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ERIC Number: ED522038
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 257
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-3073-0
A Comparative Case Study of Veteran Superintendent's Leadership and Organizational Processes in Addressing the Academic Achievement of Students in Low Performing School Districts
Reimer, Catherine Nicole
ProQuest LLC, D.Ed. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara and California Polytechnic State University
This research study investigated the leadership behaviors and organizational frames utilized by two veteran superintendents of medium sized school districts in California to address issues of academic performance in their respective districts as perceived by the superintendents and their respective board members and principals. Current accountability laws in California have made the demand for instructionally effective superintendents paramount over the past decade. Every year a higher percentage of schools enter the status of Program Improvement in California. These school districts are ethnically, linguistically, and socio-economically diverse. District superintendents must extend past traditional roles as managers of public schools systems to instructionally focused leaders with a subset of skills and prerequisites to lead California's districts forward. The use of the frameworks of organizational leadership frames combined with instructional, shared instructional and transformational leadership provided a versatile lens in which to examine the superintendent's influence to address issues of academic performance in low performing school districts. This investigation compared two district superintendents with similar academic scores, demographics, funding, and size. Within three years one district made substantial academic improvements and had a school honored as a California distinguished school. In the same time frame, the second district had a decrease in academic scores and entered Program Improvement. A sequential exploratory design strategy was used. Quantitative data were initially collected using a survey evaluating superintendents', board members', and principals, perceptions of the superintendents' use of organizational frames and instructional, transformational, and shared instructional leadership behaviors and actions. Qualitative data were collected from the superintendents, board members, and principals via interviews to cite specific examples of instructional, transformational, and shared instructional leadership behaviors and actions and also support the quantitative data. The implications of these findings suggest the instructional, shared instructional and transformational leadership behaviors of the superintendent of the district with the vast increase in academic scores were supportive to creating an environment were internal capacity was built and sustained. Specifically the behaviors and actions taken by the superintendent in the areas of instructional, shared instructional, and transformational leadership included: a clear and well communicated vision; well-established and standard's aligned performance centered assessments and accountability systems; collaboration through-out the district including the governance team; incentives for staff and students aligned with the academic outcomes of the district; high expectations for self, staff, and students; and relevant, sustainable professional development based upon a strategic design for improvement. [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: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California