The purpose of this study was to determine if there were significant differences between the perceptions of school board members in Virginia and those described in the professional literature pertaining to the preferred factors of superintendent candidates. A questionnaire was developed to solicit ratings on the 21 most often cited factors of superintendents described in the literature. Participants in the study included 181 of the 832 school board members serving Virginia school divisions during the 2009 - 2010 school year. Descriptive statistics including means and standard deviations were computed and reported in rank order of mean item responses for each of the 21 superintendent factors listed on the survey instrument. A crosstabulation was conducted on the 21 responding schools out of 132 that had at least more than 50% of their boards respond to the survey. Additional descriptive analysis was conducted by comparing school board member responses to five school division characteristics: (a) making adequate yearly progress (AYP), (b) the size of the school division, (c) the number of board members who serve each school, (d) the local composite index, and (e) the urbanicity of the school division. Based on Virginia school board member responses from this study, boards looked for a mixture of high- and low-task factors when determining the ideal superintendent for their division. When looking at individual factors that Virginia school board members favor, the top two ranked factors were (a) leadership qualities of ethics and values and (b) strong communication skills. Based on this study, it seems that Virginia school boards in general are not looking for a superintendent who possesses predominantly high task-orientated factors, which is considered to be the most desirable type of superintendent during the No Child Left Behind era; however, the school boards who do favor high task-oriented factors are more likely to be in school divisions that make AYP. The results of this study suggest that Virginia school boards need to focus more on superintendent candidates who possess high task-orientated factors over candidates who possess low task-orientated factors.
|Commitee:||Swayze, Susan, Tucker III, James|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Educational Administration and Policy Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, School administration|
|Keywords:||Fiedler's contingency theory, School board, Superintendent, Task structure, Virginia|
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