Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Teaching & Learning
The purpose of this study was to examine the representativeness of school boards in North Dakota in terms of the expressed desires, opinions, and wants of the community. Hypotheses stated that perceptions of school boards did not differ significantly in areas of general representation, representation in policy development, and representation at the state legislative level as perceived by school board members, community members, and state legislators. Additional variables considered in the study were sex, age, income level, occupation, education, and size of school district enrollment.
A survey instrument was mailed to randomly selected community members, all school board members, and all state legislators from a stratified random sample of school districts in North Dakota based on size of school district enrollment. The data consisted of biographical factors and responses to twenty-four statements about the responsiveness of school boards. The statistical tests included measures of reliability and analysis of variance. Findings were significant at the .05 level. Some of the conclusions drawn were: (1) School board members perceived the school board as more representative in the areas of general representation, representation in policy development, and in representation at the state legislative level than did community members and state legislators. (2) Biographical factors including age, sex, occupation, education, and income level did not significantly affect the perceptions of survey respondents. (3) Size of school district enrollment did significantly affect the perceptions of the three groups--school board members, community members, and state legislators. School board members from large-sized school districts (enrollments greater than 500 students) perceived themselves to be more responsive than did school board members from small- and medium-sized districts, and community members and state legislators from all sizes of school districts.
The study provides a considerable amount of baseline data regarding the representative role of school boards. The research should prove to be of value to educators, school board members, and state legislators interested in the development of training for school board members, refinement of school district policy and procedures, and improvement of practices at the school board level.
Ward, Michael L., "An Assessment of the Attitudes and Perceptions of School Board Members, Community Members, and State Legislators Toward Community Representation by Local School Boards in North Dakota" (1984). Theses and Dissertations. 1137.