Goals, Rhetoric, and (In)Equity: The Rationales Behind Decentralizing a Large, Diverse School District

Sarah Diem, Carrie Sampson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

School district decentralization typically shifts authority and resources from central office administrators at the district level to leaders at the school level. Although decentralization reforms have been prevalent in urban educational contexts for decades, they often yield poor results for low-income, minoritized communities. In this article, we examine stakeholder rationales behind decentralizing a large, diverse countywide district and the extent to which equity was part of these rationales. The findings suggest that although stakeholders aim to improve student achievement, financial and administrative efficiency, and family/community engagement through decentralization, many failed to consider how school-level disparities might result in sustaining or worsening inequities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUrban Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • decentralization
  • educational policy
  • equity
  • family/community engagement
  • local decision-making
  • urban schooling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Urban Studies

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