Fifteen Areas of Autonomy Secured by Teacher-Powered Schools

Memo • July 2015 • By Amy Junge, Kim Farris-Berg

Kim Farris-Berg, Edward J. Dirkswager, and Amy Junge originally identified ten potential areas in which teachers could secure collective autonomy in schools, when conducting research for the book Trusting Teachers with School Success. That list was developed from research about school decentralization and autonomy by Fordham Foundation, William Ouchi of UCLA, and RAND Corporation. It was also based on the observations of field practitioners and observers at the Center for Collaborative Education, EdVisions Schools, and Education Evolving. Five additional autonomies were added at a later date, based on further field observations.

This document describes those fifteen areas of autonomy, and gives a series of real-life examples of decisions teams of teachers have made using full or partial autonomy in each autonomy area.