2983 Articles
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Medium 9781475811452

Finding the Horizon: Education Administration Students Paint a Landscape of Cultural Diversity in Schools

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: A landscape painting metaphor was used to report the implications of this study of 33 graduate students preparing to become elementary and secondary school administrators who kept personal journals during their enrollment in an Issues of Diversity class at a private Midwestern university. The journals forced their cultural lens to be transparent, freeing them to locate the horizon line, a reference point for their own experience, beliefs, and values. The students, a 3:1 ratio of white to African American students and 56% female, revealed feelings of confusion, ambivalence, fear, and uncertainty about race and gender in their personal and professional lives. They described new understandings about cultural differences and showed evidence of moving into new behaviors. The power of journaling for those preparing to be school leaders was another dominant theme from the analysis.

Morally and legally, issues of equity and fairness are among the most critical in contemporary schooling (see, for example, Civil Rights Project, 1996; Grant, 1995; Grogan, 1996; Lindsey, Robins, & Terrell, 1999; Nieto, 2000). School leaders cannot ignore their obligation to guarantee just and equitable learning environments for all students, including racial and ethnic minorities as well as girls and women. Despite the focus on such factors as school reform models, revolutionary governance systems (e.g., choice, charter schools) and high-stakes testing, building principals and district superintendents will remain ill-equipped to successfully lead schools unless they willingly commit to excellence for every child in their schools.

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Medium 9781475811315

Organizational Citizenship Behavior in Schools and Its Relationship to School Climate



ABSTRACT: Within effective organizations employees often go beyond formal job responsibilities, performing nonmandatory tasks with no expectation of recognition or compensation. Therefore, it is important to learn more about how organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) can be cultivated. In this study a new measure of OCB, which is useful in exploring how this construct functions in K–12 schools, was developed. Data were collected in two separate samples and confirmed that this new measure was reasonably valid and reliable. Further testing explored whether the two-factor structure found in other organizational contexts held in public school settings. A significant relationship was found between OCB and school climate. Implications of these findings and directions for further research are discussed.

Within effective organizations employees often go beyond formal job responsibilities, performing nonmandatory tasks with no expectation of recognition or compensation. These altruistic acts are neither prescribed nor required, yet they contribute to the smooth functioning of the organization. One noted scholar’s interest in organizational citizenship was initially sparked as he reflected on an experience he had as a young factory worker. He was struggling with the use of a piece of equipment until an older worker noticed his difficulty and left his own work to assist the floundering young man in the proper use of the tool. It was not in the job description of the older worker to offer such assistance, but his efforts aided both the struggling young factory worker and the organization as a whole. Later, after becoming an organizational scholar, the once struggling factory worker reflected on the importance of these types of behaviors, he coined the phrase “organizational citizenship behavior” (OCB) to denote these organizationally beneficial gestures (Bateman & Organ, 1983).

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Medium 9781475811797

Obtaining Validation From Graduates on a Restructured Principal Preparation Program

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Julia Ballenger

Betty Alford

Sandra McCune

Donice McCune

Obtaining Validation From Graduates on a Restructured Principal Preparation Program

ABSTRACT: Colleges of education have come under scrutiny in their preparation of principals. Even professors of education have joined in the criticism characterizing these programs as bankrupt, fragmented, and going down a road to nowhere (Norton, 2002). This article is part of a collaborative research effort of the University Council for Educational Administration, the goal of which is to engage the leadership preparation field more broadly in the individual and comparative study of each program’s effectiveness and impact (Orr & Pounder, 2006). This study used within-program comparison of follow-up survey responses from two sets of program graduates from a university-based leadership preparation program to determine differences in program features and outcome measures.

The new standards-based accountability programs require a shift in the principal’s role to one of leadership in improving teaching and learning for high academic performance by all students (Bellamy, Fulmer, Murphy, & Muth, 2007; Linn, 2003; Wong & Nicotera, 2007). Hale and Moorman (2003) posited, “Our conventional procedures for training and certifying school administrators . . . are simply failing to produce a sufficiency of leaders whose vision, energy, and skill can successfully raise the educational standards of children” (p. 9). As Brown (2006) stressed, “if current and future educational leaders are to foster successful, equitable, and socially responsible learning and accountability practices for all candidates, then substantive changes in educational leadership programs and professional development programs are required” (p. 1).

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Medium 9781475811476

Dispositions of Middle School Principals Toward Teacher Selection Criteria

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: This study examined the dispositions of Indiana middle school principals toward 29 possible teacher selection criteria drawn from the middle school literature and 13 possible criteria not drawn from this literature. The former were assigned more importance than the latter, and performance-based criteria were assigned more importance than credential-based criteria. Statistical testing revealed no significant associations between principal education and experience characteristics and assigned levels of importance. Findings are compared to previous studies focusing on actual practices, and possible reasons for an apparent disjunction between espoused beliefs and behavior in the area of teacher selection are discussed.

Over the past two decades, reform strategies such as state deregulation and district decentralization have frequently given school principals greater authority in teacher employment decisions. This increased level of responsibility is especially important at the middle school level for two primary reasons. First, many states do not require or issue a separate middle school teaching license, and therefore, principals at this level typically can select teachers with varying academic preparation and licenses. Second, the middle school concept is framed by a philosophy, and implementation of these fundamental values and beliefs depends largely on the knowledge and dispositions of professionals who practice in these schools.

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Medium 9781475811490

Teachers’ Perceptions of High-Stakes Testing

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: Over 900 Texas teachers were surveyed on their perceptions of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), which at the time of the survey was Texas’s high-stakes achievement test. The sample included elementary, middle, and high schools within each of four test performance levels: exemplary, recommended, acceptable, and low performing. Respondents answered questions on how students were prepared for the high-stakes test and the effects of the test on their school and its curriculum, students, and teachers. Respondents reported that tested curriculum received increased emphasis, high-stakes testing did not motivate students to learn, and that the test was not an accurate measure of student learning or school effectiveness. Results indicate serious incongruence among proponents’ arguments for testing, teachers’ perceptions of test effects, and the research on authentic pedagogy and student achievement.

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Medium 9781475811292

Balancing the Contradictions Between Accountability and Systemic Reform

R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: This article examines the impacts of the National Science Foundation’s Urban Systemic Initiative reforms in four cities: Chicago; El Paso, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; and Miami, Florida, based on analysis of 47 principal interviews. We analyze the role of school administrators in addressing the demands of both systemic reform in mathematics and science and state, district, and local accountability policies. Specifically, we examine their concepts of their roles and ability to balance contradictions and paradoxes between systemic reform and accountability. Our research demonstrates that principals must overcome many challenges before they are able to affect desired achievement outcomes for all students. Key among the identified challenges is the ability of principals to balance the demands of the reform effort with the press to negotiate multiple policies, especially in the areas of student assessment and school accountability for which they are ultimately responsible.

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Medium 9781475819366

Do Students Learn More With a Certified Teacher? A Comparison of Algebra I Students Taught by Certified and Noncertified Teachers

Teacher Education and Practice Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub



ABSTRACT: All states have authorized alternatives to traditional teacher preparation programs, and many allow school districts to hire noncertified instructors. Broadening access to teaching has increased the number of available teachers, but the effects on student learning are debatable. This article discusses the research on certification and student learning in mathematics and the overall inconclusive results. It presents a study focusing on Algebra I teachers, which found a significant performance difference between the students of certified and noncertified teachers. The effect size of having a certified teacher was small. The article examines reasons for this result and suggests other research directions.

The No Child Left Behind requirement that all teachers in core academic subjects be “highly qualified” by the end of 2005–2006 has intensified the ongoing debate over traditional teacher training and certification requirements. Traditionally, prospective teachers had to complete college-level teacher education programs to be eligible for state teacher certification. Since the 1950s (e.g., Bestor, 1953; Lynd, 1953), critics have attacked those programs, charging lack of academic content and rigor (Ravich, 2000) and inconsistency across programs (Feistritzer & Chester, 1996, 2000). Evidence demonstrating that poor teachers have a significant negative impact on a student’s long-term academic success (e.g., Mendro, Jordan, Gomez, Anderson, & Bembry, 1998; Sanders & Horn, 1998) has heightened concern over teacher qualifications. Although critics have raised concerns about the quality of traditional teacher preparation programs, the general public and the education profession worry about the placement of noncertified teachers into public schools because they consider them unqualified (Darling-Hammond, 2001).

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Medium 9781475819144

Induction, Mentoring, and Supervision in Teacher Preparation

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: In this article we examine the Israeli Ministry of Education teacher induction program as a paradigm for preservice and in-service induction programs. We stipulate the necessity of creating a bridge between the preservice program and the field, which would allow for collaboration between the pedagogical staff of the teacher preparation programs and the teachers in the field. Also suggested is the paramount importance of giving the inductee a voice in the professional development process, which would include reflections of the mentor and the inductee as part of the assessment process.

The majority of novice teachers in their first 5 years of teaching in Israel today are graduates of 4-year teacher preparation colleges (Ministry of Education, 2000a). The Council for Higher Learning charters the teacher training colleges, and graduates of these programs receive a bachelor of education (B.Ed.) degree, which includes both a teacher preparation component and an academic specialization in one or two disciplines. Licensing, however, remains in the hands of the Ministry of Education and requires an induction year of successful classroom teaching. As in other countries, it was necessary to consider the transition from teacher-in-preparation status to teacher-in-the-classroom status, which is characteristically abrupt (Feiman-Nemser, 1996) and often overwhelming (Moir, 1999). In addition, given that the attrition rate of novice teachers in the first 5 years of service was over 50% nationwide (State of Israel, 1997), the ministry sought to provide support for novice teachers and to lower this attrition rate through an induction program. In the 2001–2002 school year there were 3,200 inductees in the program (Ministry of Education, 2002) of which 84.3% successfully completed the program.

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Medium 9781475819144

The Same Universe or Worlds Apart? Integrating a Special Education and Literacy Methods Course in Preservice Teacher Education

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: The integration of special and general education is advocated in teacher education, yet rarely experienced by the students in their university classes. This study shares the results of integrating a literacy and special education course for preservice teachers. Findings suggest that such integration holds potential to improve student perceptions of their learning and professional development in preservice teacher education programs.

There is a growing recognition that if “special” and “regular” education join forces, a stronger, more comprehensive educational system can be developed to better meet the needs of all students. . . . Faculty and programs in higher education can affect this movement and potentially lead the way. (Stainback & Stainback, 1987, p. 185)

The Regular Education Initiative, set forth in 1986, recommended eliminating the dual system of “regular” and “special” education within the K–12 public school system. A large body of research supports the integration of these two areas (Feden & Clabaugh, 1986; Jenkins, Pious, & Jewell, 1990; Pugach, 1996; Skrtic, Sailor, & Gee, 1996). However, such integration is rarely demonstrated in teacher education programs. Although it has been over a decade since Stainback and Stainback called attention to this need, little progress has yet been made (Brownell, Yeager, Rennells, & Riley, 1997).

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Medium 9781475811650

Horton, Highlander, and Leadership Education: Lessons for Preparing Educational Leaders for Social Justice

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: Influenced by Myles Horton’s vision and leadership, the Highlander Folk School became an adult education program centered on social change via the labor and civil rights movements. In this article, I examine the pedagogy and practice of Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School and identify the key themes that guided their educational approach to social justice leadership training. I then explore the ways in which educational leadership preparation may exemplify these key themes in its pedagogy and practice with the aim of moving the field and schooling closer to social justice and democratic ideals.

Recent scholarship reveals renewed interest in and focus on educational leadership oriented toward social justice and democracy (Brown, 2004, 2006; Cambron-McCabe & McCarthy, 2005; Larson & Murtadha, 2002; Marshall, 2004; Marshall & Oliva, 2006; Shields, 2004). Generally, this scholarship supports the notion that educational leaders have a social and moral obligation to foster equitable school practices, processes, and outcomes for learners of different racial, socioeconomic, gender, cultural, disability, and sexual orientation backgrounds. Specifically, Bredeson (2004) calls for democratic school leaders who act intentionally to create equitable schooling and who serve as “dismantlers who need to challenge inequities and disrupt the sources and systems that contribute to those injustices” (p. 712). These scholars argue that school leaders’ moral and social responsibility must manifest itself in the exercise of professional agency and become evident in actions, behaviors, and decisions that result in equitable schooling for children. Positioned as such, school leaders are in fact “cultural workers” (Giroux, 1992, p. 13) who, Dantley (1990) contends, “must be wedded to the notion of schools as vehicles for social and political reconstruction” (p. 594).

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Medium 9781475811414

Superintendent Shortage: The Wrong Problem and Wrong Solutions

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: Claims of an insufficient supply of superintendents and conclusions about the underlying causes of this condition have been widely accepted by policymakers, professors, and practitioners. As a result, professional preparation and licensure have already been altered in some states. Economist perspectives of occupational shortages, the causes of dwindling applicant pools, and job turnover and exits are used to demonstrate that this problem has been framed incorrectly—an error spawning questionable policy decisions. The argument is made that the long-standing practice of overproducing administrators and then allowing employers to determine competence is not indicative of a true profession. Recommendations are made to strengthen preparation and licensing requirements and to improve working conditions and salaries.

At the same time that the focus of school reform is shifting to the district and school levels, leading figures in public education are warning that fewer and fewer administrators are willing to assume the critical role of superintendent. Some of the loudest voices delivering this message belong to persons who currently occupy the position. A recent study, for example, found that nearly 90% of superintendents nationally thought the number of administrators willing to pursue this position is inadequate—a condition they blamed on a diminishing average tenure in office (commonly defined as the amount of time a superintendent spends in one position) (Cooper, Fusarelli, & Carella, 2000). A majority of state superintendents and executive directors of state superintendent associations also share this view—approximately two thirds of each group said that an applicant crisis exists in their respective states (Glass, 2001a).

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Medium 9781475811544

Superintendent Recruitment: Effects of School Councils, Job Status, Signing Bonus, and District Wealth

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of four variables on job ratings provided by applicants for simulated superintendent vacancies. The participants were superintendents (n = 72) and superintendent-certified personnel (n = 72) reacting to jobs described in simulated position announcements. The participants rated jobs in districts without school councils higher than jobs in districts with school councils. Superintendents rated jobs in districts without school councils higher than did superintendent-certified personnel. Superintendents rated jobs in high-wealth districts with signing bonuses higher than jobs in a high-wealth district with no signing bonus. Implications for recruitment practice and future research are discussed.

This study addressed the task of recruiting qualified individuals to serve as district superintendents for public schools in a state undergoing systemic school reform. As the district CEO, the superintendent plays a key leadership role in the operations of a school district (Glass, 2001a; Glass, Björk, & Brunner, 2000; Kowalski, 1999) and is a central player in school reform initiatives (Björk, 2001; Glass, 1992). Superintendent recruitment research may address either macrorecruitment factors or microrecruitment factors. Macrorecruitment factors relate to issues affecting all school districts, such as the national supply and demand of qualified applicants for position vacancies. Microrecruitment factors, the focus of this investigation, relate to the decision making of applicants for superintendent vacancies and the techniques and strategies used by school districts to generate adequate applicant pools for position vacancies.

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Medium 9781475811537

Turn Up That Radio, Teacher: Popular Cultural Pedagogy in New Century Urban Schools

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: Synthesizing literature from critical pedagogy, sociocultural psychology, and cultural studies with popular cultural texts and experiences from actual classroom practice, this article conceptualizes the critical teaching of popular culture as a viable strategy to increase academic and critical literacies in urban secondary classrooms. Relying on scholarship that views youth popular culture as a powerful, but often times underutilized, point of intervention for schools, these authors discuss the impact of using youth popular culture to reconnect with otherwise disenfranchised schooling populations. The authors rebut criticisms associated with the teaching of popular culture by showing how teachers can simultaneously honor and draw upon the sociocultural practices of their students while also adhering to state and national standards. Further, the article demonstrates the social relevance, academic worthiness, and intellectual merit of hip-hop artists such as the controversial Eminem and popular film texts such as the Godfather trilogy. They conclude with a call for postmodern critical educational leaders—vigilant advocates for students who are willing to combine academic content knowledge with a commitment to an engaging multicultural curriculum.

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Medium 9781475811216

Why “Particularly Good” Principals Don’t Quit

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: In the face of recent articles describing a mass exodus of principals without suitable replacements, our investigation into the nature of professional development for school leaders has implications for preparation and staff development programs. This article reviews findings from interviews with committed administrators and places them within the context of new research on principals as lifelong learners who publicly model intellectual curiosity.

Two days after completing our last interview of nineteen principals who guided our graduate students through administrative internships, the Sunday paper arrived with an article describing a mass exodus of principals from local public schools. The article attributed the lack of commitment to the principalship to, among other things, “job pressures, thin budgets and ever-increasing challenges facing public education” (The Boston Globe, 6/29/97, p. 1, West Weekly). The author portrayed a crisis, citing an example of an affluent suburb that had only six minimally qualified applicants for an attractive principalship vacancy. As it turned out, this article was just the first of many to make similar observations (see for example, Daley, 1999; Hendrie, 1998; Houston, 1998; Keller, 1998; Marloe, 1998).

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Medium 9781475811544

Conceptions of Power Held by Educational Leaders: The Impact on Collaborative Decision-Making Processes

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


Conceptions of Power Held by Educational Leaders: The Impact on Collaborative Decision-Making Processes

ABSTRACT: This article draws on a reanalysis of findings from two separate qualitative studies that examined a possible relationship between school board members’ and curriculum directors’ conceptions of power and the way they made decisions (Mountford, 2001; Ylimaki, 2001, respectively). The findings from both studies were then compared to the extant literature on collaborative decision making and inherent obstacles of power to sustained collaboration. The findings reveal a pattern among school board members’ and curriculum directors’ conceptions and enactments of power. This pattern of behavior can be used by educational leaders to increase their understanding about the role of power during collaborative decision making, minimize some of the obstacles of power to collaborative decision making, and build and sustain collaborative efforts of all kinds.

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