Primary influencers of Indiana K-12 public educational decisions and methods of influencing : a Delphi technique

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McFann, Paul L.
Riegle, Jack D.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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The purposes of the study were to identify persons who had primarily influenced selected educational decisions made in Indiana between January 1, 1982 an December 31, 1985 and to develop a composite profile of the personal characteristics of the primary influentials. Further purposes were to identify sources of power and methods utilized by the primary influentials to affect the educational decisions.A survey of selected educational leaders was utilized to identify the selected educational decisions. A Delphi technique consisting of a series of four sequential surveys of selected educational leaders, and elected and appointed state officials was utilized to identify the primary influencers, sources of power, methods of influencing, and to develop a composite profile of the primary influentials.The following are selected findings:1. Seven persons were identified as constituting an inner core of the power structure, however, none were identified for all five of the selected decisions and nonprimary influentials were identified in the peripheral of the power structure for each decision.2. In three of the five selected decisions two persons were invested with the primary power of decision-making, with three and four persons invested for each of the other selected decisions.3. Politics, money, power, selling self and improving education were the primary factors impacting educational decisions.Data collected supported the following conclusions:1. A pyramidal power structure exists in Indiana and functions to influence educational decisions.2. The inner core of the power structure consist of positional leaders; the Governor, Governor's Aide, and Chairmen of powerful legislative committees; Senate Finance, House Ways and Means, and House Education committees.3. The power structure does not include females, non-whites, minority party members, lower income persons, nor residents of Southern Indiana.4. Education of students is a secondary consideration by many influentials regarding decisions impacting K-12 public education in Indiana with Party politics and money considered more often than educating students. 5.Educators are devisive and do not play a primary role in the decisions impacting K-12 public education and are not a part of the power structure.