Quality of education is very important for the children intellectual and social development. Many parents often base their home buying decisions on the quality of schools at the locations of the future houses. Parents need to consider the overall effect of both primary and secondary education of their children since development of mental and habits of children depend on the quality of schools the children receive. High quality education has demonstrated impressive positive effect on children because it has correlative effects on individual success in life. (Magnuson, & Shager 2010). The report made by the First Coast News on 8 January 2008 reveals that Florida schools were ranked 14th nationwide despite their 28th ranking position in the educational spending. The improvement in the educational quality in Florida could be attributed to the system of education put in place, quality of teachers, accountability, and measurement of assessment. The overall benefits of improved education in Florida are to close the poverty gap. The children who benefits from the quality education are likely to attain middle or higher class later in life. With the effect of quality education on children, it is natural for parents to react when Miami school district announces unexpectedly that the school board has decided to redrawn the school boundaries in the upcoming year based on the increase in the enrolment of students. To implement the decision, the school board hires a consultant to redraw the current school boundaries to overcome overcrowding. Once the expert has submitted the redrawn program, it will be necessary for many students to change schools. The issue has led to the objection of many parents. To voice their objection, parents have formed a coalition and present their case before the school board based on the following reasons:
Quality of children education may be impaired due to change of school
Increase travel time due to change of school
Children may be forced to cross the economic and cultural boundaries when changing schools.
Decreasing of property values with the impending changing of school districts.
Social impact on children with the relocation to other school districts.
Despite the parent's objection, the school board is committed to continue with the program. The objective of this paper is to develop a plan to address the stakeholders concern. Before the school board can successfully implement the plan, a careful analysis has to reveal the reason the plan exists to ensure maximum satisfaction of the majority of the stakeholders.
Who are the Stakeholders?
The stakeholders are the person, group, or organizations directly or indirectly having the stake in a business because they could be affected by the organizational objectives, actions, and policies. In this issue, the stakeholders are the schoolchildren, teachers, parents, and school boards, experts involved in redrawing the plan, school authorities, and the community where the school is located.
The negotiation strategies that needs to be adopted to support the school board policy to rezone the school boundaries while addressing the concern of the majority of the stakeholders is to adopt integrated negotiation strategy aiming at reaching the win-win scenario for all the parties in the negotiation. The concept of integrative bargaining is a negotiation strategy where parties involved collaborate to reach mutual beneficial agreements based on the interest of the parties involved. (Heavrin, 2011).
With reference to the decision of the school board on the school rezoning, the first step the school board needs to address is to find out the bottom line why the parents are resisting their decision. The parents concern is the quality of education of their children. At the negotiation table, the school board could convince the parents that the school board intends to implement the school rezoning to improve the quality of education of their children. The school board will make the parents to understand that the major reason that pushes the school board to decide on the school redrawn policy is due to the overcrowding of students in their present schools. The schools will need to convince the parents on the effects of overcrowding on the quality of the education of the children.
To convince the parents on the redrawn policy, the school board needs to educate the parents on the impact of school overcrowding on the quality of their children education. Some of the arguments the school board could present in revealing the impact of overcrowding on the quality of education are as follows:
First, the school board should define the concept overcrowding. The overcrowding occurs when number of students in the class are higher than 20. Overcrowding of students has negative impact on the quality of education. In a crowded classroom, teachers are only able to spend average of only three minutes per students per day. To enhance the quality of education, the teacher-students ratio should be reduced. Due to the overcrowding of the school, the teacher-student ratios are higher than normal average. In a school with the overcrowding students in a class, the students' performances will be lower than average, which may have impact on the academic success of the students and overall success of students later in life.
A teacher student ratio should be below 20 to enhance quality of education. There are high positive effects when students are less than 20 in a class. When students are more than 20 in a class, the student's ability to concentrate will be lower and teacher will not be able to concentrate on each student, which could hamper the quality of education. Department of Education (1999) reveals that lower students-teacher ratios on fourth grade level have positive effect to higher mathematics achievement. In addition, lower student teacher ratios on eight-grade level improve the school social environment, which leads to higher performances. "Smaller class students substantially outperformed than larger class students on both standardized (Stanford Achievement Tests) and curriculum-based tests (Basic Skills First)." (Department of Education 1999 P. 3). From the experiment conducted by the Department of Education on the performances of students in the large and smaller classes, it is revealed that:
1. Fourth grade students in smaller classes outperform than fourth grade students in larger classes in all academic subjects.
2. Fourth-grade students in smaller classes are better behaved than fourth-grade students in larger classes in student classroom effort, disruptiveness, and initiative.
3. There is significant higher academic achievement level by the eighth grade students in smaller classes.
To further convince the stakeholders to support the new policy, the school board will need to show the pictures and video presentation of the new schools. The video presentation will assist the school board to convince the stakeholders that the new school will have fewer teacher students ratio, and the new schools possess more school facilities compared to the present schools. With the video presentation, the school board will be able to convince the stakeholders on the benefits the students will derive from the new policy based on the following:
First, in the new school, there will be reduction of teacher students' ratios. Compare to the present schools where there are overcrowding of the students, the number of students in the class will be lower than 20, and this new policy will improve the performances of the students in mathematics and other subjects.
In addition, the new policy will assist the school board to reduce the administrative duplications costs thereby focusing those resources for the benefits of the school children.
The board will need to include the ethics and cultural factors in their negotiation strategy to win the support of other stakeholders.
Methods Ethics and Culture affecting my Decision
The board will need to include the ethics and culture in the bargaining. The board should present the benefits of allowing the students to mix with other students from the other ethical and cultural background. One of the benefits that students will derive from the rezoning of the school boundaries is by understanding the other cultures and ethics apart from their own cultures. By mixing students with other students in other school boundaries, students will understand the ethics and culture of other students. One of the advantages of understanding the other's people ethics and culture is to enhance student's ability to mix with people from other culture later in life. All organizations in the United States are composed of people with diverse ethics and cultures. To be successful in any organization, it is essential to understand the ethics and culture of the people working within the organization. Understanding the ethics and culture of other people will assist an individual to successfully adapt within an organization. By allowing the students to mix with the students from other ethics and culture, students will understand the cultures and ethics of other people and this will help them later in life in their working place.
The school board could also present the advantage of the rezoning of school boundaries based on the benefits that other stakeholders will derive from the property values.