their subject areas, may not have been able to teach kids that required more intense learning styles, and were perplexed over anything that may have been considered politicaL They worked well together to meet their needs, but the learning process was built on hard knocks. The Prjncjpal. The stark contrast in the training of both principals in this study implies that principals must learn how to unravel knowledge about their school's culture. Then they must learn how to use it to effect change. Minority principal's who may be disgusted with their school's culture must learn what to do other than ignore it. Rational, step wise Implementation of policies does not work for the short or long run. Culture is pervasive and this study demonstrates that conflict can increase the likelihood of teachers standing tan to defend it 211

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School Culture and Collaborative Decjsion-Makjog The idea of such a committee seemed ambiguous. If the principal has veto power, there may never be involved program proposals brought to the COM for consideration. For COM members, the investment of time would suggest that members would like a stronger return in the form of guarantees that agreements would be upheld. If a principal leaves the school, the process must begin again as if there were no agreements in the past The implication here is that this is not the contract everyone was hoping for. Granted only a year has passed and there may be time to improve upon it. there are many problems. It is highly unlikely that more power will be distributed throughout the district. The COM's flaws are dramatic. Parents have little or no voice. Teachers must fight for voice unless there is a kindly principal willing to jeopardize his or her own evaluation to empower teachers. Because teachers are compelled to be a part of the system, there could be abuses on the other side. There could be so much organizational work for teachers to do that teaching tasks have little time. How important to Denver is fixing the problems. It may be enormously important because taxpayers and stake holders who are not listened to, usually try to find an audience elsewhere. If no one in the district can appease the problem the State wiU probably be asked to find solutions. Charter schools and vouchers wm be plausible ideas to people who 212

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cannot get the attention of educators in their neighborhood. The important idea is that people want to have some say in the upbringing of their children. Reforms that encourage that will probably be long lasting. Interestingly, this process did not seem to encourage decentralization. The implication is that the decisions made at Graceland can be overturned by a highly centralized organization which seems not to need CDMs or empowered teachers in order to run efficiently. 213

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APPENDIX A TEACHERS' WRITIEN INTERVIEW FORM 214

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May, 1992 Dear Teachers, This is not a survey from which answers will be tallied This study does not treat teachers as a single aggregate, but as professional individuals who, in addition to performing their complex job of teaching, have agreed to implement an instrument of change, namely the negotiated contract between DPS and DCTA. This is a written interview from which a wealth of discrete meanings, explanations, and feelings can be fleshed out in order to better understand the dynamics of the teachers' role in change processes concerned with school governance. There are 24 questions. Because I am aware of the additional burden I am asking you to assume at this time of year, I realize my responsibility to conduct a study which faithfully reveals the intricacies of teachers' work. The key to this interview instrument is not to feel restricted by the words used to elicit your comments. Please edit each statement to make it true. In complex sentences, edit in order to express what you consider to be your most important sentiment about the topic. An additional sheet of paper is enclosed to continue your explanations. Circle the underlined word or words which make the statement true, and only if necessary, add or scratch out words that are not underlined, in order to make a statement true. Then explain your edited version, even if the sentence seems obvious. Since this interview form concerns COM, the school's cultural norms, and teacher beliefs, l would like to share the results with the COM committee, unless you instruct me to do otherwise. Please do not sign them. I must find a typist to input your responses on computer and confidentiality is crucial. However, if you hand me your completed for in its envelope, by Tuesday, June 2, I will have a way of knowing which teachers I need to beg. 215 Thank you, Cordia Booth

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1. The COM process at this school (exceeded. liyed up to. djd not live up to. frustrated) my expectations. What were your expectations? 2. I feel I have (more. the same amount oO (yojce. influence, power) this year than last school year in decisions that effect my work. Please explain. 3. 1 feel I have (more, tbe same amount ofJ (autonomy, responsibility, accountability) this year than last school year in decisions that effect my work. Please explain why. 4. I am (yery pleased. satisfied, uncomfortable. djsappojnted) with the (range of authority. lack of authority) exhibited this year by the COM committee. Please explain why. 5. There is no) connection between the COM and teacher morale. Please explain why. 216

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6. There connection between COM and student achievement Please explain why 7. I played (DQ. .a) role in the COM process this year. Please explain. 8. I
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11. (All of. most of. some of. few of) the decisions of the COM pertaining to my job, actuany affected me. Please explain why. 12. The role of the principal (t].M. has not) changed as a result of the negotiated contract and its COM processes. Please explain. 13. The role of the DPS Central Administration Ola... has not) changed as a result of the negotiated contract. Please explain. 14. The role of the teacher (t].M. has not) changed as a result of the negotiated contract and its COM processes. Please explain. 15. DCTA (b6. has not) been (.very helpful. avajlable) this year. Please explain. 218

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16. My relationship with other teachers in the building (jmproyed. not affected. deteriorated), as a result of COM. Please explain. 17. The COM is (controlled. managed, facilitated}, (by each, by one. by a f9Y) of its members. Please explain. 18. During this first year, COM has been (aggressjve, diligent active. negUgent) in assuming its duties. Please explain. 19. Generally, COM has had (a significant some, D.Q). effect on the way we do things at this schooL Please explain. 20. The COM has had (a negatjve. OQ. some. a positive) effect on my relationship with parents. Please explain. 219

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21. COM (should become more involved. should become less involved .is already jnyolved enough) in matters of classroom instruction. Please explain. 22. COM (should become more involved. should become less involved. is already involved enough) in matters of internal school management. Please explain. 23. I (could see. could not see) evidence that COM members had received special training. Please explain. 24. When issues crucial to teachers are at stake, it is most important that my representatives on the COM be (tactful. polite. assertive, aggressive) in making our views known. Please explain why. Years teaching experience anywhere ____ Years teaching at Hill----------Highest Degree held _____ Male Female __ Grade Level(s) taught this year ____ Wheel __ Core __ Explanation(s) (Continued) 220

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II_ II_ II_ II_ 221

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APPENDIX 8 INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR COM MEMBERS 222

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Interview of COM Members Name. ____________________________ ___ Position, _____________________ __ Date. _______ Time. ______ Interviewer ____________________ 1. Your Proudest Moment During Your Work With COM 2. Low Point During Your Work With COM 3. Training? What Was It Uke? Did It Help You? How? (Ask About 'Role', If It Doesn't Come Up. Ask About Career Advancement) 4. (Tell Why COM Members Have Parity.) Has This Been Good? Has lt Been A Hindrance? Has This COM Served The Purposes Of The Contract? 223

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5. Has This COM Served The Purposes Of The Contract? Will COM Have A Long Ute Expectancy? 6. Future? If You Could Change Something, What? 7 Is This An Unusual/Unique School? How so? 224

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APPENDIXC GRACELAND PARENT, TEACHER AND ADMINISTRATOR QUESTIONNAIRE 225

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GRACELAND MIDDLE SCHOOL PARENT, TEACHER and ADMINISTRATOR QUESTIONNAIRE Instrument #1 From the COM Subcommittee Assisting in the Design of an Instructional Program for Graceland Students This subcommittee operates at the pleasure of our COM committee. Its purpose is to assist in the design of a reading instructional program which reflects our needs at Graceland. Since COM is our united voice, its work cannot be done without you. Whife this is a time consuming questionnaire. it individual voice we need to hear. Please don't worry about the style and grammatical form of your responses. We understand that you are working quickly after long hours. Hopefully, all questions can be answered by parents, teachers, and administrators, but the words inside parentheses are especially meant to modify some questions for parents. Once you have turned in this questionnaire to the mailbox of anyone at the bottom of this fetter, an identification number will be assigned and your name will be deleted from the form. Subcommittee members need your names initially, to respond to you as we try to reach consensus over the design of methodologies and assessments of an instructional program we can truly calf "ours". Thank you, Name ____________________________________________ ___ -Check appropriate Category(ies) Pertaining to Your Role at Gracefand __ Teacher -Support Staff Years of teaching experience. __ __ Parent Child's Reading Level High_Average_Needs Improvement_ Child's Grade Level _____ __ Administrator 226

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Please modify any question so that you can best answer it. Identification Number ___________ 1. Please prioritize these skills according to which one you believe to be most important-the one all students must master in order to perform the others, or the one all students must know in order to read. If any or all are of equal importance, give them the same number. 1=most important 4=1east important ____ ,Minute Questioning (Finding Details) ____ ,Paraphrasing ____ Outlining ____ .Summarizing 2. Have you ever used (Has your child ever been a part of) a reading program you know improved reading test performance? If so, what is its name, can you describe it, when/where was it used? 3. How can a Reading Representative best help you and your students (you and your child)? 4. What do you think should be the role of parents in the design, implementation, and internal assessment of Graceland's Reading Program? DesignImplementation-Internal assessment-5. Have you heard of peer coaching? If so, is it something you'd like to do (see) at Graceland? If not, are you interested in knowing more about it? 6. What is your definition of "mastery', as applied to skills? Try to give an example as welL 227

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7. What is the best aspect, process, and/or lesson, if any, you have found in the current reading program? Please answer even if you have only "some familiarity with the program through last year's videos, discussions, etc. 8. What aspect, process, and/or lesson, if any, do you find yourself modifying/ignoring in order to make the current reading program work for you and your students (do you find yourself helping your child with most, in order to help him/her read well in school)? 9. What is the one aspect, process, or lesson you need included in a reading program designed for Graceland Middle School, which will make you feel excited about implementing it (which will make you feel excited that your child is involved in it)? 10. Is there anything about designing, implementing, and assessing a reading program for our school that we forgot to ask you, but is something you want us to know? Add additional paper if necessary PLEASE RETURN BY THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17. 228

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APPENDIXD REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION VOLUNTEERS 229

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TO ALL TEACHERS I need help with my dissertation. I need eight of you at a time to volunteer to be a part of a panel discussion group on one of the three topics listed below. The discussion will last for 45 minutes to an hour and I will want to record (audio cassette) the proceedings. The first topic will be discussed in March, the second in April, and the third in early May. We will coordinate our times either after school in Room 107 or at my house on either Saturday or Sunday. To show my thanks, teachers volunteering for Topic #1 will receive snacks during the panel meeting from Two Eyes Bakery. Teachers volunteering for Topic #2 will receive $8.00 gift certificates from The Book Exchanger and teachers volunteering for Topic #3 will receive ceramic mugs. You can sign up for only one topic. When signing up, please know that I need racially, ethnically, and sexually balanced groups. No names of individuals, not even the name of the school will be used in the study. MARCH : Topic #1 What does the term "teacher empowerment' mean to the teachers at this school? APRIL: Topic #2. How can we describe the 'culture' of this school? May: Topic #3 How does the culture of the school and our beliefs about empowerment effect the role teachers play( ed) in the empowering process this school year? 230

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