Jan 1, 1978
The first volume in a series documenting a study of alternative schools in American education. The present report analyzes the establishment of public alternative schools and programs from the perspective of school district management. It poses the following key questions: Why do school districts initiate alternative programs? What management issues do districts encounter in attempting to create diversity and choice within the framework of the public schools? What district strategies increase the likelihood of alternatives' being effectively implemented and becoming a stable part of district operations? To answer these questions, four school districts that have introduced alternative programs in their schools are analyzed: Alum Rock, Cincinnati, Eugene, and Minneapolis. Their experience suggests that if alternative systems are to survive in the long run, district officials must take an active and supportive stance during their implementation. Furthermore, because alternatives may serve substantially different functions in different districts, the roles played by district officials should vary accordingly.