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Jsl Vol 3-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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Integrating Site-Based Management and Effective Schools Research for Policy Development

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BRYAN R. COLE1

ABSTRACT: Shared decision making is a central tenet of site-based management. Effective educational policy should be an outgrowth of this shared decision making and provide direction for educational practice. To this end, this article provides a sequentially integrated approach to policy development. By incorporating analyses of foundations of educational decision making, accepted practices of site-based management, sound educational research, assessment of policy values, and a disciplined decision-making process, campus management teams can provide the effective, proactive leadership that society and the educational community demand and deserve. The model outlined is designed to provide educational leaders with an enhanced context within which one can effectively integrate site-based management principles and effective schools research that will result in policies and practices for more effective schools.

The educational community now has a good sense conceptually of what site-based management is. Implementation, however, has been slow for many reasons. Following an examination of school-based management research literature, White (1989, p. 1) notes that “school-based management is a system of decentralization in which authority over school policy is shared by the central office and the school site.” One of the reasons implementation of site-based management has been slow may be due to the lack of a common policy-making framework that effectively integrates site-based decision-making principles and effective schools research, which many schools are still trying to implement. This article will suggest a model that can bridge this gap, provide a workable policy development framework, and enhance implementation of effective site-based decision making.

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Effective Schools–Effective Superintendents: The Emerging Instructional Leadership Role

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LARS G. BJORK1

ABSTRACT: The national commission reports, which launched the most intensive and sustained effort to improve schools in America’s history, confirmed the importance of instructional leadership. Although the role of the principal was initially emphasized, research studies on instructionally effective schools indicate that superintendents use their “bureaucratic” positions in the formal organization to improve instruction. They enact their instructional leadership roles through a broad array of activities including staff selection, principal supervision, establishing clear instructional goals, monitoring instruction, and financial planning for instruction to improve instruction. The concept of instructional leadership has moved beyond a simple description of the principal’s role to understanding it as a multi-level, multi-dimensional, and highly interactive activity that may require a more consultative leadership style.

For more than a decade, national commission reports have reflected a heightened level of public concern for education and have launched the most intense, comprehensive, and sustained effort to improve schools in America’s history. Since A Nation at Risk crystallized the nation’s commitment to improve its schools in 1983, numerous other national commission reports that followed made urgent and compelling arguments for improving classroom instruction and underscored the need for strong instructional leadership at both the school and district levels. These reports, coupled with findings of effective school research, confirmed the importance of instructional leadership of school principals and superintendents in improving instructional effectiveness. Researchers found that the manner in which superintendents enact their management role may influence the quality of instruction in their districts. This suggests that superintendents have opportunities to serve as instructional leaders at the district level.

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Building a Vision for Quality Education

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GRAY RINEHART1

ABSTRACT: The concepts of customer satisfaction and continuous improvement of products and service form the foundation of the quality philosophy that swept across American industry during the 1980s. The translation of the concepts from industrial to educational practice is proceeding in many areas across the country and around the world, where the principles are being applied to school administration, curricula and teaching. One of the first and most necessary tasks in expanding and solidifying this effort is formulating and communicating a broad, compelling vision to unite different elements of the education system together in pursuing continuous improvement. The construction of a vision for quality is the focus of this article.

The quality movement in the United States traces its roots back over sixty years to the work of George Radford and Dr. Walter A. Shewhart.1 Quality improvement philosophy and science were refined in the 1940s and 1950s by Drs. W. Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran and Armand V. Fiegenbaum, but their contributions were limited to isolated application in the United States industry.2 With half the world’s industrial capacity at the end of World War II (having escaped the bombs that destroyed Japanese and European industry), United States industrial leaders found themselves in the position of supplying the world with consumer goods; they had little reason to focus on continuous improvement of quality and customer satisfaction. Instead, their work found its biggest audience in post-war Japan, where Dr. Deming first lectured in 1950.3 The Japanese quickly embraced the quality philosophy, and Drs. Genichi Taguchi and Kaoru Ishikawa greatly expanded the efforts of the United States experts.4

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Changing Schools from Within

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MARVIN T. COHEN1

ABSTRACT: This article will focus on a collaboration between two urban intermediate schools and the Graduate School of Bank Street College of Education. The collaboration took place over a four year period and focused on bringing about changes that would enable the schools to better serve their student bodies. The plans and processes varied in each school based on the needs as perceived by those involved. In order to reform schools and support systemic change, there must be a change in teacher beliefs and attitudes about teaching and learning. Our work suggests that there are bureaucratic and cultural supports that need to be in place to bring about change. These include 1) time for teachers to talk together; 2) administrative support; 3) a structure that supports variety and innovation; 4) allowance for design changes; and 5) district support and flexibility.

Little attention has been paid to the junior high school and to the developmental significance of the early adolescent period. Too often, junior high school pupils experience failure because the school programs that exist treat the children as older elementary or younger high school children rather than as early adolescents with their own unique developmental needs. So, too, with programs that serve these schools. Seldom are teacher education programs or staff development plans designed to focus on the interests and needs of these teachers and administrators.

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The Medical Model and the Preparation of Education Professionals

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MARILYN L. GRADY1

ABSTRACT: By reviewing the training of medical professionals, one can identify similarities as well as interesting possibilities for the preparation of education professionals. On a very basic level, the fields of medicine and education hold the following in common:

In order to point to the similarities and possibilities, it is necessary to briefly outline a medical school curriculum* and discuss some of its significant aspects. Table 1 identifies the four years of medical school as M-1, M-2, M-3 and M-4. The steps in the curriculum are also referred to as Phase I, Phase II, Phase III and Phase IV. These terms permit a more detailed explanation of the M-2 year. A third way to describe the steps in the program is to refer to the Basic Science year, the Clinical Introduction year and finally, the two Clerkship years. These three methods of defining progress in this medical school curriculum are used interchangeably.

The M-1 year consists of a number of courses indicated under Basic Science. These courses are taught either in large lecture halls or in a laboratory depending on the content being presented. A unique feature of this year is the M.D.A. program. The M.D.A. is the Medical Doctor Advisor. Each student is assigned to an M.D. for advising. This experience is the student’s first formal exposure to the practice of medicine. The student and the M.D. arrange the amount and level of involvement of the student. This is the “hands-on” or practice-oriented portion of the first year. The practice-related portion of the M-1 year is minute when compared with the lecture-laboratory experiences.

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African-Americans in the 21st Century: The Agony and Promise of Higher Education

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HAROLD L. NIXON1

ABSTRACT: A college education holds many promises for those who partake of it. As the 21st century approaches and as America’s political and economic position in the world marketplace becomes more threatened, the intrinsic value of the college degree will become more prominent. This article discusses the future prospects of increasing the participation rate of African-American students in higher education. Institutional executive and faculty leadership dedicated to providing an environment where all students can achieve their maximum potential will be committed to finding common ground between First Amendment Rights and campus civility.

Most of us wonder what life will be like on our college campuses in the 21st century. Will it be drastically different or will it contain more negative than positive vestiges of the past? Will the composition, character and cultural backgrounds of our student population be vastly different or will they be homologous to the current population? A college education holds many promises for those who partake of it. Individuals who are left out of the higher education process, either by happenstance or by choice, usually find themselves in positions of less influence than those who earn college degrees (Gurin and Epps, 1975). Too often, African-Americans fall into the left-out category. As a result, they experience the agony of non-fulfillment and are relegated to positions that not only frustrate them but also thwart their ability to effectively contribute to the well-being of their families and society. Will this trend continue in the 21st century, or will the college participation and graduation rates of African-American students increase in the years ahead?

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Perceptions of Search Consultants of Qualities School Boards Seek in Superintendents

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JAMES E. LYONS1

ABSTRACT: This study sought to determine those qualities that school boards seek when they employ superintendents as perceived by superintendent search consultants. The author found the following qualities to be extremely important when school boards are seeking superintendents: performance in previous positions, performance during the interview, evidence of leadership and managerial skills, communication skills, and experience and success with school constituent groups.

“Miracle Workers Wanted” was the title of a recently published article in Newsweek magazine which chronicled the difficulties that seven teen large urban school systems were having in employing superintendents, despite the prospects of six-figure salaries and considerable fringe benefits (Starr, 1991). The tenure of superintendents has dwindled in recent years, particularly in large urban districts where it averages a little more than two and one-half years. Consequently, at any given time, many of the approximately 15,600 school boards in America are seeking to recruit and select a superintendent. Unfortunately, however, the body of empirical research that examines the criteria used by school boards in the selection of superintendents is quite limited. Anderson and Lavid (1985) conducted a study on factors school boards used when selecting a superintendent in Missouri. Also, Gerla (1987) surveyed recently employed superintendents to determine the qualities that their school boards were seeking when they were selected. The other research found that directly addressed this topic was conducted by students completing doctoral dissertations (Powell, 1984; Robertson, 1984).

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Meeting the Needs of Beginning School Administrators: Report of a Professional Induction Project

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MITCH HOLIFIELD1
DAN L. KING2

ABSTRACT: With the implementation of the redesigned NCATE standards in 1985, schools, colleges, and departments of education became responsible for providing assistance to beginning educational professionals. Much attention has been given to identifying and providing activities that facilitate the entrance of new teacher education graduates into the teaching profession. Less attention has been given to issues related to the professional induction of other beginning educational professionals, especially school administrators. This article summarizes some of the pertinent background regarding the professional induction needs of beginning school administrators and describes a professional induction project initiated by Arkansas State University.

The phrase “professional induction” does not frequently appear in the educational administration literature prior to 1985. Nevertheless, since the mid-twentieth century, considerable attention in the literature has been devoted to induction-related concepts focusing on bureaucratic-role and professional socialization. Coincident with the initial consideration of these induction-related concepts is the development of the administrative science movement in educational administration. Among other important characteristics, this movement relied much more heavily on social science research and seriously began to view the role of the school administrator in the specialized bureaucratic professional context.

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Who Is Teaching California School Administrators? A Profile of California Professors of Educational Administration

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ARTHUR J. TOWNLEY1
DWIGHT P. SWEENEY1

ABSTRACT: This study reports findings of a survey of California Professors of Educational Administration. Surveys were mailed to 160 California Professors of Educational Administration.

The survey was intended to establish a profile of current Professors of Educational Administration to assist in determining the number of new faculty positions needed over the next five years. The survey sought information concerning age, gender, ethnicity, education, employment status, rank, amount and type of prior public school administrative experience, number of new faculty positions anticipated over the next five years, and the need for a differential pay scale to attract new Educational Administration faculty.

It has been estimated that more than 2,700 research studies of the characteristics of effective schools have been completed in the past two decades (Walberg, 1979). It is generally agreed that one of the major components of effective schools is outstanding leadership by the principal. In response to the findings of these studies, state legislatures have mandated additional course work, supervised fieldwork, and continuing education as part of the credential requirements for potential school administrators.

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