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Jsl Vol 5-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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5 Articles

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Private Investment in Public Education: Boon or Boondoggle?

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MARTHA M. McCARTHY1

ABSTRACT: This article investigates two aspects of corporate involvement in public education: commercialization of public schools and use of private companies to deliver instructional services or to manage schools. The extent of private investment in education and arguments for and against these activities are reviewed. Also explored are value conflicts among supporters and critics of such corporate involvement and implications of recent developments in this arena for the future of public education.

Few issues in education today seem at once as appealing and so frightening as the notion of a local school district having a private company to come in and run its schools. ("Education, Inc.," 1994, p. 41)

With public schools facing mounting criticisms and fiscal pressures, it is not surprising that privatization would have appeal as a way to improve school offerings without an additional expenditure of public funds. According to Venture Capital Journal, education will be the major growth industry of the 1990s (Huemer, 1992). Yet, the public is conflicted over wanting flexibility offered by the private sector for faster gains and stability offered by the public sector to advance the common good (Bills, 1994).

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Teacher Commitment and Job Satisfaction: A Causal Analysis

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PEDRO REYES*1

HYUN-SEOK SHIN2

ABSTRACT: This study examined the causal relationship between teacher commitment to the school organization and job satisfaction using longitudinal career ladder data. Two focal measures (commitment and satisfaction) and other demographic predictors from 854 school teachers were analyzed for this study. Cross-lagged correlation/regression analyses were used to determine the causual ordering of teacher commitment and satisfaction in time-lagged situations. Results indicate that satisfaction was causally prioritized to teacher commitment in this study. Theoretical and methodological issues regarding this type of study are discussed. Implications for future research are suggested.

Organizational commitment is usually defined as an employees identification with and involvement in an organization. Individuals are characterized by a sharing of values, a desire to maintain membership and a willingness to exert effort on behalf of the organization (Porter, Steers, Mowday and Boulian, 1974). Such commitment to the organization has been found to correlate with a variety of individual and organizational characteristics (Reyes and Shin, 1991; Mowday, Porter and Steers, 1982). Despite the large number of studies that focus on organizational commitment, a research issue remains. Past research has not empirically established the causual relationships between commitment and those situational characteristics and attitudes presumed to be its antecedents.

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An Alternative to the Doctoral Dissertation: The Policy Advocacy Concept and the Doctoral Policy Document

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LESLEY H. BROWDER, JR.1

This article concerns incorporating a concept, policy advocacy (that is, the conceptual explication of a studied position on a specific educational issue, a position intended to serve as a policy guideline to be followed in professional practice), into educational administration doctoral programs as a reform alternative to the traditional doctoral program capstone experience, the dissertation. Translated into practice, this conceptual reform is expressed as a doctoral policy document (D.P.D.), i.e., a written document presenting the studied advocacy of a reflective scholar/practitioner for a specific policy position regarding an educational issue. While it is argued that the DPD is a more useful and natural extension of Doctor of Education programs than the conventional doctoral dissertation, the major focus of the article is on making a case for policy advocacy as a reasonable conceptual extension of the reform climate in educational administration.

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Visioning for the Future: What Can Educational Leaders Do to Build a Shared Commitment to Interagency Collaboration?

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BRUCE G. BARNETT1

ABSTRACT: Interagency collaboration is being touted as a means for schools to address the increasing social, emotional and health care needs of students. In this article, we contend that if interagency collaboration is to become more than a buzzword, then school leaders must work diligently to build a shared commitment to the school's vision by engaging service providers in sustained and collective discussions and decisions about the school's direction. Two promising approaches for building this shared commitment—strategic planning and collaborative visioning—are highlighted, including a discussion of how several newly-formed collaboratives are confronting the cultural, procedural/regulatory, and personal barriers that prohibit meaningful interagency collaboration.

“To the doctor, the child is a typhoid patient; to the playground supervisor, a first baseman; to the teacher, a learner of arithmetic. At times, he may be different things to each of these specialists, but too rarely is he a whole child to any of them.”

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Constructing a New Taxonomy of Change: Michigan Administrators’ Perspectives on Current Change Processes

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PATRICK M. JENLINK*1

KATHRYN KINNUCAN-WELSCH2

ABSTRACT: Reform in education is capturing national attention. While a macro view of change process from the policy, legislative or structural perspective is crucial, the perspectives of those engaged in the change process are equally important to the understanding of change in all of its complexity. This study examined the perceptions of administrators whose districts were involved in change processes. The responses from the administrators suggest a framing mechanism, or taxonomy, that represents the current state of change efforts in Michigan.

Change in education, or as more commonly termed in current literature, reform in education, has captured national attention at a heightened level in several sectors of the nation during the 1980s and 1990s. Some would point to the demonstrated inability of schools to change in fundamental and meaningful ways over the past decades (Fullan, 1991; Sarason, 1990). Others, such as Cuban (1984, 1990), would point to the paradox in historical patterns of schooling that have seen threads of significant changes since the 19th century, while much of the basic structure and purpose of schooling remains the same.

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