Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


College of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Ron Duerring

Second Advisor

Michael Sullivan

Third Advisor

Powell Toth

Fourth Advisor

Ken Young

Fifth Advisor

Paul Leary


This study examined the relationship between the types of school board decisions identified by the Hange and Leary study (1996) and the duration of time spent on these decisions. The source of information for this study was electronically recorded minutes of selected West Virginia school board meetings during the time period of August 1990 to August 1995 and the types and frequencies of decisions identified by the Hange and Leary study (1996) of the same period. The duration of time spent on each decision type was determined by reviewing videotapes or audiotapes of meetings which corresponded to the selected written minutes from the 22 West Virginia counties where the recordings were available. The percentage of time spent on each decision type was compared to the frequencies of occurrence of decision types identified by the Hange and Leary (1996) study in their study of emergent category analysis of the written minutes. Spearman r correlation analysis determined that the percentage of time spent on decisions made by West Virginia school boards and the frequencies of decisions identified in the Hange and Leary study of 1996 have no significant relationship. Ancillary analysis using t-tests substantiated the major findings. Contrary to a majority of the literature which suggests that the major priority of effective school boards should be policy making, the results of this study indicate the local school boards in West Virginia generally do not follow this advice. An average of only three percent of the school board meetings studied were dedicated to policy making. The largest single percentage of time was typically spent in executive session. Policy and curricular issues accounted for five percent of the time spent in school board meetings while other issues dominated 79% of the meeting time (16% was expended on non-coded activities).


The University of West Virginia College of Graduate Studies became the WV Graduate College in 1992 and was subsequently merged with Marshall University in 1997.


School boards – West Virginia.

School management and organization – West Virginia.