Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Lawrence Schlack

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Warfield

Third Advisor

Dr. George Woons


The changing concepts of the role and function of education as well as the economic and social developments in our society have placed new and increased demands on our educational system. The concept of a regional education service agency as an approach to providing improved services to K-12 school districts is a method adopted in Michigan. This agency is called an intermediate school district (ISD).

The purpose of the study was to discover the difference between what K-12 superintendents expect from an ISD and their perceptions of the value of the services received. The data gathered could provide decision makers at the ISD and state levels information with which to make decisions in the areas of services and funding. The findings could also assist in establishing the concept that the use of local superintendents as a client system for the purpose of assessing needs and evaluating program services is essential.

The six service areas that were used in the study were special education, regional media centers, career and vocational education, data processing, professional development, and administrative services. These were the independent variables. The dependent variables were the local superintendents' expectations and perceptions of performance derived from the responses to a survey.

The target population was the 525 K-12 local superintendents in Michigan, from which a random sample of 226 was taken. A mailed questionnaire was used to collect data and a t test was used to test the difference between group means of expectations and perceptions of performance in each of the service areas. Results illustrated a statistically significant difference between the group means in each service area. Expectations rated higher than perceptions of performance.

The study leads to suggestions for further research related to ISDs. Using the local superintendents as a client system would provide an appropriate opportunity to assess needs and evaluate existing programs as well as provide an opportunity for local input on an ongoing basis. The study also suggests that criteria be developed to identify effective ISDs that can be used as a model for other ISDs as well as provide a model of effectiveness for ISD leadership.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access