Meredith I. Honig
Associate Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Affairs
Partner, Center for Educational Leadership
315D Miller Hall, Box 353600
Dr. Honig’s research and teaching focus on policy, leadership, and organizational change in urban educational systems. She is particularly interested in how public policy making bureaucracies such as school district central offices innovate and collaborate to improve opportunities for all youth to learn. She examines these challenges using a variety of cases including school-community partnerships and new small autonomous schools initiatives. Her current research projects focus on:
The participation of school district central office administrators in the implementation of new small autonomous schools initiatives in two urban districts;
The role of community-based youth agencies and intermediary organizations in supporting youths’ opportunities to learn; and,
How urban school district central offices are fundamentally transforming themselves to support districtwide teaching and learning improvement.
Evidence-based decision-making has been a major focus of these projects—particularly how policymakers incorporate local or practitioner knowledge into their decision-making. Dr. Honig's work starts from the premise that multiple institutions beyond schools matter for youth development and learning and that public policymaking appropriate to this orientation demands that public policymakers adopt non-traditional roles. She focuses on how theories of organizational learning, systems complexity, and managerial innovation help illuminate how public policymakers manage (and why they sometimes do not manage) these non-traditional, public-sector demands.
Prior to joining the University of Washington faculty, Meredith was an assistant professor and co-director of the Center for Educational Policy and Leadership at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has worked at the California Department of Education and in other state and local youth-serving agencies.
Ph.D. Stanford University, 2001
B.A. Brown University
How Central Office Staff Can Support Principal Leadership
Llittle research exists that shows what central office staff need to do to fulfill the role of "principal coach" effectively. Meredith I. Honig delved into that question for a report published in the April 2012 edition of Educational Administration Quarterly.
Education Week, April 23, 2012
It's time to change Seattle schools superintendent's job
Two University of Washington researchers have done a study of what happens when a district makes the transformation from bureaucracy to support system under a leader who knows how to communicate, listen and be a partner for school staff and the community.
Seattle Times, March 7, 2011
Don't Cut Out the Center: The Centrality of the Central Office in Teaching and Learning Improvement
Michael A. Copland and Meredith I. Honig
Education Week, October 28, 2010
It's about the kids: Refocusing central school district offices with teaching and learning in mind
University Week, August 19, 2010
Honig, M.I. (2012). District central office leadership as teaching: How central office administrators support principals’ development as instructional leaders. Educational Administration Quarterly, 48(4), 733-744.
Honig, M.I., & Venkateswaran, N. (2012). School-central office relationships in evidence use: Understanding evidence use as a systems problem. American Journal of Education, 118(2), 199-222.
Honig, M.I., & Rainey, L.R. (2012). Autonomy and school improvement: What do we know and where do we go from here? Educational Policy. DOI: 10.1177/0895904811417590
Honig, M.I., & DeArmond, M. (2010). Where's the "management" in portfolio management: Conceptualizing the role of school district central offices in implementation. In K. Bulkley, J. Henig, & H. Levin, (Eds.), Portfolio management reform, (pp, 195-216). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Honig, M.I., Copland, M.A., Rainey, L., Lorton, J.A., & Newton, M. (2010, April). School district central office transformation for teaching and learning improvement. A report to the Wallace Foundation. Seattle, WA: The Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy.
Honig, M.I. (2009). “External” Organizations and the Politics of Urban Educational Leadership: The Case of New Small Autonomous Schools Initiatives. Peabody Journal of Education, 84, 394-413.
Honig, M.I. (2009). No small thing: School district central office bureaucracies and the implementation of New Small Autonomous Schools Initiatives. American Educational Research Journal 46(2), 387-422.
Honig, M.I., & Copland, M.A. (2008). Reinventing central offices to expand
student learning. An Issue Brief of the Center for Comprehensive School
Reform and Improvement. Washington, DC: Learning Point Associates. Brief
also featured in the national webcast: Start at the top: How central office
reform is improving student achievement (March 26, 2009, Center for
Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement:
Honig, M.I., & Ikemoto, G. (2008). Adaptive assistance for learning improvement efforts: The case of the Institute for Learning. Peabody Journal of Education, 83(3), 328-363.
Honig, M.I. (2008). District central offices as learning organizations: How sociocultural and organizational learning theories elaborate district central office administrators’ participation in teaching and learning improvement efforts. American Journal of Education, 114, 627-664.
Honig, M.I. & Coburn, C. (2008). Evidence-Based Decision Making in School District Central Offices. Educational Policy, 22(4), 578-608.
Honig, M.I. (2006). Street-level bureaucracy revisited: Frontline district central office administrators as boundary spanners in education policy implementation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 28(4), 357-383.
Honig, M.I. & McDonald, M.A. (2005). From promise to participation: After-school programs through the lens of socio-cultural learning theory. The Robert Bowne Foundation Occasional Paper Series, #5 Fall. New York City, NY: The Robert Bowne Foundation.
Honig, M.I., & Hatch, T.C. (2004). Crafting coherence: How schools strategically manage multiple, external demands. Educational Researcher, 33(8), 16-30. Download pdf»
Honig, M.I. (2004). Where's the 'up' in bottom-up reform. Educational Policy, 18(4), 527-561.
Honig, M.I. (2004). The new middle management: Intermediary organizations in education policy implementation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 26(1), 65-87.
Honig, M.I. (2004). District central office-community partnerships: From contracts to collaboration to control. In W. Hoy & C. Miskel (Eds.) Educational administration, policy, and reform: Research and measurement (pp. 59-90). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
Honig, M.I. (2003). Building policy from practice: District central office administrators’ roles and capacity for implementing collaborative education policy. Educational Administration Quarterly, 39(3), 292-338.
Honig, M.I. (2003, December). A view from the edge: An interim report on Oakland’s implementation of site-based decision-making and new small autonomous schools. Report submitted to the Oakland Cross-city Campaign for Urban School Reform. CEPAL Occasional Paper OP-03-01. College Park, MD: Center for Education Policy and Leadership, University of Maryland, College Park.
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Honig, M.I. (2002, May). Oakland’s site-based decision-making and new small autonomous schools: An examination of schools’ progress and central office participation. Report submitted to the Oakland Cross-city Campaign for Urban School Reform. CEPAL Occasional Paper OP-02-01. College Park, MD: Center for Education Policy and Leadership, University of Maryland, College Park.
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Honig, M.I., Kahne, J., & McLaughlin, M.W. (2001). School-community connections: Strengthening opportunity to learn and opportunity to teach. In V. Richardson, (Ed.) Handbook of research on teaching (4th Ed.) (pp. 998-1028). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
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EDLPS 551: Organizational Theory and Educational Change (Syllabus)
College of Education, University of Washington
Box 353600 Seattle, WA 98195-3600