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Crafting a Performance Culture: Anxiety, Climate and School District Reform

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Title: Crafting a Performance Culture: Informal Institutions and the New York City School Reform Author: Katharine Destler Last modified by: Kate Destler – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Crafting a Performance Culture: Anxiety, Climate and School District Reform


1
Crafting a Performance CultureAnxiety, Climate
and School District Reform
  • Katharine Neem Destler
  • University of Washington
  • Improving Education Through Accountability And
    Evaluation
  • Lessons From Around the World
  • APPAM and INVALSI
  • Rome, Italy
  • October 3, 2012
  • Sponsored by the US Department of Education,
    Institute of Education Sciences (R305B090012)

2
Shifting Tides in Education Reform
  • Standardized Practices--gt Site-based control
  • Instructional Practice --gt Managerial Behavior
  • Increased Funding --gt Accountability for Results

3
A turn towards Portfolio School District Reform
  • Parental School Choice
  • Site-Based Decision Making
  • Performance Monitoring
  • Closure of Chronically Underperforming Schools
  • Aggressive Development/Recruitment of New
    Schools, including those run by private providers
  • (Bulkey and Henig 2010, Hill et al. 2012)

4
Moving too quickly?
  • Despite the attention to high stakes
    accountability reforms, research suggests that
    the results have been mixed
  • District-wide improvement
  • Teaching to the test
  • Narrowing of the Curriculum
  • Focus on Bubble Kids
  • (Corcoran and Beverage 2010 Jacob 2005
    Kemple 2010)

5
Reforms in Education arent new everywhere
  • Performance Management Reform
  • An ongoing, systematic approach to improving
    results through evidence-based
  • decision making, continuous organizational
    learning, and a focus on
  • accountability for performance(National
    Performance Management Advisory
  • Commission, 2010).
  • Managerial Discretion
  • Publication of Performance Data
  • Accountability for Outcomes

6
Education reflects findings in other sectors
  • Performance management is well-established in
    other sectors
  • The provision of data does not ensure that public
    leaders or policymakers will act on that data
  • Incentives have perverse, as well as positive,
    results
  • (Heinrich and Marschke 2010 Jennings and
    Haist 2004 Moynihan
  • 2008 Radin 2006)

7
Formal Systems Change is Not Enough
  • Need to understand the conditions under which
    schools and other organizations experience a
    change in front line culture.
  • Under what conditions do front-line workers and
    managers espouse performance management values
    and enact performance management values in their
    daily behavior?

8
Understanding Performance Management Behavior
9
Understanding Performance Management Behavior
10
Two Alternate Paths to Organizational Change
  • The Incentive Approach
  • Increased performance leads to change in culture
    and behavior.
  • Survival Anxiety will provoke greatest need for
    change (Khademian and Harttman 2010 Kotter 1990
    Schein 2006)
  • The Internal Dynamics Approach
  • Not every organization is equally ready to
    change
  • A positive Organizational Climate (trust,
    support) is an important prerequisite for
    cultural shift. (Bryk and Schneider 2005
    Childress et al., 2011 Hou, Moynihan,
    Ingraham, 2003 Schein 2006)

11
Research Question
  • What is the role of external incentives (in the
    form of organizational survival anxiety) and
    organizational climate in the espousal of
    performance management values and the adoption of
    performance management values-in-use in schools?

12
Data and Methods
  • Sequential, Mixed-Method Study
  • Cross-Sectional School System Analysis
  • NYC Learning Environment Survey, Progress Report,
    Quality Review 2007-2011
  • n 115-1,153 depending on model
  • Analysis conducted using OLS with schools as the
    unit of analysis
  • Comparative Case Study of Four Schools

13
New York City A Critical Case for Performance
Management Reform in Education
  • Mayoral Control, dating from 2005
  • Abolishment of the internal school district
    structure
  • Empowerment strategy
  • Devolution of decision-making power down to
    school principals
  • School-level accountability for performance

14
Key Variables
  • DEPENDENT VARIABLES
  • Espoused Values explicitly embraced by
    organizational members (Argyris and Schon
    1974,1977 Schein 2006)
  • Values-in-Use tacitly revealed through
    organizational behavior. (Argyris and Schon
    1974,1977 Senge 1990 Schein 2006.
  • INDEPENDENT VARIABLES OF INTEREST
  • Organizational Climate level of organizational
    trust perceptions of support and norms of
    open/honest dialogue (Childress et al 2011
    Moynihan Pandey, 2010 Schein, 2006 Senge,
    1990)
  • Survival Anxiety perceived risk of inaction to
    organizational wellbeing (Kotter, 1996,Schein,
    2006)

15
Measurement Challenges
  • High Correlation between Organizational Climate
    and Performance Values
  • Construct Validity
  • Common Source Bias
  • Endogeneity Risk

16
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17
Hypotheses
  • H1 Survival anxiety will have a positive and
    statistically-significant effect on the espousal
    of performance values and the adoption of
    performance values-in-use.
  • H2 Organizational Climate will have a positive
    and statistically-significant effect on the
    espousal of performance values and the adoption
    of performance values-in-use

18
Findings--Espoused Values
  • Organizational climate strong predictor
  • Survival anxiety weak but significant
    predictor
  • Limited interaction effect
  • Few statistically-significant formal controls

19
Findings Values-in-Use
  • Organizational climate strong predictor
  • Survival anxiety negative and significant
    predictor
  • No evidence of interaction effect
  • Even fewer statistically-significant formal
    controls

20
Summary of Findings
  • Internal Dynamics Perspective
  • Strong support for both espoused values and
    values-in-use
  • External Dynamics Perspective
  • Weak support for espoused values
  • Contrary findings for values-in-use
  • Lack of support in formal controls
  • No evidence that incentives and climate shape
    behavior together

21
Why the Limited Impact of Survival Anxiety?
  • Inadequate Time Frame for change
  • High-anxiety lack capacity and control
  • Policy Complexity
  • Political Uncertainty
  • Low-Anxiety schools go beyond incentives
  • Stewards of organizational mission
  • Efforts to define district mandates in line with
    organizational mission

22
Conclusion
  • Performance incentives are, on their own,
    insufficient to change organizational behavior.
  • Organizational change--even the development of
    performance behaviors-- takes time.
  • Policymakers and school leaders need to focus
    less on perfecting accountability instruments and
    more on how to create the internal organizational
    conditions for change.
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