Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Administrative Decision-making in a Time of Resource Decline: The Case of California's Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Program
by Reimann, Jason Daniel, Ed.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2011, 73; 3473919
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation is a qualitative study on the decision-making of administrators within California's Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) teacher induction program. The study focuses on examining how declining resources act as a pressure, how well-established research on cutback management predict the behaviors of the BTSA administrators and how well it predicts the outcomes that result from their decisions. Further, the study looks at different interpretations of BTSA program goals, how administrators decide which elements of the program to protect and which elements to de-emphasize given the declining resources that most programs are facing. To get at all of these issues, four central questions lie at the heart of this dissertation: · What pressures are facing BTSA administrators? · How are declining resources and related pressures impacting decision-making by BTSA administrators? · How do different interpretations of BTSA program goals impact the decision-making process when facing declining resources? · How well does established cutback management research predict the decisions that BTSA administrators make and the outcomes that result from their decisions?

To get an understanding of the pressures that face BTSA administrators, as well as the legislation and standards that govern BTSA, this study had four phases. The first phase, problem identification & background knowledge, consisted of reviewing the legislation and documents that indicate the goal of the BTSA program and document its process of development. The second phase involved the development of conceptual understanding of why BTSA is matters and what strategies cutback management research recommends for preserving the program. The third phase involved two rounds of interviews with state BTSA administrators, district BTS Administrators and state legislators involved with creating laws related to BTSA. Finally all of the data were reviewed using a constructivist approach and organized into themes which were then used to extract findings.

The findings of the study were that that there are three key pressures impacting decision-making for BTSA administrators: the pressure to implement cuts, pressure to compromise and pressure to implement the program to fidelity. These three pressures, that run counter to each other have resulted in BTSA administrators taking actions to either resist cuts, smooth organizational decline or compromise to protect key elements of the program. Further, this study concludes that research on cutback management accurately predicts the challenges and behaviors of BTSA administrators as they respond to pressures to cut spending.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Warren-Little, Judith
Commitee: Hyun, Helen, Saragoza, Alex
School: University of California, Berkeley
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education Policy, School administration
Keywords: Administrative decision-making, BTSA, Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Program, California, Cutback, Decision-making, Induction, Management, Resource, Resource decline, Teacher induction
Publication Number: 3473919
ISBN: 978-1-124-88978-8
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