Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1994


The legislature of the State of Tennessee enacted The Public Education Governance Reform Act of 1984 as the first step in a restructuring and reform program for Tennessee education. One of the major elements of this piece of legislation was that the state board of education would "... develop and maintain current a master plan for the development of public education, grades kindergarten (K) through twelve (12)." A regulation was passed by the Tennessee State Board of Education mandating that each local board of education in the state should develop and implement a five-year educational plan to include a mission statement, goals, objectives, and strategies. The first plan was due September 1, 1990. The plan was to be evaluated annually. Direction was not given as to process, evaluation, or expected outcomes. In the absence of specific guidelines from the state, there was little understanding of the process followed by local school systems in Tennessee as they completed the educational planning process. The purpose of the study was to describe the process used by Tennessee school districts in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of a state mandated five year educational plan. A review of the literature on educational planning did not reveal a definitive planning process or model. There was no grand scheme or master plan on the state or national level which looked at the whole in an attempt to put all the various restructuring or reform components together to form a complete educational plan. Data were gathered using a survey instrument which covered seven research questions relating to the planning components found in the most accepted models in the literature. All Tennessee school systems were given an opportunity to participate in the study. The data suggest that local school systems did not receive sufficient information, training, and preparation materials to prepare an effective five-year educational plan. The educational plan was developed mainly by the local school boards and central office staffs in each school system. An accepted planning model as found in the literature was not used by the majority of the school systems, nor was any attempt made to correlate the local plan with the state master plan. Sufficient information from the local community to project a vision for the school system or identify present or future trends in the schools and community was not collected prior to the development of the plan. Implementation of the local plan was by top management in most systems. A formal evaluation process to measure success or failure in reaching the declared goals and objectives was not in place. Institutions of higher education were not given an opportunity to participate or have influence on the process of training, implementation, and evaluation of the local and state educational plans.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted