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«DOCUMENT RESUME ED 278 089 EA 019 067 AUTHOR McCune, Shirley D. TITLE Guide to Strategic Planning for Educators. INSTITUTION Association for ...»

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Participation must be managed carefully. It must be 1ieaningful to be effective. Managers must be sensitive to those decWor=s that are important to employees as opposed to decisions that are = routine or technical. The history and culture of every district and cliool will determine the areas in which participation is important. A seemingly unimportant decision about something as small as the rnetUaod of dissituation tributing books may be important because of the way thi was handled in the past. Strategic planning can set the stee for new, positive levels of participative management.

Linkage Among Units In large organizations it is extremely difficult to build emtwordination among units and develop a strong sense of teamwork. A first step toward accomplishing this is to develop a district mission o=or vision of where the organization is headed. This vision must be opera-_tional and concrete. Implementation plans determine how a district LLs going to realize its vision. Directions outlined in these plans provide opportunities for top management to check on how well the mission and goals are understood and accepted.

Effective school districts are those in which the core technical systems support the districts primary responsibility to provi-Ide quality curriculum and instructionthe basis for academic excelJe=ice.53 The mission provides the criteria for judging the adequacy of LAmplernentation plans and a way to determine whether these plans niaigree with or will contribute to the attainment of the mission and goa.s.

Implementation plans may be organized in a variety of vays. Districts decide on the best ways to develop these plans. A ditrict may decide to begin slowly, focusing implementation plans in o t=few areas, strategic or it may decide to work in many areas if this accords with it plan. An overview of possible implementation plans is fouricLi in Figure


34, which highlights the uperordinate nature of the mission end the strategic plan. There are t-1.-vo primary sets of systemsstructural sys

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terns and program sy6t-=ems. Although the importance of each system not equal, it illustra=es the number of variables that can influence ttlae success of the inission and district goals. Activities carried out in b.spoth systems must advan=ce the district plan. This coordination of plans rusLot only clarifies conten=nt and goals but facilitates team relationships bimy articulating expections and standards.

Linkage issues wiLll not be totally solved by coordinating impleof the most difficult areas is likely to be the limaentstion plans. One tsinsion between distrie==t and building goals. District goals should net erinver every aspect of 6CEElaools' activities. Rather, they should sketch out ttatle general direction axm-id common expectations in some areas, recognizing that each builclitrxig will need to develop its own goals as well.

-ur Steps Towoba-d Organizational Excellence in summary, stratewegic planning naturally lends itself to organizz_ational development activities. Four areas of strategic planning that love naturally to WEtegic management and organizational develo:-pment are outlined in Figure 3-2.

A shared data bas--, a vision (mission or sense of direction), partiacipation, and linkage are necessary preconditions for organizational e:-_-,xcellence. Their existnce in a district makes possible organizational trransformation. Simpl3z-,,i, shuffling individuals or developing a set of

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plans will not produce th organizational change needed. The structures and systems of the,nnlistrict must be put in place to attain the desired progrom activitie_ While strategic planning frequently exposes the need for organiztional development, it can also point to the steps required to align ao.. improve district systems.

A word about tirnelins is useful. Strategic planning is a process, not an event. The plannin process usually leads to efforts to achieve strategic management. 111.1." s takes time. To achieve the full benefits of the process, the board an. top management should be committed for four to five years. Natura_ily, the progress and outcomes of such an effort will be influenced 1:15-7- the resources devoted to the process.

Achievingstrategic innagement in school systems entails changing the behaviorof managrs and decision makers. Not only must the structure of strategic planr=Ling and strategic management be put into place, but effortinust also 1=oe devoted to providing support and training to the staff members who I. Implement the plans. This empowerment of staff in helping them to le.rn new skills is an essential component of strategic management.

Leadership: Reuirement and Opportunity A serious look at stratgic planning reveals that it is not a casual endeavor. Strategir2 plannirg combines what we know is necessary for change with °unchanged urderstanding of what constitutes exemplary management practice. It is tool that must be used to develop a vision to meet the needs of scheol and the larger society.

The United States is sill in a transitional era. The information society gives us hope for a ew and improved way of life. To achieve this we must build a new ci..lture a culture of shared understanding and commitment to the cornnmon good. Education and training must be aimed at demonstrating how to achieve this culture. Schools must lead the way. They must n=aieet the human needs of their local communities and give to one ant=1 all, youth and adults, the tools to prosper in our changing society.

Equal opportunity is a A-undamental issue for schools. How equal can opportunity be? Youth, -dn increasing numbers, depend largely on public resources, The inegt3mality of our current situation is evident when elementary school te-t scores can predict with remarkable accuracy whether a child will share her future with the "haves" or the "have note of society. If you-th are to be prepared for full participation in an increasingly diverse a1 complex world, what is the role of the school?


Schools have a powerful influence on the lives of children. They can perform increasingly powerful services for all community groups.

But schools must expand their development of human resources. There was a time, perhaps, when people did not need to function intellectually, physically, or emotionally at today's high levels, but that day is past. Our nation cannot tolerate the waste of human_ potential, nor can we stand by and allow race, income, sex, and other factors to determine the course of a child's destiny.

Children belong to everyone. Society must make a commitment and assume the responsibility for preparing children for the future.

Our survival as a nation is at stake. The technological and individual accomplishments of Americans are impressive, but we have a long way to go to meet the needs of all our people. We must remember that we share a common fate.

To move schools in line with community needs and instill new meaning and goals, we must find people with commitment to common goals. Strategic planning offer3 the means to make this happen, but

it cannot happen in a vacuum. It requires leadership at the local level:

classroom teachers, principals, central staff members, superintendents, board members, parents, business persons, and interested citizens. These leaders need help to understand not only the technical aspects of improving and restructuring schools, but how these activities fit into a larger pattern of changing community cultures.

"Transformation" is a term used throughout this book in reference to the need for changing assumptions and developing common goals and directions. Strategic planning makes this transformation possible.

It helps people to see how today's realities cannot be understood with yesterday's assumptions.

We must discard outmoded beliefs and attitudes and replace them with a clear view of the world as it is today. A school principal described the situation well when he said, "We are using educational methods of the 50's to prepare kids for a life in the 90's."

Burns has identified effective leaders for the restructuring of schools as transformational leaders.54 Transformational leaders raise the behavior of followers to a higher moral level, which views the needs of the larger society. Following are some characteristics of effective leaders.55

1. Effective leaders are data and future oriented. They:

seek out data and information;

use individual experience and analytic skillo to deter ine the implications and meanings of nd interpreseek out opportunities to comp-. = tations of data with others;

re trends.

project the meanings of dati


2. Effective leaders articulate visions of the future and suggest directions for change. They:

encourage, assist, and guide collaborative planning efforts;

diagnose missing information or skills and seek to obtain the missing elements;

develop systematic programs that incorporate the goals of others;

mentor the development of others and seek to expand the capability of those they contact;

seek to build networks and relationships that can be mutually supportive; and assist in identifying and solving potential and actual problems.

3. Effective leaders are open to new ideas and experimentation.


look for new approaches and ideas that may be applied to problem solving;

encourage risk taking even when the potential benefits may not be apparent; and use failure as a source of learning rather than discouragement.

4. Effective leaders provide hope and optimism for others. They:

recognize others' growth and reinforce positive efforts to grow and learn;

recognize and articulate individual and organizational progress;

maintain realistic levels of hope and optimism; and maintain continued communication and contact among diverse groups.

The need for leadership and change is apparent. The challenge is to develop human resources to meet these needs. History will not deal kindly with a nation of affluence that cannot meet the basic educational needs of its citizens. The stakes are high. We must be committed to using all our energies and tools such as strategic planning to build a new culturean information societyif we are to give birth to the society waiting to be born.



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External Scanning Data Checklist The following outlines a suggested list of categories of national and state data to be included in external environmental scanning.

Because local situations vary, some data may not be relevant and other data may need to be added.

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Pa tern Analysis:

National Planning Assumptions Economic Greater international competition.

Increase in foreign business ownership and investment in the United States.

Offshore movement of U.S. jobs, markets, and industries.

Moderate growth in U.S. Gross National Product (GNP).

Growth in U.S. productivity.

Possible continued cycles of recession.

Varying economic conditions in geographic regions.

Continued growth of small, entrepreneurial business.

Growth of education and training to the major U S. industry.

Growth in income gap between the rich and poor in the United States.

Growth in poverty of children in single-parent fa ilies.

Slowdown in growth of U.S. labor force.

Continued increase of women into the work force.

Greater proportion of minorities in U.S. labor force.

Increased competition for tax dollars.

Increased use of robots in industrial and household settings.

Growing problems of workers displaced by technological advances.

Demographic and Social Slowdown in growth of U.S. population.

Increase in rate of immigration, both legal and illegal.

Continued aging of U.S. population.


Greater proportional growth of minorities.

Increase in number of households with decline in s ze of household.

Growth of nonfamily households.

Decline in number of children in U.S. families.

Increase in single-parent families.

Continued shifts in values.

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Internal Scanning Data Checklist The following outlines a suggested list of categories and date to be included in an internal environmental or organizational capability scanning. All of the items listed may not be relevant, and other items may need to be added.

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1. John Naisbitt, speech to the California Association of School Administrators, November 1983.

2. Futures Research Division, Security Pacific Bank as reported by the United Way of America in What Lies Ahead-A Mid-Decade View: An Environmental Scan Report (Alexandria, Va.: United Way of America, 1985), 27,

3. Marc Uri Porat, The Information Economy: Definition and Measurement (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, 1977).

4. U.S. Department of Labor as reported in Changing Channels: A Guide to Functional Literacy for the Automated Workplace ed. Nancy Faires Conklin and Stephen Reder (Portland: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 1985), 3.

5. Paul A. Strassmann, InformatiJn Payoff The Transformation of Work in the Electronic Age (New York: The Free Press, 1985), 197-198.

6. Office of Technology Assessment, United States Congress, Automation and the Workplace: Selected Labor, Education and Training Issues (Washington, D.C.: Office of Technology Assessment, 1983), 13.

7. Ibid., 14-15.

8. Bryna Shore Fraser, (Re)Training Adults for New Office and Business Technologies (Knoxville: Office for Research in High Technology Education, The University of Tennessee, 1984), 9.

9. Strassmann, Information Payoff 199.

10. David Pearce Snyder, "Demographic, Economic and Social Trends and Developments that Will Shape the Organizational Operating Environment During the 1980s" (unpublished paper).

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