TitleSecondary school teacher and principal perceptions of Mayoral control in New York City 2002-2009
NameDavidson, Tara Beth (author), SADOVNIK, ALAN R (chair), Backstrand, Jeffrey (internal member), Barr, Jason (internal member), Justice, Benjamin (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - Newark,
Educational change--New York (State)--New York,
Mayors--New York (State)--New York,
School management and organization--New York (State)--New York,
School principals--New York (State)--New York--Attitudes,
Teachers--New York (State)--New York--Attitudes
DescriptionThis qualitative research study analyzed perceptions held by principals and teachers about the effectiveness of mayoral control in New York City from 2002 to 2009 as a form of school governance and as an educational reform strategy. In particular, it examined how the teachers and principals perceived student achievement under mayoral control. Teachers and administrators work at the organizational level closest to students and how they “make sense” of reform efforts and perceive “conflict” in the school system is an important component of educational reform. Data from 70 interviews at 3 high schools revealed that most teachers and principals perceived greater stability in district-level leadership, an increase in accountability at all levels due to a “business mentality,” and an increase in student achievement under mayoral control, which concurs with the literature. School structure influenced participants’ perceptions; teachers who worked at magnet schools reported little to no effect from organizational changes and reform initiatives, compared to effects reported by teachers at small and large high schools that were direct targets of the Mayor’s and Chancellor’s reform initiatives. Perceptions differed with regard to perceived experience and understanding of organizational changes and reform initiatives under mayoral control: Principals experienced changes to a greater degree than did teachers, reflecting that people are affected only by initiatives that directly impact their day-to-day operations. Despite reforms initiated under mayoral control, teachers and principals lack of money, small class sizes, parent involvement, and individual student responsibility as the major roadblocks to further improvement of student performance. Some participants saw the goal of mayoral control to dismantle the teachers union and divide teachers; others saw the teachers union as a roadblock to improvement because it protects “poor teachers.” While slightly more participants supported mayoral control and its reauthorization at the time of the interviews (2009-2010), current (2012) empirical evidence suggests that the role of the teachers union and teachers’ public opinions of mayoral control may have changed.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Tara Beth Davidson
CollectionGraduate School - Newark Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.