Medium 9781475814460

JSL Vol 24-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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Examining College Opportunity Structures for Students of Color at High-“Minority,” High-Poverty Secondary Schools in Texas

ePub

Melissa A. Martinez

Anjalé D. Welton

Examining College Opportunity Structures for Students of Color at High-“Minority,” High-Poverty Secondary Schools in Texas

ABSTRACT: This study conducts an intersectional analysis of two adjoined qualitative studies, reanalyzing the data using a college opportunity framework (González, Stoner, & Jovel, 2003) to examine how sources of social capital available within three high-“minority,” high-poverty high schools in Texas shape college opportunities for Latina/o and Black high school students. Findings indicate that counselors and teachers were sources of college information and support while advanced courses prepared students for college-level curriculum. However, these same support mechanisms often deterred students’ access to quality academic preparation and college information. The increased focus on state-mandated accountability measures at the schools also limited students’ level of academic preparation and college access. Additionally, state college access policies designed to increase the college participation of underrepresented groups effectively accomplished this policy intent, but these same policies influenced students’ college choice decisions.

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Two Charter School Principals’ Engagement in Instructional Leadership

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Dana L. Bickmore

Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell

Two Charter School Principals’ Engagement in Instructional Leadership

ABSTRACT: This comparative case (Merriam, 2009) study explored two charter school principals’ engagement in instructional leadership. Analysis of three data sources—interviews, observations, and documents—revealed that principals were almost exclusively focused on state accountability and possessed limited knowledge of pedagogical practices. In particular, these two principals had difficulties managing aspects of the instructional program and sustaining a positive school climate, possibly related to their limited educational experience. As a result, these two principals focused on structural changes, delegated instructional issues, and appeared to rely heavily on commercial programs as opposed to enhancement of teacher classroom practices. Comparisons of charter principal practices with traditional principal instructional leadership models are made and implications discussed.

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Secondary School Department Chair Roles: Principal Expectations

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Brian O. Brent

Karen J. DeAngelis

Barbara M. Surash

Secondary School Department Chair Roles: Principal Expectations

ABSTRACT: The literature on the principalship is extensive, revealing ways in which principals can foster or impede school success. At the same time, another formal secondary school-level position, the department chair, has garnered little scholarly attention. Thus far, the literature offers a limited account of the roles that chairs should or do perform in schools. Our purpose here is to draw much-needed attention to the position by examining the relative level of importance that principals assign to various chair roles. Specifically, we report findings from a survey of New York State secondary school principals indicating that principals assign a high, though varied, level of importance to chair roles, some of which are associated with the structural characteristics of the position. We discuss the implications of this and other findings.

Conventional wisdom holds that principals foster or inhibit school success. Support for this view derives from our understanding of leadership and organizational theory broadly and from a rich and increasingly nuanced corpus of empirical work on the principalship. During the 1970s and 1980s, scholars countered Coleman and colleagues’ (1966) dispiriting claim that schools did little to overcome social inequalities; they did so by identifying “effective schools,” noting that they were characterized by principals who were instructional leaders (Edmonds, 1979; Levine & Lezotte, 1990; Persell, 1982; Purkey & Smith, 1983). Recent work unpacks the construct of “effective leadership” and examines the relationship between specific principal behaviors and school performance measures (Hallinger & Heck, 1996; Horng, Klasik, & Loeb, 2009; Marzano, Waters, & McNulty, 2005). What follows from these efforts is strong evidence that principals play an important role in schools.

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Parent Social Networks and Parent Responsibility: Implications for School Leadership

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Katherine A. Curry

Curt M. Adams

Parent Social Networks and Parent Responsibility: Implications for School Leadership

ABSTRACT: Family–school partnerships are difficult to initiate and sustain in ways that actually promote student learning, especially in high-poverty communities. This quantitative study was designed to better understand how social forces shape parent responsibility in education. Based on social cognitive theory as the conceptual framework, the relationships between parent responsibility and two types of parent social networks were tested according to a partially latent structural equation model. Findings indicate limited contact among parents in schools and a positive, statistically significant relationship between both types of networks and parent responsibility.

Parent–school partnerships have not been a natural result of the way that public schools operate in recent decades. Although, historically, schools in the United States were largely controlled by parents (Epstein, 2001; Hill & Taylor, 2004), parent–school relationships changed beginning in the mid-19th century as the authority of the state, county, and districts increased (Morris, 2009). Trained professionals assumed the responsibilities of hiring, selecting curriculum, and performing daily operations in schools, and parents were no longer needed as they once had been. Licensure requirements and formal education requirements progressively removed parents from the operating core (Coyote, 2007). By the middle of the 20th century, many boundaries were formed that separated families and schools (Hill & Taylor, 2004). In fact, Henry (1996) refers to the separation that started in the 20th century as a “walling out” (p. 15) of the community as a response to the professionalization of the teaching process.

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Activist Teacher Leadership: A Case Study of a Programa CRIAR Bilingual Teacher Cohort

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Deborah Palmer

Virginia Snodgrass Rangel

Richard M. Gonzales

Vanessa Morales

Activist Teacher Leadership: A Case Study of a Programa CRIAR Bilingual Teacher Cohort

ABSTRACT: This case study on nine bilingual teachers in Texas during their first year in a graduate education program examines both the development of critical consciousness among the educators and the ways in which critical consciousness shapes how these teachers come to understand their roles as teachers and leaders of a sociopolitically marginalized student group and community. Our analysis supports the proposition that teacher leadership programs can influence the development of social justice leadership, and it suggests that engaging teachers in certain types of structured learning opportunities can promote risk taking and a willingness to assume responsibility through the development of a sense of agency and efficacy.

In recent years, researchers have begun to pay more attention to teachers as school leaders. This emerging body of literature recognizes that leadership within a school is frequently distributed beyond the principal and assistant principal (Ogawa & Bossert, 1995) and that teachers are stepping into leadership roles, both formal and informal (York-Barr & Duke, 2004). Few scholars, however, have analyzed teacher leadership from a social justice perspective. Furthermore, there is little work in the literature examining bilingual teacher leadership specifically.

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Toward Developing Authentic Leadership: Team-Based Simulations

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Orly Shapira-Lishchinsky

Toward Developing Authentic Leadership: Team-Based Simulations

ABSTRACT: Although there is a consensus that authentic leadership should be an essential component in educational leadership, no study to date has ever tried to find whether team-based simulations may promote authentic leadership. The purpose of this study was to identify whether principal trainees can develop authentic leadership through ethical decision making in team-based simulations of cases that they had experienced. Fifty principal trainees volunteered to participate in the study. A four-dimension model of authentic leadership was constructed, which may suggest that leadership programs should include team-based simulations in ethical contexts to develop the authentic leadership of the future.

There is vast agreement that ethics should be at the core of the vision for 21st-century schools (Noddings, 2002; Sergiovanni, 1996; Starratt, 2004). Public uproar in response to media reports about educational leaders’ engagement in unethical actions (Bowen, Bessette, & Chan, 2006) is but one manifestation of society’s clear expectation that school leaders should make ethical decisions for the common good (Starratt, 2007) and that their actions should be driven by a commitment to moral excellence.

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The “Insider” Principal: Perceptions of the Leadership Effectiveness of an Internal Successor

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Rosa L. Rivera-McCutchen

The “Insider” Principal: Perceptions of the Leadership Effectiveness of an Internal Successor

ABSTRACT: The current study builds on earlier leader succession research, focusing on a school where the “insider”—who was believed to be strong before being hired as the formal school leader—drew sharp criticism after assuming the principalship. Interviews with staff members who worked with the insider leader in her role as teacher and principal were analyzed to examine changes in their perceptions of her. Results suggest that the leader did not change; rather, perceptions of her leadership effectiveness changed once she assumed the role of principal. The staff believed that the insider would continue to act like a peer, and when she did not, their perceptions of her effectiveness as a leader were negatively affected.

Research studies on the challenge of leadership succession in schools have stressed the importance of deliberate planning to facilitate effective transitions and strong leadership (Fink & Brayman, 2006; Fullan, 2002). Research has shown that where succession planning is absent, the transitions can be disruptive and fraught with problems (Fink & Brayman, 2006; Fullan, 2002). Given these earlier research findings, it would stand to reason that in a school where the strategic selection of a new leader from within the ranks of the school is supported by the staff, the subsequent leadership of the new “insider” leader would be viewed as successful by his or her former peers. This research examines one case where the insider principal, though selected with the support of her colleagues in the school, was largely criticized for her leadership choices once she assumed the principalship. Specifically, this study asks, did the principal change, or did her former colleagues’ beliefs about what it means to be effective change when she became the insider principal?

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