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The purpose of this study was to address the nature of structural changes evolving in state departments of education which are perceived by chief state school officers as useful in implementing educational reforms. As a context for the inquiry on structural evolution, the study examined restatement of mission and goals in response to the reform movement. Examination of structural elements related to five areas: (a) reduction in vertical layers in the organization hierarchy, (b) adoption of flexible, cooperative roles, (c) decentralization of decision making, (d) delivery models for training and technical assistance to local education agencies and schools, and (e) linkages of departments of education with outside agencies. Descriptive research methods were used to accomplish the study's purpose. Data were collected by means of a survey to a sample of 27 chief state school officers and through examination of requested documents. Major conclusions were drawn as follows: (1) The pyramidal organization configuration has been and is continuing to be flattened. One-third of states indicated that further hierarchical layers should be eliminated for efficient decision making. (2) A vast majority of state departments of education have adopted flexible, cooperative roles and functions for professional personnel in response to restatement of mission and goals. Six structural avenues were found to legitimate flexible roles. Change in focus of function has been from regulation to service. (3) Decentralized decision making was found to be facilitated through one to five established structures in nearly three-fourths of the states with waiver process, as a deregulation vehicle, most frequently indicated. School improvement councils, as a category of local school governance bodies, and training for site-based management were most frequently named as "most useful." (4) Models for delivering training and technical assistance were found to have been developed or modified in every state. Thirteen delivery models were identified, with no one model conclusively perceived as most useful. Academies were most frequently indicated as "most useful." (5) Departments of education have established structural links with external agencies in a vast majority of states. Those reported included a mix of public, private and professional organizations from which a wide spectrum of professional and direct services are expected.