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ERIC Number: ED553656
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 185
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-9914-4
Investing in Urban School Leadership: Creating a Profile of Career Principals to Inform Identification, Recruitment, and Retention in the School District of Philadelphia
Nixon, Penny Sparks
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
The principalship has evolved dramatically and become far more complex. Everyday, school leaders are reshaping their roles because of the internal and external pressures associated with the job. Currently, the reform agenda across the country focuses almost entirely on the states and federal government's demand to improve student performance. There is a national push for accountability and standards-based reform, and President Obama's initiatives to overhaul underperforming schools have increased the pressure and upped the ante for today's school leaders. In 2009, the Obama administration allocated four billion dollars to transform some of the nation's worst schools. These efforts to overhaul poorly performing schools include replacing principals at the centerpiece of the reform (Dillon, 2011; U.S. Department of Education, 2010). In addition, quantitative and qualitative evidence support the notion that many principals are not adequately trained to cope with the demands of the position (Hess & Kelly, 2007). This call for change and improvement in our educational system has raised the stakes and responsibilities for those who work to lead our schools toward success. First, today's society demands schools that produce students with the complex intellectual skills that are needed by the "knowledge society," but that are missing in too many of their graduates. Second, we can no longer accept the unequal student outcomes that have characterized American schools for generations, with advantaged students achieving more academically than students with fewer resources to support their learning. This inequity has directed more attention to principals' knowledge, skills and norms of practice. From the federal government to states and districts, the call is for all children to learn high standards and have access to high-quality instruction (Donovan & Branford, 2005). This qualitative study focused narrowly on understanding the careers of individuals who were Career Principals in the School District of Philadelphia. It addresses the research questions: 1. What do the experiences of Career Principals in the School District of Philadelphia tell about the identification, recruitment, and retention of principals? 2. How do the experiences of Career Principals in the School District of Philadelphia inform recruitment, development, and retention of principals? 3. What information is necessary to create a viable pipeline of school leaders for the School District of Philadelphia? Specifically, the study will be directed at understanding what existing data and research can tell about the individuals who held principal positions for 8 or more years, and remained in the same school for 5 or more years. Qualitative analysis for this study will be based on data collected from interviews. Ultimately, this study intends to inform practice, specifically in urban education, and provide superintendents and district leaders with a framework and suggestions for identifying, recruiting, and retaining principals. [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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania