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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The vestiges of Brown: An analysis of the placements of African American principals in Florida public schools (2010-2011)
by Nesmith, Leo, Jr., Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2013, 188; 3576257
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to examine and describe the relationship between a school’s percentage of African American students enrolled and the placement of an African American principal for all of Florida’s K-12 traditional public schools during the academic year 2010-2011. This study also sought to determine if this relationship was moderated by each school’s level, size, letter grade, socioeconomic status (FRL), gender of principal, as well as gender and race of the presiding district superintendent. Lastly, the relationship between each moderator variable and the placement of African American principals was examined. The ultimate objective was to determine if limited opportunities still widely exist in the placement of African American principals throughout Florida.

Data were collected and analyzed using quantitative methods for 2,705 schools that served as the units of analysis. Using correlational analysis, the study found that a significantly positive and moderately strong relationship existed between a school’s percentage enrollment of African American students and the placement of an African American principal. Moreover, only socioeconomic status significantly moderated this relationship. Lastly, principal race significantly related to each of the moderator variables except for African American district superintendents.

The study’s conceptual framework consisted of legal, organizational, and human level theories that underlie the placement of public school principals in our post-civil rights era. From a legal perspective, although Brown and its progeny of civil rights laws valiantly set out to eliminate race and racism from schools and in the workplace, the findings revealed that race continues to be a factor in determining inequity in principal placements. At the organizational level, the race of a principal seemed to carry the greatest value in determining inequities at high school level placements, and in schools based on levels student achievement and student poverty. Through the lenses of the ASA and RMT frameworks that make up the human resource theory, this study found White superintendents were less apt to place African American principals in majority African American schools than African American, and especially Hispanic, superintendents.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bogotch, Ira E.
Commitee: Morris, John D., Reyes-Guerra, Daniel, Smith Wanza, Valeria
School: Florida Atlantic University
Department: Educational Leadership and Research Methodology
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 75/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: African American principals, District superintendents, Equal opportunity, Florida, Principal placements, Urban education
Publication Number: 3576257
ISBN: 978-1-303-55548-0
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