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ERIC Number: ED527075
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 191
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-5729-7
Superintendent Turnover in Texas, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Oregon Public School Districts: Contributing Factors and Trends
Berryhill, Kathy S.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
School district administrator openings are occurring across Texas and many other states at an increasing rate. The high rate of turnover in the superintendency has become a national problem. Texas was chosen for the study due to the total number of school districts in the state and the high percent of rural districts. The other selected states, namely, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Oregon were chosen for the state's geographic locations, comparative number of school districts and educational programs. The study was descriptive in nature, employing a mixed methods design to understand the factors influencing superintendent turnover. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze, summarize, and organize the quantitative data. The quantitative portion of the study included superintendents from Texas, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Oregon public schools. The qualitative component of the study was limited to the state of Texas. A four part online superintendent survey questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data on factors which may influence job turnover, job satisfaction statements, plan to remain or leave the position in upcoming years, career paths, and demographic information on respondents. Online survey participants included superintendents in Texas (n =328), Connecticut (n=32), Kentucky (n=62), and Oregon (n=69) for a total of 491 responses. The quantitative data showed school board relationships, community relationships and a sense of achievement were the most important factors which may influence a superintendent's decision to leave the position. Majority of the superintendents were currently satisfied with the position but were likely to leave the job in two or more years. The career path endorsed the most to become a superintendent was teacher, assistant principal, followed by principal and central office. The participating superintendents reported being a principal as the most beneficial position in preparation for the superintendency. The respondents reported personal characteristics, ability to be an instructional leader or providing stability in the district were the most important reasons they were hired for the superintendency. The superintendents reported finance and student achievement as the greatest areas of urgency facing the districts. Respondents voiced concerns about school board interference and lack of superintendent autonomy. The majority of the respondents predicted an increase in superintendent turnover in the respective states and suggested increasing the recruitment of current administrators to certify for superintendency and developing additional district practices which support in-house leadership capacity building as potential strategies to overcome the shortage of school leaders. Results of the qualitative data revealed three themes, indicating the focus group participants were pleased with the current positions and did not plan to seek employment elsewhere. Qualitative and quantitative results complemented each other in the study Participants noted the value of professional networks to help with the stress of the superintendency. All described the significance of a strong, established school board with common goals for the district improved the success and longevity of the current superintendent. The superintendents offered sound advice for aspiring superintendents including: being a lifelong learner, making sure the job fits the person, and to stay focused on the big picture. [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: Connecticut; Kentucky; Oregon; Texas