Parish management information (a system) : I. Educational data analysis. II. Educational situation indices

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Scheets, Francis Kelly, 1926-
Hannaford, John William, 1918-
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
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The purpose of this study is to explain a management the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend (Indiana). For well over 100 years the Catholic school system in this diocese was =governed by the following principles: (1) each parish was expected to have a parish school; (2) this school was to be financed from the resources of the parish; and (3) the teachers were largely religious sisters. Not until the 1960's was any serious attempt made to centralize a school system which encompassed 54 grade schools, 6 high schools, and enrolled 28,600 pupils in 1965. The late 1960's witnessed a crisis in Catholic education; between 1964 and 1970 enrollment declined in the grade schools 27.3%; during that same period of time the ratio of lay teachers to religious teachers rose 160.5:0 (while the number of sisters dropped 18%); parishes income, in constant dollars, dropped 0.5%. The educational crisis found the parishes without adequate management information for decision making.Two types of information puterized for annual updating.I. Educational Data Analysis. Basic income and expense information, from each parish, is analyzed for the most recent five year period. This analysis brings into one place the necessary data for trend analysis. (Projections are based on the polynomial method of curve fitting.) Most data treated is analyzed for year-to-year rates of change; at the same time an over-all rate of change is developed with 1964 forming the base year. All income data is reduced to a constant dollar (1958= 100) with the Implicit Personal Consumption Expenditure Price Deflator. Educational costs are further analyzed on a per pupil cash cost basis, and on a percent of total educational costs. The contributed services of each teacher is developed (as well as an analysis of degrees, license, grade taught, years of experience, etc.). In this way a total cost, closer to true costs than are the cash costs, are developed. Some use is made of regional median income data to determine the over-all ability of a parish to support the program. This data is intended for the use of the pastors, parish councils, committees on education, etc.II. Educational Situation Indices. These indices were developed to simplify financial explanations for parishioners; at the same time they provide a means of comparing one parish against the rest of the diocese. Thirteen key resources were selected from the data developed by Part I. These resources from each parish are compared with the diocesan average to develop and index number. The "norm=100." Three types of mathematical formulas develop three indices. The Parish Index (I,) merely measures the percent above or below the norm. This information makes it possible to analyze parish resource use, the flow of resources both within the parish and between parishes, and aids greatly in resource allocation. (This latter is aided because for the first time one parish can compare itself to other parishes.) The Variance Index (12) makes use of the Z-value and the standard deviation to develop an "average range" of parishes (± one standard deviation). Therefore, parishes which are using resources in such a manner as to be beyond the middle 68/ are identified, and the "mis-used resource" located. The final index (14) is the result of weilhtin the various resources with the Beta coefficient (by means of a stepwise multiple regression computer formula). This produces a single composite number termed the Educational Situation Index.The use of scatter charts makes it possible to obtain visual pictures of the entire diocese for each resource, or for all resources in a single parish. (The basic scatter charts are developed by a Calcomp plotter.)These computer print-outs are meant to be tools to aid the volunteer members of the many parish committees on education, and the area and diocesan boards of education. The study explains the development and the use of these managerial tools which are developed for broad level use.