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Abstract

The Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 created a number of important changes in public education. In the area of local governance, the act was guided by a corporate model in which authority and responsibilities were reallocated among school committees, superintendents, principals, and newly created school councils. School committees in particular assumed a policymaking role, and superintendents became the chief executive officers of their school districts. This article, based on responses to a mail survey, is an early assessment of the act's governance changes. Superintendents are most satisfied with their role, especially their authority over principals and teachers. School committee members are least satisfied with the changes, although they still provide general support for the goals of the act. Although they are concerned about their job security under the new system, principals are supportive. A comparison of the corporate model of governance with political leadership and shared governance models indicates that two important challenges lie ahead: developing support from other local political leaders and fostering a cooperative environment among local governance actors.

 

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