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ERIC Number: ED521538
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 163
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-2037-6
The Superintendent Beliefs and Leadership Practices in a School District that Has Successfully Increased the Achievement of Traditionally Marginalized Students
Fairbanks-Schutz, Jo-Ellen M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
Superintendent leadership can influence student achievement and with the alarming gap between the academic achievement of traditionally marginalized students and their peers, superintendents have an ethical duty to lead their districts in closing these achievement gaps. Spillane, Halverson, and Diamond (2001) suggested that to have a more complete understanding of educational leadership we need to learn not only "what" leaders do, but "why" and "how" they do it. This qualitative, positioned subject, single case study seeks to contribute to the literature on the "why" or, in other words, what beliefs does the superintendent of a district that has markedly increased the achievement of its students across subgroups hold and "how", in terms of leadership practices, did the superintendent who leads such an anomaly facilitate such a feat by examining the question: In what ways do superintendent's beliefs and leadership practices in a district support academic achievement of typically marginalized students? The theoretical framework that will drive this study is informed by the reviewed literature. I offer that effective education leaders, through their practices, express a set of common core beliefs. These beliefs provide the rationale for specific behaviors and actions of an education leader who strives to increase the academic achievement of students. This study begins with a review of the literature in three areas: (a) leadership values and beliefs, (b) leadership for equity, and (c) leadership practices for increased student achievement. Missing in the literature is research that examines the connection between the beliefs and the practices of a leader in education whose district's traditionally marginalized students experienced an increase in academic achievement. This study contributes to current professional literature and practice in the fields of education and educational leadership in many different ways. First, it adds to the body of empirical research regarding beliefs and leadership. Second, it provides insight into the role beliefs play in the superintendency. Third, it seeks to improve educational leadership practice by providing accounts of specific behaviors and activities that were implemented by the superintendent of district that has been successful in increasing the academic achievement of its traditionally marginalized students. [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