• Effective Educational Leadership Attributes of Indiana High School Principals

      Perry, Bryan A.
      The purpose of this study was to gain insight about high school principals who are considered effective by organizations and institutions in the state of Indiana. Through a qualitative study, five Indiana high school principals participated in an interview with 26 structured questions. The participants were selected based on recommendations from major Indiana universities granting administrative licensure and the Indiana Association of School Principals. The participants could serve in rural, urban, or suburban districts in Indiana. Gender, race, or ethnic differences were not considered. State and federal test results were not a deciding factor for selection. There were five conclusions as a result of this study: 1. The preparation program establishes a solid base for aspiring principals regardless of program or internship. In addition, new principals benefit from an informal mentor. 2. Increased accountability is seen as a positive rather than a negative by effective principals. 3. Effective Indiana high school principals adapt their leadership skills to meet the demands necessary to lead successful schools. 4. Effective Indiana high school principals are optimistic people. 5. Stress is an accepted part of the job for Indiana high school principals.

      Hoffert, David Andrew (Indiana State University, 2014-08)
      The purpose of this study was to gain an essence and understanding of the phenomenon of short superintendency tenure through the qualitative lenses of superintendent search agents. Research questions included the roles of educational preparation, leadership qualities, and contextual factors in superintendent tenure. Superintendent search agents matching the criteria boundaries of working for an agency with at least 10 years of search experience and also the firm’s nonprofit status were chosen for this research work. These criteria were used to reduce bias due to financial reward and lack of institutional or association experience. Two semi-structured interviews were conducted with superintendent search agents to gain an understanding of the phenomenon of school superintendent short tenure. Observations included a job shadowing experience and geographical observation of the agents’ descriptive locations of the phenomenon as described in the interview. A focus group of current and former practicing school superintendents was used to assist in the triangulation of data. Emerging themes included understanding the role of the superintendent, preparation for the role of superintendent, leadership traits, and contextual factors impacting superintendent tenure. Additional sub-areas of study included job complexity, school boards, stepping-stone jobs, impact of search agencies, non-traditional hiring, occupational pipeline, trust, ego, mentorship, community, applicant pools, rural and urban settings, career and place-bound superintendencies, and diversity. Findings included relationships, communication, trust, correct fit, impact of school boards, and finding the correct fit. Implications include identifying success in the position role and the impact of career versus place-bound superintendencies.

      Goldman, Camille (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
      The purpose of this study was to examine the effective characteristics of superintendents through the principal’s perception. The perceptions of principals were compared to those of superintendents. A one-way ANOVA was used to interpret and analyze the data for this study. All superintendents and principals in public schools in Indiana were invited to participate in this study. This study was conducted by administering a survey to public school district superintendents and principals in Indiana. The Effective Characteristics of Superintendents survey was developed by me to quantitatively measure the perceptions of superintendents and principals with research from the ISLLC standards, theorists, educational paradigms, and research of best practices. Superintendents’ and principals’ perceptions were measured on how likely they agreed with the practice. A total of 119 superintendents and 256 principals submitted complete responses to the Effective Characteristics survey. Other variables measured were demographic location and population size of the school district. Data were analyzed through one-way ANOVA testing and the null hypotheses were tested at the .05 probability level or better. As a result of the research and subsequent data analysis, the following conclusions are proposed. For the descriptive data both superintendents and principals rated the three most frequent responses for vision as trust, implementation and development, and setting high goals. The highest rated three responses for management placed higher value on making genuine decisions, analyzing data, and inspiring others to follow goals. Highest rated responses for collaboration were working with the principal, communicating with stakeholders, and creating a collaboration culture. The three highest ratings for instructional leadership skills were professional development, develop skills to be globally competitive, and challenge staff members as the highest rated characteristics for instructional leadership skills. Principals’ perceptions were different with the descriptive data in the area of vision. Principals perceived setting high goals and expectations as higher, whereas superintendents rated a safe learning environment. Both perceived implementation and development and trust as effective characteristics of superintendents. Significant differences existed in Research Question 2 and 11 for vision and instructional leadership skills with location. The examination of the results of the one-way ANOVA on the whole sample population determined that significant differences with the model existed with the location types. Rural locations scored the importance of vision and instructional leadership skills significantly lower than urban and suburban respondents. There were no differences in position type on principals and superintendent’s perceptions on the effective characteristics for vision, collaboration, and instructional leadership skills. No significant difference was found in the independent sample t test regarding effective characteristics for superintendents in these three areas based on position type. The examination of the results of the one-way ANOVA determined that no significant differences regarding effective characteristics for superintendents in the area of collaboration and management. These results suggest that principals did not perceive any differences from superintendents among these effective characteristics in the areas of vision, management, collaboration, and instructional leadership skills.