Much literature has been written about the history and induction of local school councils in the State of Illinois. Chicago's Local School Councils (LSCs) were created based on the Chicago School Reform Act of 1988. These LSCs were given power in Principal Selection and Evaluation, School Improvement Planning, and School-Based Budgeting (Moore & Merritt, 2002 p.11). State law currently requires 18 hours of training for newly elected members, but critics contend the large-scale lecture format does not properly prepare panelists (Gewertz, 2002). While some researchers agree that LSCs have made strides in improving schools, others have indicated that there are many troubles that hinder the effectiveness of LSCs such as the lack of skills, commitment, and support (PURE, 2006). Larger citizen participation in school councils can create its own problems. Many future LSC members may not be adequately prepared to assume a leadership role (Cunningham, 2003).
The purpose of this quantitative study is to determine what knowledge LSC members currently possess in order to be effective leaders within the school system. Data was collected from various schools within the Woodlawn community in Chicago, Illinois, to analyze the perceptions of parent and community stakeholders regarding LSC training. A quantitative Needs Assessment survey was designed to assess the participants’ perceptions. An overall analysis of the data indicated that the survey participants were dissatisfied with LSC training. LSC members believed that the mandatory LSC training modules did not prepare them to address issues relevant to their school. Generalized LSC member training programs have been criticized for failing to address the unique issues and scenarios in which LSC members often find themselves (Grendon, 2010). Perceptions of LSC members and community stakeholders are vital in determining what factors are hindering the success of schools in the Chicago Public School (CPS) system. Based on a needs assessment of LSC members, recommendations are developed to assist in determining further training for LSC members to ensure they have the knowledge and skills required for effective decision making within their schools. Also discussed are areas for further research as it relates to LSC training.
|Commitee:||Darga, Richard, Hinton, Dawn, Laosebikan, Olanipekun|
|School:||Chicago State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, School administration, Education|
|Keywords:||Chicago public schools, Decision making, Democratic education, Local school council, Perceptions of local school councils, Training local school councils|
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