Medium 9781475816846

JSL Vol 25-N1

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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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7 Articles

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Coping With Perceived Role Risk as an Expression for School Leaders’ Accountability

ePub

Adam E. Nir

Lior Hameiri

Coping With Perceived Role Risk as an Expression for School Leaders’ Accountability

ABSTRACT: Based on literature arguing that risk encourages conservative leadership that supports existing routines and strategies rather than innovations and proactive behaviors, this study focuses on the connection among leadership styles, perceived school productivity, and leaders’ perceived risk. Results testify to the moderate levels of role risk that school leaders perceive and the relatively high variance existing among these perceptions. Although perceived risk measures are negatively correlated with transformational leadership and positively correlated with transactional and passive leadership, it appears that under conditions characterized by perceived risk, leaders in effective schools are those who act proactively. Such conduct demonstrates high accountability, since risky circumstances increase the potential for mistakes and, therefore, also the threat that individuals experience.

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Exploring Principal Leadership for Math and Science

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Chad R. Lochmiller

Exploring Principal Leadership for Math and Science

ABSTRACT: Public schools throughout the United States face increasing pressure to improve student achievement in math and science. As instructional leaders, principals find themselves facing this pressure head on. Drawing from a comprehensive survey of high school principals in the state of Washington (n = 250), the results indicate that a majority of school administrators in Washington had no formal education in math or science. However, an analysis of the principals’ responses suggests that they are exercising leadership in relation to these subjects in their schools. School-level factors appear to explain more of the variation in their leadership in math and science rather than their educational backgrounds. When these factors were controlled for, principals with a math or science background did appear to engage in leadership actions that were different from those without such a background. The article concludes by discussing these results in relation to instructional leadership and leadership preparation.

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The Relationship of Gender on the Perceptions of School Resource Officers Regarding Roles, Responsibilities, and School Culture and Collaboration

ePub

Michael D. Kelly

James A. Swezey

The Relationship of Gender on the Perceptions of School Resource Officers Regarding Roles, Responsibilities, and School Culture and Collaboration

ABSTRACT: School resource officers (SROs) play a critical role in establishing a safe learning environment for students across the nation. Although there are several studies related to SROs’ perceptions regarding their roles and responsibilities, a thorough literature review found no studies that looked specifically at the relationship of SROs’ gender to their perceptions. This study involved 53 SROs across three municipalities along the East Coast. Among several findings, one is that while the officers seem satisfied overall with their duties, gender does seem to have a relationship with the amount of time that they spend participating in these duties and in their satisfaction related to them. Recommendations to school superintendents and principals include recognizing the potential advantage of selecting female SROs to serve on their campuses and establishing districtwide policies to annually assess the level of job satisfaction among SROs assigned to schools.

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Did the Teachers Destroy the School? Public Entrepreneurship as Creation and Adaptation

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Robert Maranto

Did the Teachers Destroy the School? Public Entrepreneurship as Creation and Adaptation

ABSTRACT: This article is based on a case study to explore a model of teacher governance and illustrate the distinct challenges of entrepreneurship in public education. In the Sedona Charter School, each classroom principal educator serves as instructional leader and resource leader. Principal educators adjust curricula, hire their teachers, determine salaries (including their own), and purchase classroom materials within the constraints of state funding. By conventional measures of market, financial, and performance accountability, the school succeeds, suggesting that this model can be replicated. Yet the school founders severed their relationship with the school and lobbied state authorities to close it, since, in their view, it violated its charter (process accountability). This case suggests that most innovative entrepreneurs may have difficulty adjusting to educational realities and must themselves be held accountable by parents and state authorities. The study further suggests that, as educational principals, parents and state regulators are more influenced by performance and financial accountability than by process accountability.

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Understanding Superintendents’ Self-Efficacy Influences on Instructional Leadership and Student Achievement

ePub

Ken Whitt

James Joseph Scheurich

Linda Skrla

Understanding Superintendents’ Self-Efficacy Influences on Instructional Leadership and Student Achievement

ABSTRACT: This qualitative interpretivist research study focused on understanding perceived superintendent self-efficacy and instructional leadership in school districts that have persistently failed to serve students of color and that also may have contributed to persistent student achievement inequities and achievement gaps. This study yielded three complex and interrelated themes: rejecting responsibility, supporting persistent racism, and sustaining deficit viewpoints. Findings from this study serve to suggest that an important self-efficacy linkage may be absent or underdeveloped in superintendents who maintain paradoxical high efficacy beliefs in the face of ongoing low and inequitable student performance. Policy and practice recommendations are discussed that might assist and influence superintendents’ abilities to link their self-efficacy perceptions to improving equitable academic performance for all students.

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School Accreditation Process as Routinized Action: Retaining Stability While Promoting Reform

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Ernestine K. Enomoto

Sharon Conley

School Accreditation Process as Routinized Action: Retaining Stability While Promoting Reform

ABSTRACT: In this qualitative study, we explored how accreditation processes as routinized action can retain stability while promoting school reform efforts. We identified three secondary schools (two high schools, one middle) that had each employed accreditation processes as required in their respective school districts. We conducted interviews with key informants at each school, reviewed documents prepared for accreditation, and analyzed the findings based on routinized action theory. Using Feldman’s (2000) typology of change (repair, expand, strive to make change), we posited how school renewal takes place in an ongoing and systematic manner. The findings suggest that the routines provided in accreditation processes can offer more than just stabilizing elements in a school organization, which had been the traditional view of organizational theorists. We offer implications for researchers and school leaders to consider in applying routines while seeking reform.

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How Middle School Principals Can Affect Beginning Teachers’ Experiences

ePub

Peter Youngs

Hyun-Seung Kwak

Ben Pogodzinski

How Middle School Principals Can Affect Beginning Teachers’ Experiences

ABSTRACT: This article reports on a 2-year qualitative research study of the processes by which middle school principals’ policies and actions shaped the experiences of five novice teachers in two Michigan school districts. We examined beginning teachers’ perceptions of principals’ approaches to managing student behavior, instructional leadership, and teacher collaboration and their perceptions of the extent to which each principal was trusted by his or her teaching staff. At the end of the second year of data collection (2007–2008), all five beginning teachers expressed high levels of satisfaction and planned to remain teaching in their schools. We argue that leadership related to student behavior and instruction (as perceived by the novices), combined with high levels of teacher–principal trust (again as perceived by the novices), contributes to these outcomes.

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