School-based decision making, American style: Perspectives and practices throughout the United States

Rosetta F. Sandidge, J. John Harris, Harriett H. Ford, Charles J. Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


During the current era of reform, many of the proposals for restructuring urban American educational governance, with their attendant shift from traditional notions of centralized bureaucratic administration toward decentralized school-based management, are not entirely new. This article examines the phenomenon of local control, American-style, now more commonly referred to as school-based decision making (SBDM), in light of its promise for urban settings. The first part of the manuscript examines the implementation of local control in New York City and Detroit. The second part looks at current decentralization efforts in four locations: Miami-Dade County, Florida; Chicago; Texas; and Kentucky. The third, and final section, offers reflections and recommendations based on the similarities and differences between and among the sites that may be instructive to individuals in urban settings who are seeking to improve the quality of education for America's most vital resource, its children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-329
Number of pages17
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1996


  • Decentralization
  • Governance
  • Local control
  • Reform
  • Restructuring
  • School councils
  • Schoolbased decision making
  • Site-based management
  • United States
  • Urban education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences
  • Law


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