ERIC Number: EJ1044293
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
Accountability, Autonomy and Stress: Principal Responses to Superintendent Change in a Large US Urban School District
West, Deborah L.; Peck, Craig M.; Reitzug, Ulrich C.; Crane, Elizabeth A.
School Leadership & Management, v34 n4 p372-391 2014
This study investigates how principals in a large US urban school district responded to two different superintendents who employed contrasting leadership styles and utilised divergent organisational schemes. We originally conducted interviews with principals in 2007, when the district's superintendent asserted fierce performance demands and limited principals' site-based discretion in favour of protecting and exerting central office power. We conducted interviews again in 2013 after a new superintendent had relaxed school test score expectations and distributed the central office's previously tight, centralised control into largely self-directing sub-regions. Our findings demonstrate that superintendent change noticeably affected how principals understood and encountered accountability, autonomy and stress. To help make sense of our findings, we employ a three-part conceptual framework drawn from the study of educational leadership. We conclude by considering implications, including the notion that unrelenting stress has become a permanent part of the modern urban US principalship.
Descriptors: Accountability, Personal Autonomy, Principals, Urban Schools, Stress Variables, Guidelines, School Districts, Superintendents, Administrator Attitudes, Leadership Styles, Interviews, Standardized Tests, Scores, Administrative Organization
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A