the status of school leadership in arkansas n.
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The Status of School Leadership in Arkansas. 2008 University of Arkansas and RAN. Study Intent. Original Intent: Was there a shortage of school leaders (specifically principal’s) in Arkansas? Study Expanded: If there is a shortage. What is the cause? . What Did We Do?.

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the status of school leadership in arkansas

The Status of School Leadership in Arkansas


University of Arkansas and RAN

study intent
Study Intent
  • Original Intent: Was there a shortage of school leaders (specifically principal’s) in Arkansas?
  • Study Expanded: If there is a shortage. What is the cause?
what did we do
What Did We Do?
  • Reviewed the Literature.
  • Determined our questions. Identified our subjects.
  • Surveyed and then analyzed.
  • Drew conclusions.
  • Developed Survey Instruments:
    • Love Dissertation (2000)
    • ERS Study (1998)
      • 11 factors
    • Zeitoun & Newton (2002)
      • Alternative Organizations
who was surveyed
Who Was Surveyed
  • Superintendents
    • 197 respondents with 80% return rate.
  • Teachers
    • Leaders, not interested in Administration!
    • 397 responded from 139 different school districts. Good representation from throughout the state.
is there a shortage
Is There a Shortage?
  • Yes and No!
  • A lot depends on how you look at it.
  • If you have one great applicant for the job, is there a shortage?
change over time 15 years
Change over Time. 15 Years.
  • Experienced Superintendents. What is the difference today and 15 years ago for Principal Applicants?
  • 15 Years ago = 14.8 applicants.
  • Today = 8.7 applicants.
    • Highest in NW = 12.6
    • Lowest in NE = 4.9
    • Highest in Dist. +5,000 = 11.1
    • Lowest in Dist. 0-499 = 6.2
mean number of applicants and applicants who met interview criteria
Mean Number of Applicants and Applicants Who Met Interview Criteria
  • Overall:
    • Mean # of Applicants = 9.5
      • Lowest in 0-499 = 7.9 SE = 5.4
      • Highest in 5000+ = 14.0 Central = 11.3
    • Mean # of Applicants – Interview = 4.7
      • Lowest in 1000-1999 = 4.2 SE = 3.2
      • Highest in 5000+ = 7.0 Central = 5.7
are you satisfied with people you hired
Are You Satisfied with People You Hired?
  • Met Most or Met All Expectations:
    • Size
      • Highest 0-499 = 100%
      • Lowest 5,000+ = 73.5 %
    • Geographical Area
      • Highest NW = 93.9%
      • Lowest SE = 71.4% (No responses in “Met All Expectations)
number of principal vacancies in the last three years
Number of Principal Vacancies in the Last Three Years
  • Elementary = 196
  • Middle School = 174
  • High School = 194
  • (Note: this doesn’t represent all vacancies, only the 80% of respondents. ADE Reports 600 elementary schools, 201 middle schools and 311 high schools.)
superintendents perception of shortage of qualified candidates
Superintendents Perception of Shortage of Qualified Candidates
  • No Shortage & Some Shortage:
    • Overall = 49.2%
    • Lowest Shortage in NW = 54.6%
    • Lowest Shortage 0-499 = 76.5%
  • Significant Shortage & Extreme Shortage:
    • Overall = 20.6 %
    • Highest Shortage in Central = 22.8%
    • Highest Shortage in 5000+ = 28.6%
teachers reason against admin
Teachers – Reason Against Admin.
  • Testing/Accountability Pressures 3.72
  • Job Too Stressful 3.70
  • Too Much Time Required 3.48
  • Societal Problems/ Can Educate 3.18
  • Demands of Parents and Comm. 3.12
  • Salary Not Sufficient 2.62
  • Schools Aren’t Funded Well 2.53
  • Job Not as Satisfying as In Past 2.38
  • Bad Press and PR 2.34
  • Job Security 2.03
  • Openings Not Publicized 1.67
sample comments representative of the group
Sample Comments – Representative of the Group
  • “Administration is very demanding and a high stress job situation. Administrators spend too much time dealing with complaints and not enough time on education.”
  • “I feel being a principal is a highly stressful job. Our principals work overtime, all the time, and usually it is a thankless job. I feel many teachers, like myself, feel the stress and effort are too much.”
  • “Today the principal has to be four to five people rolled into one. The job has changed a lot. Students and parents have changed. The job is very difficult and the pay is not equal to the job.”
more comments
More Comments
  • “The main reason I haven’t chosen to go into administration and the reason I feel others don’t chose to move is because of time. Being a teacher alone consumes so much time that I don’t feel adding to those responsibilities would be a very wise decision.”
  • Etcetera!
superintendents reasons against
Superintendents Reasons Against
  • Testing/Accountability Pressures 3.72 4.35
  • Job Too Stressful 3.70 4.36
  • Too Much Time Required 3.48 4.45
  • Societal Problems/ Can Educate 3.18 4.18
  • Demands of Parents and Comm. 3.12 4.12
  • Salary Not Sufficient 2.62 3.99
  • Schools Aren’t Funded Well 2.53 3.47
  • Job Not as Satisfying as In Past 2.38 3.77
  • Bad Press and PR 2.34 3.51
  • Job Security 2.03 3.15
  • Openings Not Publicized 1.67 2.15
superintendents solutions
Superintendents Solutions
  • Raise Compensation 4.20
  • Improve Training at IHE’s 3.83
  • Redefine the Principalship 3.64
  • Aspiring Principal Workshops 3.43
  • IHE’s Improve Recruiting 3.36
redefining the role
Redefining the Role
  • No Interest = 1……….. High Interest = 5
  • Co-Principal Model 3.35
  • Prin./Bus. Manager 2.94
  • Prin./Ed. Specialist 2.80
  • Prin./Assoc. Principal 2.79
  • Multi-Principal 2.72
  • Prin. Teacher/Admin. Model 2.67
co principal
  • "Sharing the duties would help to ease the everyday stresses.“
  • "I am very attracted to the idea of an instructional based administrator or one who is primarily in charge of the faculty and their instructional needs while a co-principal might manage behavioral/budgeting needs.“
principal business manager model
Principal/Business Manager Model
  • "Typically the principal has to maintain the dual role of manager and curriculum - instructional leader. This model appeals to me because it divides these responsibilities.“
  • "I thought the principal/business manager model was attractive because as ACSIP Chair I see this as a way to divide responsibilities that would work well in my current school.“
principal educational specialist model
Principal/Educational Specialist Model
  • "I like the idea of having a principal in charge of instruction and one in charge of management and scheduling issues. I think principals are weighted down with so many tasks that there is little time left over to be a leader to teachers and instruction.“
  • "This would allow me to avoid many of the more unattractive duties of the principal. I don't want all the headaches.“
  • "This allows the principal to focus on instructional issues rather than building management.
principal associate principal model
Principal/Associate Principal Model
  • “This model is effective because you have one focused on all phases of instruction and the other responsible for management.“
  • "I believe this model allows for more direct communication between students and administration and allows principals to focus on areas instead of dealing with everything.“
multi principal model
Multi-Principal Model
  • "You could work as a team and all responsibility wouldn't be placed on one persons shoulders. It would allow for grade specific principals for more focus on student achievement.“
  • "Dividing responsibilities eases pressure on each principal.“
  • "I believe this model is most attractive. There could be real value in the "looping" of grade level principals. I would even adda counselor to that model that would loop all four years.
principal teacher administrator model
Principal Teacher/Administrator Model
  • "Most principals are going to be better suited for one particular area and this item really lets a principal job candidate move toward the area he/she is most comfortable in."
  • "I like this because it places the principal in a position of being the instructional leader.“
follow up question
Follow-up Question
  • 15 Respondents were called and given a follow-up question.
  • “All the Alternative Models are possible under the current staffing at most schools, why not just use the existing staff to re-organize?”
here s a sample of what was said
Here’s a Sample of What Was Said
  • “Just making the assistant principal a co-principal won’t change anything. They are both overloaded as it is. They need more help. You just can’t change job titles.”
  • “Since we don’t have a business manager, I thought we’d add that position to support the principal and vice principal.”
  • If there wasn’t additional help I wouldn’t be interested in the job, no matter how you organized it.”
other interesting stuff
Other Interesting “Stuff”
  • Job Less Satisfying as It Was in Past
    • 0-5 years exp. = 1.99
    • 16-20 years Exp. = 2.92
  • Too Much Time Required
    • 0-5 years exp. = 2.99
    • 6-10 years exp. = 3.41
    • 11-15 years exp = 3.67
    • 16-20 years exp. 3.73
    • 26+ years exp. = 3.65
interesting stuff cont
Interesting Stuff (Cont.)
  • No significant difference between “Regular Teachers” and “Teachers with Leadership Responsibilities” on any measure.
  • Gender showed a difference only on “Job Generally Too Stressful” (.001 level)
    • Males 3.13 Females 3.88
    • Females, generally scored every reason for not becoming an admin. Higher than males.
  • Rate the Admin. Shortage as Moderate.
    • Candidate pool is shrinking.
  • Massive Turnover of Principalships in Arkansas. Musical Chairs?
  • Pressure, Stress and Time are the reasons teachers don’t want to be principals.
  • Teachers are interested in being principals, but not the current job.
study available at http cied uark edu principalstudy2008 pd f
Study Available at: