Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a P-12 Public School District's Organizational Structure
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This study addressed the problem that no formal evaluation of a P-12 Washington state school district’s change from a traditional hierarchical district organizational structure to a three-region organizational structure based on the feeder patterns of its three comprehensive high schools was conducted. A mixed-methods approach was utilized to address the research questions and hypothesis centered on the original goals set forth by the superintendent to increase student achievement, collaboration, planning time, and professional development opportunities. The study incorporated data collected by the state in the five years before the change in district structure and the five years after the change in the district’s organizational structure. Quantitative data were collected on student achievement defined by graduation rates and the 10th-grade state assessments in reading, writing, and math over the past 10 years. Data were also collected through the use of an online survey with classified staff, certificated staff, building administrators, and central office administrators. A convergent parallel design was employed to analyze and interpret the data. Both theory generation and theories of organizational change provided the theoretical frameworks for the study. Results of the study showed no significant change in student achievement that could be correlated to the district’s organizational structure change. Planning time and professional development was shown not to have increased but results from the data collected on collaboration did indicate an increase in collaboration for building administrators. This study is significant because it delivered a formal evaluation of a district’s organizational structure change where none existed and offers a reference for current and future organizational leaders when considering a change in their own organization’s structure.