Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The Problem. The purpose of this study was to examine fact-finding as a method of conflict resolution in Virginia Public School grievance cases to determine the extent that school boards and courts accept the fact-finders' recommendation. It was hypothesized that the recommendations of fact-finding committees are accepted more often than they are rejected; that the number of cases brought to fact-finding varies with the size and location of the school division, that the number of cases decided directly by school boards is less than the number of cases decided by school boards after a fact-finding hearing; and that school central office administrators prefer fact-finding to other methods of conflict resolutions.;Research Procedure. The subjects were superintendents of all school divisions in Virginia and representatives of ten selected school divisions. A survey developed by the investigator was used to determine the school divisions which reported fact-finding cases for the years 1982-83 and 1983-84. A 34 item interview schedule developed by the investigator was used to collect information on ten specific cases presented to fact-finding. Tables and rank orders were used to present information on percentages and types of cases.;Findings. There was no significant difference in the number of cases presented directly to the school boards and cases presented to fact-finding prior to a school board hearing. School boards accepted the fact-finders' recommendations more often than they rejected them. Fact-finding occurred in public school divisions in Virginia without regard to the size of student populations or the location of the school divisions. Dismissal was the most prevalent source of impass declaration. School administrators who were involved in the process prefer fact-finding to other forms of conflict resolutions.;Conclusions. A review of the data reported by school administrators revealed that it was both expensive and time consuming for a school division to go to fact-finding. Administrators stated that panels must be permitted to rule on teacher competency and must be given power to subpoena evidence and witnesses. Administrators recommend short time limits for each step of the grievance and dismissal process to reduce expenses and increase credibility of witnesses. The findings of this study have implications for the preparation for a fact-finding hearing and for preparation of state and local grievance and dismissal procedures.;Recommendations for further research are included.



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