Perceived degree of continuous improvement principles and degree of role effectiveness of local school boards in Iowa

Scala, David
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This study was undertaken to examine the relationship between the manner in which local boards of education perceive their responsibilities and the extent to which perceptions of total quality improvement principles exist within their school districts;Data were collected from thirty-four (34) Iowa public school districts. Two survey instruments, the Perceived Quality Assessment Instrument (PQAI) and the Role Perception Quality Instrument (RPQI), were used to collect data from all thirty-four districts;Analysis of the data included (1) correlation, to determine the relationship between a board of education's perceptions of its roles and responsibilities and the extent to which principles of continuous improvement are perceived to exist within the district; and (2) linear regression, to determine if the extent of continuous improvement principles perceived to be present in a district can be predicted from an assessment of the board's perceptions of its roles and responsibilities;Results of data analysis indicated that a positive correlation did exist between the PQAI and the RPQI. The highest correlations existed in the districts with student enrollments between 500--999 and in districts with enrollments of 2,000 students or greater. Also a higher correlation existed in those districts classified as rural as opposed to those classified as urban. In those districts with boards of education whose average board member term of service was greater than two terms as compared to boards with average terms of service less than two terms;Additionally, results of the study indicated that it is possible to predict the PQAI from the RPQI. Such prediction is a greater probability in the districts with enrollments between 500--999 or 2000 and above, rural as opposed to urban, and average board service of more than two terms and is consistent with the relationships yielded by correlation as referenced above;This study suggests that more in-depth research is needed to identify the major variables within a school district which influence the level of quality which is perceived to be present. It also suggests that application of continuous improvement principles in education will become more prevalent as local boards of education become more knowledgeable of such principles and their meaning.

Educational leadership and policy studies, Education (Educational administration), Educational administration