Teacher autonomy and centralization: predicting school effectiveness
The question guiding this inquiry considered an anticipated relationship between teacher autonomy and centralization and their contribution to an explanation of school effectiveness. This study examined surveys from 109 public schools in North Alabama to see whether the variables of teacher autonomy and centralization of authority were predictors of school effectiveness while controlling for SES. Faculty members of the participating schools completed the survey instruments. All data were aggregated to the school level. Teacher autonomy and centralization served as independent variables with school effectiveness serving as the dependent variable. Teacher autonomy was measured using the Teaching Autonomy Scale (TAS). Centralization was measured by the enabling school structure measure (ESS). School effectiveness was measured using the School Effectiveness Index (SE Index). The prediction that autonomy and centralization would be related was not found. There was no relationship between autonomy and school effectiveness. Only centralization was related to effectiveness. That relationship between centralization and school effectiveness was a strong negative relationship.