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ERIC Number: ED527808
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 150
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-9286-2
Longevity in the Superintendency: A Case Study of New Jersey District Factor Group CD Superintendents
Giaquinto, Annette C.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Seton Hall University
During the past several decades the demand for school accountability has increased, with much of the attention and pressure on school leaders, particularly the public school superintendent. Since the 1950's, there has been a marked decline in the average longevity of superintendents in a district which changed from an average of 20-plus years to approximately six years. The decline in district longevity places the superintendent in a challenging position, particularly because meaningful organizational change takes time--a resource that is often missing in the current state of the superintendency. The purpose of this study is to investigate district factor grouping (DFG) CD school district New Jersey superintendents who have achieved at or above the average years of tenure, identify their perceptions regarding longevity, and contribute to the knowledge base regarding superintendent longevity and ways to increase it. Longevity arises from two avenues--the superintendent's decision to remain in a school district, and the board of education's willingness to renew the superintendent's contract. The board's decision to renew is grounded in three areas: (1) the superintendent's handling of change; (2) the superintendent's fulfillment of the various roles, and (3) the overall superintendent--board of education relationship. The same three areas influence superintendent job satisfaction, which, in turn, is directly related to the superintendent's decision to stay in the district. The qualitative methodology of a case study was utilized to conduct this research. Specifically, superintendents and their board of education presidents, or another member, were selected through purposeful random sampling for semistructured interviews. The interview transcripts were analyzed using content analysis. The findings of the study included identification of key aspects of the superintendent's job satisfaction as well areas of importance to the board of education. The superintendent's job satisfaction was a factor in and of itself; and was also linked to fulfilling the roles, handling of change, and the relationship with the board of education. A positive relationship with the board certainly influenced the superintendent's decision to stay, but would not stop the superintendent from seeking other employment. While occasional board micromanagement might lead to job dissatisfaction, an overall negative relationship with the board would more likely cause the superintendent to leave the district. From the board of education's perspective, handling of change was a factor if the superintendent was not able to implement a change desired by the board, fulfilling the roles was based on district context and current situations, and the superintendent's relationship with the board of education influenced the board's decision to renew. These findings were fairly basic in nature and simply affirm what already exists in the current literature and research on superintendent longevity. However, the political role of the superintendency and the corresponding political frame from Bolman and Deal were identified by the researcher as interfacing with all the other aspects of the conceptual framework and the other three frames. The superintendent's need to be cognizant of the political role and frame stands as the key finding of the research. [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: New Jersey