Career-Threatened Principals: Virginia Superintendents' Views
Fisher, Catherine Seaman
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(ABSTRACT) David Parks, Committee Chair Educational Leadership and Policy Studies The characteristics of career-threatened principals in Virginia as identified by Virginia superintendents were examined. All superintendents of operating school divisions in Virginia were selected as the population for this study. A survey was used to generate data on demographic characteristics of career-threatened principals, their scores on administrative competencies, sources of information about these principals, interventions initiated by superintendents to assist career-threatened principals, and final career outcomes for these principals. Relationships among demographic variables and all other variables were analyzed. A limited demographic profile of Virginia superintendents was generated. Data were analyzed using analysis of variance, t-test, and chi square analysis. An alpha level of .05 was used for all analyses. Findings The career-threatened principals were generally male and were principals of high schools. Most were assistant principals within their school divisions immediately before becoming principals. They served an average of four years as principals with an average of two years under career-threatening conditions. Principals who experienced career-threatening problems were unlikely to retain their jobs, with only 14.7% remaining in their principalships. Female principals were more likely dismissed from their principalships than males, and male principals were more likely to receive verbal reprimands as an intervention strategy than female principals. Those competencies receiving the lowest mean scores for these career-threatened principals were solving problems, making decisions, flexibility, delegating responsibilities, developing positive community relations, and developing positive school climate. Superintendentsâ personal observations were the primary source of information about these principals and the primary intervention was individual conference.
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