Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department or School

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

James Barott, PhD, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Jaclynn Tracy, PhD

Committee Member

David Anderson, PhD


Background: Throughout the history of public education in Michigan, there has been an intermediate unit of educational government. This unit of educational government exists between the State Department of Education and the local school districts. Currently, there are fifty-seven intermediate school districts in Michigan providing educational services and governance functions.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand the Monroe County Intermediate School District in order to inform educational leadership.

Research Design: This study was an interpretive, historical case study. The study explored the manner in which culture was perpetuated via the system of education in Monroe, Michigan, throughout history.


• The nature of educational governance is found in the myths and belief systems of the people and the ideological techniques used to control the educational environment. The nature of educational governance is to perpetuate culture. The question at issue is whose culture?

• The ideological foundations of Michigan’s Public Education System are:
*Protestant-republican reform ideology

*business-scientific ideology

*municipal reform ideology

• The origin of the Monroe County Intermediate School District can be traced to 1867. The drift of educational governance has been away from local control. As the state has assumed more control of educational governance, the Intermediate School District, put into place as a source of state control, has evolved into a local and state public policy entrepreneur.

• The dominant conflict this researcher found is that which exists between centralized versus local control. The question of who decides about educational matters has been the primary source of educational conflict.

• The educational governance role of the Monroe County Intermediate School District is to provide resources, govern the delivery of special education services, serve as a policy entrepreneur, and manage political conflict.

• The educational services role of the Monroe County Intermediate School District continues to evolve within the negotiated local educational arena and includes:

*special education services

*professional development services

*Data processing services

*Instructional technology services

*Student enrichment services


Additional committee member: John Palladino, PhD