Date of Award

Summer 1991

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Educational Policy and Leadership


This investigative study is the result of ideas which began to form during an intensive study of Modern Approaches To Understanding and Managing Organizations by Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal. It is apparent, according to Bolman and Deal, that though there are many different types of organizations, these various organizations all operate out of the same few basic organizational structures or frames. The educational systems within the United States, while substantively different than businesses and other I organizations, nonetheless adhere to the basic structural formulas as do these other organizations. Public schools, during the course of their existence, . have adopted the corporate-industrial model of organization in their structure and operational style. And while private schools, and especially religiously-affiliated schools, have utilized certain aspects of the corporate-industrial model for their daily operations, these have an additional symbolic element in their make-up which has given meaning to their continued existence as an alternative educational system in spite of the lack of public funding. Because the Catholic school system provides the justification for my own status as teacher and administrator, I felt the need to examine the causes and circumstances which stimulated the foundation of the Catholic system, how those original causes may have developed during the past century, and whether the current causes and circumstances justify the continued existence of an alternative Catholic school system. This project has involved significant historical research in order to determine how and why an alternative Catholic school system formed in the United States. Because the study is looking at past circumstances and present conditions of an alternative school system, it necessarily involved both empirical and non-empirical research. Primary documents, especially Supreme Court decisions, were reviewed for legal precedents which may have impacted upon the decision of the Church to found an alternative ~chool system. It was also necessary to examine secondary sources. Such articles as those by Robert D. Cross and Marvin Lazerson were essential since these contained the seminal theories regarding the foundation of the Catholic school system. These theories, however, deal essentially with external causes for the foundation of an alternative system. Because of the very real and influential symbolic element in human organizations which is postulated by Bolman and Deal in their book, it is also necessary to formulate a theory which incorporates a significant internal reason for the foundation of the Catholic system. This internal cause is the factor which makes the Catholic school system as it recognized today a viable and competitive system with the public school system...