If the fire alarm is stuck, call the principal. If two students get in a row, call the principal. If it's a matter of policy, call the principal. If a teacher finds himself in a quandry, call the principal, If you just don 't know what to do, call the principal. Working from the premise that the building principal has a frustrating job, the Ann Arbor Public School System has become involved in an organizational analysis project funded under the federal government's Education Professions Development Act. At a briefing session, the Ann Arbor Board of Education heard a status report on that program as it gets into its lOth month of operation. Presenting the report, Ivan Bare, director of grant programs, said Ann Arbor's project was one of three authorized for public school systems. Twenty universities were approved for the project and more than 3,000 requests for funding were made. The thrust of the program lies in emphasizing group decisión making on the school level and in revamping the managerial system of the schools from authoritarian to participatory. The core of the program as it is being developed here is U-M Prof. Rensis Likert's theory on human management called "System 4." Likert is director of the University's Institute for Social Research. He, along with nis colleagues Anthony Ley and Lucille Shiblie, explained the theory and their part of the project to the board. "System 4" is a science-based new management system based on over 20 years of research in national and international business and industry. The team from the research institute said that application of this system to a school "enterprise" would be revolutionary. The schools would be in a sense a "learning laboratory" and the program would be "in-service training for administrators." The project, currently scheduled for two years with an annual renewable federal grant, was initiated with a $10,000 project development grant. The negotiated budget for this year from EPDA is $45,000. The program as described would set up three schools as control schools where no project involvement would take place; three other schools where feedback from the "laboratory schools" would be channeled and three schools - "laboratories"- where System 4 theories would be utilized. The spokesman from the institute noted that this project is a collaborative one with. the schools and that workshops with city educators have been held. They stressed that although they have the theory, any model that is used will be one which evolves from this collaborative effort. The long-range aim would be to involve not only teachers, but parents, students - the genera' community - in school administration. It was stressed that the investment of time in such a projeet would reap better school leadership, more involved teachers and thus better education and better rapport among :eachers, students and the munity. School Supt. W. Scott Westerman Jr. had prefaced the report with indications of his support for such a project. As the plans were developed and questions and answers raised, the trustees reacted favorably to the work. It was noted that data from all the schools had been collected by the institute and all but two expressed a willingness to particípate in the project. Those two schools it was noted were involved in their own physical reorganization.
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