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Implementing school -to -work initiatives: A case study

Steven Victor Egland, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine how Detroit public school principals perceived the continuation of school-to-work after the end of federal funding and district implementation strategies in initiating school to work. Four policy implementation tools were used as a theoretical framework to explain the perceptions of the principals: (a) mandates, (b) inducements, (c) capacity building, and (d) system change. ^ A survey questionnaire was given to 127 Detroit public school principals asking for their perceptions about which of the four policy tools were most commonly used to promote and implement the district's federally funded school-to-work program. Principals were asked to evaluate the level of commitment of the district to the school to work program during the period of federal funding and after federal funding ended and were asked to indicate which of the four policy tools best described the process of implementation. ^ Respondents perceived that there was more support for the school-to-work program during federal funding. Mandates were the most commonly used policy tool. These findings reinforced the concept that capacity building and system change are necessary policy implementation tools if new programs are to be institutionalized. A review of national evaluation studies concluded that there were mixed results in terms of the continuation of school-to-work programs without the infusion of federal funds. ^ The following recommendations were made: one, future research is needed to examine the impact of school-to-work on teachers, students, parents, and business partnerships; two, a further examination of the roles of capacity building and system change in helping serve the goals of school-to-work is needed; three, further research is needed to better understand how school-to-work curriculum is integrated with state and local academic standards; and four, further case study examinations of districts in which the concepts of school-to-work have been successfully sustained. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Secondary|Education, Vocational

Recommended Citation

Egland, Steven Victor, "Implementing school -to -work initiatives: A case study" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3102565.