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Jsl Vol 7-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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The Cupboard Is Bare: The Postmodern Critique of Educational Administration

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FENWICK W. ENGLISH1

ABSTRACT: Educational administration as a scholarly discipline continues to be dominated by a world view of modernity. This perspective posits that “reality” lies “out there” waiting to be discovered by the researcher using rational-logico, positivistic procedures. This tradition of scholarship denigrates alternative world views as “subjective,” and hence less rigorous and worthy of serious study. The most prized trophy of all is encapsulated in the “knowledge base,” that core of factual information which epitomizes all that is “worth knowing” in the discipline. The knowledge base represents the foundational claim of legitimacy and distinctiveness protecting the boundaries of the discipline against absorption into other organizational units in the university. The postmodern critique of positivism has called the basic premises of foundational legitimacy into question, and represents the most serious intellectual challenge confronting the definition of the field, its methods of inquiry, and its assertions regarding exclusivity since T. B. Greenfield’s (1978) critique several decades earlier. This article reviews the claims and counterclaims of the current debate in educational administration and offers some promising trends for the future.

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Reculturing: Assumptions, Beliefs, and Values Underlying the Processes of Restructuring

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ANGÉL M. WONYCOTT-KYTLE1

IRA E. BOGOTCH2 *

ABSTRACT: This qualitative study identified four predominant dimensions of reculturing processes in two school districts in Southeastern United States. Interview data and document analyses were analyzed vertically and horizontally to present a systemic district perspective of restructuring efforts. According to practitioners’ statements, the dimensions of reculturing were always presented in the context of action as more than one thing as follows: (1) reflecting on and questioning past and present practice, (2) comprehensive, continuous, and purposeful development activities, (3) reconfiguring roles toward collaboration, and (4) seeing rewards and incentives.

In 1990, Elmore and Associates pointed out that school restructuring is about many things, but that the only way it could have a positive impact on schools was if it addressed both the problems and conditions of successful implementation, particularly with respect to classroom learning. This conclusion served to remind readers that planned change efforts and implementation are two distinct processes. Thus, it should not be surprising that proposed structures, policies, or even programs by themselves do not constitute school restructuring in its fullest sense (Lieberman, 1995). Real change comes only when practicing educators see how structures, policies, and programs are connected systemically and meaningfully (Cohen, 1995; Elmore, 1995; Fullan, 1993; Hargreaves, 1995; Murphy, 1991).

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Mandatory Drug Testing of Student Athletes: A Policy Response to Vernonia School District, 47J v. Acton

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TODD A. DcMITCHELL1 *

THOMAS CARROLL2

ABSTRACT: The prevalence of drugs on the campuses of our nation’s schools is of great concern to parents, educators, and society in general. To combat the rising tide of drug use a school district in Vernonia, Oregon passed a mandatory random drug testing policy which was later upheld by the United States Supreme Court. This research studied the response to this court case by surveying randomly selected superintendents in five geographic regions of the nation. The data sought to ascertain if any policy actions would be taken in response to the United States Supreme Court decision and whether superintendents believe that suspicionless, random drug testing of student athletes is effective in combating drug use in our schools.

Drug use and violence in our schools have become major problems prompting parents, educators, and politicians to demand that our schools be made safe. It has been argued that this perception of pervasive violence and drug use in our schools has prompted the rise of a fifth fundamental value in educational policy making—security (DeMitchell, 1994). A 1993 Harvard School of Public Health survey found that one in twenty-five children ages ten to nineteen had taken a handgun to school during the school year (Sommerfeld, 1993). A 1993 survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 24 percent of the 16,000 high school students surveyed said that they were offered, sold, or given an illegal drug at school in the previous year (Hostetler, 1995). The percentage of tenth graders who reported using an illicit drug during the previous year rose to 27 percent in 1993 up from 24 percent in 1991 (National Education Goals Panel, 1994). Similarly, the percentage of tenth graders who reported that someone offered to sell or give them an illegal drug at school increased from 18 percent in 1992 to 20 percent in 1993 (National Education Goals Panel, 1994). A 1995 survey of thirteen-, fifteen-, and seventeen-year-olds conducted by the University of Michigan showed that drug use had risen from 20 percent in 1991 to 33 percent in 1994 (Boston Globe, 1995). These statistics conjure a vision of our schools that evokes a deep visceral concern, the specter of crime and drugs stalking the hallways of our neighborhood schools. Our society has long clung to the belief that our schools are an oasis protected from the harsh realities of the social problems that exist in the larger community. “The once highly touted safe haven of the school free from the violence of society is believed to be in jeopardy” (DeMitchell, 1994, p. 348). The loss of that cherished vision is not taken lightly.

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Moves to Restructure the Work of Principals, of Teaching, and Human Resource Management

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MICHAEL GARBUTCHEON SINGH1 *

LEO BARTLETT1

LEONIE ROWAN1

TREVOR GALE1

PHILIPPA ROYLANCE1

ABSTRACT: This paper argues that efforts to reform and to restructure education systems in Australia, and indeed many school systems throughout the Western world, are not only changing the nature of principals’ work, but in turn are changing the nature of teaching. In particular, the changes require principals to have a sound knowledge-base in the area of human resource management (HRM). Based on research into system expectations concerning principals’ work, the paper examines the implications this has for principals and the knowledge they now need to be successful human resource managers. The paper provides an account of current Department of Education policies intended to change public schools throughout Queensland (Australia). These policies are then linked to micro-reform and restructuring at local and regional levels through the idea of competence related to functions of HRM. Specific reference is made to restructuring strategies for changing the configuration of school staffing, job redesign for teacher aides, and the creation of cluster schools. Resistances to these initiatives are noted. The key political features of delegation, managerialism, reduced public sector expenditure, and school-industry links are discussed in the context of these initiatives. The practical implications for the work of principals are raised briefly in the conclusion. In addition, attention is given to the need for educators to investigate further the knowledge and skills that professional development programs might offer principals concerning human resource management so as to give them some power to respond effectively to these changing circumstances.

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The Future of Educational Administration Is behind Us

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JOHN R. HOYLE1

ABSTRACT: Scholars and practicing administrators face rapid change and information overload in their respective roles in educational leadership. These forces are pushing professors of educational administration to stress skills in mixed scanning and visioning to future school leaders. These critical skills will assist these leaders to navigate through the currents of complex social change and political waves of criticism, conservatism, and greater cries for accountability of the education dollar. The challenges these forces bring require school administrators to quickly frame problems, use targeted information, and inspire others to share a vision about schools which serve all children and youth. To develop these school leaders for the years ahead, professors must model and teach students to be visionary men and women who center their lives on the following three anchors: the capacity to care deeply for others, the ability to communicate a clear message in simple, persuasive words, and the commitment to persist under the most difficult of circumstances.

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