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ERIC Number: ED477653
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-May
Pages: 42
Abstractor: N/A
School Leadership and Reform: Case Studies of Philadelphia Principals. Occasional Paper.
Spiri, Mary Helen
This report is the result of a 10-month study of 12 principals in the School District of Philadelphia. The research included in the report is part of a body of qualitative data collected about schools engaged in Philadelphia's Children Achieving reform agenda. The report explores the nature of emerging responsibilities, the ways in which principals have interpreted their roles as instructional leaders in the face of new, inexorable, and increasingly public expectations regarding enhanced student achievement. The principals in the study represented elementary and middle schools from four parts of the city. The principals met as a group on 13 occasions for a total of more than 34 hours. In addition, each principal participated in two individual interviews and maintained journals. The study's findings resonate with those gathered through teacher and principal interviews as part of a larger, more comprehensive evaluation. The results suggest that when reforms confronted a pervasive and enduring legacy of bureaucracy, anonymity, and compliance, principals often felt they lacked organizational support for change. Caught between a public accountability system premised on universal excellence and the challenges of a culture of compliance, the principals described a new vulnerability, a sometimes-debilitating sense of accountability without authority. (Author/WFA)
Consortium for Policy Research in Education, 3440 Market Street, Suite 560, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3325. Tel: 215-573-0700; Fax: 215-573-7914; e-mail:; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Annenberg Foundation, St. Davids, PA.
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, Philadelphia, PA.