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Jsl Vol 13-N2

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The Journal of School Leadership is broadening the conversation about schools and leadership and is currently accepting manuscripts. We welcome manuscripts based on cutting-edge research from a wide variety of theoretical perspectives and methodological orientations. The editorial team is particularly interested in working with international authors, authors from traditionally marginalized populations, and in work that is relevant to practitioners around the world. Growing numbers of educators and professors look to the six bimonthly issues to: deal with problems directly related to contemporary school leadership practice teach courses on school leadership and policy use as a quality reference in writing articles about school leadership and improvement.

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5 Articles

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“Color-Blind” Leadership and Intergroup Conflict

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REITUMETSE OBAKENG MABOKELA
JEAN A. MADSEN

ABSTRACT: Educational organizations that reflect a diversity of class, gender, socioeconomic status, and nationality in their membership establish a complex set of interactions that have implications for how groups are formed. The study on which this article is based examines the responses of principals to intergroup conflict that occurred as a result of cultural incongruities between teachers of color and European American participants in desegregated suburban schools. In schools, intergroup theory applies to school participants because of the nature of the organizational context between identity and organizational groups. The principal plays a critical role in creating an inclusive environment that determines how groups are formed, the emotional climate of the workplace, and how roles are structured. Because U.S. schools serve a more diverse student population with a greater need to recruit teachers of color than ever before, principals must be aware of the challenges in leading a varied group of followers.

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Superintendent Perceptions of Quantity and Quality of Principal Candidates

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KATHRYN S. WHITAKER

ABSTRACT: This article presents data from a study of superintendents on their perceptions of the quality and quantity of principal candidates in one state. Through a survey, superintendents were asked to provide information about the quantity and quality of candidates for the principalship, level of satisfaction with mentoring/induction programs, and level of satisfaction with professional preparation programs. The respondents were also asked to provide responses to the factors discouraging applicants for the principalship, and suggestions to increase the pool of candidates for the principalship. Follow-up interviews were conducted with 10 superintendents in the state for more in-depth information about the quantity and quality of candidates for the principalship. Recommendations are offered about methods to increase candidate pools and retain quality individuals in principal roles.

Increasingly reports are emerging that suggest a national shortage of candidates for the principalship (Bowles, King, & Crow, 2000; Educational Research Service, 1998, 2000; Jordan, McCauley, & Comeaux, 1994). The demand for assistant principals and principals is at an all time high due to increased accountability pressures, retirements of current principals, and increased enrollments in many school districts (Malone & Caddell, 2000). Barker (1997) identified four trends contributing to difficulty in filling principal vacancies: smaller candidate pools, new construction, increased retirements, and fewer individuals in educational administration graduate programs. Although applicant pools for qualified candidates for principal positions are diminishing, perhaps a greater concern has to do with the quality of applicants for the positions (Educational Research Service, 1998; Whitaker, 2000). McCormick (1987) observed that “bright, young administrators aren’t appearing on the horizon” (p. 4) and Portin, Shen, and Williams (1998) echo this perception.

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Principled, Pragmatic, and Purposive Leadership: Reimagining Educational Leadership Through Prophetic Spirituality

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MICHAEL E. DANTLEY

ABSTRACT: This article reimagines educational leadership using Cornel West’s notions of prophetic spirituality. Three categories of leadership—principled, pragmatic, and purposive—are proposed. All three are grounded in the components of West’s prophetic spirituality, namely, a deep-seated moralism, an inescapable opportunism, and an aggressive or profound pessimism. The article argues that the transformation of educational leadership necessitates searching for a unique way to alter its construction. Using an African American spiritual frame is suggested as one way to bring about such fundamental change in the field.

Educational leadership is facing a number of challenges that have the potential to transform the basic assumptions, theoretical predispositions, and professional practices that have historically emanated from this field. Certainly the trenchant accountability movement, with all of its academic as well as social justice implications, augments the rhetoric of the discourse currently espoused in educational leadership. That rhetoric is grounded in a Western business model that celebrates productivity, predictability, decreasing costs, hierarchical organizational structures, and a management vernacular. It has rested upon an empiricist foundation where quantitative, rational, and functional measures are used exclusively to gauge the success of schools.

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Ideal Schools for the 21st Century: A Comparative Analysis of American and Chinese Principals’ Views and Visions

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ZHIXIN SU
JEANNE P. ADAMS
ELLIOT MININBERG

ABSTRACT: The importance of principals to school improvement has been widely recognized, but few studies have focused on principals’ own perceptions of school change and their special roles in reform. This article reports findings from a comparative survey study of American and Chinese school principals’ basic beliefs regarding education and schooling, their views on school reform and the role of the principal in reform, and their visions of ideal schools in the 21st century. Although similarities exist in their perceptions, there are striking contrasts between the American and Chinese views and visions, which point to quite different directions and paths of reform in the two nations. While Americans are busy constructing common standards, developing and using more standardized tests for all students, and moving toward standards-based school reform, the Chinese seem to desire just the opposite—deconstructing uniform standards, moving away from the pressures of national exams, and focusing more on the interests and potentials of each individual student, a goal that has been largely ignored in the past in the Chinese culture and schools.

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SPECIAL SECTION: PROFESSING EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP: EXPERIENCES FOR THE UNIVERSITY CLASSROOM, PART 2

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Guest Editor: Carolyn Carr

This is the second part of a total of four special sections. The first part ran in the previous issue of the Journal of School Leadership, and parts 3 and 4 will run in the next two issues.

CAROLYN S. CARR

ABSTRACT: This article focuses on the nature of caring in the university graduate classroom. Its purpose is to show how the ethic of care can be visible and should affect what occurs in administrative preparation programs. The article begins with a review of the literature. The second part of the article describes pedagogical practices utilized in pursuit of a caring community through a culturally responsive framework encompassing an “inclusive classroom culture,” “student funds of knowledge,” and “instructional conversations,” all aimed at helping students perform beyond their current capacity while accommodating community and cultural norms. The third section presents a factually based case study that raises key issues around the cultural encounter between a professor and a bilingual/bicultural graduate education class.

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