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In this book, eight contributors examine issues related to the likely effects of the decentralization of school governance on educational practice. Two major themes emerge in the book. The first (chapters 1 through 4) is that governance reforms in education may have little to do with what actually happens in schools, but have much to do with external policy conditions. The second theme (chapters 5 through 8) is that decentralized decision making may indeed have important effects on schools, as its defenders have argued, but that standard theoretical arguments are not very helpful in explaining why. The chapters include the following: (1) School Governance in the United States: Historical Puzzles and Anomalies (David Tyack); (2) School Decentralization: Who Gains? Who Loses? (Richard F. Elmore); (3) Control Versus Legitimation: The Politics of Ambivalence (Hans N. Weiler); (4) Deinstitutionalization and School Decentralization: Making the Same Mistake Twice (Dan A. Lewis); (5) Fiscal Decentralization and Accountability in Education: Experiences in Four Countries (Donald R. Winkler); (6) Decentralization in Two School Districts: Challenging the Standard Paradigm (Jane Hannaway); (7) School Improvement: Is Privatization the Answer? (Martin Carnoy); (8) Employee Involvement in Industrial Decision Making: Lessons for Public Schools (Clair Brown); and (9) Epilogue: Reframing the Debate (Jane Hannaway and Martin Carnoy). A conclusion is that decentralization reforms cannot be understood in isolation; they must be seen within the context of society's educational standards. Seven tables and eight figures are included. References accompany each chapter. (LMI)

Descriptors: Decentralization, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Governance, Politics of Education, Power Structure, School Based Management, School Restructuring

Jossey-Bass Publishers, 350 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94104.

Autor: Hannaway, Jane, Ed.; Carnoy, Martin, Ed.


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