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Jsl Vol 9-N2

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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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Letter from the Editor

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Changes are occurring with the Journal of School Leadership over the next months. I am delighted to introduce a new occasional section in the journal called “Voices from Practitioners.” It is our hope to encourage those practicing school leaders to submit articles that address issues of importance to them in their daily work. I asked that the readers of the journal encourage practitioners to submit manuscripts to this section. In our first presentation of this new section in this issue, Superintendent Russ Mayo addresses an all too familiar issue surrounding superintendent turnover.

The other changes in the journal will include a new editor in October 1999. Ulrich Reitzug, Chair and Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will become the new editor of the Journal of School Leadership. Rick is an outstanding scholar and writer and will provide new leadership and direction for the journal. I have been editor for five years and it has been a privilege to work with outstanding reviewers and authors during that time. I am very proud of the quality of the journal and the respect it holds in our professional community. I am sure it will continue to be a top-tier journal under the editorship of Rick Reitzug.

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The Gender Equity Role of Educational Administration Programs: Where Are We? Where Do We Want to Go?

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JOYCE P. LOGAN1, *

SUSAN SCOLLAY2

ABSTRACT:The percentage of educational administration graduates and students who are women has been increasing since the 1980s. The study reported in this article identified continuing barriers to the employment of women as secondary school principals and superintendents. Strategies are discussed that were reported by educational administration departments in UCEA universities as a means to overcome deterrents to women in school administration. Changes in schools, the role of school councils, societal changes, and an anticipated shortage of personnel to fill vacancies for principal and superintendent positions offer a teachable moment for addressing gender inequities in the field.

Educational reform and subsequent changes in the schools of the 1990s, coupled with anticipated vacancies in school administrative positions and an increasing number of women graduates from educational administration programs, create an opportune time for advancement of gender equity in top-level school administrative positions. This article presents results from a preliminary and exploratory study that examined (a) changes in gender patterns in programs that prepare educational administrators, (b) perceptions of barriers faced by women graduates from these programs, and (c) strategies discussed or implemented by university faculties to eliminate these barriers. Gender equity in educational administration is not a new topic in the field; however, convergence of a number of factors potentially favorable for the employment of women principals and superintendents may represent a critical incident for change in employment patterns for school administration. Therefore, now is the time to refocus programmatic goals and strategies to help assure that gender barriers do not deter employment of women who are graduating from school administration preparation programs. Have faculty members in these programs moved beyond the recruitment of women students to the implementation of strategies that advance these graduates’ employment in administrative positions traditionally resistant to women?

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The State, the Lobbyists, and Special Education Policies in Schools: A Case Study of Decision Making in Texas

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VIRGINIA BAXT1

LIANE BROUILLETIE2, *

ABSTRACT:This article summarizes a study that focused on the influence of special interest groups on the formulation of educational policy at the state level. A total of forty-six respondents, ranging from legislators to lobbyists, were interviewed in order to trace the behind-the-scenes decision-making process as members of the Texas legislature put together an omnibus bill that included, among its provisions, a change in per pupil funding designed to encourage the inclusion of students with severe and profound disabilities in regular classrooms throughout the state.

During the last decade, two trends in the administration of schools and school systems could be observed simultaneously. A growing recognition that the success of educational reform depends on building-level input and commitment led to policies allowing for increased autonomy at the school site. On the other hand, increased emphasis on the right and justified authority of government to formulate objectives, provide steering guidelines, and monitor quality control (Chapman, 1996, p. 36) led to new state mandates that set policy on issues ranging from standardized testing to inclusion of handicapped students in the regular classroom. Therefore, even as policies aimed at restructuring schools were prompting changes in traditional practices, roles, and relationships, both within schools and between schools and their environments (Leithwood, 1992; Murphy, 1993), debate continued to rage over how this increased local autonomy would be reconciled with the need for state oversight.

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From Outside In: Additional Conflict for the Public School Superintendent

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RUSSELL MAYO1

ABSTRACT:Experience and a review of the limited research on the superintendency continue to reveal the enormous amount of conflict and tension in a changing and ambiguous position. The significance of superintendents coming from outside of the district is discussed. A majority are “outsiders.” Reasons are given to support the need for “outsider” status research. A proposal is made to direct research toward answers to three questions relating to “outsider” status for superintendents. First, how does “outsider” status influence the effectiveness of a superintendent? Second, how can the negative effects of “outsider” status be significantly reduced? Third, is the impact of “outsider” status different for women and minorities?

I will never forget the encouragement of some board members when I was appointed superintendent. They said that they knew I would want to appoint people whom I trusted. They understood that these folks might come from outside of the district, because I was from outside. They noted that CEOs of large corporations do it all of the time. Even the staff and former long-time superintendents of the district agreed that this strategy was appropriate. I was ecstatic. Certainly, I would not try to force the issue, but I would seriously consider this if vacancies occurred at the top. When vacancies occurred, my appointments had the unanimous support of the board and staff. Nevertheless, when some principals and teachers reacted, that support changed. Although only two of many of my appointments went to “outsiders,” these two created public controversy. In spite of public reasons given for the controversy, the private answer from locals was that these appointments were “outsiders,” and so was I. The good news is that this experience peaked my long-time curiosity about “outsider” status, why it is a factor, and how it influences the effectiveness of the superintendent. Clearly, it adds more conflict to a job that already has its share.

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