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ERIC Number: ED543584
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
Leadership Practices and School Choice. Research Brief
Cravens, Xiu; Goldring, Ellen; Penaloza, Roberto V.
National Center on School Choice, Vanderbilt University (NJ1), Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, Apr 13-17, 2009)
As part of a larger study on school choice, researchers at the National Center on School Choice examined variation in leadership practices across school types, relying on a convenience matched sample of schools that included charter, magnet, private, and traditional public schools. A total of 284 schools agreed to participate in the study--116 charter, 33 magnet, 17 private, and 118 traditional public schools. Among the charter schools, 59 are independently operated; 35 are reported to be operated or affiliated with a larger management organization that has a multistate presence; 9 are mission-driven to serve special student populations, such as those with learning disabilities; and 13 have some affiliation--for example, with a local performing arts center or a local community college--but not at a national scale or with a special population focus. Principal surveys were collected from 248 schools, yielding the following response rates: 91 percent from charter schools, 67 percent from magnet schools, 100 percent from private schools, and 87 percent from traditional public schools. The study took a twofold approach to examine the leadership practices of school principals across school choice types and traditional public schools. First, researchers examined principal practices among school types in terms of challenges, role focus, and time spent on core leadership tasks. Second, they probed the two types of charter school structures--independent and those affiliated with a management organization--to examine the association between differences related to type and principal instructional leadership. Central questions of the study were: (1) Do principals from different school types report different levels and types of leadership challenges?; (2) Do principals from different school types report differences in their leadership practices?; and (3) For charter school principals, are leadership challenges and practices, especially instructional leadership, associated with school management structures? Key findings include: (1) Principals from choice schools face similar levels and types of leadership challenges; (2) The role focus of choice school principals was not significantly different compared with traditional public school principals; (3) How principals use their time was similar across school types; and (4) Differences were found between affiliated and nonaffiliated charter schools. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
National Center on School Choice, Vanderbilt University. Box 459 GPC, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203. Tel: 615-322-8107; Fax: 615-322-8828; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: Vanderbilt University, National Center on School Choice