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JSL Vol 23-N3

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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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6 Articles

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Latino Parent Involvement: Seeing What Has Always Been There

ePub

PATRICIA L. GUERRA

SARAH W. NELSON

ABSTRACT: This study reviews 20 years (1990–2010) of scholarly literature on parent involvement related to Latino parents. Parent involvement behaviors of Latino parents were identified and analyzed according to the dimensions of culture theoretical framework—specifically, the dimension of individualism–collectivism (Hofstede, 1984, 1997; Triandis, 1995; Trumbull, Rothstein, Quiroz, & Greenfield, 2001). From this analysis, categories of involvement for Latino parents emerged, which were then compared to Epstein’s typology of parent involvement (1995), a commonly referenced framework adopted by the National Parent Teachers Association. Based on the results of this study of the literature, an expanded framework inclusive of the involvement behaviors of Latino parents was developed. Steps are also discussed for leaders to guide educators in expanding their conceptions of parent involvement.

Parent involvement has long been considered a necessary factor for the academic success of students (Henderson & Berla, 1994; Henderson & Mapp, 2002). In a comprehensive review of research on parent involvement, Henderson and Mapp (2002) concluded that when families are involved in children’s learning, children are more academically and socially successful. Defined as “the participation of parents in regular, two-way meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities” (U.S. Department of Education, 2004, p. 3), parent involvement may include reading to a child, checking homework, limiting television viewing, meeting with school staff to discuss a child’s progress, voting in school board elections, advocating for better education, or simply asking a child about his or her day at school (National Education Association, 2009).

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Effective Board Leadership: Factors Associated with Student Achievement

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PAUL A. JOHNSON

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to establish the content, construct, and predictive validity of the Effective Board Leadership Practices Survey (EBLPS). The EBLPS was designed to measure the leadership practices of boards of education that support student achievement. A literature review identified 12 board leadership practices supportive of student achievement. These practices formed the content basis of the 33-item EBLPS. A factor analysis approach to construct validity revealed six significant factors underlying the EBLPS, while a t test revealed a significant difference between the mean EBLPS scores of high- and low-achieving school districts.

In 1897, American humorist Mark Twain opined, “First God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.” Over a century later, in an article in entitled “First Kill All the School Boards,” policy analyst Matt Miller (2008) asked, “What of school boards? In an ideal world, we would scrap them” (p. 95). Even though more than a century separates these comments, the sentiments they reflect have led to numerous debates about the role of school boards in American education (Alsbury, 2008; Hess, 2002; Land, 2002; Usdan, 2010).

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Race Specialists: What a Black Administrator Ought to Be and Do

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D. CHANELE MOORE

ABSTRACT: Based on qualitative analysis from 22 semistructured interviews, this article explores how Black women principals and assistant principals experience educational administration, with attention to issues of race at work in suburban school settings. Findings suggest that because they may be perceived as race tokens by White educators, Black women administrators are expected to be experts on race in schools. This construction, which I refer to as playing the race specialist, highlights a tension among Black women administrators around expectations to focus on Black students rather than all students, regardless of race. The findings suggest that playing the race specialist role presents obstacles for Black women and highlights some limitations in schools’ ability to meet the needs of diverse student populations.

Desegregation in the last 50 years of the post–Brown v. Board of Education era has opened up new roles for Black educators in desegregated school administrations. Approximately 11% of all public school principals are Black (National Center for Education Statistics, 2010). What do we know about this small group of educators? Scholars have documented how race shapes educational administration in terms of leadership preparation programs (Boske, 2010; Brown, 2005; Gates, Ringel, Santibañez, Ross, & Chung, 2003; Rusch, 2004), recruitment and retention (L. Foster, 2004), attaining a principalship (Brown, 2005; McCray, Wright, & Beachum, 2007; Tillman, 2004b; Valverde, 2003), and career advancement (Byrd-Blake, 2003). This body of literature has advanced our knowledge about the small population of Black educators; however, these studies have focused mainly on Black educators in urban schools.

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Films for a New DEEL: Documentary Films in the Educational Leadership Classroom

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JOSEPH A. POLIZZI

ERIN SAN CLEMENTI

ABSTRACT: The discourse on the use of film in the educational leadership classroom is often limited to the viewing of Hollywood features or industry films created for training purposes. We were motivated by an interest in finding new, valuable curriculum material and mediums that can inform and transform the work of education administrators. Guiding the selection of films is the vision of leadership as defined by the New DEEL (Democratic Ethical Educational Leadership) and the multiple ethical paradigms (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2005). This article discusses five documentary films for use with educational leaders to enhance course curricula.

There is a large body of research that discusses the use of feature films as part of the curriculum of the university classroom, including its role in such courses as psychology (Dorris & Ducey, 1978; Gladstein & Feldstein, 1983), sociology (Demerath, 1981; Shdaimah, 2009), business and law (Berger & Pratt, 1998; Gerde, Shepard, & Goldsby, 1996), and medicine (Alexander, 1994; Self, Baldwin, & Olivarez, 1993). The use of the feature film is relatively commonplace in the field of educational leadership as well. There are a number of strands of research that look at the issues inherent to the use of feature films in our field: the portrayal and deconstruction of principals and school superintendents within the school setting (Dalton, 1999; Smith, 1998; Thomas, 1998), the diverse interpretation of feature films and their relevance to educational theories, classroom practice, and organization (Billsberry & Gilbert, 2008; Bumpus, 2005; Champoux, 1999; Shouse, 2005), and the use of historical and biographical feature films to discuss the moral and ethical decisions faced by the leaders portrayed in them (English & Steffy, 1997).

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Leading Learning: First-Year Principals' Reflections on Instructional Leadership

ePub

ANN O’DOHERTY

MARTHA N. OVANDO

ABSTRACT: This qualitative study examined the instructional leadership perceptions of four first-year principals. Findings illuminate five themes drawn from the data: definitions of instructional leadership, challenges that first-year principals faced, how these principals addressed these challenges, how the novice principals plan to enact their instructional leadership during the second year on the job, and an unexpected theme—perceived insider advantage. This study contributes to a better understanding of the instructional leadership challenges that first-year principals face, and it highlights implications for preparation programs and district initiatives that might contribute to more effective support to novice principals as they enact instructional leadership.

The most recent Schools and Staffing Survey, published by the U.S. Department of Education (Battle & Gruber, 2009), reported that 34% of participating principals had 2 or fewer years of experience. This is not a dramatic increase over the 30% of new-to-role principals reported on the survey in 2000; however, the conditions and complexity of the principal’s role have shifted dramatically in the intervening 10 years. These changes are due in part to an increased focus on accountability since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (Mintrop & Sunderman, 2009).

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Teachers’ Perceptions of the Ethical Leadership of Male and Female Headteachers in Ghanaian Basic Schools

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CLEMENT KWADZO AGEZO

ABSTRACT: The lack of ethical leadership is a pervading factor in today’s society. Although interest in ethical leadership has increased dramatically in Ghana as a result of the June 4 revolution by the military that preached probity, accountability, and integrity, ethics within the context of leadership has not been a subject of much discourse. Being a skillful school leader presumes the competence to judge the ethical consequences of actions. This implies a need for all school leaders to analyze values at stake and in turn reconcile didactic rationality with ethical rationality. This article examines the ethical leadership practices of male and female headteachers of basic schools in Cape Coast Metropolis. In sum, 571 and 14 male and 38 female headteachers participated in the study. Furthermore, 128 teachers evaluated the ethical leadership practices of male headteachers, while 443 teachers evaluated that of 38 female headteachers. The purposeful sampling technique was used to select the respondents. The independent t test was used to analyze the data. It was found that there was no significant difference in the ethical leadership practices of male and female headteachers in Cape Coast Metropolis. It was recommended that headteachers should uphold ethical leadership practices, as this is key in gaining cooperation and group cohesiveness toward the achievement of stated goals.

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