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ERIC Number: EJ1150560
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 27
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0032-0684
Exploring the Link between School Leadership Preparation and Practice: An Analysis of Former Students' Impressions on the Relevance of Their Doctoral Experience at Six Elite Institutions
Hoyle, John R.; Torres, Mario S., Jr.
Planning and Changing, v39 n3-4 p213-239 2008
In the report entitled "Educating School Leaders," Arthur Levine (2005) criticizes leadership preparation programs as "inadequate to appalling," citing, among other issues, the proliferation of off campus programming, the weakening of standards, and an unwillingness to engage in any measure of "systematic self-assessment" (p. 1). What makes these criticisms intriguing, however, is the lack of research currently existing around leadership preparation and reported outcome measures among graduates from elite programs now serving in leadership roles in schools. To gather more information about perceived inadequacies of doctoral programs in public school administration and their graduates, the authors examined former students' perceptions of the overall quality and relevance to actual practice of their respective school leadership preparation programs. Since Levine (2005) and others tend to paint a broad brush across all doctoral programs in leadership education, they chose to evaluate six of the top ten most prestigious institutions in the United States. These six were among the top ten according to the 2006 "U.S. News and World Report" rankings ("America's best, 2007," pp. 1-14). They are as follows: University of Wisconsin-Madison (1st), Harvard University (3rd), Stanford University (4th), Pennsylvania State University (5th), Ohio State University (6th), and Teachers College, Columbia University (8th). In addition, each of these programs has been in the top ten for approximately 20 years. The authors find the six programs analyzed in the study to be of high quality. Also, there is clear evidence of high quality students. Respondents for each program noted respected faculty members who care about the students, focus on academic rigor and writing and research skills, and design value-added student opportunities such as field experiences, simulations, and seminars with noted policymakers in city and national agencies. These six top-ranked programs are beacons to show the way to the other doctoral programs in educational administration. The authors suggest that program directors adapt the structured interview questions in Appendices B and C to conduct their own quality assurance studies.
Department of Educational Administration and Foundations. College of Education, Illinois State University, Campus Box 5900, Normal, IL 61790-5900. Tel: 309-438-2399; Fax: 309-438-8683; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York; Ohio; California; Pennsylvania; Massachusetts; Wisconsin
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A