Secondary Education Principals/Superintendents
To investigate the executive leadership role of school district
superintendents and the capability of their respective school districts in becoming
professional learning organizations.
Public school districts in four upstate New York counties
were invited to participate, with 69% replying (N=22). The school district
superintendent completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and a randomized
sample (N = 525) of district building principals, department coordinators,
supervisors, teacher from elementary, middle/junior high school, and high school
from each school district returned the School Professional Staff as Learning
Community (SPSLC; Hord, 1999). Five superintendents, with the highest scores,
LPI scores were somewhat higher from this sample than the
normative data base. There was a significant relationship between Challenging
and SPSLC Dimension 1b (shared decision making) and between years the
superintendent had worked in the school district and Inspiring and SPSLC
Dimension 1a (staff involvement in decision making). There were no significant
relationships between the five practices and the SPSLC Dimension 2 (staff
discussion, improving practice or quality learning). On SPSLC Dimension
3(sharing information, student issues, program delivery, implementing plans, and
assesses the impact of actions) there were generally no significant relationships
with leadership, except for Inspiring and implementing plans and both Enabling
and Encouraging were negatively associated with assesses impact of actions. On
the SPSLC Dimension 4 (peer evaluation and collaborative discussion and
dialogue), only Inspiring and Modeling were correlated with peer evaluation.
There were no significant relationships with SPSLC Dimension 5 (time for
interaction, facilities for interaction, processes for staff communication, trust and
openness, and collaborative relationships).
When the separate LPI dimensions were factored into a regression model
with the dimensions of the SPSLC, the direction of the relationship was negative,
while when the same model applied the combined LPI dimensions with the combined SPSLC dimensions, the relationship was positive, leading the researcher
to speculate that it “could very well be assumed the leadership effect of the LPI
must be considered in total when pre-figuring a predictive equation on the SPSLC.
The combined total of the LPI dimensions, which would model the combined
leadership skills and potential of the superintendent, may be a predictive variable
in ascertaining the organizational practices of the professional learning
organization for this sample” (p. 156).