Streamlining Educational Administration: A Process Improvement Methodology to Free Schools from Administrative Burdens

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Audrey Rabas, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Brian Creasman, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Becky Copper-Glenz, Ed.D.


Within K–12 schools, teachers can be affected by administrative activities that overwhelm administrative staff. Schools struggle with the need to deliver administrative activities on time, within the roles of the central office, and without impacting educators in the classrooms. This study identified how a school can reduce the level of effort needed to complete administrative tasks. Discovered in literature, there is a need for school administrators to more focused work, with less resources leveraging an effective workforce, to complete all the administrative burdens placed on them. Through a conceptual leadership framework blending project management, lean organization and systems engineering methodologies, the Education Focused Initiative of Resources and Strategic Thinking (FIRST) framework leverages the best characteristics that each has to offer. Using the program evaluation design, an assessment on the usefulness of Education FIRST was conducted. Data collected through the four phases and the program evaluation tool provided insights to whether the Education FIRST leadership framework can reduce the level of effort needed to complete administrative tasks. This new paradigm following the less with less strategy in managing the administrative activities that overwhelm schools will be challenged by the fact that most, if not all, activities are required to be completed. Some administrative activities have funding attached to them, while others are mandated by regulations. These activities need to be completed, but as interpreted from these results, implementing a formalized prioritization and management process, like Education FIRST, school administrators can optimize the way in which the work is done.

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