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Full-Text Articles in Education

Superintendent Search Assistance, Theodore J. Kowalski Feb 2014

Superintendent Search Assistance, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

About 46 percent of school boards conducted their most recent superintendent search without a professional consultant. In 2000, some 54 percent went it alone on their search, according to AASI!(s decennial superintendency surveys. During the past decade, the percentage of districts hiring private help to fill their CEO vacancy increased from about 18 percent to 24 percent. School districts retaining the state school boards association for this purpose increased from 19 percent in 2000 to 22 percent in 2010.


International Perspectives On Education, Religion And Law, Charles J. Russo Jan 2014

International Perspectives On Education, Religion And Law, Charles J. Russo

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

From publisher: This volume examines the legal status of religion in education, both public and non-public, in the United States and seven other nations. It will stimulate further interest, research, and debate on comparative analyses on the role of religion in schools at a time when the place of religion is of vital interest in most parts of the world. This interdisciplinary volume includes chapters by leading academicians and is designed to serve as a resource for researchers and educational practitioners, providing readers with an enhanced awareness of strategies for addressing the role of religion in rapidly diversifying educational settings ...


The School District Superintendent In The United States Of America, Lars G. Björk, Theodore J. Kowalski, Tricia Browne-Ferrigno Jan 2014

The School District Superintendent In The United States Of America, Lars G. Björk, Theodore J. Kowalski, Tricia Browne-Ferrigno

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Public education is one of the main forces that make a healthy and democratic society. It strives to educate and to provide the younger generation knowledge and skills that allow children to become contributing citizens in their society. Public education is considered highly significant in consolidating the society and establishing its cultural and economic strength. For those reasons, governments choose to invest a significant portion of the state’s national resources in public schooling.

Taking into account the costs and political significance attributed to public education, it is not surprising that governments establish some formal mechanism responsible for the monitoring ...


Preferred Professional Development, Theodore J. Kowalski Dec 2013

Preferred Professional Development, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

As younger superintendents replace retirees, professional development needs have increased to meet new forms of accountability, teacher/ principal evaluation and rigorous curriculum reform. In a survey of New York state superintendents, more than half expressed a preference for local, high-quality professional development workshops so they did not have to travel from their districts. The superintendents also preferred professional development involving systemic change and best practices.


Teacher Evaluations And Merit Pay: An Uneasy Mix, David Alan Dolph Dec 2013

Teacher Evaluations And Merit Pay: An Uneasy Mix, David Alan Dolph

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Teacher evaluations are undergoing significant changes in response to demands for school reform and higher accountability. States are now including value-added data in teacher evaluations, experimenting with merit pay based on evaluations, or both. Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Texas are but a few states that have altered the way teachers are evaluated or that are incorporating value-added data.

Changes in evaluation practice will likely mean significant modifications in how building-level administrators evaluate teachers. Moreover, approaches to teacher salary systems are just as likely to be altered if merit pay is introduced. School business officials (SBOs) are typically ...


Update: The Supreme Court And Affirmative Action, Charles J. Russo Nov 2013

Update: The Supreme Court And Affirmative Action, Charles J. Russo

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Few issues in education have generated more ongoing controversy during the last half-century than affirmative action. Supporters view it as a positive step to eliminate the effects of past discrimination. Conversely, critics speak of race-conscious policies that they maintain create greater problems by failing to address how granting preferences today remedies past inequities.

Although typically more contentious in higher education, affirmative action is the centerpiece of this column because of the impact that race-conscious policies can have on K–12 schools.


Rehired After Retired, Theodore J. Kowalski Nov 2013

Rehired After Retired, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Slightly more than one in 10 superintendents participating in the "2012 AASA Superintendents Salary and Benefits Study" indicated they have been rehired as a superintendent after retiring from one state or another. This contrasts with a finding in AASP


Fifth Amendment Rights: Questioning Students, Charles J. Russo Oct 2013

Fifth Amendment Rights: Questioning Students, Charles J. Russo

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Because juveniles are increasingly subject to questioning about their potential involvement in what may constitute adult criminal activities, the role of law enforcement personnel, including police officers and school resource officers (SROs), in interrogating students is worth visiting.

This column examines early litigation on student Fifth Amendment rights and a more recent case, N.C. v. Commonwealth (2013), in which an assistant principal (AP) interviewed a student about giving prescription drugs to a peer. The questioning took place in the presence of a deputy sheriff who served as an SRO but because the AP did not read the student his ...


Publicizing Job Evaluations, Theodore J. Kowalski Oct 2013

Publicizing Job Evaluations, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

More than 50 percent of superintendents in a nationwide survey indicate their performance evaluations are not made public, while slightly more than a third say their evaluation results are released publicly. The findings were contained in AASA’s 2012 salary and benefits study. State-specific public records laws govern the release of such information. These laws are evolving as state legislatures and courts decide if superintendents are public officials. AASA’s decennial study of the superintendency in 2010 pointed to increased frequency of formal evaluations along with expanded use of performance measures leading to merit awards. Link this with the call ...


Hesitancy About The Job, Theodore J. Kowalski Sep 2013

Hesitancy About The Job, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Potential candidates hesitate to apply for their first superintendency for several, reasons. Foremost among them are the job's broad scope and their own school-age children.


Pay By Gender And District Size, Theodore J. Kowalski Aug 2013

Pay By Gender And District Size, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Superintendents nationwide experienced small growth in median salaries from 2011-12 to 2012-13, according to a new study by AASA. As expected, salaries for the top district leaders generally increased with district enrollment. In four of the five categories across the size of school districts, the median salaries paid to female superintendents slightly exceeded those paid to their male colleagues. In drawing conclusions from these data, one must consider the relatively small number of respondents in the smallest and largest groupings of student enrollment in the school districts.


Attending School Matters: Policies To Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism, Charles J. Russo, Carolyn Talbert-Johnson Jul 2013

Attending School Matters: Policies To Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism, Charles J. Russo, Carolyn Talbert-Johnson

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Chronic absenteeism is among the most pervasive challenges facing public education in the United States as 1 in 10 students misses a month or more of school annually. Further, approximately 7% of fourth and eighth graders miss at least a week of school per month, whereas an estimated 5.5% to 20% of students are absent every day in some urban schools where absentee rates reach as high as 30% (Balfanz and Byrnes 2012).

As education leaders and policy makers debate the merits of new intervention strategies under the No Child Left Behind Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ...


Examining Variability In Superintendent Community Involvement, Theodore J. Kowalski, Ila Phillip Young, George J. Petersen Jul 2013

Examining Variability In Superintendent Community Involvement, Theodore J. Kowalski, Ila Phillip Young, George J. Petersen

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

This study examined the extent to which four independent variables (age, gender, education level, and district type) accounted for variability in superintendent community involvement. Two covariates associated with levels of community involvement (disposition toward community involvement and district enrollment) were infused to assess the impact of the independent variables. Analysis revealed that the model accounted for 8% of the variance as indicated both by R2 and by adjusted R2. Given the number of respondents (1,867), this is considered a medium effect having practical implications in the applied setting. Among the four independent variables, only a single main effect (district ...


Has Time Expired For Zero Tolerance Policies?, Charles J. Russo Jun 2013

Has Time Expired For Zero Tolerance Policies?, Charles J. Russo

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Zero-tolerance policies call for the consistent application of consequences for student offenses involving violence, bullying, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and weapons in school or at school-sponsored events. As educators struggled to eliminate student violence during the last 25 years, states adopted zero-tolerance statutes to address the rise of juvenile delinquency and the possession of weapons and drugs in schools.

Insofar as debates over zero-tolerance policies rage as violence, bullying, drugs, tobacco, and weapons in schools continue to be a major concern for educators, the remainder of this column is divided into three substantive sections. The first section briefly reviews arguments in ...


District Diversity And Superintendents Of Color, Theodore J. Kowalski Jun 2013

District Diversity And Superintendents Of Color, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

While the number of superintendents of color increased from 5 percent to 6 percent during the past decade, their representation remains well below their numbers in the general population. Data from the most recent AASA superintendency study show that the greater the levels of minority students and minority residents, the greater the likelihood the district has a superintendent of color. However, an inverse association existed between the percentage of the district's minority employees and a superintendent of color.


Superintendent Ratings Of Academic Preparation, Theodore J. Kowalski May 2013

Superintendent Ratings Of Academic Preparation, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Groups seeking to rescind or weaken state licensing requirements to be a superintendent have disparaged academic studies in administration as an inconsequential requirement. Their claim has rarely been supported by empirical evidence. Findings from the last three AASA-sponsored decennial studies (1992, 2000, and 2011) of the superintendency suggest policymakers and members of the profession should be cautious about radically altering licensing requirements. A high percentage (ranging from 74 percent in 1992 to 79 percent in 2011) rated their universitybased academic preparation as being excellent or good.


Female Superintendents By Locale, Theodore J. Kowalski Apr 2013

Female Superintendents By Locale, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

The most recent AASA decennial study of the superintendency reveals the growing presence of female superintendents (24.1 percent nationwide) has not been affected by either district enrollment or the level of a school district's racial or ethnic diversity. Across four district enrollment categories, the range of female representation was 20.4 percent (in the largest districts) to 29.8 percent (in the smallest districts). By comparison, females accounted for 17.7 percent of very small-district superintendents and just 5.4 percent of the largest-district superintendents a decade earlier. Across five district diversity categories, the range of representation was ...


Is The School Board Evaluated Formally?, Theodore J. Kowalski Mar 2013

Is The School Board Evaluated Formally?, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Little progress has been made with respect to evaluating the performance of local boards of education, according to the most recent decennial, nationwide study of superintendents. Seven in 10 boards do not receive any form of formal evaluation, and among the 30 percent that do, almost all engage only in self-evaluation.


Job Evaluation, Theodore J. Kowalski Feb 2013

Job Evaluation, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Knowing the factors used in the annual performance evaluation of superintendents is foundational to building a more effective process. The accompanying graph, based on AAS~s decennial survey of the field, shows how superintendents rank seven response options about the conduct of their own assessments by school boards. Critics claim current evaluation practices are plagued by ambiguous purposes, unrealistic expectations, uneven and subjective processes, and invalid outcomes. The overall quality of superintendent evaluations suffers from the variation in the bases of assessments and the number and competence of the evaluators. The limited application of national standards (such as those published ...


Detecting Low Incidents Effects: The Value Of Mixed Methods Research Design In Low-N Studies, Isadore Newman, Carolyn Ridenour, Carole Newman, Shannon Smith, Russell C. Brown Jan 2013

Detecting Low Incidents Effects: The Value Of Mixed Methods Research Design In Low-N Studies, Isadore Newman, Carolyn Ridenour, Carole Newman, Shannon Smith, Russell C. Brown

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Many important educational situations such as traumatic brain injury among preschoolers, school gun violence, preadolescent eating disorders, and adolescent suicide happen relatively infrequently. In this article, the authors explain why mixed methods research designs offer more meaningful empirical results than do qualitative or quantitative designs alone when asking research questions about low incident situations. The authors present and explain three mixed methods models applicable to low incidents situations.


Age Entering The Field, Theodore J. Kowalski Jan 2013

Age Entering The Field, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Over time, the typical career span of superintendents (in that position only) has been about 15 to 20 years. In large measure, this relatively short period is explained by the fact most superintendents enter the position in mid-career. Data collected and analyzed by AASA in 2010 revealed nearly two-thirds of superintendents (62 percent) first entered the position when they were 41 to 55 years old. Outside this age range, novices were twice as likely to be younger than 41 than older than 55. Only 8 percent of superintendents first entered the position after age 55.


The School Superintendent: Theory, Practice, And Cases, Theodore J. Kowalski Jan 2013

The School Superintendent: Theory, Practice, And Cases, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

The School Superintendent: Theory, Practice, and Cases is the essential guide to succeeding as a superintendent or as an administrator in another district-level position. Comprehensive in both theory and practice, this textbook and reference guide examines the role and responsibilities of school district administration in professional, social, philosophical, and political frames, while balancing perspectives of rewards and challenges commonly expressed by school superintendents. Important topics covered include the emerging role of superintendent as communicator, the changing conditions in districts and schools, inadequate funding for public schools, and the treatment of policy administration, leadership roles, and community involvement.


Teacher Unions, The Right To Work, And Fair Share Agreements, Charles J. Russo, C. Daniel Raisch Nov 2012

Teacher Unions, The Right To Work, And Fair Share Agreements, Charles J. Russo, C. Daniel Raisch

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

The status of collective bargaining in public education is in flux. As a result of a movement that began in the early 1960s, more than 30 states now have laws that allow teachers and other public school employees to form unions in order to bargain collectively with their school boards over the terms and conditions of their employment.

Further, three jurisdictions prohibit public-sector unions, and in an overlapping tapestry, 23 states—most recently Indiana— have enacted right-to-work laws that bar contracts that require workers to join unions as a condition of employment.

Aware that unions derive their operating revenues from ...


Negotiating In School Districts When Times Are Tough, David Alan Dolph May 2012

Negotiating In School Districts When Times Are Tough, David Alan Dolph

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

When the economy is depressed, resources are limited, mandates are overwhelming, and the organizational climate in the district is souring, education leaders and teachers union officials often brace themselves for contentious negotiations. Poor economic conditions affect the district’s ability to offer raises, maintain current benefit levels, and provide adequate instructional programs, supplies, and equipment. Some districts are forced to cut staff positions to balance their budgets.

Amidst this turmoil in education and an already- heightened public awareness and concern about accountability and transparency, recent legislative attempts have attacked the rights of public workers to bargain collectively.


Disciplining Students With Disabilities: An American Perspective, Charles J. Russo, Allan G. Osborne Jr. Jan 2012

Disciplining Students With Disabilities: An American Perspective, Charles J. Russo, Allan G. Osborne Jr.

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

A significant interconnectedness exists between and among schools, parents, students with disabilities, and local communities. A topic of great interest in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and beyond, educators, working in conjunction with their attorneys, struggle with meeting their legal duty to meet the needs of students with disabilities, not only when they are in school but also when they leave formal educational settings since they must then sustain themselves for the rest of their lives. As educators seek to meet the educational needs of students with disabilities, an area that often presents a major controversy is discipline, particularly ...


Are Alternative School Leader Preparation Programs Really Needed To Prepare Next-Generation School Leaders?, Thomas J. Lasley, Emmy L. Partin, Jamie Davies O'Leary, Theodore J. Kowalski Jan 2012

Are Alternative School Leader Preparation Programs Really Needed To Prepare Next-Generation School Leaders?, Thomas J. Lasley, Emmy L. Partin, Jamie Davies O'Leary, Theodore J. Kowalski

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

The essays in this chapter focus on the issue of how best to recruit the very best administrative talent to leadership positions in schools. For years, the accepted practice has been for school leaders to be prepared through traditional school administration programs with higher education institutions. These programs, almost exclusively housed within colleges and schools of education, consisted of a range of courses from school law to school finance, often with associated and embedded field and clinical components. The focus on school leader preparation has emerged in partial response to the No Child Left Behind legislation. Clearly, there are expanded ...


Job Satisfaction Of Female And Male Superintendents: The Influence Of Job Facets And Contextual Variables As Potential Predictors, Ila Phillip Young, Theodore J. Kowalski, Robert S. Mccord, George J. Petersen Jan 2012

Job Satisfaction Of Female And Male Superintendents: The Influence Of Job Facets And Contextual Variables As Potential Predictors, Ila Phillip Young, Theodore J. Kowalski, Robert S. Mccord, George J. Petersen

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

A descriptive multiple regression approach was used to assess the job satisfaction of female and male public school superintendents taking part in a decennial survey conducted by AASA. Self-reported job satisfaction of public school superintendents was regressed on their affective reactions to specific job facets (supervision, co-workers, and compensation) and to contextual variables (type of school district, legislative mandates, and funding sources) purported to influence their job satisfaction. Results indicate that female and male superintendents were found to be similarly satisfied with their current job assignment but for different reasons as revealed by interaction terms addressed in the regression analyses.


Factors Accounting For Variability In Superintendent Ratings Of Academic Preparation, Theodore J. Kowalski, Ila Phillip Young, Robert S. Mccord Jul 2011

Factors Accounting For Variability In Superintendent Ratings Of Academic Preparation, Theodore J. Kowalski, Ila Phillip Young, Robert S. Mccord

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

This study utilized findings from the 2010 decennial study of the school superintendent to determine the extent to which four predictor variables (courses, professor credibility, size [enrollment of employing school district], and gender) accounted for variability in superintendent overall ratings of their academic preparation. The standardized regression coefficients indicate that most of the variance accounted for in the linear equation was due to ratings of professor credibility and ratings of the perceived value of courses. Neither the institutional variable, school district size, nor the personal variable, gender, accounted for meaningful variance in the overall ratings. Recommendations are made for extending ...


Respect For Me But Not For Thee: Reflections On The Impact Of Same-Sex Marriage On Education, Charles J. Russo Jan 2011

Respect For Me But Not For Thee: Reflections On The Impact Of Same-Sex Marriage On Education, Charles J. Russo

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

Examples of the ramifications of same-sex marriage in education are beginning to emerge whether in K-12 public or non-public schools or higher education. In K-12 schools, controversies have surfaced over whether school officials can use gay friendly curricular material for young children, 15 whether religiously affiliated non-public schools are obligated to enroll children who are being raised by couples in same-sex unions, 16 and whether students can bring same-sex dates to proms. 17 In like manner, disputes have arisen in higher education, particularly in the context of graduate counseling programs where two students unsuccessfully challenged their dismissals for professing their ...


The School Superintendent: Roles, Challenges, And Issues, Theodore J. Kowalski, C. Cryss Brunner Jan 2011

The School Superintendent: Roles, Challenges, And Issues, Theodore J. Kowalski, C. Cryss Brunner

Educational Leadership Faculty Publications

The purposes of this chapter are to detail the development of the office of school superintendent, to examine issues of gender and race, to identify contemporary issues affecting practice, and to identify future research topics. The first two sections provide historical perspectives summarizing how the position has evolved over the past 150 years at three different levels-state, intermediate district, and local district. A discussion of the position's history produces five role conceptualizations; having evolved over the past 150 years, these characterizations provide a mosaic of contemporary expectations. Next, considerable attention is given to the causes and implications of race ...