Looking Beyond School Walls: An Environmental Scan of Minneapolis Public Schools, 2004-2008

Main Article Content

Abstract

We provide an expanded environmental scan to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) faced by education communities. Grounded in the literature, we identified 48 indicators and grouped them into 6 broad categories: (1) budget levels, (2) funding patterns, (3) community needs, (4) external economic conditions, (5) political culture, and (6) children outcomes. We then created sub-categories for each of these six groupings based on whether the data came from school reports, non-school, governmental data, or not-for-profit entities. From these data, we developed a template with strategic guidelines for education leaders in varying environmental contexts. The discussion integrates school finance, fiscal condition analysis, leadership and organizational research to develop a framework that is then applied to the Minneapolis Public Schools for school years 2004 through 2008. The retrospective examination supports the utility of the strategic guidelines offered in the framework. Education leaders found a mixed educational climate in Minneapolis Public Schools for the years examined. There was cause for concern in the declining revenues for children services by other governmental agencies and increasing numbers of schools not making annual yearly progress. However, there were also opportunities apparent in the number of schools that offered International Baccalaureate and other rigorous programs and the support of schools as indicated by passage of local referenda.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Alexander, N. A., & Choi, W. (2015). Looking Beyond School Walls: An Environmental Scan of Minneapolis Public Schools, 2004-2008. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23, 1. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v23.1492
Section
Articles
Author Biographies

Nicola A. Alexander, University of Minnesota

Nicola A. Alexander is Associate Professor in the Education Policy and Leadership program at the University of Minnesota. She is particularly interested in notions of fairness, including issues of adequacy, equity, and productivity. Dr. Alexander is author of Policy Analysis for Educational Leaders: A Step by Step Approach (Pearson, 2012).

Wonseok Choi, University of Minnesota

Wonseok Choi is a PhD candidate in the Education Policy and Leadership program at the University of Minnesota. He was selected to participate in the prestigious David L. Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar sponsored by the University Council for Educational Administrators. His interests include teacher retention and alternative compensation programs.