Principal effectiveness and the Indiana school superintendent
The study determined which of fifteen traits found in the literature, based on the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards and found in both research and opinion articles, were identified as traits that Indiana superintendents rated as prevalent in the most effective and ineffective principals in their school corporations. The entire population of Indiana superintendents was surveyed. The survey instrument contained three questions designed to elicit subjective responses for each of the fifteen traits. A glossary of the traits was provided for clarification. The return rate was 59.2%; 173 out of 292 superintendents returned surveys. The survey findings were presented in terms of reporting the trait rankings for each of the three questions and the percentages of agreement among the superintendents. The data were disaggregated according to the demographic categories of school corporation size, years of superintendency experience, gender of superintendent, and background experience of the superintendent, either secondary, elementary or both secondary and elementary experience as a building level administrator. Spearman Rho rank order correlation was used to establish relationships among categories of ordinal data. Superintendents believed that thirteen of the fifteen traits were crucial for an effective principal and that their most effective principals in the corporation possessed these traits. At least 90% of responding superintendents indicated that they agreed that these traits were crucial for an effective principal. Two traits, sense of humor and encouraging and creating community involvement, did not meet the 90% criteria. There were no traits that superintendents agreed that their least effective principals lacked. The traits that superintendents identified as crucial for effective principals, that the their most effective principals had, and that their least effective principals lacked did not remain consistent regardless of outside influence. The influence of gender and level of administrative experience did influence how superintendents view the traits believed to be crucial for an effective principal and lacking in the least effective principal. The influence of years of superintendent experience and size of school corporation did not impact how Indiana superintendents view the traits believed to be crucial for an effective principal and lacking in the least effective principal.
Kline, Purdue University.
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