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JSL Vol 22-N5

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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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9 Articles

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Editorial: Transitions for the Journal of School Leadership

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During 2012, the Journal of School Leadership (JSL) moved with me from the University of Missouri–Columbia to Iowa State University. During the journal’s time at Mizzou, we enjoyed the generous support of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, which at the time was chaired by ex-JSL editor Dr. Jay Paredes Scribner. Assistant editors Shelli Adams and Andre Brown were wonderful to work with—committed and organized scholars who helped produce two years of high-quality research publications.

My administrators, faculty colleagues, and graduate students at Iowa State University have also been very supportive during what turned out to be a difficult transition. Through this, new JSL assistant editor Lorraine D. Acker has been a great help, as the journal initially fell a bit behind its usual quick turnaround time. We are now, through sheer effort, back on track with our review turnaround time and about to now put several new initiatives into motion. One of the first of these is to bring in some new Editorial Review Board members. The JSL board has remained relatively stable for the past several years, but in the upcoming 12 months, about half the board will turn over. We are also working with our publisher to explore new ways that we can give more access to our audience by improving our online distribution. I am also exploring the possibility of creating some new article formats that I hope will be in place by the end of the year. Considered as a whole, the changes are exciting, and I look forward to a successful year for the journal.

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Searching for a Needle in a Haystack: Indications of Social Justice Among Aspiring Leaders

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VONZELL AGOSTO
ZORKA KARANXHA

ABSTRACT: We conducted a content analysis of 34 statements of interest submitted by applicants applying for admission to an education leadership preparation program. The purpose of the analysis was to understand their orientations toward social justice. Using Kumashiro’s (2000) and Apple’s (2001) discussions of antioppressive education, we identified three practices in the candidates’ treatment of the writing prompt concerning leadership related to Othering: ignoring, marginalizing, and mentioning. The fourth practice—embodying, or evidencing through practice, a social justice orientation—we identified in statements submitted by a few applicants (n = 7). This article centers on the analysis of the applications of these seven candidates through the metaphor needle in a haystack. Through conducting a secondary-level analysis to extrapolate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of critical literacy and elicit our collective perceptions of what constitutes social justice leadership, we found the social justice orientations—“or needles”—for which we searched. This self-reflexive approach to research reflects the model of program evaluation that we are developing called self-assessment for equity. We provide recommendations for faculty interested in improving their program’s capacity to identify, prepare, and sustain social justice leadership.

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Leading a Quiet Revolution: Women High School Principals in Traditional Arab Society in Israel

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KHALID ARAR
TAMAR SHAPIRA

ABSTRACT: This article investigates why very few Arab women persevere to become principals in Arab high schools in Israel. It identifies these trailblazers’ distinguishing characteristics through the narratives of two Arab women, high school principals, tracing their transition from teaching to management, describing the intertwining of their personal and professional lives, examining their career choices from a gender perspective, and noting the changes they have implemented within Arab high schools in Israel. Research indicates that Arab society still views school principalship as a male role and that women face political and social resistance to attain this role.

The investigation of women’s leadership in education began toward the end of the 20th century (Grogan & Shakeshaft, 2011) and continues to interest researchers today. Several aspects of this issue have been discussed, including political (Blackmore, 1998; Shipps & White, 2009), professional (Oplatka & Hertz-Lazarowitz, 2006; Rodriguez-Campos, Rincones-Gomez, & Shen, 2005), gender (Embry, Padgett, & Caldwell, 2008; Grogan & Shake-shaft, 2011; Hertz-Lazarowitz & Shapira, 2005), and social aspects (Shapira, Arar, & Azaiza, 2010).

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Influence Matters: The Link Between Principal and Teacher Influence Over School Policy and Teacher Turnover

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KAREN M. JACKSON

ABSTRACT: This study outlines the relationship between teachers’ and principals’ perceptions of their influence over policies within their school and teachers’ actual employment decisions—specifically, teachers’ decisions to stay (continue their affiliation with their school), to move (transfer to a different school), or to leave the teaching profession. This article outlines a theoretical orientation that brings the exercise of influence within an organization together with three theories of school leadership to focus on the extent to which teachers’ and principals’ perceptions of their exercise of influence over school policy affects teachers’ turnover decisions. Using data from the 1999–2000 Schools and Staffing Survey in a series of multinomial logistic regressions, the analysis finds that increases in teacher influence over school policy are associated with greater teacher job stability (stayers), whereas increases in principal influence over school policy are associated with a higher incidence of teachers leaving the teaching profession (leavers). This study highlights the important role that principals’ perceptions of their own influence over school policy play in teachers’ employment decisions and, therefore, the employment stability of teachers in their schools.

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Preparation of Urban High School Leaders in Philadelphia Through Multiorganizational Partnerships

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GIRIJA KAIMAL
MARGARET BARBER
MARCIA SCHULMAN
PETE REED

ABSTRACT: Partnerships between universities and school districts are increasingly being identified as a means to overcome the difficulties of preparing the next generation of urban high school principals. This article examines the development of such a multiorganizational partnership with a large urban school district, two universities, and a national educational organization. The partnership development is analyzed against a framework of dimensions of effective collaborations. Data include interviews and observations and are analyzed using qualitative methods. Findings indicate that challenges in multi-institution partnerships are inevitable. However, the overarching focus on a common goal, defined responsibilities, authentic communication, alignment of common interests, and dynamic receptiveness to ongoing evaluative feedback enables the sustenance of an effective program.

The difficulties in preparing the next generation of urban school principals are well documented. In addition to the overall stress and overwhelming responsibilities of the position (McAdams, 1998; Pounder & Merrill, 2001; Whitaker, 2001), there is often not much financial incentive to make the move from a teaching position to the principalship (Bowles, King, & Crow, 2000; Carrigan, Brown, & Jenkins, 1999; Educational Research Service, 1998; Kennedy, 2000; Whitaker, 2001). Additionally, schools that are often most in need of the best-prepared leaders have a particularly difficult time recruiting and retaining such candidates (Whitaker, 2001). The increasing complexity of school leadership, the reform of leadership preparation programs, and the intricacies of various state licensing requirements suggest a need for more collaborative efforts to ensure that no gap exists between being licensed to lead and being ready to lead. In addition, research and policy are increasingly promoting the inclusion of partnerships in leadership preparation programs. For example, Kentucky has recently mandated that universities and districts partner in the preparation of school leaders (2008 revision of the Kentucky Administrative Regulation on principal certification). In a study of the elements of quality leadership preparation programs, LaPointe, Meyerson, and Darling-Hammond (2006) identified collaborative partnerships between universities and school districts as an exemplary feature. Universities are able to provide faculty and instructional resources, while districts help to identify potential candidates and navigate certification and placement bureaucracies (National Association of Secondary School Principals, 2007). In a study of comparing conventional preparation programs with collaborative ones, Orr and Barber (2006) found that the collaborative programs were characterized by more innovative features and yielded more positive career interest and advancement outcomes.

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Playing Doctor With Education: Considerations in Using Medical Rounds as a Model for Instructional Rounds

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RACHEL ROEGMAN
CAROLYN RIEHL

ABSTRACT: This article examines the literature on medical rounds to inform the recent move toward instructional rounds as a practice of districtwide improvement and professional learning for superintendents and administrators. Based on the practice of medical rounds as a method for creating shared norms and understandings about medicine and patient care, instructional rounds is a process in which networks of superintendents (and, increasingly, principals and teachers) observe and analyze classroom teaching to develop shared norms and understandings about instruction. Research on the practice of medical rounds highlights potential challenges for the medical community that also might apply to education: challenges of purpose, worldview, pedagogy, content, expertise, voice, and power/status. Understanding and addressing these challenges can inform the development of instructional rounds.

The education community often looks to the medical profession for exemplars of practice, from double-blind randomized trials in clinical research to paid residencies for training practitioners (Berry et al., 2008; Riehl, 2006). This trend continues with instructional rounds, a recent innovation based on the model of medical rounds. In instructional rounds, participants—originally superintendents, central office personnel, and principals but increasingly teachers as well—develop their instructional acumen through visits to classrooms and direct observation of what teachers and students are doing. As the idea of instructional rounds begins to take hold, an examination of the research on medical rounds may provide insight on whether medical rounds are indeed a useful model for instructional rounds. In this article, we explore that research and highlight challenges that it raises that may also apply with instructional rounds. How the practitioners of instructional rounds address these issues will most likely affect the success or failure of instructional rounds as a method of systemic school improvement.

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Distributed but Undefined: New Teacher Leader Roles to Change Schools

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JASON MARGOLIS
KRISTIN SHAWN HUGGINS

ABSTRACT: This article examines teacher leader role development and definition by looking at one emergent model of distributed leadership: the hybrid teacher leader (HTL). HTLs are teachers whose official schedule includes both teaching K–12 students and leading teachers in some capacity. Participants included six HTLs across four school districts over 2 years, as well as their administrators. Extensive qualitative data were collected and subsequently analyzed, including interviews, on-site observations, and artifacts. Findings included a pervasive lack of role definition for the HTLs amid heightened organizational complexity, leading to numerous de facto definitions emerging. Conflicting de facto definitions led to diminished success for the HTLs, relationship deterioration, a reversion to professional development removed from the classroom, and a lack of capacity to account for HTL efficacy. The study concludes that for new teacher leaders to be successful, states and districts will need to much more clearly define roles and priorities and be specific about how budget-compensated teacher leader time is used.

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Socialization of Novice Teachers

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BEN POGODZINSKI

ABSTRACT: Guided by new structuralism theory, this study examined the context of novice teacher socialization, identified the frequency and substance of interactions between novice teachers and their mentors and other colleagues, and reported on novices’ evaluation of the support that they received. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with district human resource directors and teacher association presidents, as well as surveys of novice teachers in six districts in Michigan and five districts in Indiana. Findings suggest that researchers should examine the informal social structure within schools, which can mediate formal induction policy, and that administrators should institute a network approach to socializing novice teachers.

Research has shown that, on average, novice teachers are not as effective in improving student achievement as their more senior colleagues (D. Boyd, Lankford, Loeb, & Wyckoff, 2005; Hanushek, Kain, & Rivkin, 2004; Rockoff, 2004). Additionally, the high rate of novice teacher turnover costs schools and districts approximately $7 billion a year (Barnes, Crowe, & Schaefer, 2007). In schools with high teacher turnover (often, those who serve high percentages of poor and minority students), the continual churn of teachers reduces organizational capacity to improve student achievement due to the lack of shared human capital and the difficulty of maintaining reforms (Achinstein, Ogawa, Sexton, & Freitas, 2010; Ingersoll & Perda, 2010). As more and more emphasis is placed on student achievement based on state and national standardized tests, schools and districts often work to improve the instructional quality and retention of novice teachers through novice teacher induction programs.

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Forty Acres and a Mule: A Critical Audit of California’s Williams Legislation Implementation and the Implications for Educational Leaders

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MAIYOUA VANG

ABSTRACT: This study investigated educational leaders’ critical evaluations of California’s landmark contemporary school equity legislation Williams v. the State of California. Qualitative interview analysis indicated that leaders perceived the equity measure to be necessary but insufficient in advancing the larger project of educational justice. Hence, policy directives governed by political expediency ultimately fall short in ushering disruptive change. Renorming the privileged hierarchy of the leadership class was central to fomenting change. Participants argued that leadership practice for educational justice required leaders to transgress normative structures that hurt the children and the communities they serve, whether those norms resided within the school, within themselves, or within the dominant power structure. Critical issues and leadership implications are forwarded.

After signing into legislation the settlement reached in Williams v. State of California, Governor Schwarzenegger remarked,

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