Abstract McFarlane - Principals’ Perceptions of Superintendants’ Leadership Practices and Its Impact on School Climate in Selected South Florida Public School District Areas

Principals’ Perceptions of Superintendants’ Leadership Practices and Its Impact on School Climate in Selected South Florida Public School District Areas

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TITLE: Principals’ Perceptions of Superintendants’ Leadership Practices and Its Impact on School Climate in Selected South Florida Public School District Areas
 
RESEARCHER: Donovan A. McFarlane
School of Education
St. Thomas University (Florida)
Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation: June 2010

OBJECTIVE
This research study sought to determine the leadership practices of area superintendents in selected South Florida public school district areas based on principals’ perceptions and assess school climate impact using descriptive and inferential approaches.

METHODOLOGY
The Leadership Practices Inventory was used along with demographic questionnaire to collect data from public elementary, middle, and high school principals and area superintendents. School climate data based on ratings by faculty/staff, parents, and students was collected from secondary-available public source. The LPI and demographic questionnaire were administered to three area superintendents and 224 of their direct reports (i.e., elementary, middle, and high school principals representing the three public school district areas). There were a total of 129 respondents (58% response rate) and they were typically female (64%), Caucasian (58%) with master’s degrees (74%) and an average of 14 years of service as principals. Cronbach alpha in this study for the LPI (Observer) as a whole was .95.

KEY FINDINGS
Scores on the total LPI did not significantly vary across the three school levels (elementary, middle and high school). LPI scores for the three superintendents were all significantly higher than the normative (Kouzes & Posner) database (all above the 70th percentile). No relationship was found between leadership practices and school climate.

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