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ERIC Number: ED520787
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 178
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-2198-4
School Superintendents' Perceptions of the American Association of School Administrators' Professional Standards for the Superintendency, Their Relevancy to the Superintendency and Correlation to Pre-Service Preparation of Superintendents
Santiago-Marullo, Dawn A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Rochester
Effective leadership is important at all levels of a school system. This study will focus on the school district superintendent. While the impact of this leadership position on student achievement has been cited in several studies, research on the preparation of individuals for the superintendency is minimal. The media reports shortages in the field by citing the lower number of applicants for these positions. However, the existing research is inconclusive. While the number of applications for a given position may be lower than in the past, school districts are still reporting satisfaction with the search process and the candidates they select. Various standards projects for K-12 educational leadership exist. Many of these were prompted by the perceived need to attract more candidates to the field at every level of educational administration. The researcher selected the American Association of School Administrators' (AASA) "Professional Standards for the Superintendency" as a proxy for the knowledge and skills needed to be effective in the superintendency. These standards were created to improve educational leadership effectiveness at the superintendent level. They provide a framework for the development of improved leadership preparation programs and assist in individual leadership performance evaluation. For the purposes of this study, the AASA Standards have been correlated to the Four Frames leadership model developed by Lee Holman and Terrence Deal. This correlation serves as the conceptual framework for this research project. This study examined the perceptions of current New York State school superintendents regarding the applicability of the AASA leadership standards by comparing two groups. The superintendents in the treatment group of this study participated in the SUNY Oswego Superintendent Development Program (SDP) prior to acquiring their first superintendency. The comparison group was comprised of current superintendents who did not participate in this specific pre-service preparation program prior to becoming a school superintendent. The majority of school superintendents responding to the survey indicated that the AASA leadership standards are consistent with the daily work of superintendents. The average percent of respondents selecting the responses extremely or very important was 77% for the 33 indicators surveyed. In addition, superintendents responding to the survey believed they were prepared for the superintendency in their first year. The average percent of responses for the answers extremely or very prepared was 44% for the 33 indicators. When we add the answer prepared, the average increases from 44 to 76%. Only 6% selected not prepared for the 33 indicators surveyed. When survey respondent data was disaggregated, differences among perceptions of preparation were found for some groups. The SDP and earning a doctorate appear to be promising pathways for preparing school superintendents. On average, respondents to the "AASA Standards Survey" who participated in the SDP and/or earned a doctorate indicated that they were better prepared to perform the tasks described by the indicators than other respondents. Differences in perception of preparedness were the greatest for SDP and non-SDP women. Regardless of their preparation pathway, the results of the survey identified two areas where superintendent preparation might be improved. The indicators to "develop a process for maintaining accurate fiscal reporting" was ranked 30 out of 33 and to "describe procedures for superintendent-school board interpersonal/working relationships" was ranked 32 out of 33 by all respondents. These two indicators were among the five indicators ranked last by mean score by all subgroups of respondents as well. Interestingly, these results confirm the findings of previous studies on the superintendency. The most successful school districts have leadership structures where the superintendent and school board work towards the same goals, keeping students' interests first in their decision-making. These school districts also manage their resources well. Waters and Marzano (2006) found that "board alignment and support of district goals" and "use of resources to support academic achievement and instruction goals" were among the top five areas where superintendents should focus their efforts in order to impact student achievement positively. Given the importance of these skills, organizations preparing future superintendents should review their programs in these two areas: superintendent-school board relations and resource management. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York