A comparison of three types of Catholic secondary school boards' involvement in policymaking

Charles Lourdes Reiter, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to determine and compare the perceptions of school board members, administrators, and staff members with respect to the involvement in the decision-making aspect of policy development in three types of Catholic school boards: corporate, religious community, and diocesan/parish boards in selected Catholic secondary schools in the New York City area. Respondents completed a questionnaire and indicated their perceptions of current board involvement and desired involvement in five dimensions of policy making: (1) planning, (2) policy formulation, (3) financial monitoring, (4) communication activity, and (5) evaluation activity. Each dimension was examined as it related to seven subdimensions: (a) academic program, (b) religious instruction, (c) religious formation, (d) extracurricular program, (e) the experience of "community," (f) the physical plant, and (g) human resources program. The study also sought to determine whether significant relationships existed between the perceptions of the respondents and the variables of number of years of service, level of education, and vocational status. In an open-ended question, respondents were asked to state their perceptions of the reasons for any lack of board involvement. The study found that significant differences existed among the respondents with respect to their perceptions of involvement in corporate, religious community, and diocesan/parish school boards. Corporate boards, on which laypersons were largely represented, were perceived to be more involved in each of the five dimensions. Significant differences were found to exist among board members', administrators', and staff members' perceptions with respect to board involvement in policy determination and financial monitoring in corporate, religious community, and diocesan/parish schools. No significant relationships were found to exist between the respondents' perceptions of board involvement and their number of years of service, or level of education. A significant relationship found between the vocational status of priest and the perceptions of board involvement was explained by other demographic circumstances. Among the reasons or causes for the perceived lack of board involvement were: lack of in-service training; lack of time; board role limitations; lack of interest; perceptions of board members as outsiders removed from individual school needs; perceptions of interference with school administration.

Subject Area

School administration|Religious education|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Reiter, Charles Lourdes, "A comparison of three types of Catholic secondary school boards' involvement in policymaking" (1994). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9511242.