Portland State University. School of Education.
Date of Award
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Public School Administration and Supervision
3, vi, 107 leaves: ill. 28 cm.
Teachers -- In-service training -- Oregon, School improvement programs -- Oregon, Interorganizational relations -- Oregon
This study documents and describes efforts by Oregon school districts to network in order to improve schools and provide resources for staff development. There are at least 41 networks linking school districts, institutions of higher education, and Educational Service Districts in both rural and urban areas of the state. These networks, collaboratives, and consortia have the common purpose of improving education, and the belief that they can accomplish more cooperatively than they can individually. These networks are described in terms of purposes, benefits and problems, and desire for assistance. Comparisons showed that large school districts are much more likely to participate in networks than small ones. This is significant because there are many small school districts in Oregon that would benefit from the assistance of a network in providing resources and expertise for school improvement efforts. Descriptions of three active networks in different parts of the state provided additional information regarding organizational structure, membership, and activities. There is a listing of the membership of 41 networks in the state. Statistical comparisons indicate that the greatest benefits responding school districts derived from networking include increased effectiveness of staff development efforts, sharing of information, cost sharing, and psychological support. Problems encountered in networking were: conflicting work priorities, conflicting goals, organizational problems, and funding. Two-thirds of the districts surveyed would like to have assistance for their efforts in the form of funding or incentives for networking, information on school improvement practices, and communications linkage among school districts. The study indicates that networking is widely practiced in the state of Oregon for the purpose of improving school effectiveness and staff development efforts. Implications are that this is an effective way for schools to accomplish their goals. Therefore, it is recommended that school districts not engaged in this practice give consideration to networking as an effective way to increase resources for school improvement efforts and to become more effective. It is hoped that encouragement and incentives for networking will be forthcoming from state and local education agencies. These agencies should exercise caution that their efforts to encourage networking not create unnecessary structures that would destroy the flexibility that makes networks so effective.
Taylor, Vida Sumner, "Networks for staff development in the state of Oregon" (1986). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 108.