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Citation:Sarason, S. B. (1995). Parental involvement and the political principal. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Inc. ED383074.

The author contends that school governance structures will have to completely change before any reform efforts can make a difference in the achievement outcomes of schools. The political principle that Òparents have a right to a big say in what schools do because they are the customers of public educationÓ is a constant conflict to principals and superintendents who operate from the perspective that they are the experts and parents do not need to be involved in areas that the school deems outside their domain. According to the author, the bureaucracy in public school districts overrides any true collaboration between parents and schools and thwarts changes that individual schools may want to make in this relationship. Sarason advocates the abolishment of school boards, and argues for the creation of systems that develop trust and respect among all parties involved in schools. Accepting the fact that parent involvement in schools is messy, barriers can be removed if schools take preventive actions and adopt a realistic perspective. This has not been done in light of the state legislative mandates for site-based decision-making, but the creation of the Articles of Confederation is provided as an example and model of democratic leadership for the creation of parental involvement programs.

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