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What's the Secret of Total Student Load?
In a study of 442 schools in 8 large urban districts that have devolved power to local principals, William Ouchi, a distinguished professor in corporate renewal at UCLA Anderson School of Management, found that schools that have reduced total student load in measurable ways also tend to have higher passing rates on state exams.
Ouchi found that principals empowered to better control their budget, curriculum, schedule, and staffing were more likely to make decisions that lowered teachers' total student load, leading to more targeted, effective instruction, and higher student achievement.
Principal decisions that lowered total student load included hiring more teachers, eliminating non-teaching positions, such as registrars and front-office attendants, and rolling social studies and English classes into an integrated humanities class.