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JSL Vol 25-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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7 Articles

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Serving the Public: Motivation and Commitment in Education

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Jacqueline Ackerina

Serving the Public: Motivation and Commitment in Education

ABSTRACT: This study sought to expand Greenleaf’s (1970) “feeling that one wants to serve” to examine public service motivation and professional commitment in an education context. The participants of this study were graduate education students enrolled in three East Coast universities. The sample was stratified into three groups based on their roles as teachers, aspiring leaders, and school district administrators in K–12 public schools. Based on an abridged version of Perry’s (1996) multidimensional scale that was modified for the education sector, the public service motivation and professional commitment constructs were measured with a web-based survey. The findings have several important implications for education institutions, academic scholars, human resource managers, and leadership preparation programs.

School leaders face unique challenges in the 21st century that affect the educational opportunities, developmental growth, and renewal initiatives within school environments. As a result of social, political, economic, and global factors, the demands and expectations on school leaders have substantially increased, creating a direct impact on education. These evolving expectations for the principalship are evident in the Interstate School Leader Licensure Consortium’s standards for school leaders (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008). They specify that an effective principal is one who can address a daily stream of diverse administrative issues needing immediate attention while concurrently creating school communities and cultures that optimize opportunities for teaching and learning (Ubben, Hughes, & Norris, 2011).

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Problematizing Notions of Leadership for Social Justice

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Michael E. DantleyTerrance L. Green

Problematizing Notions of Leadership for Social Justice

Reclaiming Social Justice Through a Discourse of Accountability and a Radical, Prophetic, and Historical Imagination

ABSTRACT: In the field of educational leadership, there has been a proliferation of empirical and theoretical research on social justice leadership. However, a diluted and homogenized rendition of social justice has seeped into the discourse and practice, thus positioning social justice leadership to be reradicalized. As such, the purpose of this article is twofold. First, we explore notions of more radicalized social justice leadership within the discourse of accountability. Second, we offer a four-part framework that holds educational leaders and educational leadership preparation programs accountable to the project of grounding their work in a substantive social justice/civil rights agenda. Our framework for accountability to social justice includes the following: anger for social justice, the historical and prophetic imagination, graduates of educational leadership preparation programs, and the local neighborhood communities where preparation programs are located and where leaders who have been equipped to lead through a social justice agenda serve as school administrators. We conclude with six practical strategies for achieving accountability to graduates of educational leadership programs and four strategies for accomplishing accountability to the local community.

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When Aspirations Exceed Actions

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Mollie K. GallowayAnn M. IshimaruRob Larson

When Aspirations Exceed Actions

Educational Leaders’ Descriptions of Educational Equity

ABSTRACT: Research has begun to articulate actions of social justice leaders, but as a field we still know little about how a broad range of leaders view and enact equitable practice. In this study, we use a set of “leadership for equity” rubrics to examine how 114 school and district leaders rated and provided evidence of equitable or inequitable practices related to visionary leadership and instructional improvement (two core responsibilities of leadership as identified by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium’s standards). The rubrics define equitable leadership along a continuum from unsatisfactory to exemplary, with a rating of proficient requiring evidence of action and change in policies and practices designed to produce equitable outcomes. Although leaders tended to rate themselves as proficient or above on the rubrics, their ratings were more favorable than what their supporting evidence warranted. We use this misalignment between participants’ espoused and enacted behaviors to (a) discuss the need to better define key concepts in social justice leadership theory and practice and (b) highlight how leadership development and professional growth tools can counter rather than maintain status quo leadership practice.

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Seagulls and Eagles

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Thomas Buckmiller

Seagulls and Eagles

Indian Principals’ Perceptions of School Leadership for Indian Students

ABSTRACT: Historically, Native American students have lagged far behind their non-Native peers in education achievement. While no consensus exists in the research of effective school reform efforts, one factor does surface in report after report—strong school leadership. This qualitative case study analyzed data from in-depth interviews with four Native American school principals who recently completed an education leadership program designed for leaders of schools that serve Indian students either on or off the reservation. Based on Brayboy’s (2006) TribalCrit theoretical framework, the analysis revealed themes related to the importance of having a Native American principal, understanding and being committed to the local and community values, and sorting out those Western schooling ideas that are not compatible to Indian cultures.

Although many Native American1 students have success in school, historically, Native students at all levels have lagged far behind their non-Native peers in terms of education outcomes (Oaks & Maday, 2009). Achievement data from the 2011 National Indian Education Study reported that average reading scores for Native students in 2011 were not significantly different from the scores in 2009 or 2005 for Grades 4 and 8 and were 19 points lower on average in reading than those of non-Native students at Grade 4 and 13 points lower at Grade 8 (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2012). Native American students also exhibit the highest dropout rates, the lowest academic performance rates, and the lowest college admission and retention rates in the nation (American Council on Education, 2002). Furthermore, Indian students, in comparison with all others, are still the most disproportionately affected by poverty, low educational attainment, and limited access to educational opportunities (Beaulieu, 2000).

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Who Chooses and Why in a Universal Choice Scholarship Program

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Dick M. Carpenter IIMarcus A. Winters

Who Chooses and Why in a Universal Choice Scholarship Program

Evidence From Douglas County, Colorado

ABSTRACT: This article studies parental decision making in a unique school choice program—a universal voucher system in a middle- and upper-income suburban/rural school district. A survey of parents found that applicants and nonapplicants looked similar across many personal characteristics. Choice applicants appeared to be more involved in some ways and were significantly less satisfied with their district schools. Satisfaction also represented a significant predictor of applying for a scholarship and remained so after controlling for participant background variables, several of which were significant predictors themselves. Parents cited educational quality as the most important reason for applying for the program. They were not, however, concerned with school safety or supporting religious values.

During the past several decades, educational leaders at all levels—school, district, and state—have faced increasing marketization in the education sector through school choice. As Carpenter and Kafer (2012) note, choice has always been present in American education, but the past several decades have seen an unparalleled expansion in choice in the form of charter schools, tax credit programs, and—the subject of this article—vouchers. According to the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice (http://www.edchoice.org/our-resources/fast-facts/), 24 voucher programs now operate in 14 states and the District of Columbia, in addition to 20 tax credit scholarship programs, 9 individual tax credit/deduction programs, and 5 education savings account program. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia also offer charter schools (http://www.edreform.com/in-the-states/know-your-choices/).

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Connecting Principal Succession and Professional Learning

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Oksana ParyloSally J. Zepeda

Connecting Principal Succession and Professional Learning

A Cross-Case Analysis

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the connections between principal succession and professional learning through the analysis of the current practices in leader development, support, and retention in two Georgia state school districts. The findings of the cross-case analysis were summarized in five major themes: First, a key component to the overall success of principal professional learning and succession is a visionary superintendent. Second, planning for principal succession, school districts strongly favor local applicants. Third, building leaders from within the district is an effective way to ensure leader continuity. Fourth, developing future principals, school districts express strong preference for the nonuniversity leader preparation programs, designed to address their specific needs. Finally, leader professional development and succession are tightly connected. Implications for research and practice are offered.

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In Whose Best Interests?

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Emily R. Crawford

In Whose Best Interests?

How Educators Respond to Immigration Enforcement Near School Property

ABSTRACT: Immigration policy presents new challenges for educators who serve undocumented students. This case study examined how 14 educators at an elementary school responded to immigration enforcement activity near school property. The key question this study asked is, do educators who experience Immigration and Customs Enforcement activity near school grounds perceive this activity as a legal or ethical dilemma? The conceptual framework integrated sensemaking theory with the “best interests of the student” model (Stefkovich, 2013) to reveal how educators make sense of their professional and personal responsibilities to make a decision in ethically complex circumstances.

The extent to which undocumented children have access to education is a salient aspect of the broader, hotly contested national debate over U.S. immigration policy. In the 2012 presidential election, both candidates agreed that comprehensive immigration reform is a national priority, despite disagreeing on how to modify federal policies regarding undocumented immigrants (American Immigration Council, 2012; Johnson, 2012; Noble & Jacobs, 2012; Shear, 2012). Although there was strong political momentum behind Congress overhauling immigration policy, efforts ultimately stalled in 2013, and there was no major immigration reform in 2015. In essence, efforts have stalled, as the nation is still divided on integrating undocumented immigrants into society who have lived and worked in the United States for years or removing those who entered its borders without authorization and broke the law. Federal and state laws currently reflect a broad spectrum of policies related to undocumented immigration, from highly conservative to very liberal, and these policies can interact and conflict one another.

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