Harnessing the Benefits of Group Decision Making

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Begin by reflecting on this week’s readings and media segment. Next, examine your current school or district and how decisions are currently made about assessment, data, and school improvement. One option for gathering this information is to interview one or two colleagues in leadership positions to obtain their perspective on decision-making in your organization. Another option is to interview people who are involved in group decision making at the systemic level to gain an understanding of the processes currently in place.
Use the prompts below to develop your analysis of your organization in a written paper.
Analyze how group decisions are made.
Are there processes or models that are followed?
How are inter-relationships among groups managed? How are expectations and demands balanced?
How does the leadership balance pressure with support?
What are the markers that lead you to the conclusions you drew about group decision making in your organization?
Research social and political groups in organizations.
What is social diversity?
What is political diversity?
How do social and political diversity differ from each other?
What do they look like in schools and school systems?
Based on your research, describe the different social and political groups that participate in decision making in your organization.
How do their concerns or objectives differ? How do they align?
Are they currently able to work together effectively to make decisions and implement new initiatives based on those decisions?
What are the challenges of social and political diversity in group decision making?
What are the advantages?
Are the advantages always realized? Why or why not?
Construct an argument for using two or more of the decision making models you learned about this week to overcome the challenges of social and political diversity in group decision making. Provide a rationale for why you selected those models and why you think they will be effective in your organization.
This week’s Learning Resources explore the steps in data-based decision making and provide examples of how real practitioners work to make informed, collaborative decisions in their organizations. In particular, “ Data-Driven Decisions and School Leadership” examines aspects of group decision making and explores some of the advantages and disadvantages of social and political diversity in groups. Assessment leaders, whether at the school or district level, will work with multiple stakeholders to make decisions about the assessment program, about data, and about subsequent plans for new initiatives based on the data. For this week’s Application Assignment, you will examine your current school or district and apply your new learning to a critical analysis of group decision making in your organization. You will also make recommendations for the use of decision making models to overcome the challenges you observe.
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