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ERIC Number: EJ1073910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Leading the Newly Consolidated High School: Exciting Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?
Thurman, Lance E.; Hackmann, Donald G.
Educational Considerations, v42 n2 p1-12 Spr 2015
In the current economic times, school personnel are regularly challenged to reduce the costs of operating the nation's school systems. School district consolidations often are proposed as a mechanism to realize fiscal savings for local communities; indeed, the number of U.S. school districts has declined dramatically over the past 70 years, decreasing from 117,108 in 1939-40 to 13,809 in 2008-2009 (Snyder and Dillow 2010). Consolidations may occur to promote fiscal and administrative efficiency, or as a result of significant enrollment declines, diminished real estate valuations, and limited availability of highly qualified teachers (Howley, Johnson, and Petrie 2011; Zimmer, DeBoer, and Hirth 2009). An overlooked topic in the research has been the high school principal's role in guiding the formation of a unified culture once the consolidation occurs--a responsibility that can be particularly challenging when two or more schools are consolidated to create a new high school. Time-honored traditions may be discarded and new rituals developed as students and faculty work to form a unified learning community. This article describes a case study of one principal throughout the initial year of a newly consolidated high school. It begins with a brief review of school consolidation research and research on leadership for learning, which served as a theoretical framework for this study. It then presents findings from the case study; in the discussion and implications sections, comparisons are made to prior studies and recommendations are provided for school districts and for policy.
Descriptors: High Schools, Consolidated Schools, Leadership Effectiveness, Leadership Role, Case Studies, School District Reorganization, Principals, Academic Achievement, Instructional Leadership, Performance Factors, Administrator Behavior, Administrator Attitudes, Interviews, Participative Decision Making, School Culture, Organizational Communication, Governance, Board Administrator Relationship, Board of Education Role, Strategic Planning, Resistance to Change, Educational Practices, Organizational Change, Organizational Culture, Organizational Climate, Effective Schools Research
Kansas State University, College of Education. Available from: New Prairie Press. Kansas State University Libraries, 1117 Mid-Campus Drive North, Manhattan, KS 66506. Tel: 785-532-7444; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://newprairiepress.org/edconsiderations/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A