|Relationships between central office administrators and building principals in effective school districts|
Margaret M. Finn
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Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: School administrators, School principals
RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CENTRAL OFFICE ADMINISTRATORS AND BUILDING PRINCIPALS IN EFFECTIVE SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Margaret M. Finn
This is a qualitative study utilizing open-ended interview techniques to examine the relationships that existed between central office administrators and building principals in three effective school districts. The criteria for district selection was at least one elementary and one secondary school having received recognition in the National or State Recognition Program for Schools of Excellence. The study includes schools from various geographic areas and communities of varying socioeconomic makeup within New York State. The structure for this study was provided by the Taxonomy of Coupling, developed in 1983 by Clark, Astuto and Kuh.
A total of 16 administrators from the three school districts participated. Central office administrators included three Superintendents of Schools, two Assistant Superintendents for Instruction and three Assistant Superintendents for Business. There were also three high school principals and five elementary school principals. The interviews yielded data to support the following conclusions.
There were eight themes evident across the three districts: teamwork, communication, socialization, the role of humor, language, working conditions, elementary and secondary, and social issues.
The relationships between the central office administrators and building principals in this data set were high in frequency. Contacts were frequent, but the interactions between assistant superintendents and elementary principals were the most frequent.
Reliability composed of consistency and stability was high.
Responsiveness which consisted of reciprocity, harmony and rapidity were low. The rapidity of a response between central office administrators and building principals was related more to external demands than to a need to respond to each other. When relationships were positive and the frequency of the interactions were high, the low harmony was of no consequence.
Dependency was the characteristic with the most variability. Comprised of necessity, support and synergism, support surfaced as high with the other two areas low to moderate. As long as support was intact, relationships could remain positive while necessity and synergism were low.
While this data set is limited in scope, it does provide the first verification of many previously suspected aspects of relationships between central office administrators and building principals.