The Impact of Bureaucratic Structure, Scientific Management, and Institutionalism on Standards-Based Educational Reform
The world of public education today is dominated by a focus on standards-based reform and high-stakes accountability systems. School leaders, who are under immense pressure to raise standardized test scores, particularly for poor and minority children, attempt to do so by applying politically sanctioned solutions to educational problems without subjecting them to critical scrutiny within the context in which they are applied. Further, these “solutions” often conflict with well-established theoretical paradigms governing professional knowledge in the areas of organizational behavior and child development. This paper presents a theoretical explanation of how this phenomenon occurs by connecting the institutional school of organizational analysis (Meyer and Scott, 1983; Zucker 1983), Max Weber’s sociology of domination, including his typology of bureaucracy and social control (1978), and Frederick Taylor’s (1911) theory of scientific management.
Bouie, Edward L.