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ERIC Number: ED513070
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 179
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-7729-6
Gender and Racial Experiences in Executive School Leadership: Perceptions of African American Female Superintendents
Colbert, Daveda Jean
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Oakland University
There is a leadership crisis that exists in our schools creating an urgent need for effective leadership. Even though African American women have made slight gains, throughout the country people of color and women are dramatically underrepresented in the superintendency. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study is to provide African American women who aspire to top leadership positions, specifically the superintendency, a candid view of the experiences of those who have dealt with and/or overcome obstacles and cracked the "glass ceiling," obtained superintendent positions and successfully maintained authority as superintendents. While providing insight this study sought to examine the gender and racial issues in top school leadership positions. This study attempts to address why there are so few African American women superintendents by investigating the key experiences that contribute to African American women becoming superintendents. This study attempts to address the concern of African American women being underrepresented in the superintendency by identifying and describing barriers that African American women experience while pursuing superintendent positions and once they have obtained superintendent positions. Barriers present obstacles that must be dealt with or overcome; therefore, this study attempts to provide insight on how current African American women superintendents deal with or overcome barriers that attempt to hinder their success. In this qualitative study, I examined the superintendency through the eyes of current African American women superintendents in a selected Midwestern state. The results indicate that African American women are one of the best resources to remedy the leadership crisis that currently exists. Clearly, the 10 African American women superintendents in the study earned their position of authority despite apparent barriers based on what society feels they are capable of doing because of their gender and race. Therefore, the time has come to change who becomes superintendent. Overall, this study reveals how African American women have pursued and obtained the superintendency and provides a road map for others to follow. The findings are presented in narrative form. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A