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Journal of Texas Women School Executives    

JTWSE provides a forum to promote the development of women school executives through scholarly research and practice. JTWSE recognizes the diversity of talents and skills of women school executives.

Copyright 2015 by the Texas Council of Women School Executives All rights reserved. ISSN 2166-112X


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

Executive Editors: Dr. Beverly J. Irby & Dr. Danna Beaty Assistant Editors: Elsa Villarreal, Donna Druery, & Gabriela Arriaga

Reviewers Dr. Genevive Brown Dr. Fuihui Tong Nahed Abdelrahman Julia Lynch Dr. Rafael Lara-Alecio Dr. Karen Smith

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Journal of Texas Women Executives (JTWSE) The Journal of Texas Women School Executives (JTWSE) is an official publication of the Texas Council of Women School Executives (TCWSE). The purpose of JTWSE is to provide a forum to promote the development of women school executives through scholarly research and practice, as well as recognize the professional knowledge and wisdom of practicing and aspiring women school executives. Since leadership is both art and science, JTWSE also solicits creative works that promote the journal purpose. Because of a commitment to leadership development and scholarly among school women executives, Texas Council of School Women Executives previously published an annual monograph until 2008. In January 2011, President Lu Anna Stephens and the Executive Board, commissioned Dr. Genie Linn and Ms. Karen Saunders to serve as co-editors to design and launch a new professional publication for TCWSE to be published in an electronic format with the first publication to be unveiled at the Annual Conference in January 2012. JTWSE is an electronic journal open to members and others, both as writers and readers. The journal has been conceived as an “on-line” journal that is available on the worldwide web. For membership information see http://tcwse.org/membership.html. At present, all editorial, Board, and reviewer services are provided by volunteer members, scholars, and practitioners without cost to JTWSE or is members.      

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

From the President The mission of the Texas Council of Women School Executives (TCWSE) is to create and maintain a united community of professional educational executives by promoting equity and quality in leadership through renewal, mentoring, and career advancement support. Ultimately, the organization is focused on supporting women school leaders. The JTWSE is an integral component of the work. The authors share their experiences, inspiration, and dreams, which in turn provides mentorship and encouragement to women in leadership positions. I was beyond thrilled when TCWSE pioneers, Drs. Beverly Irby and Danna Beaty, took on the challenge of serving as JTWSE executive editors. As a TCWSE past president and one of my former professors, I have always admired all that Dr. Irby has accomplished. Dr. Beaty has been a fervent champion of the work and mission of TCWSE. I know the expertise they bring to the publication will be beneficial to all. What a privilege to have a journal written by knowledgeable resources with information that deals with today’s issues and supports women of all ages and stages of leadership. I am particularly interested in the articles that demonstrate the legacy of women leaders who have paved the path for us; the trailblazers, the trendsetters, the forerunners who have led the way and made the road a little easier for the rest of us. The JTWSE editors and contributors have done a great job in providing what women leaders really need. It is my hope that you take the time to enjoy this publication and learn something new to share. Sharing is what being a leader is all about. Membership in TCWSE also allows collaboration with your colleagues and an opportunity to network with other women leaders. Let’s join together as women leaders, support each other and show others the strength in numbers through TCWSE. Sincerely, LaTonya M. Goffney, Ed.D.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

From the Editorial Staff    

Executive Editors What is Your Leadership Game Plan?

The 2016 Annual Conference entitled, “Leadership Game Plan,” became the inspiration for our theme in this issue. The game plan of a successful leader begins with a leader’s attitudes, beliefs, and values as these foundations develop into principles of norms, ideas, and actions. Therefore, as we publish JTWSE 2015 and look forward to the TCWSE 2016 Conference, we organized the journal with applied research from women school executives in the field, as well as from university scholars, who provide reflection and insight to equip today’s women leaders with essential game strategies to move their organizations forward. While beliefs may change as new information is processed, attitudes and values remain constant. The research contributions in this issue challenge us to reflect on our decision-making, moral development, and emotional intelligence. We encourage you to incorporate some of the game strategies from these articles into your own leadership game plan. What is your leadership game plan? Does your leadership game plan remain constant? Or, does your leadership game plan change as you interact, reflect, and process the internal and external factors that influence your leadership game? Sincerely,

Beverly J. Irby Editor Member since 1986 Danna Beaty Editor

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

Assistant Editors Elsa Villarreal Elsa Villarreal is a Ph.D. student from the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development at Texas A&M University. Elsa graduated with a B.A. in Spanish from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and she obtained a M.Ed. degree from University of Houston-Victoria. Elsa's research interests include: Latino/a studies, diversity and inclusion, school organizations, and school policy. She has 15 years of K-12 public school experience as a high school teacher, high school administrator, and she also piloted the first optional-flexible school day campus in her district. Donna Druery Donna Druery is a Ph.D. student from the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development at Texas A&M University. Donna graduated with a B.A in English from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. She then obtained a Masters degree in Administration from Sam Houston State University. Donna’s research interests include: cultural responsiveness, democratic schooling, educational administration, women in administration, charter schools, school policy and education, K-16 and equity, social justice, womanist theory of leadership, spirituality and ethics of care and respect, diversity, and inclusion. Donna has 15 years of experience as an English Language Arts teacher, and as an administrator on a middle school campus. Gabriela Arriaga Gabriela Arriaga  is  currently  a  student  at  Texas  A&M  University.  She  is  majoring  in   International  Relations  and  minoring  in  French.  Ms.  Arriaga  currently  works  for  the   $16,000,000  Major  13  ELLA-­‐V  Research  grant  with  Dr.  Beverly  J.  Irby  in  the  Educational   Administration  and  Human  Resources  Department  at  Texas  A&M.  She  works  in  conducting   research  for  the  department  and  editing  journals  or  other  works  for  Dr.  Irby.  

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

Table of Contents In this Issue Exploring Relationships Between Secondary School Principals' Gender and Campus Ratings in the Texas Accountability System By Dr. Sonerka Mouton and Dr. Allen Warner........................................................ 10 Foundations of Leadership: The Virtuous Leader By Dr. Jennifer Smith Jones ....................................................................................... 24 Moral Decision Making from an Ethic of Care: African American Principals Reconstructing the Landscape of Urban School Leadership By Dr. Whitney Sherman Newcomb .......................................................................... 32 A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Chinese and U.S. Higher Education Leadership and Organization via the Synergistic Leadership Theory By Dr. LingLing Yang, Dr. Beverly J. Irby, and Dr. Genevieve Brown ................. 46 "I Have a Story to Tell": Professional and Personal Identities of African American Female Secondary Principals By Dr. Pamela Gray ...................................................................................................... 81 Teacher Effectiveness and Students' Achievement on STAAR: Implications for School Leaders By Dr. Yanira Olivera-Ortiz ........................................................................................ 103 School Change Reforms and Barriers: Perceptions of Superintendents and Curriculum Directors in Texas By Dr. Pauline M. Sampson, Dr. Gloria Gresham, Dr. Kerry Roberts, and Dr. Chetanath Gautam .......................................................................................... 111

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

In this issue : Exploring Relationships Between Secondary School Principals' Gender and Campus Ratings in the Texas Accountability System by Dr. Sonerka Mouton and Dr. Allen Warner. In this quantitative study, the authors examine the relationship between gender and TAKS success. The results indicate a significant relationship among variables, and discussion is presented for hiring practices and future research. Foundations of Leadership: The Virtuous Leader by Dr. Jennifer Smith Jones. Jones analyzed the foundations of leadership and the characteristics that leaders emanate. Findings indicate that effective leaders have a great understanding of knowledge, of what is right and of what is real. Moral Decision Making From an Ethic of Care: African American Principals Reconstructing the Landscape of Urban School Leadership by Dr. Whitney Sherman Newcomb. The purpose of this research was to illuminate commonalities of African American women leaders, to understand whether they lead from an ethic of care, and make sense of how their connection of values and leadership behaviors might lead to success in their school environments. The findings have significant implications for leadership preparation and practice. A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Chinese and U.S. Higher Education Leadership and Organization via the Synergistic Leadership Theory by Dr. LingLing Yang, Dr. Beverly J. Irby, and Dr. Genevieve Brown. Guided by the synergistic leadership theory (SLT), the present cross-cultural study was conducted to compare and explore Chinese and US higher education leadership and organization related to the SLT four factors (i.e., Values, beliefs, and attitudes; leadership behaviors; external forces; and organizational structure). Findings indicate how Chinese and U.S. educational leaders have leadership behaviors and characteristics of organizational structures in common. "I Have a Story to Tell": Professional and Personal Identities of African American Female Secondary Principals by Dr. Pamela Gray. In this multiple case study, African American female secondary school principals envision their identities and leadership styles within the social context of secondary schools. Through an Afrocentric Feminist framework, the findings yielded five themes that represent the African American female secondary school principal experience.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Teacher Effectiveness and Students' Achievement on STAAR: Implications for School Leaders by Dr. Yanira Olivera-Ortiz. In this correlational study, Olivera-Ortiz examined the relationship between teacher effectiveness and student achievement in a north Texas school district. Results show that the issues school administrators face are much deeper than instructional practices and test preparation. Implications for practice are discussed. School Change Reforms and Barriers: Perceptions of Superintendents and Curriculum Directors in Texas by Dr. Pauline M. Sampson, Dr. Gloria Gresham, Dr. Kerry Roberts, and Dr. Chetanath Gautam. The perceptions of superintendents and curriculum directors were surveyed regarding the following barriers: mandates, school board, federal requirements, community, control, budgeting/funding, calendar, and tenure. The findings revealed the significant differences with regard to barriers to reform.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

“The issue of disciplining students is one particular exemplar that serves to highlight the gender biases present in our schools today – particularly in relation to viewing a women’s nurturing nature as a detriment.” -S. Mouton & A. Warner

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Exploring Relationships Between Secondary School Principals’ Gender and Campus Ratings in the Texas Accountability System

Dr. Sonerka Mouton Dr. Allen Warner Abstract The gender gap in school principal leadership has continued, despite past records of successful leadership by women principals (Mertz, 2006). In the state of Texas, men staggeringly outnumber women in all of the prominent professions in society. Women in Texas make up 77.3 percent of all teachers (Texas Education Agency, 1998); nevertheless, males dominate in the field of education in administration. Research has shown the gender of Texas school principals has been correlated to state mandated testing for student success rates, but has received very little attention. While many studies have supported the evidence that differences in perception exist among men and women with regard to leadership qualities that equate success (Eagly, Karau, & Johnson 1992), relatively little has been examined comparing gender to the Texas Achievement Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) as a success indicator. The current study examined the relationship between gender and TAKS success. A quantitative research design was utilized with SPSS. Procedures for the study included gathering the gender of all public school principals in the state of Texas by utilizing a TEA data bank. The 2010 AEIS report generated information regarding campus size, campus level, and campus rating for every school in the state of Texas. The anticipated results indicated that a significant relationship exists between each of the variables that were tested. This study researched the prevalence of gender at particular school campuses and whether or not it has continued, and if gender is significantly related to campus size, campus rating, and campus level. Discussion presented in this study related to hiring practices and future research. Statement of the Problem At the elementary, junior high, and high school level, the school principal is the highest-ranking administrator. The public school principal has many roles in an increasingly complex position that has resulted in an increase of responsibilities. Despite legislation that has promoted equal opportunity, affirmative action, and support of women’s professional aspirations, women have continued to be the minority in public school administrative positions (Boyle, 2004; Gladstone, 2001). As Eagly (2007) stated, “there continued to be widespread recognition that women often come in second to men in competitions to attain leadership positions.”

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Historically, women have been the majority in the teaching profession. However, past research has focused on the White, male educational leader (Blackmore, 1989; Capper, 1993; Glazer, 1991). The characteristics and attributes of leadership styles among public school principals varied on many different levels across both genders. In accordance with the division of labor among administrators and teachers in the early 1900s, women were assigned the role of nurturing teacher; conversely, men became scientific decision-makers, bureaucrats and disciplinarians (Shakeshaft, 1987). Later in 1928, female principals became the majority, with 55% holding the position of elementary principal. Noticeably; however, there occurred a subsequently sharp decline in the number of women holding a principal’s position. “In the years between 1928 and 1984, the number of women principals continually dropped from 55% to 18%” (Lynch & O’Riordan, 1990, p. 471). In Texas, in the 1990–1991 school year, 36.9 percent of the principals were women. Surprisingly, in 1997-1998 school year women principals increased to 50.4 percent (TEA, 1998). It is important to note, however, that this increase occurred solely at the elementary level. In comparing 1990 to 1998 statistics the observations speak for themselves: men still dominate the high administrative positions in public education. It has taken 13 years to increase the percentage of women in administrative positions (TEA, 1998). Although women in administrative positions are no longer looked upon as an oddity, the numbers of women in administrative roles is not equitable, especially at the secondary level. According to the National Center for Educational Center for Education Statistics, -(2007), “female principals comprise less than half of the percentage of male principals at the secondary level.” One of the common perceptions held by women principals’ male counterparts was that these were women who had sacrificed family in pursuit of success. Women principals were also viewed as power hungry, aggressive, and willing to step on others in order to gain prestige. Few examinations of female administrators existed, and, “they lacked the substance necessary for a thorough examination of the style and manner of effective women administrators” (SmithThibodeaux, 1991, p. 132). Even though the level of opportunity for women has increased, they still face a great deal of “social scrutiny” faced, which makes “hard choices—such as when and whether to start a family or advance in the workplace—even harder” (Fels, 2004, p. 59). Whether or not an administrator is a female or male should not matter. The academic success of a campus or the failure of a campus is the bottom line. The answers are in the data. The success of a campus can be measured by the overall academic success or failure of a campus. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) (2001) has drawn attention to schools that were not receiving an academically acceptable passing score. The state of Texas has used the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) as an assessment that has rated both individual students and subgroup populations within the student body. Schools are then rated as having been academically successful or not. Specifically, the categorical school success ratings identified by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) are exemplary, recognized, acceptable, and unacceptable. According to sanctions mandated by NCLB, change occurs in administrative leadership of a school when a school receives an unacceptability rating. If the unacceptable rating occurs over two or more years, (TEA) will issue the administrative change for the individual school district. First, TEA puts in place intervention; then, after the second year of unacceptability, the agency can appoint new administrators to the specific unacceptable campus. 12


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Principals in today's schools are the facilitators of staff and student learning (i.e., —the leader of a learning community). The principal is also identified as the instructional leader who teaches, coaches, and promotes professional development among faculty and staff. In addition, those principals who provide salient and meaningful professional development experiences to staff members serve to enhance motivation, self-esteem, security, and morale (Blase & Blase, 1998). When the principals have a shared vision of learning and collaborative change, and had a discussion of possible professional trainings for the staff, a positive impact results in professional development. Thus, research demonstrates that teachers who work in a stimulating and supportive environment can reach a higher stage of professional development (Phillips & Glickman, 1991). Significance of the Study In our review of related literature, we found that perceptions of female principals vary due to both gender and myth. One of the most common reasons presented in the literature for the underrepresentation of women in school administration was the negative perception of women's leadership (Tyree, 1995). Studies of female and male approaches to leadership have documented a distinct set of beliefs with regard to the stylistic way that women and men manage (Morgan, 2004). For instance, men have certain management attributes that include authoritative, decisive, controlling, and unemotional. The above attributes of men were often more respected by potential employers in education than a more decentralized approach to leadership. Tyree (1995) stated that the underrepresentation of women in educational administration was fostered through a series of myths: "(a) women don't have what it takes, and (b) women lack support of teachers and the community.” According to Helgesen (1990), women must continue to deal with the negative views of female administrators held by peers, parents, and employees of both sexes. Gupton and Slick (1995) quoted a female elementary principal as having said, "even after women have obtained administrative positions, they are not afforded the status or the respect given their male colleagues" (p. 10). Educational leadership “has been subjected to and contributed to workplace gender power relations within and across hierarchical levels, in recruitment, selection, appraisal, promotion and so on” (Broadbridge & Hearn, 2008, p. 44). The evaluation of a woman administrator could be affected directly by the attitudes in which teachers have had toward women administrators in the past. In addition, the attitudes of teachers may have also contributed to women who have sought administrative positions. Despite the past records of successful leadership from women in the principalship, the gender gap in school principal leadership has continued to widen, (Mertz, 2006). In the state of Texas, men staggeringly outnumber women in all of the prominent professions in society. Women in Texas make up 77.3 percent of all teachers (Texas Education Agency, 1998); nevertheless, males dominate in the field of education in regard to administration. Research has shown the gender of Texas school principals has been correlated to state mandated testing for student success rates, but has received very little attention. While many studies have supported the evidence that differences in perception exist among men and women with regard to leadership qualities that 13


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 equate success (Eagly, Karau, & Johnson 1992), relatively little has been examined comparing gender to the Texas Achievement Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) as a success indicator. This study examined the relationship between gender and TAKS success. Campuses receive report cards from the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) that determine the overall academic rating through a summative assessment. The campus report cards also present data on campus size and campus levels. Researchers in the past (e.g., Morgan, 2004; Pompiel, 2004; Tyree, 1995) have indicated a distinct stereotype of the differences in the way women and men manage leadership positions (Eagly, 2007). Even administrators of the same gender have shown differences in leadership style. When the leadership differences are placed aside, the question has arisen regarding the placement of women principals in specific campus levels and campus sizes. In the past, women were seen as being selflessly nurturing, domestic, and more motherly in manner (Popiel, 2004). The notion of female administrators as motherly or nurturing may influence which campus level or campus size they are assigned. This current study examined these issues as well. Little research has been done on male principals; but even less research has been conducted in regard to female principals. With all the research and literature on numerous historical educational topics, the principal - and women’s role in the principalship in particular - has been missing from most of the chapters. Rousmaniere (2006) stated, “It’s as if the principal did not exist at all.” Research Questions 1. 2. 3.

Is there a relationship between administrator gender and campus level (elementary, middle school, junior high, and high school)? Is there a relationship between administrator gender and campus academic success as measured by the Texas TAKS test? Is there a relationship between administrator gender and campus size? Importance of the Study

Our findings contribute to knowledge about gender of principals and the correlation to campus academic success. The outcome of this study provided information about whether a female or male principal may be capable of leading a campus to academic success. The outcome of this study also revealed whether the grade level of a principal matters in their gender and leading their campus to academic success. Overview of the Research Women trying to break through into educational administration face a litany of problems. Furthermore, the issues women are forced to confront are particularly evident at the secondary level. Whether or not the problems are dealing with personal family obligations or professional dealing with gender stereotypes, problems exist for women administrators. In order to understand the socio-historical context of our current systems of education it is important to note that the existing organizational structure was created and dominated by white male administrators. By contrast, however, women dominate the teaching profession. The secondary 14


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 female administrator is constructed as “the redhead stepchild” in this educational organizational structure. She is called to the profession she did not create, yet remains undervalued and insignificant, because of her nurturing characteristics. Instrumentation/Data Sources This researcher used data from specific data sources within the AEIS report system. The campus Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) report rating of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) is the instrument that will be used to collect the data for this study. The (AEIS) reports are an annual report of a wide range of information on the performance of students in each school and district in Texas. The (AEIS) pulls together a wide range of information on the performance of students in each school and district in Texas every year. AEIS reports for each year and district, along with answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the reports, can be found on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Academic Excellence Indicator System web page. These reports also provide information on staff demographics, finances, individual school-based programs, and demographics for each school and district. From the information contained in the AEIS, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) also develops and implements the Accountability Rating system used to rate Texas public schools and school districts. AEIS Reports for campuses in the state can be accessed on the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) website at the following link: http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/aeis/2010/index.html TAKS is one of a series of criterion-referenced tests published by the Texas Education Agency intended to measure student achievement in the core subject areas of reading, math, social studies and science. The TAKS objectives remained the same in all TAKS grade levels and were defined at each grade level by instructional targets (TEA, 2004). The TAKS campus ratings will be collected for the one test administration period: Spring 2010. The AEIS report also contained the campus type, campus level, and the location of the campus. The Texas Education Agency provides a public access, online webpage, as well as documents that contains a directory for all principals in the state of Texas (ASKTED, 2010), and constitutes the state archival data for the study. Principals were listed by name and campus type as well as contact information and location. Gender data for all the school principals will be obtained from the same list and will be verified. Data Collection

For this particular study, data regarding gender and campus rating were gathered from the Texas Education Agency data bank. In addition, campus level and campus size data will also be collected from AEIS reports. A database of campus information will be developed with a list of Texas principals’ gender for all public campuses, accountability ratings, campus level, and campus size, using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS 15.0). The researcher will contact the Texas Education Agency for a database of principal information. Once contact is made with Texas Education Agency, they will send the data in the form of an excel spreadsheet. This data will contain the principal gender, location of school, type of campus, accountability rating of school and the region of the school. The database is a public file that 15


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 anyone can obtain by simply making a phone call. The researcher sorted the data in excel in order to derive findings to address research questions. The researcher prepared a table with the male and female principal statistics broken down by the 2010 school year. The data denoted the number of principals in the state of Texas, the number of female principals, the number of male principals each broken down by campus size, campus rating and campus type. Limitations Texas Education Agency data have some inherent limitations, and using a dataset for one year is also restrictive. Some schools in the state of Texas are listed as K-12 instead of elementary, middle school, junior high and high school. For purposes of this study, these schools were excluded. In addition, other schools in the state of Texas are Private/charter schools that do not report TEA data. Therefore, these schools were also excluded from this study. Another limitation was schools that – for whatever reason –do not list a principal gender. These schools were also excluded in this study. If there are any schools that list other grade level and do not clarify what grade level the school is, these schools will be excluded for purposes of this study. The sample that was used is archival data provided from the Texas Education Agency data bank. No surveys will be used in this study. Results We demonstrated that there is a statistically significant relationship between Texas school principals’ gender of school campuses that have been rated as acceptable or above in the state of Texas. In addition, the results revealed that a statistically significant association exists between the school principals’ gender and grade level and campus success. Finally, the results showed that a statistically significant association exists between the school principals’ gender and grade level and campus size. This study attempted to examine further the changes that have occurred in an ever-developing society that has struggled for equality in the workplace, competition to succeed, and accountability for actions. This chapter presents the results of this particular study, which are divided into separate sub-sections to reflect the findings for each of the three research questions. We used SPSS 18.00 (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) to analyze the data. In order to utilize the SPSS 18.0 program for statistical data, and for ease of data analysis, the original data were converted into specific coded items prior to analysis. The EXCEL file that was obtained from the TEA (Texas Education Agency) contained several string variables (containing long letter strings). Each variable was renamed with a variable name that was eight characters or less, for ease of data entry into SPSS, and for data analysis. The string variables “gender,” “campus level,” and “campus accountability rating” were recoded into numeric variables. In addition, the researcher used her judgment and experience to code the number of students in school into four different size groups. There were four variables in the data file collected for all Texas public school campuses: gender of principal, level of school, size of school, and accountability rating. The gender of campus principal was coded with either 0 = female, or 1 = male. Coding for school size was done arbitrarily by the researcher as follows: 0-1000 students = 0, 1001 – 2000 students = 1, 2001 – 3003 students = 2, and 3004 + students = 3. The level of school was coded 16


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 as follows: 0 = elementary, 1 = middle school, 2 = junior high and 3 = high school. Finally, the campus accountability rating was coded as 0 = unacceptable, 1 = acceptable, 2 = recognized and 3 = exemplary. There were an original total of 8,252 participant schools in this study; yet the sample size data was provided only for 7,020 schools in this dataset. Some schools were eliminated from the sample because the data provided by the Texas Education Agency did not provide the gender of the principal. All schools in this category were elementary, middle school, junior high or high school. However, due to lack of gender data some of these schools were excluded from this study. Additional elimination took place when schools did not list an accountability rating. The final elimination was for the schools that were listed as “other grade group” (i.e., not elementary, middle school, junior high or high school). Therefore, 1,232 campuses statewide were eliminated from this study. At the end of the elimination process 7,020 schools remained in the study. The state of Texas supports schools that range anywhere from 20 students to 4,697 students in number. The number of students at each campus was coded using four groupings that were deemed appropriate by the researcher for the descriptive and correlational analyses. The number of students (or school size) was coded as 0 = 0 to 1000, 1 = 1001-2,000, 2 = 2,001-3003 and 3 = 3004+. The numbers in each category were chosen in lieu of the dataset. If a certain number did not appear in the researcher’s original dataset she put the number in the next dataset category. Therefore, instead of 2001 to 3000, researcher has 2001 to 3003. Campus accountability rating was coded as follows: 0 = unacceptable, 1 = acceptable, 2 = recognized and 3 = exemplary. Once all data were examined, recoded, and verified for accuracy, the comparative data analysis was conducted (descriptive statistics in the form of percentages and counts). The data were compared using the cross tabulation and Chi-Square test. A cross tabulation was conducted using the principals’ gender and campus size, principals’ gender and accountability rating, and finally principal’s gender and campus level. Pearson Chi-Square for categorical data was used to examine whether there is a relationship between (a) principals’ gender and campus size; (b) principals’ gender and accountability rating; and (c) principals’ gender and campus level. The number of valid cases for this study was 7,020.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

PRINCIPALS’ GENDER BY CAMPUS LEVEL/TYPE

Figure 1. Cross-tabulation of principals’ gender by campus type, 2010 data (N = 7,020)

Data provided by TEA. The legend shows independent variable gender (female, male). The dependent variables are elementary, middle school, junior high and high school.

PRINCIPALS’ GENDER BY SCHOOL RATING

Figure 2. Cross-tabulation of principals’ gender by school rating, 2010 data (N = 7,020) Data provided by TEA. The legend shows independent variable gender (female, male). The dependent variables are unacceptable, acceptable, recognized and exemplary campuses.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

PRINCIPALS’ GENDER BY STUDENTS

Figure 3. Cross-tabulation of gender by campus enrollment, 2010 data (N = 7,020) Data provided by TEA. The legend shows independent variable gender (female, male). The dependent variables are campus sizes of 0-1000, 1001-2000, 2001-3003 and 3004 +. Findings We found that males are statistically more likely to lead Texas schools that are categorized by TEA as middle school, junior high or high schools. We also found that males are statistically more likely to head Texas schools with enrollment more than 2000 students. In addition, this study discovered that males are statistically more likely to head schools that are rated Unacceptable in the Texas accountability system. Furthermore, we determined that females are statistically significantly more likely to head Texas schools that are categorized by TEA as elementary schools. This study found that females have school enrollment of 1,000 or fewer students. Finally, this study found that females head schools that are rated Acceptable, Unacceptable, and Exemplary in the Texas accountability system. Although the ratings are higher for female principals in the state of Texas, this study showed a limitation of female principals at the secondary level. Historically, researchers have indicated a distinctive pattern of male dominance in public administration, particularly at the secondary school level (Mertz, 2006), and the results of this study assert the same implication. Gotwalt and Towns (1986) reported that women occupied 55% of elementary schools, 12% of junior high schools, and 6% of high schools during the 1930s. Results from the study indicated that women held 73.5% of elementary positions, 41.3% of junior high positions, and 29.8% of high school positions. Since the 1930s, the greatest increase for women occurred in the junior high school positions, which accounted for a 29.3% increase overall. The second increase in positions occurred at the high school level as women have gained an increase of 23.8%. It would appear that the results of this study support the historical data in reporting that women are more prevalent in elementary principal positions. 19


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

For purposes of this study, women held 59.9% of the 7,020 elementary positions, which is a drastic decrease from the 2006 study. Women also held 17.6% middle school positions. The 2006 study did not include middle school; yet, the present study addressed middle school female principals: 4.4% held junior high positions, while 18.1% held high school positions, which is a decrease from the 2006 study. It would appear that the results of this study support historical data in reporting that women are more prevalent in elementary principal positions, even though there was an apparent decrease in the percentage of elementary female principals using TEA’s 2009 – 2010 data. Implications for Practice The implications of the study are relative to the hiring practices of school administrators as they continue to realize the mandates that are required for Texas state accountability in order to receive federal funding. The findings show that schools that employ a female principal maintain better overall campus accountability ratings than those of their male counterparts. Although women have made tremendous strides in number of positions attained; nonetheless, they continue to be relegated to the role of nurturer by being placed [historically and prevalently] into elementary campuses. It behooves administrators in charge of hiring decisions at school districts to consider research data that might reveal trends, implications, and significant findings with regard to gender and campus rating. Implications may necessitate further examination of differences in gender when schools are involved in making hiring decisions with regard to state accountability. Although current results indicate a higher accountability rating for campuses led by women, historical trends of hiring men continue to flourish in a world where education and research are supposed to be valued over all other things, especially predications of gender bias. The research has set out to discover the overall significant principal gender of school campuses that have been rated as acceptable or above in the state of Texas. Furthermore, implications of the study may create a form of discrimination towards men in hiring practices if districts consider only the data concerned with unacceptable campus ratings that was reported. Summary This impetus for this study was initiated the moment an athletic director advised the researcher she would make a good principal at an elementary school. Although this commentary initially offended the researcher, she ultimately let it go. Then within the same week, a female counselor made the same comment (i.e., the researcher would make a good principal at an elementary school). Finally, when the researcher interviewed for her current position as assistant principal of a high school in the state of Texas, one of the board members asked the question, “How would you handle a student 300 pounds for disciplining,” the researcher responded, “The same way I would handle any other student, with care, concern and compassion.” Thus, the researcher’s comment confirmed the need for this study, but it also validated the discussion in the Review of the Literature in a number of areas, namely, negative attitudes towards women within educational institutions continued to be a major barrier. For instance, the issue of disciplining 20


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 students is one particular exemplar that serves to highlight the gender biases present in our schools today, – particularly in relation to viewing women’s nurturing nature as a detriment. With this particular bias in mind, Shakeshaft (1987) notes, “Women were thought to be constitutionally incapable of discipline and order, primarily because of their size and supposed lack of strength” ( p.39). In sum, after the two initial comments from her male counterparts in education, and one comment made by a female counselor, the researcher began this study. It is important to note that hiring practices should focus on experience, professional development, collegiality, and training of school principals, rather than giving preference to gender. The identification of gender bias that women principals face as school administrators has been an important component in the process of increasing opportunities for women seeking advancement. Eagly (2007) pointed out that “the good performance of business organizations that have more women among their executives provides an argument for nondiscrimination that complements the more fundamental arguments that discrimination flouts laws and violates the American value of equal opportunity” (p. 6). The observations and studies presented in this study may contribute to insights that can help central office administrators and school boards when making decisions on principal candidates in the state of Texas. Namely, hiring the most qualified person should remain the focus, not an applicant’s gender. Using action skills to address contemporary problems faced by female school administrators should enable current candidates to achieve success (Smith & Hale, 2002). In this study, the researcher attempted to discover the changes that have occurred in an everdeveloping society that has struggled for equality in the workplace, competition to succeed, and accountability for actions. Improved hiring practices are necessary in the state of Texas to hire the best candidate for the principalship at all campus levels regardless of gender. Finally, this study is intended to help awaken both female and male educators at all levels to the fact that gender biases exist in education, and that further research on this topic is necessary.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 References Blackmore, J. (1989). Educational leadership: A feminist critique and reconstruction. In J. Smyth (Ed.), Critical perspectives on educational leadership, (pp. 93-129). Barcombe: Falmer Press. Blasé, J., & Blasé, J. (1998). Inquiry and collaboration: Supporting the lifelong study of learning and teaching. ASCD International Journal for Leadership in Education, 2(7), 1-10. Boyle, P. (2004). School boards and public values. American School Board Journal, 3(1), 22-27. Broadbridge, A., & Hearn, J. (2008). Gender and management: New directions in research and continuing patterns in practice. British Journal of Management, 19(1), 3849. Brunner, C. C. (Fall, 2001). New faculty member examines power and female school superintendents. The Link. Retrieved from http://education.umn.edu/alum/link/2001fall/female.html Eagly, A. H. (2007). Female leadership advantage and disadvantage: resolving the contradictions. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 31(1), 1-12. Eagly, A. H., Karau, S. J., & Johnson, B. T. (1992). Gender and leadership style among school principals: A meta-analysis. Educational Administration Quarterly, 28, 76-102. Fels, A. (2004). Do women lack ambition? Harvard Business Review, 82(4), 58-60. Goodlad, J. (1984). A Place Called School: Prospects for the Future. New York: McGraw Hill. Helgesen, S. (1990). The female advantage. New York: Doubleday. Mertz, N. T. (2006). The Promise of Title IX: Longitudinal study of gender in urban school administration, 1972 to 2002. Urban Education, 41(1), 544559. Morgan, M. J. (2004). Women in a man’s world: Gender differences in leadership style at the military academy. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34(12), 2482-2502. National Center for Education Statistics, (2007). Digest of Education Statistics. Retrieved from http://nces.edu.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_082.asp No Child Left Behind Act (2001). Retrieved from www.ed.gov/nclb/landing.html Phillips, M. D., & Glickman, C. D. (1991). Peer coaching: Developmental approach to enhance teacher thinking. Journal of Staff Development, 12(2), 20-25. Popiel, J. J. (2004). Making mothers: The advice genre and the domestic ideal, 1760-1830. Journal of Family History, 29(4), 339-350. Rousmaniere, K. (2006). The "business" of reforming American schools. Albany: State University of New York Press. Shakeshaft, C. (1987). Women in educational administration. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Shakeshaft, C. (1987). Women in educational administration. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Smith, P., & Hale, R.P. (2002). Making it work: Women’s ways of leading. New York: Guilford Press. 22


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Smith-Thibodaux, N. (1991). Women superintendent’s perception of managerial/leadership competencies: A national survey. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University, College Station. Texas Education Agency (1998b). Enrollment Trends in Texas Public Schools. Policy Research Report No. 11. Austin, TX: TEA. Texas Education Agency (2004). AEIS 2003-2004. Retrieved from ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreportaeis Texas Education Agency (2008). AEIS 2009-2010. Retrieved from ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreportaeis Texas Education Agency (2008). ASK TED (2008). Texas Education Agency. Retrieved from askted.tea.state.tx.us Texas Education Agency (2010). ASK TED (2010). Texas Education Agency. Retrieved from askted.tea.state.tx.us Tyree, C. L. (1995). Women in education: Are we perpetuating societal attitudes By moving toward an androgynous leadership style? In B. Irby & G. Brown (Eds.), Women Executives: Voices and Visions. Austin, Texas: The Texas Council of Women School Executives.

Dr. Sonerka Mouton, Assistant Principal Katy Independent School District sonerkaEmouton@katyisd.org Dr. Allen Warner, Professor University of Houston awarner@uh.edu

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“Effective leadership skills and character promote trustworthiness by being visible, being open to honest communication, being able to listen without judgment, being empathetic, seeking understanding, viewing learning as mutual, honoring the person, and honoring the process.� -J. Smith Jones

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Foundations of Leadership: The Virtuous Leader Dr. Jennifer Smith Jones Abstract Leadership is perhaps the most powerful force related to improvement in any organization. Leadership is defined as the process by which one person directs the behavior of others toward the achievement of an objective or purpose. Leadership influences people willingly to accomplish goals to a higher standard than the norm. The question of what makes a great and effective leader resonates in all forms of organizational systems. Leadership is a quality possessed by countless individuals. Nevertheless, effective and successful leadership is acquired by only a small number of individuals. Understanding what makes one individual a more effective leader than another must be examined. Current research on effective schools has placed a great emphasis on leadership as the most critical factor in producing effective changes in schools. The current established culture of hiring practices of school administrators has concentrated on the characteristics of an effective leadership for change. The charge of an effective leader is to bring about productive and necessary change. Change is complex and constant, creating positive change is a role of leadership. In order to understand effective leadership the foundations of leadership, must be established. The foundations of leadership are grounded in a distinct philosophy in which a leader becomes influential. Foundations of leadership begin with the leader and the characteristics they emanate. Virtue, integrity, and ethics are characteristics deeply embedded in the development of a valiant leader. Within the context of philosophical leadership, the foundations of leadership must examine the three dimensions of philosophy: epistemological, ontological and axiological. What is evident from the inquiry of the foundations of leadership is that effective leaders have a great understanding of knowledge, of what is right and of what is real. Keywords: leadership, effective leaders, ethics Foundations of Leadership: The Virtuous Leader “You have achieved excellence as a leader when people will follow you everywhere if only out of curiosity.” – Colin Powell Leadership is perhaps the most powerful force related to improvement in any organization. Leadership is defined as the process by which one person directs the behavior of others toward the achievement of an objective or purpose. Leadership influences people to willingly accomplish goals to a higher standard than the norm. The question of what makes a great and effective leader resonates in all forms of organizational systems. Leadership is a quality 25


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 possessed by countless individuals. Nevertheless, effective and successful leadership is acquired by only a small number of individuals. Understanding what makes one individual a more effective leader than another must be examined. Researchers on effective schools have placed a great emphasis on leadership as the most critical factor in producing effective changes in schools. The current established culture of hiring practices of school administrators has concentrated on the characteristics of an effective leadership for change. Marzano (2003) states, that “leadership can be considered the single most important aspect of effective school reform” (p.27). In order to understand effective leadership the foundations of leadership must be established. Every organizational system rests upon some kind of philosophical belief or theory. The foundations of leadership are grounded in a distinct philosophy in which a leader becomes influential over others. A leader’s influence is transmitted through voluntarily by willing followers through relationships. Educational leadership influences the overall climate of the school community. Educational researchers believe there is a significant relationship between leadership and its effects on the school’s mission and goals (Marzano, 2003, Bamburg & Andrews, 1990; Duke, 1982). Leadership influences are governed by traits and qualities inherently originated by the leader’s character. Foundations of leadership begin with the leader and the characteristics they emanate. Virtues, integrity, and ethics are characteristics deeply embedded in the development of a valiant leader. Within the context of philosophical leadership, the foundations of leadership must examine the three dimensions of philosophy: epistemological, ontological and axiological. What is evident from the inquiry of the foundations of leadership is that effective leaders have a great understanding of knowledge, of what is right and of what is real. Epistemology The epistemological dimension is the study of knowledge. When analyzing the epistemological element of leadership, questions are developed to investigate what is the philosophical meaning of leadership? What is truth in leadership? What is the source of truth? Where does knowledge come from? What does a person know? At birth, a person has the capability and essence for understanding and for knowledge. However, a true and deep knowledge is etched though life constructed through new experiences, new understandings and new knowledge. Each new experience and understanding is intertwined and used as the foundation for an expanded knowledge. The purpose of knowledge is to construct a framework of information that assists in the evaluation of new information and experiences. When the leader evaluates a new experience, new knowledge creates a bridge that connects past and present to generate a course of action. An effective leader understands the origin of this profound knowledge and place high value on wisdom. Profound knowledge involves an understanding of the relationship between ideas. The mind creates the knowledge from its understanding of an object or experience, rather than the objects or experience creating the mind. The truth of leadership comes from within the leader. Knowledge is created within the mind from all possible angles and considerations. 26


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Leadership is grounded in the knowledge of healthy relationships and how they interact and connect. Margaret Wheatley (1999) in her book Leadership and the New Science states: “Knowledge grows inside relationships, from ongoing circles of exchange where information is not just accumulated by individuals, but is willingly shared” p.104. Healthy relationships are a key determinant in the potential for learning. Effective leaders understand what makes a healthy relationship. All human relationships are influenced by emotions. Emotions are the key ingredient to relationships and the entry point of learning. You must first touch the heart before you can ask for the hand. By connection through emotions, the more likely a leader will cultivate followers. Emotions stimulate the investigation and the further inquiry of knowledge. Overtime, a leader can use this knowledge to develop distinctive beliefs, values, and behaviors. Knowledge helps create our being and influences our beliefs and values. Ontology Ontology is the nature of being. It studies the philosophical questions of what is existence and what is the nature of reality? The ontological reality is what the individual perceives, regardless of the object. This reality comes from epistemology. Ontology is the dimension of philosophy that examines what is real. Ontology is the reality of assumptions and perceptions rather than clear cut answers. Ontology comes from knowledge. Morality and unity are examined under this guise. Unity and morality pertain to our relationship to other people. Ontology of leadership examines two questions: Does leadership exist, and if leadership does exist, how do we recognize it? Leadership does exist and can be effective or ineffective. Leadership can be recognized by the change in the organization through the process of influence and follower compliance. The leader displays attributes that become the catalyst to change. Effective leaders create a culture and climate that dictates the organization direction. Each organization develops its own distinctive culture adaptable to leadership. In their book Leaders, Bennis and Nanus (1985) state, In the belief that leadership is the pivotal force behind successful organizations and that, to create vital and viable organizations, leadership is necessary to help organizations develop a new vision of what they can be, then mobilize the organization change toward the new vision…Then main stem-winder [in organizational transformation] is the leadership. The new leader…is one who commits people to action, who converts followers into leaders, and who may convert leaders into agents of change (pp.2-3). The climate of the organization is directly related to the leader’s style of direction and influence. Effective leaders develop through the endless need for self-improvement, education and experience. The leader needs to be a visionary, to guide the organization in the direction of achievement. Practical steps are used to accomplish this vision. Bonding leadership practices rely heavily on moral values as their source of authority. Moral authority is derived from obligations and duties that teachers feel towards each other and toward the school as a result of their connection to widely shared values, ideas 27


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 and ideals. When moral authority is in place, teachers respond to shared commitments and to the felt interdependence that comes from the sense of “we” that is created (Sergiovanni, 1992, p.116). Axiology What is right in leadership is the axiology dimension of philosophy. Axiology is the study of value. An effective leader engages in a disciplined inquiry in to the axiology dimension as it relates to the ethical and moral facets of leadership. Leadership is value-based and guided by ethical reasoning and moral responsibility. Values are the inner beliefs or desires that motivate an individual’s motives or actions (Josephson, 2001). An organization’s values form to the shape of the leader’s values. Values drive of the individuals efforts in the organization. Values come from a person’s belief and signify the importance and worth of a purpose. Values portray the individual’s beliefs which in turn decide how a person actually conducts themselves (Josephson, 2001). Effective leaders are judged by the construct of their values. Sergiovanni(1992) connected the action of a leader to the leader’s heart. The heart of leadership is grounded in what the leader believes, values and envisions. The heart is what directs the behaviors and practices of the leader. Through these behaviors and practices, the leaders instill these beliefs in others. Ethics and Leadership are one and the same. Today the topic of ethics and values has increasingly been brought to the surface when it relates to organizational leadership. In recent years, numerous accounts of unethical misconduct reach the headlines. The lack of moral and ethical behavior has increased in organizations due to egocentric agendas. Ethical standards in organizations are on the decline. Ethics is defined as the nature of right or wrong, duty, obligation, freedom, virtue and other issues where sentient beings can be harmed or helped (Pence 2000). Josephson (2001) suggested two constructs of ethics. First, ethics involves the ability of a person to distinguish between right and wrong. Second, a leader commits to doing what is good and proper. The ethical leader must first understand the needs of the organization model their own values and subscribe to ethical standards in order to cultivate followers. They must have selfconfidence, know thy self, and know what direction to lead. Leaders guide by example not by commands. Ethics is commonly interchanged with moral philosophy. Morality is what people believe to be right or wrong. Morals are described as an individual’s standard of what is right or wrong. Ethics is the vehicle for creating high-quality relationships among people. It is the display of ethical conduct that influences followers to become more ethical themselves. Ethical leaders have the moral responsibility to guide others to do what is right. They can make a difference through their position and influence. Ethical leaders are a necessity in school reform (Sergiovanni, 1992). Leadership is governed by ethics and morality, which offers profound and enduring changes in schools. Educational leaders encounter a unique set of ethical dilemmas. Leaders should have ethical standards and focus on 28


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 doing the right thing. “Ethical behavior is not something that can be held in reserve for momentous issues; it must be a constant companion” (Lashway, 1996). Educational leaders become moral agents. Ethical decisions are crucial to promote a moral organization. Great Leaders create an ethical climate that generates ethical behavior. Character is the most important factor that impacts the climate of an organization. The meaning of virtue is described as the excellences of character that include courage, wisdom, self-control and justice (Pence, 2000). Good leadership involves an honorable character and selflessness. Virtues are the traits of a person’s character that are expressed by a consistent model of behaviors. Virtuous characteristics of a leader can be described as righteous and of high caliber. Virtuous traits include trustworthiness, loyalty, integrity, and compassion. Ethics are referred to as the standards of conduct in which individuals are expected to behave according to the duties of morality and the principles of virtues. There are many definitions presented on trust. Trust is intricate and complex, which creates a unique disposition in all organizations including schools. All would like to be trusted as well as trust others. Authenticity, honesty and integrity appear in many studies of organizational behavior. Brewster and Railsback suggest honesty is “a person’s integrity, character, and authenticity are all dimensions of trust” (2003, p.5). A person who is trusted is one who can be counted on to make fair judgments and decisions in situations as it relates to others. Trust must be present for individuals to share their thoughts and to be open to expanding their ways of thinking and doing (York-Barr, Sommers, Ghere & Montie 2001). An effective leader understands how trust influences relationships. Integrity is described as honest, truthful and honorable. Richardson and others, (1992) avow that honesty is the virtue most important for effective school leaders. Marzano (2003) suggests honesty is characterized by the consistency and truthfulness between words and action. Additional studies have identified honesty as a critical factor to the effectiveness of leadership (Blase & Kirby, 2000; Friedkin & Slater, 1994). When a leader is honest the relationship of trust is built. Relationships of trust develop over time through numerous exchanges in which individuals exhibit trustworthy behaviors toward their colleagues. Conclusion In the recent years, organizations have taken a greater look at the relationship of character and effective leadership. Leaders keep their promises. When an effective leader makes a commitment, they follow through. Good leaders are reliable and dependable. Leaders practice what they preach. To be effective, a leader must be able to discern what is real. Reality comes from within the individual by virtue of their knowledge, values and beliefs. A great leader must be honest, genuine, empathizes with others, treats everyone with dignity and respect, be highly visible, and accessible. A true leader knows trust, honesty, integrity, appreciation for the other person, equity, and shared work in order to create an environment of success.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 To be in a relationship with others requires the leader to act in trustworthy ways. Before a leader can guide others to achieve, they must first be clear about what they believe. An effective leader does not expect others to do work he or she would not do themselves. Leaders must use their power with self-control and without commanding control of others. “The people’s capacity to achieve is determined by their leader’s ability to empower” (Maxwell, 1998). Creating autonomy empowers followers to take ownership and take on their own leadership roles. The educational leader influences the behavior of others in order to foster increased achievement and accomplish the purpose of the organization. The leader must be accountable and treat others with respect and to encourage autonomous leadership. To be in a relationship with others requires the leader to act in trustworthy ways. Effective leadership skills and character promote trustworthiness by being visible, being open to honest communication, being able to listen without judgment, being empathetic, seeking understanding, viewing learning as mutual, honoring the person, and honoring the process. Schlechty (2002) suggested the primary purpose of a leader is to inspire others to do things they might otherwise not do and encourage others to go in directions they might not otherwise follow. Without doubt great leaders must respond to the needs, welfare, and concerns of those they hope will follow them. John Maxwell (1998) stated “People don’t at first follow worthy causes. They follow worthy leaders who promote worthwhile causes.”

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 References Bamburg, J., & Andrews, R. (1990). School goals, principals and achievement, School Effectiveness and School Improvement 2, 175-191. Blase, J., & Kirby, P. C. (2000). Bringing out the best in teachers: What effective principals do (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Bennis, W. & Nanus, B. (1985). Leaders: The strategies for taking charge. New York: Harper & Row. Duke, D. (1982). Leadership functions and instructional effectiveness, NASSP Bulletin, 66, 5-9. Friedkin, N. E. & Slater, M. R. (1994). School leadership and performance: A social network approach. Sociology of Education, 67, 139-157. Josephson, M. (2001). Making ethical decisions. Josephson Institute of Ethics. Marina del Ray, CA: Retrieved November 30, 2005 from http://www.josephsoninstitute.org/MED/medtoc.htm Lashway, L. (1996). Ethical leadership. Clearinghouse on Educational Policy and Management. ERIC Digest 107. Retrieved on November 11, 2005 University of Oregon. from ERIC Digestwebsite:http://cepm.uoregon.edu/Publications/digests/digest107.html Marzano, R. (2003). What works in schools: translating research into action. Alexandria, Virginia: ASCD. Maxwell, J. C. (1998). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership. Nashville, TN. Thomas Nelson, Inc. Pence, G. (2000). A dictionary of common philosophical terms. Birmingham, Alabama: McGraw-Hill. Richardson, M. D., et al. (1992) Teacher perception of principal behavior – a study. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association. Knoxville, Tennessee. ED352710. Schlechty, P. C. (2002). Working on the work: An action plan for teachers, principals and superintendents. San Francisco: CA: Jossey-Bass. Sergiovanni, T. J. (1992). Moral Leadership: Getting to the heart of school improvement. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. York-Barr, J., Sommers, W. A., Ghere, G. S. and Montie, J. (2001). Reflective practice to improve schools: An action guide for educators. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc. Dr. Jennifer S. Jones Assistant Professor Educational Leadership & Policy Studies University of Texas at Tyler jenniferjones@uttyler.edu

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“They refused to orient all resources toward a singular population of students and placed the success of all children at the center of their decision-making – no matter the cost.” -W.S. Newcomb

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Moral Decision Making From An Ethic of Care: African American Women Principals Reconstructing The Landscape of Urban School Leadership Dr. Whitney Sherman Newcomb Abstract To effectively serve changing communities requires a willingness to break from tradition and lead with the knowledge that personal values and context do matter in human endeavors such as schooling. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to understand school leaders that are influenced by their values and actually articulate their beliefs as platforms (Sergiovanni, 1992) that serve their communities. African American women principals have become adept at uniting and engaging stakeholders in marginalized school settings into action (Brooks, 2009; Johnson, 2007; Newcomb & Khan, 2014). An emerging body of scholarship (Loder, 2005; Sherman & Wrushen, 2009; Simmons & Johnson, 2008: Witherspoon & Arnold, 2010; Witherspoon & Taylor, 2010) supports the notion that African American women lead with an ethic of care and sense of commitment to community that is situated in their personal values and beliefs. Thus, the intent for the purpose of this article was to illuminate commonalities of African American women leaders, to understand whether they lead from an ethic of care, and make sense of how their connection of values and leadership behaviors might lead to success in their school environments. Moral Decision Making From An Ethic of Care: African American Women Principals Reconstructing The Landscape of Urban School Leadership According to Bottery (2002), the mission of education includes fostering democratic citizens, empowering students to participate in society as adults, and enabling students to act with an awareness of care, equity, and justice. If this is the case, the mission of public education is entirely value laden and interwoven with the cultural experiences and personal beliefs stakeholders and actors bring into play. According to Starratt (1996), if we choose not to recognize this interconnectedness, we send the message that morality is separate from the daily problem solving of school leaders. This simply is not the case. The actions of school leaders are motivated by personal values (Giroux, 1988; Foster, 1989), thus, making it impossible for leaders to act as neutral bureaucrats. The majority of school leaders have been erroneously taught that emotions and beliefs should be separate from leadership practice (Newcomb & Khan). In fact, principals must understand that action “…spring[s] from a reflective territory that includes not only cognition and theory, but body, emotions, and spirit as well” (Kofman & Senge, 1995, p. 17). Though, traditionally, leadership preparation and practice has been driven by a prescribed set of standards and skills (Newcomb & Khan, 2014), demographics have and continue to change calling for improved leadership development and practice. As school environments become 33


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 increasingly complex, there has been a growing desire to understand what some refer to as “nonrational” or emotional aspects of leadership (Begley, 1996; Murphy, 1992). According to Johnson (2007), “As both urban and suburban communities across the United States experience changing racial and ethnic demographics, school leaders are confronted with the needs, perspectives, and ‘funds of knowledge’ (Moll, 1992) that students from diverse backgrounds and their families bring to the school” (p. 49). To effectively serve changing communities requires a willingness to break from tradition and lead with the knowledge that personal values and context do matter in human endeavors such as schooling. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to understand school leaders that are influenced by their values and actually articulate their beliefs as platforms (Sergiovanni, 1992) that serve their communities. The literature directed me to an exploration of African American women school principals. Historically, education has been one of few careers that allows African American women the opportunity to attain leadership roles (Shakeshaft, 1999). An emerging body of scholarship (Loder, 2005; Sherman & Wrushen, 2009; Simmons & Johnson, 2008: Witherspoon & Arnold, 2010; Witherspoon & Taylor, 2010) supports the notion that African American women lead with an ethic of care and sense of commitment to community that is situated in their personal values and beliefs. Thus, my intent for the purpose of this article was to illuminate commonalities of African American women leaders, to understand whether they lead from an ethic of care, and make sense of how their connection of values and leadership behaviors might lead to success in their school environments. African American Women School Leaders According to Bloom and Erlandson (2003), African American women leaders are often found in urban school settings, specifically those that have been exhausted of resources and crucial support. Many African American women indicate that their experiences with family and culture influence who they are as leaders (Alston, 1999; Bloom & Erlandson; Jackson, 1999) and report that their leadership styles are centered in an ethic that “…encouraged family support and promoted education as an inalienable right for African American children” (Bloom & Erlandson, p. 362). Some African American women principals lead differently from their White counterparts, in part, because they have been excluded from established power structures (Newcomb & Niemeyer, 2014), because they view work in education as an extension of their commitment to uplift their race (Perkins, 1989), and because of the priority they place on culture and community related to school leadership (Lomotey, 1989; Murtada & Larson, 1999). Restricted access to resources and exclusionary practices have, in some case, prompted leadership creativity and risk-taking (Newcomb & Niemeyer). Urban Community Builders When caring for students, African American leaders that serve marginalized urban schools consider culture and community context as going far beyond the school campus itself and do not often engage in traditionally conceptualized leadership activities (Dillard, 1995). In an effort to be more responsive to the multicultural context of her school, one principal in Dillard’s study behaved based on her belief that the system needed to be changed to work on behalf of the students in her school rather than based on the application of traditional leadership behaviors more consistent with the dominant culture. Johnson (2007) found the African American women 34


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 principals in her study defying traditional leadership practice as well by demonstrating a commitment to partnerships with the larger community outside of their schools due to a belief that accountability calls for culturally responsive leadership practices that lead to social change in communities. African American women principals have become skilled at uniting stakeholders in urban school settings into action for social justice (Brooks, 2009; Johnson, 2007; Newcomb & Khan, 2014). Johnson concluded that “Culturally responsive school leaders support academic achievement, work to affirm students’ home cultures, empower parents in culturally and economically diverse neighborhoods, and act as social activists who advocate for societal change to make their communities better places to live” (p. 54). Common practices among African American women principals who relied on and engaged their communities for school success include: the acceptance of varying cultural expectations; the assurance of improved security and safety in their schools; the practice of strict discipline policies; the establishment of high expectations for all students, and the engagement of parental and community involvement (Johnson; Brooks, 2009). According to Mattis (1997), there is a link between activism in the community and resiliency for African American women. Spirituality and moral decision-making frameworks empower women to manage the dailiness of their lives as leaders (Harris & Ballenger, 2004). Brooks (2009) recounted a story of a principal who created a network of partnerships with parents, local politicians, local businesses, and the police to address drug trafficking problems in the surrounding community. Her actions reduced violence and unemployment and increased parent involvement by establishing rules and discipline policies, by hiring parents as school aides, and by coaching parents on how to advocate effectively on behalf of their children. Her actions, slowly, led to more positive attitudes about the school, increased enrollments, and an increased interest by middle class parents to return to the neighborhood. Ultimately, the expansion of community engagement and partnerships led to a reduction in the percent of students qualified for free or reduced lunch, an increase in the average family income of the neighborhood, and an increase in property values. According to Dillard (1995), “…effective leadership in diverse ethnic settings holds that concern, care, and advocacy for the individual needs of students is critical” (p. 559). Caring for students and interacting with communities is essential in African American urban school settings. Leading With An Ethic of Care Principals are moral agents that ground their decision-making in moral reasoning because: schools are moral organizations themselves; students are minors and often lacking decisionmaking power in regard to the content and delivery of their schooling; principals are appointed with the moral authority to make decisions in the best interest of students; and principals are primarily responsible for ensuring equitable school environments for all students (Greenfield, 1993). Gilligan (1982) maintained that women, specifically, ground decision making in both the contexts of their lives and the relationships they have developed because of how their identities are shaped as females by society. Noddings (1993) extended this notion of female decisionmaking in context to moral decision-making through an ethic of care. This understanding of leading has been considered to be in conflict with other notions of decision making such as the 35


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 ethic of justice (Kohlberg, 1981). Further, leading from an ethic of care was, historically, considered to be morally deficient (Kohlberg). More recently, however, philosophers posit that the more useful understandings of moral decision-making are those that recognize multiple frames (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2001; Starratt, 1996). African American women principals often practice an ethic of care by acting as “othermothers” and social justice activists in their school communities (Bass, 2012). Their commitment to serve others has been described by Tillman (2004) as servant leadership. African American women both nurture and discipline their students and not only utilize care frameworks for decisionmaking, but risk taking ethics as well as they embrace non-traditional teaching and leading strategies and sometimes refuse popular applications of zero tolerance policies (Bass). Similarly, Normore (2008) posed that the practice of the ethic of care is key to transformative leadership and tied to an intrinsic need and moral responsibility to make a difference in the lives of students. Black Feminist Standpoint Theory Because African American women are placed at the center of this study, I felt it appropriate to not only interpret findings from a feminist lens that recognizes the silencing of women in traditional leadership knowledge, but, more specifically, a Black feminist lens that also recognizes the marginalization of minorities. I situated the findings in Black feminist standpoint theory because of its attention to the use of stories and personal experiences to contribute to the production of leadership knowledge. African American feminists place emphasis on intersectionalities of experiences including race, class, and, gender (Carby, 1987) and explore the experiences of Black women in contexts that impact their leadership development because they view the world from discrete perspectives based on their social positions within larger social structures (Collins, 2000). Standpoint theory maintains that people gain knowledge through their social locations or positions in society (Yonezawa, 2000). According to Bloom and Erlandson (2003), Black feminist standpoint epistemology assumes that knowledge can not be separate from the historical and social conditions that shape it, Black women share commonalities but also many points of divergence based on class, religion, age, and sexual orientation, and recognizes that not all Black women recognize or accept the theory. My attempt for the purpose of this report was to utilize Black feminist standpoint theory to help me make meaning of the participants’ experiences as African American women principals who lead urban schools to develop themes related to moral decision-making that have implications for leadership practice. According to Newcomb and Khan (2014), “…as a growing number of African American women find themselves taking on leadership positions in challenging settings, it is helpful to deconstruct their daily lives as leaders to provide direction for future leaders in difficult settings.”

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Methods As qualitative research is founded on questions that involve human consciousness and subjectivity and that value the human experience (Palmer, 1993), I designed a qualitative study to understand and make meaning of African American women principals’ experiences as urban school principals. I utilized a focus group technique to interviewing to allow for the collection of both individual and interactive meaning making in regard to moral decision-making. A focus group interviewing technique was chosen because of its allowance for communication between participants to promote self and group disclosure (Morgan, 1998; Krueger & Casey, 2000). This technique allowed me to explore the thoughts and experiences of the African American women participants and facilitated a more in-depth discussion as the women were encouraged to talk among themselves and respond to one another as questions were posed. Allowing the women to openly discuss the ways they lead and make decisions from value frameworks gave me a better understanding of how they make sense of their roles as urban principals. Five women principals were identified to participate in the focus group interview by utilizing the “snowballing” approach (McMillan & Schumacher, 2001) for sampling by contacting two women leaders I knew who were leaders of urban schools and letting the rest of the sample evolve through recommendations. Three of the five women were able to participate in the focus group. Therefore, the findings reported here are based on a focus group with three participants, all of whom are African American women who had served or were serving at the time of data collection as principals in urban, Title I schools with high levels of predominantly African American students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Their ages ranged from 45 to 62. The focus group was conducted in a standardized, open-ended manner to allow for freedom in response (Patton, 1990) and to reduce variation and bias (Rossman & Rallis, 1998). Findings reported here are bound to the women participants themselves due to the context-bound nature of qualitative research. However, despite this limitation, knowledge generated from this project contributes to the study and practice of educational leadership and to feminist and minority research and theory by extending knowledge of urban school leadership, African American women’s leadership, and moral decision making through the ethic of care. Findings A significant amount of information was collected from the women participants during the twohour focus group because they were willing to share and speak openly about their experiences as urban school principals. For the purposes of this report, the following categories are highlighted pertaining to the women’s individual and collective standpoints regarding decision making in their urban school environments: othermothering; leading as a moral responsibility and with a moral authority; and risk- taking and refusing tradition. Othermothering Gilligan (1982) maintained that women ground decision-making in context and in the relationships they have developed. Noddings (1993) extended this notion of female decision37


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 making in context to moral decision-making through an ethic of care. The women participants spoke volumes in regard to leading with an ethic of care. For example, one principal talked about leading from an understanding that all of her decisions were impactful on humans and, in turn, humanity: …as I work with children and families, it’s always been about putting the person before the problem…You know, the work [of a principal] requires a different level of care and sensitivity. When we do our work, we do it based on the human condition…what we’re doing touches eternity. She described her work as a principal as being held to a higher standard because of the power of her position. Another principal spoke about the work of gaining the trust of the parents of students in her schools and the surrounding community members: I feel like initially the community did not trust the school very much because we were bringing in different leaders all of the time so there was no one who stayed and seemed to be invested in the community or children…they know that I’m here for kids and that I love their children…They know I am invested in the community so I feel like they have developed a relationship of trust with me where they will come and say, “I can’t get him [child] out of bed, what do you think I should do?” I’m like, “You’re the mom, this is what you need to do…” I kind of guide them. I have a lot of young moms [parents]. She talked about her leadership as an investment in the community for a greater good and described her efforts to model and teach students, teachers, and parents alike. A third principal described her path as principal as walking together with her students and parents in shared growth: When I became principal, I was the newcomer…you talk about mothering and nurturing? There was both that I had to do in that school to establish myself…I had to make believers of them so therefore envisioned that we would all grow together…you have to educate not only your children but your staff and community, which includes your parents. She made it her mission to educate all stakeholders to further empower the school environment and went on to describe a “tough love” approach to gaining trust and leading for success: I think that people will believe you when you are friendly, firm, and fair…The parents knew that I loved their children. There was not a doubt in their minds that I loved the children dearly. I was like a lioness with the children but the teachers understood that I loved them too.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Leading as a Moral Responsibility and with Moral Authority The African American women principals described the principalship as a “calling” and mission to serve others, particularly underserved populations. One principal had difficulty talking about why she tended to place herself in challenged schools: …I was always drawn to children who didn’t have as many advantages as other children. I’m like, ok, I want to work in Title I schools – don’t know why, but I do – I just feel like that’s where I need to be…the goal is to change lives…to show them another way to live and function in the world…as I moved into this position, [I realized] that it is not just about changing the lives of these individual children, it’s about transforming the community…We are going to enable the families and the children to do more so that they will not be out hurting each other and killing each other and the cycle will not continue in the families…this [calling] dropped into my sphere and I realized that’s what I am actually here on this earth for – to transform the community and to transform lives for these children. As she reflected on her leadership choices, she related her desire to work in Title I schools to a feeling of responsibility to change lives and transform communities. She truly believed the principalship was her most important purpose in life. Similarly, another principal talked about not having a specific agenda to transform the community beyond the walls of her school, but as she spoke, the began to understand how her actions began with small steps to reach out to parents and then evolved into a much greater mission: I didn’t really have an agenda already laid out with that vision, but I started talking to parents and getting them more involved and really reaching out to the parents who have not felt embraced by the school in the past…there are different paths that are being laid out where we really are starting to see that our parents are embracing that we’re trying to do better for them. [We] provide opportunities through the school for them as well as their children…giving them tools to help their students in a way that is comfortable to them and not out of their comfort level. She realized that one of the most efficient ways to transform a school and community was to give parents tools to help their students and a chance to feel safe and comfortable in the school environment. Another principal spoke candidly about overcoming struggles in her school and learning how to face teachers and parents who were unhappy with her decisions: There’s not always just one solution. One of the things that I have shared with them [teachers] at the beginning of the school year is that you may not always like the decisions that I make, but you always know the reason that I make my decisions: because I want to do what’s right for children. There are so many other factors that go into things and for every child – just like you all would want me to treat you all the same; you want me to be considerate – just as you want me to be compassionate for you, we have to lead our children with the same type of understanding. I laid that out at the very beginning because they always complain, “Well, you didn’t do enough about this one” or “This, 39


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 this, that and the other child.” I’m like, “No, there is a bigger picture.” You have to always understand that’s what guides me. I’m always going to do my best to support you as their teacher and do what’s right by the child. She found strength in her reliance on what she believed to be her most important responsibility as a principal: to place children at the center of all action and decision-making and to use her authority to ensure that this happened in her school, even in times when others were unaware of the bigger picture. Risk-Taking and Refusing Tradition The principals spoke in depth about the risks they took in their leadership roles to practice decision-making from an ethic of care. One woman shared the following story: My last job was my calling because I was dealing with families who were in trouble. Sometimes, through no fault of their own, it’s the children who are in trouble. Sometimes, through no fault of their own, and you have to be sensitive to that. You have to be a good listener. Sometimes, I felt like I wasn’t sensitive to all the needs of the families that I should have been. This principalship allowed to me to be more sensitive. And then there were personal things going on in my own life that aligned me with some of the families who were in trouble. So sitting across that table from me were children who were in trouble. You have a heart for that child’s mother. I will never forget a mother sitting across the table from me, one son [my student], who was about to be expelled from school, and another son, who was on trial for murder. Listening to that mother talking. She was going through so much. She was crying and everything and, in turn, I poured out my own story to her…So instead…I had decide: does this child come back to school or is this child out of school? Well, what that mother was going through with her other son, no way in the world was I going to say “well, this son also is out.” There is always a trial and you have to rely upon a faith… and a sensitivity, and empathy with people to let you know the right thing to do. And it was the right thing to do for me at that moment to help that mother with this son because she was coming to grips with another son, who was, in fact, a murderer. I can’t even fathom that. She had a bigger trial than even what I was going through with my own child. I thought, “We’re going to save this one. I might not be able to save all of them, but we’re going to save this one at least.” She was faced with the choice of what one might consider a life-changing event for a student. A zero tolerance approach might have ensured a consequence that was important to teach. However, it might have also served as a tool for the further destruction of a student and his family. An approach from an ethic of care, the path she chose, maintained that while consequences are important, they can be taught in many ways and during more appropriate times. The participants talked at length about the impact high stakes testing had on their school environments and spoke of several risky decisions made based on an attempt to ensure their school environments were equitable for all students. One principal explained a situation this way: 40


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

There were times when people would say, “Well, we need to do this so that we can pass the test” and I’m like “No, I’m not going to do that.” Or “No, I’m not going to allow children in the testing grade to be the only ones that get support while the babies down here go to the testing grades not knowing how to read because we didn’t give them what they needed.” We’re going to have to take the hit for a few years…I wouldn’t have felt confident about taking that risk because I would have only been focused on the problem as opposed to the children first…that is what gave me the courage to be able to say not to things that weren’t right. Knowing certain practices were not in the best interest of students in her school, this principal defied tradition and expectation and risked her reputation (and career) to make sound decisions for her students. Another woman spoke about being at-risk due to both her gender and desire to break from tradition: Sometimes you have to deal with difficult situations, sometimes dealing with, how can I put it, not being a male figure…some males in leadership positions will look at a woman and say “Ok, yeah I can kind of push her around and do what I want to do in terms of having my way.” That was one of the interesting things about starting off in this position: I had to go toe-to-toe with an experienced and veteran principal in the county, a male principal, who was really well known and very popular and he thought he was just going to run over me…I had to pray over it for a couple of days was like “Do I kind of bow out because I’m new at this or do I stand my ground because I am doing what is best for my children?” Ultimately, she found solace and peace in knowing that her actions, risky or not, were centered on what she believed was in the best interest of her students. Ethical Discussion and Implications The goal for this report was to understand school leaders that are influenced by their values and actually articulate their beliefs as platforms (Sergiovanni, 1992) that serve their communities. I hoped to illuminate commonalities of African American women leaders, to understand whether they lead from an ethic of care, and make sense of how their connection of values and leadership behaviors might lead to success in their school environments. The use of Black Feminist Standpoint Theory allowed me to validate many of the experiences of the women participants as commonalities due to the similar contexts of their urban school environments and to the fact that these women led from established value systems centered in an ethic of care. According to Greenfield (1993), principals are moral agents that ground their decision-making in moral reasoning because students are minors and often lack decision-making power in regard to the content and delivery of their schooling. The notion of othermothering that emerged from the focus group is a viable example of how these women principals are moral agents in their schools. They extend their responsibility as principals to both students and families as well as to their individual schools and greater surrounding communities by displaying care and sensitivity in 41


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 order to “serve the human condition.” Their desire is to leave a footprint far beyond the walls of their schools. They worked tirelessly to gain trust and invest in their schools and communities and went so far as to serve as surrogate mothers to the parents of the children in their schools by modeling a tough love approach and teaching it as well. Further, principals are moral agents because schools are moral organizations in and of themselves, automatically giving the principals who are appointed as leaders the moral authority to make decisions in the best interest of students and ensure equitable school environments for all students (Greenfield, 1993). The women participants spoke of an inherent desire to work in challenged school environments. The talked about their placements as principals in their urban communities as a “life calling” and extended the notion of personal desire to become school leaders to feeling an overall responsibility to help others that they were unable to deny. They envisioned changing the lives of their students and actually transforming communities in the process by empowering teachers, students, and parents. Normore (2008) posed that transformative leadership is dependent on leading with an ethic of care due to an intrinsic need and moral responsibility to make a difference in the lives of students. These women used their moral responsibility and authority as principals by beginning their work with individual students and families and made it their responsibility to give tools that would lay foundations for change. Finally, according to Bass (2012), African American women both nurture and discipline their students and not only utilize care frameworks for decision-making, but risk taking ethics as well as they embrace non-traditional teaching and leading strategies and sometimes refuse popular applications of zero tolerance policies. The African American women participants gave numerous examples of working around traditional leadership practices by refusing to let notions of zero tolerance policies guide their decision-making. Instead, they purposefully related emotionally to their students and parents and seemed to rely on “sleep test ethics” to know whether they were making sound decisions. They refused to orient all resources toward singular population of students and placed the success of all children at the center of their decisionmaking – no matter the cost. The findings reported here have significant implications for leadership preparation and practice. If African American women leading urban schools are experiencing success with nontraditional notions of leadership, we must strive to better understand the frames from which they lead. If those involved in leadership preparation and practice believe Greenfield (1993) assertion that principals are moral agents and, thus, are required to make decisions that have moral consequences, then we must make greater efforts to understand emotional aspects of leadership. According to Newcomb and Khan (2014), “As we grapple with notions of social justice and equity while envisioning how to transform schools and communities, it is important for leaders to understand who they are, what they stand for, and how their values impact their decisionmaking for students in schools.”

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 References Alson, J. A. (1999). Climbing hills and mountains: Black females making it to the superintendency. In C. C. Brunner (Ed.), Sacred dreams: Women and the superintendency (pp. 79-90). Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Bass, L. (2012). When care trumps justice: The operationalization of black feminist caring in educational leadership. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 25(1), 73-87. Begley, P. (1996). Cognitive perspectives on values in administration. A quest for coherence and relevance. Educational Administration Quarterly, 32(3), 403-426. Bloom, C. M., & Erlandson, D. A. (2003). African American women principals in urban schools: Realities, (re)constructions, and resolutions. Educational Administration Quarterly, 39(3), 339-369. Bottery, M. (2002). Globalization, spirituality and the management of education. International Journal of Children's Spirituality, 7(2), 131-142. Brooks, S. M. (2009). A case study of school-community alliances that rebuilt a community. School Community Journal, 19(2), 59. Carby, H. V. (1987). Reconstructing womanhood: The emergence of the Afro-American woman novelist. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Collins, P. H. (2000). Black feminist thought, (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge. Dillard, C. B. (1995). Leading with her life: An African American feminist (re) interpretation of leadership for an urban high school principal. Educational Administration Quarterly, 31(4), 539-563. Foster, W. (1989, March). School leaders as transformation intellectuals: A theoretical argument. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, San Francisco. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women's development. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Giroux, H. (1988). Teachers as intellectuals: Toward a critical pedagogy of learning. Granby, MA: Bergin & Garvey. Greenfield, W. (1993). Articulating values and ethics in administrator preparation. In C. Capper (Ed.), Educational administration in a pluralistic society (pp. 267-287). New York: State University of New York Press. Harris, S., & Ballenger, J. (2004). Women leaders and spirituality. Paper presented at the 29th Annual Research on Women and Education Conference, Cleveland, OH. Jackson, B. L. (1999). Getting inside history – Against all odds: Black women school superintendents. In C. C. Brunner (Ed.), Sacred dreams: Women and the superintendency (pp. 141-159). Albany, NY: SUNY. Johnson, L. (2007). Rethinking successful school leadership in challenging U.S. schools: Culturally responsive practices in school-community relationships. International Studies in Educational Administration (Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration & Management (CCEAM)), 35(3), 49-57. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,url,cookie,uid&db=a9 h&AN=32512777&site=ehost-live&scope=site 43


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Kofman, K., & Senge, P. (1995). Communities of commitment: The heart of learning organizations. In S. Charla & J. Renesch (Eds.), Learning organizations: Developing cultures for tomorrow's workplace (pp. 15-43). Portland, OR: Productivity. Krueger, R. & Casey, M. A. (2000). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Loder, T. (2005). On deferred dreams, callings, and revolving doors of opportunity: African-American women's reflections on becoming principals. The Urban Review, 37(3), 243-265. Lomotey, K. (1989). African American principals: School leadership and success. New York: Greenwood Press. Mattis, J. S. (1997). Spirituality and religiosity in the lives of Black women. African American Research Perspectives, 3(2), 56-60. McMillan, J. H., & Schumacher, S. (2001). Research in Education (5th ed.). New York: Longman. Morgan, D. (1998). The focus group guidebook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Murphy, J. (1992). The landscape of leadership preparation: Reframing the education of school administrators. Newbury Park: Corwin Press. Murtada, K., & Larson, C. (1999, April). Toward a socially critical womanist theory of leadership. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada. Newcomb, W. S., & Kahn, I. L. (2014). Embracing spirituality: African American women principals pushing the evolution of leadership practice in schools. In N. W. Arnold & M. C. Brooks (Eds.), Critical perspectives of black education: Spirituality, religion, and social justice. Newcomb, W. S., & Niemeyer, A. (2014). African American women principals: Heeding the call to serve as conduits for transforming urban school communities. International Journal for Qualitative Studies in Education. Noddings, N. (1984). Caring: A feminism approach to ethics and moral education. Berkeley: University of California Press. Normore, A. (2008). Female secondary school leaders: At the helm of social justice, democratic schooling and equity. Leadership Organization Development Journal, 29(2), 182-205. doi: 10.1108/01437730810852515 Palmer, P. (1993). To know as we are known. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. Perkins, L. M. (1989). The history of Blacks in teaching, In D. Warren (Ed.), American teachers: Histories and personal narratives (pp. 344-369). New York: McMillan. Rossman, G., & Rallis, S. (1998). Learning in the field: An introduction to qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral leadership: Getting to the heart of school improvement. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Shakeshaft, C. (1999). The struggle to create a more gender-inclusive profession. In J. Murphy, & K. S. Louis (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational administration (pp. 99-118). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Shapiro, J., & Stefkovich, J. (2001). Ethical leadership and decision making in 44


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 education: Applying theoretical perspectives to complex dilemmas. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates. Sherman, W. H., & Wrushen, B. (2009). Intersecting leadership knowledge from the field: Diverse women secondary principals. Journal of School Leadership, 19(2), 171198. Simmons, J. C., & Johnson, W. Y. (2008). African American female superintendents speaking the language of hope: Reconstructing the multi-dimensions of passion. In W. K. Hoy & M. DiPaola (Eds.), Improving schools: Studies in leadership and culture (pp. 223249). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. Starratt, R. J. (1996). Transforming educational administration: Meaning, community, and excellence. New York: McGraw-Hill. Tillman, L. C. (2004). African American principals and the legacy of Brown. Review of Research in Education, 28, pp. 101-146. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3568137 Witherspoon, N., & Arnold, B. M. (2010). Pastoral care: Notions of caring and the Black female principal. The Journal of Negro Education, 79(3), 220-232. Witherspoon, N., & Taylor, D. L. (2010). Spiritual weapons: Black female principals and religio-spirituality. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 42(2), 133-158. Yonezawa, S. (2000). Unpacking the black box of tracking decisions: Critical tales of families navigating the course placement process. In M.G. Sanders (Ed.), Schooling students placed at risk: Research policy, and practice in the education of poor and minority adolescents. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Dr. Whitney Sherman Newcomb, Professor Department of Educational Leadership Virginia Commonwealth University 1015 West Main Street P.O. Box 842020 Richmond, Virginia 23284 804-828-8724 (phone) 804-827-0771 (fax) wsnewcomb@vcu.edu

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“Virtues lǐ, zhōng, and xiào are the sources of Chinese cultural tradition and values of respect to authority and acceptance of hierarchy, from which paternalistic, bureaucratic, and authoritarian leadership approaches are derived. The practice of all these virtues and the leadership developed from these virtues help to achieve harmonious social relations and political stability and are conducive to maintaining the harmony and stability.” -L. Yang, B. J. Irby, & G. Brown

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Chinese and US Higher Education Leadership and Organization Via the Synergistic Leadership Theory Dr. LingLing Yang Dr. Beverly J. Irby Dr. Genevieve Brown Abstract Guided by the synergistic leadership theory (SLT), the present cross-cultural study was conducted to compare and explore Chinese and US higher education leadership and organization related to the SLT four factors (i.e., Values, beliefs, and attitudes; leadership behaviors, external forces, and organizational structure). In this research, quantitative analyses (i.e., exploratory factor analysis and multivariate analysis of variance) of 452 higher education leaders’ responses to the survey data reveal some major findings. First, Chinese and US educational leaders had numerous values, attitudes, beliefs, leadership behaviors, and characteristics of organizational structures in common, though differences do exist. Second, both Chinese and US educational leaders acknowledged that external forces (e.g., economic situations, governments, institutional culture) had an impact on their leadership behaviors, though external factors varied from country to country. Moreover, despite Chinese and US public universities’ unique organizational structure characteristics due to different higher education systems, some common problems had been exposed in Chinese and US public universities. A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Chinese and US Higher Education Leadership and Organization Via the Synergistic Leadership Theory Cross-cultural research on leadership has a relatively short history compared to the study of leadership. The study of leadership styles was documented in China 2,500 years ago, and over the past several decades U.S. scholars have generated thousands of profound and comprehensive studies in leadership (Chang, 2008). Cross-cultural research on leadership emphasized the importance of various cultures in shaping and explaining leadership in different societies and the discrepancies between leadership practices in Western (especially Anglo-American) and nonWestern societies (Law, 2012). Cross-cultural research on leadership started in the 1980s when some scholars (i.e., Dimmock &Walker, 2000; Fidler, 2000; Hallinger & Leithwood, 1998; Hofstede, 1980) realized that the field of leadership and management was dominated by a Western (especially, Anglo-American) intellectual and cultural framework. They criticized the field of leadership for overemphasizing Western perspectives in shaping and explaining leadership practices in non-Western societies 47


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 and cultures and underexploring the influence of various cultures on leadership (Law, 2012). These criticisms resulted in many studies on leadership in non-Western societies (e.g., Hofstede, 1980, 1991; 2010; Dorfman & Howell, 1997; House et. al., 2004). However, few studies have ever been conducted on a holistic view of leadership, specifically in Chinese and US higher education institutions. The purpose of our study was to compare leadership among Chinese and U.S. educational leaders from four aspects of synergistic leadership theory (i.e., attitudes, beliefs, and values; leadership behavior; external forces; and organizational structure) using the primary data collected in Chinese and US higher education institutions1. First, we reviewed the literature of contemporary cross-cultural leadership studies related to China and the USA. We also examined Chinese and US cultural factors that impact the formation and development of leadership practices in these two different cultural settings. Next, we conducted exploratory factor analysis (i.e., principal components analysis [PCA]) and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) of the survey data primarily collected using the Organizational and Leadership Effectiveness Inventory (OLEI) (Irby, Brown, & Duffy, 2000). Following the data analysis, we compared and discussed the commonalities and differences of Chinese and US leadership practices in relation to the four factors of the synergistic leadership theory, which served as our theoretical framework. Theoretical Framework The synergistic leadership theory (Irby, Brown, Duffy, & Trautman, 2002) provides a useful conceptual framework that guided our study. The synergistic leadership theory, based on a systems theory approach, was modeled by a tetrahedron (see Figure 1) with six interactive pairs and four equal factors: (a) attitudes, beliefs, and values; (b) leadership behavior; (c) external forces; and (d) organizational structure. The model can be rotated around any axis and still retain its shape. Therefore, no structural hierarchy exists, and each factor is equal and interacts with the others (Irby et al., 2002). In the synergistic leadership theory, attitudes, beliefs, and values are “the foundation for guiding principles� in daily leadership (Irby et al., 2002, p. 311). As shown in the SLT model, attitudes, beliefs, and values are depicted as dichotomous, as an individual or group would either adhere or not adhere to specific attitudes, beliefs, or values at a certain point in time. They are manifested in actions, such as valuing professional growth, being open to change, and valuing diversity and integrity. According to Daresh (2007), attitudes, values, and beliefs influence each other and are interconnected with the leader and the organization. Irby et al. (2002) also pointed out, while attitudes and values remain constant, beliefs may change as new information is processed. Leadership behaviors describe particular actions of a leader (Schlosberg, Irby, Brown, & Yang, 2010, p. 1) including a range of behaviors from autocratic to nurturing. The examples of the leadership behaviors, as suggested in the SLT, are (a) leads by example, (b) demonstrates ability to juggle, (c) is dependable, (d) communicates vision, (e) acts as a change agent, (f) shares 1

In our study, Chinese higher education institutions refer to the institutions in mainland China. 48


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 power, (g) builds consensus, (h) has high expectations of self and others, (i) combines social talk with administrative talk, etc. However, the SLT does not endorse a particular leadership behavior as a determinant or indicator for success or failure; rather, it implies that leadership behaviors may change in order to align the factors (Schlosberg, 2003; Schlosberg et al., 2010). External forces are “those influencers outside the control of the organization or the leader that interact with the organization and the leader and that inherently embody a set of values, attitudes and beliefs� (Irby et al., 2002, p. 314-315). They may include: (a) local, national, and international community and conditions; (b) governmental regulations or laws; (c) demographics; (d) cultural and political climate; (e) technological advances; (f) economic situations; and (g) policy-making boards or councils (Irby et al., 2002). Organizational structure refers to the organization’s framework for vertical control and horizontal coordination of the organization (Lunenburg & Ornstein, 2008). Examples of different organizational structures include: bureaucratic structure, participatory structure, immaturity vs. maturity, system 4 structure, transformational structure, site-based structure, and feminist organizational structure (Hernandez, 2004). The SLT depicts organizational structure as characteristics of organizations and how they operate and presents it as ranging from open, feminist organizations to tightly bureaucratic ones (Irby et al., 2002). The synergistic leadership theory creates a holistic framework for describing equal and dynamic interactions among leadership behaviors, organizational structures, external forces, and attitudes and beliefs with the focus on interconnecting the four factors that impact the leader, the people, and the structure of the organization (Holtkamp, Irby, Brown, & Yang, 2007; Irby et al., 2002). Over the past decade, the synergistic leadership theory has been validated in national and international settings (Ardovini, Trautman, Brown, & Irby, 2006; Bamburg, 2004; Hernandez, 2004; Holtkamp, et al., 2007; Irby, et al., 2002; Irby, Brown, & Yang 2009; Justice, 2007; Kaspar, 2006; Schlosberg, et al., 2010; Shapiro, 2009; Trautman, 2000; Truslow, 2004; Yang, 2010).

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

Figure 1. Tetrahedral model for the synergistic leadership theory.

External Forces Perceptions/Expectations of Supervisor/Colleagues Perceptions/Expectations of Community, Local, State, National Regulations, Resources Location and Culture of Community Socio-economic Status Language/Ethnic Groups Political/Special Interest Groups

Organizational Structure Rotates Leadership Uses expertise of members, not rank Has consensually derived goals Values members Rewards professional development Relies on informal communication Disperses Power Promotes community Promotes nurturing and caring Has many rules Has separate tasks and roles Maintains a tall hierarchy

Leadership Behaviors Autocratic Delegator Collaborator Communicator Task-oriented Risk-taker Relational Nurturer Controller Stabilizer Intuitive

Beliefs, Attitudes, Values Importance of professional growth Openness to change/diversity Adherence to tradition Collegial trust/support Importance of character, ethics, integrity Importance of programs for at- risk/gifted students Role of teachers/learners Purpose of school Role of teachers/administrators Importance of employee well-being

Cross-Cultural Leadership Research Related to China and the USA As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, since 1980s, numerous cross-cultural studies on leadership have emerged in non-Western societies, which focused on leadership styles or behaviors and leaders’ characteristics. For the purpose of this study, we reviewed literature of

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 cross-cultural leadership studies based on Chinese and US cultural settings2 and historical and cultural factors that impact Chinese and US leadership practices. As a pioneer of cross-cultural leadership research, Hofstede (1980) conducted his well-known study based on a survey among IBM managers and employees in over 40 countries. In his 1980 study, he originally identified four culture dimensions: (a) individualism-collectivism, (b) masculinity-femininity, (c) uncertainty avoidance, and (d) power distance. According to Hofstede (1991), the USA was highly individualistic, low on power distance and uncertainty avoidance, and medium on masculinity. China was very high on collectivism. In line with Hofstede’s descriptions, Dorfman and Howell (1988) reported that the USA was medium on paternalism and China was high on both collectivism and paternalism. Twenty years later after Hofstede’s 1980 research, Fernandez, Carlson, Stepina, and Nicholson (1997) reexamined Hosftede’s country classification and shifts occurring in four dimensions among countries. The results of their study are in accordance with those of Hofstede’s 1980 report that the USA has small power distances and is the most individualistic USA and China scored high in uncertainty avoidance. In addition, Dorfman and Howell (1997) studied and tested the generalizability of six leader behaviors derived from contingency based leadership theories among a total of 1,598 managers and professionals of large multinational or national companies located in the USA, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Of the six leader behaviors, three behaviors (i.e., leader supportiveness, contingent reward, and charismatic) have universally positive effects in all five cultures. Leaders’ supportive kindness and concern for followers is highly valued and impactful in all the cultures (Bennett, 1977; Misumi & Peterson, 1985; Yukl, 2002). However, the impacts of the other three leader behaviors (i.e., particpativeness, directiveness, and contingent punishment) are culture specific. For example, Directive leadership behavior had no impact in the USA, while it had positive effects in Taiwan where it resulted as being the highest level among all leader behaviors. Participative leadership, while having positive effects in the USA, demonstrated no impact in Taiwan due to its history and culture that emphasize centralized leadership, authoritarian decision making, collectivism, and high power distances. House et al. (2004) conducted the well-known Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research (GLOBE). In their study, 60 societies were placed in country clusters based on their cultural similarities. Although managers in both the USA and China practice humane leadership styles, the USA, which was grouped in Anglo clusters, scores high on participative and performance-oriented leadership styles; while China, being placed in Confucian clusters, scores high on team-oriented or collectivistic leadership style. Other Chinese-US cross-cultural leadership research has focused on ethical and moral leadership, transformational leadership, and paternalistic leadership. Character building and moral leadership are an integral part of Chinese and US leadership. This has been evidenced in 2

In our article, Chinese cultural settings include Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. 51


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 numerous studies (e.g., Ling, Chia, & Fang, 2000; Offermann, Kennedy, & Wirtz, 1994; Resick, et. al., 2011; Xu, 1989; Wong 2001). Resick, et al. (2011)), for example, examined ethical and unethical leadership held by managers from six societies (i.e., Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the USA, Ireland, and Germany). The results revealed that managers from Mainland China responded Consideration and Respect for Others (72.5%), Character (52.5%), and Fairness and Non-Discriminatory Treatment (50.0%) as characteristics of ethical leaders; while US managers strongly focused on Character (90%) (e.g., honesty, personal integrity), but gave less emphasis on Accountabilities (42.5%) and Consideration and Respect for Others (40.0%). The responses by the managers in Taiwan are similar to those by the US managers emphasizing Character (69%), while respondents from Hong Kong provided similar themes as those from Mainland China that stress Consideration and Respect for Others (54.8%) and Character (51.6%). Transformational theories of leadership that originated with US scholars (Bass, 1985; Bass & Avolio, 1993; Burns, 1978; House, 1977) have been positively accepted and applied in the field of Western leadership (Avolio, Waldman, & Einstein, 1998; Bycio, Hackett, & Allen, 1995; Kirby, King, & Paradise, 1992; Leithwood & Jantzi, 2000, 2008). Despite this, transformational leadership seems to fit well with collectivistic cultures (Jung & Avolio, 1999), in which followers tend to (a) identify with a common goal and shared vision of the organization, (b) have high levels of loyalty, and (c) be more willing to place group goal or interests before personal goals or interests (Earley, 1993; Jung, Bass, & Sosik, 1995; Triandis, 1995). For example, studies (e.g., Chen, Jia, Li, Song, & Zhang, 2006; Jia, Song, Li, Cui, & Chen, 2007; Meng, 2004) have showed that transformational leadership has a distinctively positive relationship with employees’ job satisfaction and their organizational commitment in the context of Chinese enterprises. Paternalistic leadership has been recognized as a prevalent and effective leadership style in collectivistic cultures (e.g., China, Japan, Turkey, Mexico) (Farh & Cheng, 2000; Farh, Cheng, Chou, & Chu, 2006; Farh, Liang, Chou, and Cheng 2008; Martinez, 2005; Pellegrini & Scandura, 2006, 2008; Uhl-Bien, Tierney, Graen, & Wakabayashi, 1990). For example, Pun, Chin, and Lau (2000) observed that Chinese management and organizations are shaped by collective orientation, social relations, paternalistic approach, and acceptance of hierarchy. Additionally, Farh and Cheng (2000) conducted a cultural analysis of paternalistic leadership in Chinese business organizations. They identified authoritarianism, benevolence, and moral leadership as three common elements that constitute paternalistic leadership theory. However, paternalistic leadership has been perceived negatively and equated with authoritarianism and dictatorship in the individualistic cultures (Northhouse, 1997; Pellegrini & Scandura, 2006, 2008). Despite the similarities in leadership between Western (e.g., the USA) and East Asian countries and regions (e.g., China), Eastern and Western perspectives of leadership are distinct due to the differences in their histories and cultures. As Lee (1987) indicated, Eastern and Western sociocultural approaches to leadership and management may be distinguished in several aspects including needs, norms, relationships, family role, decision making, change, cognition, and structures of reasoning. Seeking the source of the existence of differences, however, we must 52


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 take into account the historical and cultural factors that impact East Asian and Western countries. According to Alves, Manz, and Butterfield (2005), An important source of the difference between Eastern and Western conceptions of management and leadership rests in philosophical principles… The development of leadership theories in other cultures has to account for philosophical assumptions and frames of reference underpinning those cultures. Thus, leadership theory and practice in China [and U.S.] is based on notions/perspectives of Chinese [and US] philosophy. (p. 12) Therefore, it is vital to trace back to those historical and cultural values and philosophical principles that underpin Chinese and US leadership practices. Cultural Values that Relate to U.S. Leadership Practices US cultural values have been characterized by democracy, freedom, individualism, and diversity of ethnic and cultural groups. The basis of US cultural values can be dated back to the colonial period of America. According to Woods (2000), the seeds of liberty were rooted in the colonial culture with its defiance against the British Colonies and its commitment to self-government. The underlying value for self-government was the liberty and the commitment to rights of the individual. As John Locke (1690) noted, “. . . the natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man [woman] . . . ” (as cited in Aldridge, 2002, p. 1). Commitment to natural rights of the individuals was reflected and explicitly outlined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the USA, and the Bill of Rights. The natural rights of the individual are at in the heart of US culture. In general, US value liberty, freedom, democracy, individuality, equality, creativity, and diversity and regard pursuing these rights as a part of their life. Williams (1960) in his book American Society: A Sociological Interpretation pointed out that “American society does not have a completely consistent and integrated value-structure . . . the total society is characterized by diversity and change in values” (p. 451). Despite this, he recognized the existence of dominant value themes in US culture and abstracted the patterns of value orientations from the important regional, class, and intracultural variations. These value orientations included but were not limited to, (a) achievement and success, (b) activity and work, (c) moral orientation, (d) humanitarian mores, (e) efficiency and practicality, (f) progress, (g) equality, (h) freedom, (i) external conformity, (j) democracy, and (l) individual personality (see Table 1). Kohls (1984) listed 13 values that US people live by, including (a) personal control over the environment, (b) change, (c) time and its control, (d) equality/egalitarianism, (e) individualism and privacy, (f) self-help concept, (g) competition, (h) future orientation, (i) action/work orientation (j) informality, (k) directness/openness/honesty (l) practicality/efficiency, and (m) materialism/acquisitiveness. In addition, Halamandaris (2004) discussed ten core values in his book The Heart of America: Ten Core Values That Make Our Country Great. The ten core values include (a) compassion, (b) opportunity, (c) responsibility, (d) equality, (e) valor, (f) 53


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 ambition, (g) liberty, (h) unity, (i) enterprise, and (j) spirituality. They are regarded as the foundation of the USA, which have been ingrained in the spirit of US people from early founding fathers to today’s youth generation (see Table 1). Table 1 The Core Values in US Cultures Robin M. Williams Jr. (1960)

Robert Kohls (1984)

Halamandaris (2004)

achievement and success the environment

personal control over

compassion

activity and work

change

opportunity

moral orientation

time and its control

responsibility

humanitarian mores

equality/egalitarianism

equality

efficiency and practicality

individualism and privacy

valor

progress

self-help concept

ambition

equality

competition

liberty

freedom

future orientation

unity

external conformity

action/work orientation

enterprise

democracy

informality

spirituality

individual personality

directness/openness/honesty

etc.

practicality/efficiency

materialism/acquisitiveness Cultural Concepts that Relate to Chinese Leadership Practices Chinese culture and traditions have their deep roots in the religio-philosophical traditions of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, and other schools of thought and beliefs. Among them, Confucianism has had tremendous influence on the history and culture of China and other East 54


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Asian countries for more than 2,500 years. It includes the following main virtues: rén (benevolence or humaneness), yì (righteousness), lǐ (rites, rituals, propriety), zhì (wisdom), xìn (honesty and trustworthiness), zhōng (loyalty), shù (reciprocity, altruism, and forgiveness), and xiào (filial piety). These virtues, to a large extent, lay the foundation of indigenous Chinese cultural values (Lam, 2003; Romar, 2002; Thompson, 2010) and have had great influence on the development of Chinese leaders’ leadership practice. Yang, Irby, and Brown (2012) gave detailed descriptions of each of these virtues and of six leadership practices derived from these virtues. For example, rén, as the fundamental virtue of Confucianism, means benevolence, love, kindness, charity, compassion, altruism, goodness, or perfect virtue. Rén is to love and it starts in an individual self, extends to the family and others, and ultimately to the whole world. Rén demands leaders love and care for their subordinates as the father does to their children. Based on rén, humane and benevolent leadership and transformational leadership are practiced and favorably accepted in Chinese cultures. Yì concerns morally right or wrong actions, and tells people what the right thing is to do in right situations (Cua, 2003; Feng, 1948). Lǐ is an all-embracing system of norms (Hershock & Ames, 2006) including the traditions, social customs, propriety, etiquette, politeness, and legal rules. Rén, yì, and lǐ provide the basic moral guidance for ethical and moral leadership practiced in China. According to Chan (2008), the concept of moral leadership in Confucianism entails three connotations: (a) Zheng ming (rectification of names), (b) self-cultivation, and (c) leading by example. Confucius (n.d./1971) proposed that a commonly shared set of names and the ethical meaning of names be established to help people to understand and follow the norms according to their roles and positions in social relationships. Additionally, an individual can realize his or her potential to be fully human by cultivating and practicing benevolence and humaneness and through endless self-transformation and spiritual growth (Tu, 1985). The self-transformation involves self-discipline and self-cultivation according to rites and rituals. Confucius (n.d./1971) advised that a ruler (a leader) cultivate himself or herself, treat his subjects with love and concern, and govern them by his or her own example. In this way, people will have trust and faithfulness in his or her government (or leadership). Moreover, virtues lǐ, zhōng, and xiào are the sources of Chinese cultural tradition and values of respect to authority and acceptance of hierarchy, from which paternalistic, bureaucratic, and authoritarian leadership approaches are derived. The practice of all these virtues and the leadership developed from these virtues help to achieve harmonious social relations and political stability and are conducive to maintaining the harmony and stability (Yang, Irby, & Brown, 2008, 2012).   Method Our study utilized a quantitative research method design, involving exploratory factor analysis (i.e., principal components analysis [PCA]) and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) of the primary data. Research Questions Our study attempted to answer the following four research questions: 1. What underlying structures exist for measures on the four factors of the SLT using 55


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Chinese and/or US educational leaders’ response data? 2. What differences exist in the underlying structures between Chinese and US educational leaders’ response data? 3. What are the differences in the responses to the items on the OLEI between Chinese and US educational leaders and between male and female educational leaders? Population and Sample The target population for our study consisted of all male and female academic deans, associate deans, department chairs, and assistant chairs in the 50 high-ranking public Chinese and the 50 high-ranking public US universities (including four-year colleges). The sample was composed of 2000 higher educational leaders (i.e., academic deans, associate deans, department chairs, and assistant chairs) from both public Chinese and US universities and 4-year colleges. Among them, 452 educational leaders (i.e., 235 from China and 217 from the USA) responded, yielding an average return rate of 22.6% for both the online (26.24%) and mail survey (11.41%) combined. Based on the studies by Mertler (2003), the return rates in our study are average for an online survey but lower than average for a paper survey. Table 2 presents a summary of demographic information on Chinese and US educational leaders who responded to the OLEI. Chinese Educational Leader Respondents Two hundred and thirty-six Chinese higher educational leaders provided their responses to the survey. The demographic information on Chinese educational leaders shows that the majority of respondents to the survey were male leaders making up 85.2%, while female respondents accounted for 14.8%. Respondents at four different management levels included 30 deans (12.7%), 101 associate deans (42.8%), 70 department chairs (29.7%), and 35 assistant chairs (14.8%). The respondents’ years of experience in present position varied with 33.9% of leaders having 1-3 years of experience and 33.1% of leaders having 4-6 years of experience. Leaders with 7-9 years of experience accounted for 16.1% of the group, while leaders with 10-12 years accounted for 8.5%, followed by two respondents (0.8%) with 13-15 years’ experience and six respondents (2.5%) with more than 16 years of experience. Missing data made up the difference with 5.1%. US Educational Leader Respondents Two hundred and sixteen US higher educational leaders included 29 deans, 27 associate deans, 153 department chairs, and 7 assistant chairs. The leaders were represented by 70.4% males (152) and 29.6% females (64). By ethnicity, the majority of the leaders were Caucasian (84.8%). The remaining leaders were African-American (2.8%), Hispanic (2.8%), Asian/Pacific Islanders (2.4%), Native American (0.9%), and others (4.6%) with 4 (1.8%) not indicating an ethnicity. Regarding years of experience, more than half of the leaders (58.8%) had between one to six years of experience in their present position with 38.9% of them indicating one to three years of experience and 19.9% of leaders having 4-6 years of experience. Leaders with 7-9 years of experience accounted for 10.6 % of the group, while leaders with 10-12 years accounted for 56


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 9.7%, followed by four leaders (1.9%) with 13-15 years’ experience and 29 respondents (13.4%) with more than 16 years of experience. Missing data made up the difference with 5.6%. Table 2 Internal Consistency of the OLEI with Chronbach’s alpha ________________________________________________________________________ Chronbach’s alpha ____________________________________________ Chinese Respondents US Respondents ________________________________________________________________________ Leadership Behaviors .960 .950 External Forces .918 .899 Organizational Structure .942 .911 Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs .887 .821 OLEI .972 .959 ________________________________________________________________________ Note. nChinese = 226 nUS = 210 Instrumentation The instrument employed in the study was the Organizational and Leadership Effectiveness Inventory (OLEI) that was developed and validated by Irby, Brown, and Duffy in 2000 and revalidated by Hernandez in 2004. The instrument consists of five parts with a total of 96 items. Participants were asked to record their responses on a Likert-type scale ranging from strong disagreement to strong agreement with certain statements about leadership and organization. The 96 items were grouped into five parts, addressing (a) philosophical value, beliefs and attitudes; (b) leadership behaviors; (c) external forces; (d) organizational structure; and (e) demographic information. The OLEI was translated independently by two researchers who are bilingual in Chinese and English. Two translations were compared to increase the accuracy of translation. Upon the completeness of translation, the OLEI items underwent a back-translation process. Additionally, the Chinese version of the OLEI was reviewed by a panel of three Chinese experts in educational leadership and administration to ensure its face validity. Reliability of the OLEI in the Current Study In order to test the reliability of the revised OLEI employed in this study, two pilot studies were conducted utilizing a Chronbach’s alpha coefficient reliability test among 30 higher educational leaders (15 from each country). A high Chronbach’s alpha (α = .972 for Chinese educational leaders and α = .963 for US educational leaders) was obtained from the data analysis on both pilot studies. Additionally, the high level of internal consistency of the instrument was reaffirmed in the current study by calculating Chronbach’s alpha coefficients for the entire 57


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 revised OLEI (Îą = .972 for Chinese leaders, Îą = .959 for US leaders) and for each subscale on the revised instrument (see Table 3). Table 3 Demographic Characteristics of Respondents ____________________________________________________________________________ Number _____________________

Percent _____________________

Variables Chinese US Chinese US ___________________________________________________________________________________ Gender Male 201 152 85.2 70.4 Female 35 64 14.8 29.6 Ethnicity Anglo NA 183 NA 84.8 African American NA 6 NA 2.8 Hispanic NA 6 NA 2.8 Asian/Pacific Islander NA 5 NA 2.4 Native American NA 2 NA 0.9 Others NA 10 NA 4.6 Missing NA 4 NA 1.8 Management Level Deans 30 29 12.7 13.4 Associate Deans 101 27 42.8 12.5 Department Chairs 70 153 29.7 70.8 Assistant Chairs 35 7 14.8 0.3 Years of Experience in Present Position 1-3 80 8 33.9 38.9 Table 3 (continued) ______________________________________________________________________________ Number _____________________

Percent _____________________

Variables Chinese US Chinese US ___________________________________________________________________________________ 4-6 78 43 33.1 19.9 7-9 38 23 16.1 10.6 10-12 20 21 8.5 9.7 13-15 2 4 0.8 1.9 16 plus 6 29 2.5 13.4 Missing 12 12 5.1 5.6 ___________________________________________________________________________________ Note. n = 452

58


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Procedures The data were collected through participants’ linking the OLEI established in SurveyMonkey professional account and completing the survey online or participating in the mail survey. Quantitative data collection for this study was comprised of a three-step process: Step 1. In order to provide the convenience for the sampled participants and improve the communication effectiveness, both English and Chinese versions of the OLEI were placed in the SurveyMonkey professional account. Step 2. Before administering the survey, we contacted each of the sampled participants via email, inviting them to participate in the study. This first email included (a) the model and a brief description of the SLT; (b) the study goal and research procedures; (c) issues on confidentiality and data protection; and (d) the web link to the OLEI and instructions for completing the survey. Besides the online survey, the paper survey was mailed out to the sampled leaders whose email addresses were not available. Step 3. Approximately three months after the first email or mail, the second email or mail was sent, reminding the sampled participants to complete the survey. The research questions were analyzed and answered through employing descriptive and inferential statistics and conducting exploratory factor analysis and multivariate analysis of variance utilizing the SPSS. In order to discover the underlying structures that exist for measures on the four factors of the SLT, eight exploratory factor analyses (i.e., PCAs) were conducted on the four factors of the SLT as presented in the OLEI using Chinese and US educational leaders’ response data independently. Once the underlying structures were determined, they were compared between Chinese and US response data. In response to the third research question: What are the differences in the responses to the items on the OLEI between Chinese and US educational leaders and between male and female educational leaders?, MANOVAs were implemented to examine and compare the similarities and differences in the perceptions and leadership experiences of Chinese and US educational leaders in relation to the four factors of the SLT. Due to the differences existing in the underlying structures that resulted from the PCAs of Chinese and US educational leaders’ response data and to make the analysis comparable, only the common variables selected from the PCAs of both Chinese and US educational leaders’ response data were employed for MANOVAs. Results In response to the first and second research questions, we conducted eight exploratory factor analyses (i.e., PCAs) on the four factors of the SLT as presented in the OLEI using Chinese and US educational leaders’ response data independently. The PCAs of Chinese educational leaders’ response data resulted in 10 subfactors under the factor, Leadership Behaviors; however, we retained six subfactors (i.e., Transformational Leadership Behaviors, Participative Leadership Behaviors, Humane Leadership Behaviors, Collaborative Leadership Behaviors, Responsive Leadership Behaviors, and Academic Leadership Behaviors) that were internally consistent and well-defined by the variables loaded (see Table 4). The PCAs of US educational leaders’ response data resulted in 13 subfactors under the factor, Leadership Behaviors; however, we 59


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 retained six subfactors (i.e., Collaborative Leadership Behaviors, Transformational Leadership Behaviors, Efficient Leadership Behaviors, Participative Leadership Behaviors, Motivated Leadership Behaviors, and Academic Leadership Behaviors) (see Table 5). Despite the differences in the underlying structures of the factor, Leadership Behaviors, findings revealed that Chinese and US educational leaders partially shared 21 variables under five of the subfactors (i.e., Transformational Leadership Behaviors, Participative Leadership Behaviors, Humane Leadership Behaviors, Collaborative Leadership Behaviors, and Academic Leadership Behaviors). With respect to the remaining three factors (i.e., External Forces; Organizational Structure; and Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs), PCAs of combined Chinese and US educational leaders’ response data resulted in similar subfactors, including three subfactors (i.e., Institutional Culture, Community Culture/Shared Governance, and Context of Work) under External Forces, and two subfactors (i.e., Personal Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs and Perceived Institutional Leaders’ Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs) under Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs (see Tables 4 and 5). Additionally, PCAs of combined Chinese and US educational leaders’ response data even yielded exactly the same one subfactor (i.e., Characteristics of Learning Organizational Structure) under Organizational Structures (see Tables 4 and 5). Because of the similar underlying structures, Chinese and US educational leaders had the majority of variables under the three factors in common. They shared 10 external forces variables; 10 values, attitudes, beliefs variables; and all organizational structure variables. Table 4 Item Loading on Four Factors of the Organizational Leadership Effectiveness Inventory by Chinese Educational Leaders Factor/Subfactor/Item Factor Loadings I II III IV V VI Factor I - Leadership Behaviors Subfactor I: Transformational Leadership Behavior 27. Effective time manager .735 .071 .139 .183 -.001 -.046 21. Influencer .695 .112 .158 .198 .214 .182 30. Effective .693 .067 .202 .078 .226 .078 17. Decision maker .686 .177 -.060 .072 .147 .105 18. Risk taker .675 .257 -.120 .085 -.072 -.046 48. Intuitive .665 .163 .062 .182 .427 -.004 29. Persuasive .659 .078 .337 .235 .051 .003 28. Organized .651 .055 .294 .139 .004 .117 13. Efficient .645 .155 -.123 .181 .046 .167 22. Analyzes situations .641 .137 .187 .294 .248 .172 26. Self sufficient .612 .253 .187 .173 .217 .186 8. Communicates vision .574 .077 -.037 .298 .130 .214 23. High energy .540 .025 .222 .228 .236 .477 20. Change agent .511 .186 -.046 .063 .258 .075 49. Flexible/adaptable .496 .336 .166 .323 .231 .157 7. Motivational .480 .219 .100 .040 -.122 -.062 25. Emotionally stable .448 .261 .026 .247 .121 .120

60


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Table 4 (Continued) Factor/Subfactor/Item

Factor Loadings I II III IV V VI Subfactor II: Participative Leadership Behaviors 15. Delegates .150 .751 .212 .073 -.065 .120 39. Empowers others .190 .746 .114 .177 .153 .071 11. Shares power -.048 .692 .112 .011 .006 .225 47. Democratic .135 .682 .308 .072 .228 -.075 16. Utilizes participatory management .152 .631 .186 .009 .087 .072 45. Inclusive .332 .585 .123 .062 .338 -.116 14. Assertive .287 .457 -.112 -.046 .094 .045 43. Uses affiliate languages, such as “we,” “our” .024 .446 .277 .288 .153 .232 44. Participative .279 .430 .236 .277 .171 .238 31. Cooperative .415 .429 .360 .180 .023 -.064 46. Nurturing .424 .425 .259 .143 .376 .020 12. Dependable .222 .336 .241 .133 .178 .151 Subfactor III: Humane Leadership Behaviors 33. People oriented .072 .320 .731 -.028 .148 .004 34. Compassionate .090 .222 .727 .185 .058 .131 32. Empathetic .006 .445 .658 -.175 .045 .066 35. Collegial .156 .430 .561 -.080 .141 -.072 50. Emotionally expressive .249 .075 .520 .322 .317 .127 Subfactor IV: Collaborative Leadership Behaviors 40. Networker Table 4 (Continued) Factor/Subfactor/Item

.322

I 37. Strong interpersonal skills .384 3. Communicator .317 42. Combines social talk with administrative talk .333 38. Consensus builder .284 41. Transformational .349 Subfactor V: Responsive Leadership Behaviors 52. Alert to social environment .436 53. Responsive to need of faculty/staff .110 54. Reflective .205 51. Receptive to new ideas/change .464 Subfactor VI: Academic Leadership Behaviors 5. High expectations of self and others .076 6. Strong academic self-concept .284 9. “Can do” philosophy (resourceful) .106 Factor II - External Forces Subfactor I: Institutional Culture 64. Power sharing 56. Views teachers as leaders 55. Emphasis on collegiality

61

.061

-.065

.742

.043

.035

II .030 .023 .212 .412 .265

Factor Loadings III IV .167 .717 -.102 .629 .254 .527 .259 .432 .137 .356

V .163 .064 .215 .128 .271

VI .041 .032 .053 -.027 .009

.024 .321 .329 .215

.147 .264 .224 -.033

.236 .095 .113 .121

.619 .605 .592 .560

.098 -.071 .038 .318

.055 .114 .193

.074 .058 .037

.004 .050 .382

.076 .098 .231

.715 .697 .410

I .793 .793 .768

II .191 .071 -.070

III .015 .184 .235


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 67. Promotes subordinate empowerment 58. Participative decision making 57. Emphasis on reflective practice Table 4 (Continued) Factor/Subfactor/Item

62. Values faculty/staff as individual human beings 61. Arrives at goals through consensual process 66. Promotes nurturing and caring 65. Promotes community and cooperation 60. Recognizes ability or expertise 59. Utilizes system of rotating leadership Subfactor II: Community Culture 69. My leadership is affected by the expectations of the community 68. The president in my university/college supports my philosophy 63. Commitment to employee growth Subfactor III: Context of Work 70. The socio-economic levels in the community affect my leadership 71. Language groups in the community impact my leadership Factor III - Organizational Structure Subfactor: Characteristics of Learning Organizational Structure 79. Promotes nurturing and caring 75. Values faculty/staff as individual human beings

.765 .748 .718

.369 .158 .353

-.040 .052 .074

Factor Loadings I II III .700 .437 -.108 .685 .354 -.038 .647 .543 -.065 .600 .583 -.127 .575 .448 .098 .524 .250 .034 .061

.724

.336

.177 .555

.609 .604

.182 -.014

.049

.173

.820

.169

.082

.813

.889 .886

Table 4 (Continued) Factor/Subfactor/Item 80. Promotes subordinate empowerment 78. Promotes community and cooperation   76. Commitment to employee growth 74. Arrives at goals through consensual process 81. Has clear norms and values 77. Power sharing 82. Encourages professional training 83. Has well-defined goals 73. Recognizes ability or expertise 72. Utilizes system of rotating leadership Factor IV - Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs Subfactor I: Personal Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs 90. Emphasis on reflective practice 89. Emphasis on innovation 84. Emphasis on professional growth for self/staff/faculty 87. Emphasis on character, ethics, and integrity 85. Openness to change

62

Factor Loadings I II .863 .851   .845 .839 .794 .788 .775 .760 .741 .590 .795 .776 .751 .748 .738

.150 .224 .185 .092 .195


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 91. Openness to diversity 88. Emphasis on programs for special students 86. Emphasis on collegiality

.732 .681 .607

.251 .334 .029

Table 4 (Continued) Factor/Subfactor/Item

Factor Loadings I II Subfactor II: Perceived Institutional Leaders’ Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs 92. Emphasis on professional growth for self/staff/faculty .139 .884 96. Openness to diversity .129 .837 95. Openness to change .188 .836 93. Emphasis on innovation .208 .829 94. Importance of programs for special students .253 .766 Note. n = 226. Because there was only one Organizational Structural subfactor loading, the component matrix loadings were listed rather than the rotated component matrix loadings.

Table 5 Item Loading on Four Factors of the Organizational Leadership Effectiveness Inventory by US Educational Leaders Factor/Subfactor/Item Factor Loadings I II III IV V VI Factor I - Leadership Behaviors Subfactor I: Collaborative Leadership Behaviors 34. Compassionate .815 -.006 .036 .141 .073 .002 33. People oriented .748 .201 -.110 .093 -.077 .012 35. Collegial .707 -.016 .015 .156 .028 .253 32. Empathetic .682 .081 -.017 .233 .056 -.094 36. Team player .647 -.222 .019 .066 .154 .124 53. Responsive to need of faculty/staff .596 .267 .005 .215 .242 .097 52. Alert to social environment .579 .176 .167 -.063 -.002 .070 46. Nurturing .579 .036 .061 .359 .204 .188 37. Strong interpersonal skills .566 .141 .087 .180 -.025 -.060 54. Reflective .507 .144 .281 .048 .016 .380 44. Participative .443 .086 .013 .346 .265 .070 29. Persuasive .368 .354 .237 .190 .119 .223 Subfactor II: Transformational Leadership Behaviors 17. Decision maker .119 .759 .133 .061 .165 .029 14. Assertive .021 .637 .256 .035 .118 .040 20. Change agent .108 .624 .118 .155 .127 .302 18. Risk taker .002 .602 -.046 .004 -.069 .133 21. Influencer .175 .527 .232 .133 .141 .090 Table 5 (Continued) Factor/Subfactor/Item I 41. Transformational .165 Subfactor III: Effective Leadership Behaviors 28. Organized .018

63

II .361 .114

Factor Loadings III IV V .266 .160 -.018 .868

.018

.050

VI .257 .058


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 27. Effective time manager -.058 .139 13. Efficient .066 .130 30. Effective .226 .347 Subfactor IV: Participative Leadership Behaviors 16. Utilizes participatory management .201 .115 15. Delegates .048 .283 11. Shares power .281 -.129 31. Cooperative .390 -.120 39. Empowers others .450 .143 38. Consensus builder .453 .113 45. Inclusive .419 .114 47. Democratic .292 -.183 Subfactor V: Motivated Leadership Behaviors 1. Leads by example .192 .030 22. Analyzes situations .188 .275 12. Dependable .218 .129 23. High energy -.020 .273 24. Achievement oriented .006 .336

.829 .732 .409

.159 .091 .162

.100 .222 .259

.027 .055 .261

.119 .269 -.039 .124 .033 .032 -.035 .101

.723 .621 .540 .511 .508 .468 .455 .387

.044 -.066 -.033 .138 .123 .143 .249 .176

.049 .031 .146 .069 .071 .027 .203 .159

.176 .266 .353 .041 .352

-.004 .031 .204 .167 .046

.584 .574 .572 .485 .435

.190 .210 .121 .095 .168

V

VI

.153 .167 -.106 I

.123 .052 .305 II

.764 .628 .588 III

.841 .832 .818 .800 .790 .718 .639

.091 .136 .210 .228 .341 .425 .493

.051 -.023 .038 -.026 .049 -.017 .063

.575 .574 .495

.027 .362 .334

.067 .149 .173

.025 .537 .377

.852 .598 .513

-.078 .042 .002

Table 5 (Continued) Factor/Subfactor/Item I Subfactor VI: Academic Leadership Behaviors 6. Strong academic self-concept .111 4. Lifelong learner .103 5. High expectations of self and others .106 Factor II - External Forces Subfactor I: Institutional Culture 63. Commitment to employee growth 62. Values faculty/staff as individual human beings 66. Promotes nurturing and caring 65. Promotes community and cooperation 67. Promotes subordinate empowerment 64. Power sharing 58. Participative decision making 68. The president in my university/college supports my philosophy 57. Emphasis on reflective practice 55. Emphasis on collegiality Subfactor II: Shared Governance 59. Utilizes system of rotating leadership 61. Arrives at goals through consensual process 60. Recognizes ability or expertise

64

II .125 -.013 .168

Factor Loadings III IV .045 .083 .124


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Table 5 (Continued) Factor/Subfactor/Item 56. Views teachers as leaders Subfactor III: Context of Work 70. The socio-economic levels in the community affect my leadership 69. My leadership is affected by the expectations of the community 71. Language groups in the community impact my leadership Factor III - Organizational Structure Subfactor: Characteristics of Learning Organizational Structure 80. Promotes subordinate empowerment 78. Promotes community and cooperation 76. Commitment to employee growth 75. Values faculty/staff as individual human beings 79. Promotes nurturing and caring 77. Power sharing 74. Arrives at goals through consensual process 82. Encourages professional training 83. Has well-defined goals 73. Recognizes ability or expertise 81. Has clear norms and values

Factor Loadings I II III .484 .504 .112 .098

.043

.816

.085

-.114

.754

-.045

.091

.712

.860 .808 .807 .795 .780 .752 .751 .707 .689 .649 .638

Table 5 (Continued) Factor/Subfactor/Item

Factor Loadings I II III .424

72. Utilizes system of rotating leadership Factor IV - Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs Subfactor I: Personal Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs 87. Emphasis on character, ethics, and integrity .755 .063 .247 84. Emphasis on professional growth for self/staff/faculty .749 .166 .006 86. Emphasis on collegiality .738 -.010 .192 85. Openness to change .650 .138 .111 90. Emphasis on reflective practice .533 .058 .462 Subfactor II: Perceived Institutional Leaders’ Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs 93. Emphasis on innovation .081 .726 .186 95. Openness to change .066 .721 .074 96. Openness to diversity .007 .710 .054 92. Emphasis on professional growth for self/staff/faculty .205 .702 -.088 94. Importance of programs for special students .066 .566 .292 Note. n  =  210.  Because  there  was  only  one  Organizational  Structural  subfactor,  the  component  matrix   loadings  were  listed  rather  than  the  rotated  component  matrix  loadings.  

In order to find differences exist in the responses to the items on the OLEI between Chinese and US educational leaders (i.e., the third research questions), we conducted MANOVA tests 65


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 utilizing the 53 common variables shared among Chinese and US educational leaders’ response data. In addition, the follow-up ANOVA tests provided detailed reports on the differences. The results of the MANOVA tests revealed that there existed statistically significant group differences by citizenship with respect to the following latent variables: (a) Transformational Leadership Behaviors, Pillai’s Trace = .109 F(4, 420) = 13.106, p < .0001, multivariate η2 = .109; (b) Participative Leadership Behaviors, Wilks’ Λ = .927 F(4, 426) = 8.343, p < .0001, multivariate η2 = .073; (c) Efficient Leadership Behaviors, Pillai’s Trace = .110 F(7, 421) = 7.452, p < .0001, multivariate η2 = .110; (d) Academic Leadership Behaviors, Pillai’s Trace = .171 F(2, 430) = 44.488, p < .0001, multivariate η2 = .171; (e) Institutional Culture, Pillai’s Trace = .271 F(8, 420) = 19.483, p < .0001, multivariate η2 = .271; (f) Context of Work (Wilks’ Λ = .929 F(2, 428) = 16.253, p < .0001, multivariate η2 = .071); (g) Characteristics of Learning Organizational Structure, Pillai’s Trace = .229 F(12, 411) = 10.159, p < .0001, multivariate η2 = .229; (h) Personal Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs, Wilks’ Λ = .876 F(5,423) = 11.980, p < .0001, multivariate η2 = .124; and (i) Perceived Institutional Leaders’ Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs, Pillai’s Trace = .255 F(5, 423) = 29.014, p < .0001, multivariate η2 = .255 (see Table 6). The group means of the latent variables supported the findings by the MANOVA tests and demonstrated where and how Chinese and US educational leaders differed as shown in Table 7. Table 6 Multivariate Analysis of Variance for 10 Latent Variables by Citizenship _____________________________________________________________________________ Latent Variables Pillai’s Trace/ F p Wilks’ Λ ______________________________________________________________________________ Leadership Behaviors Transformational Leadership Behaviors .109a 13.106 .000 .109 Participative Leadership Behaviors .927b 8.343 .000 .073 Efficient Leadership Behaviors .110a 7.452 .000 .110 Humane Leadership Behaviors .998b .337 .799 .002 Academic Leadership Behaviors .171a 44.488 .000 .171 External Forces Institutional Culture .271a 19.483 .000 .271 Context of Work .929b 16.253 .000 .071 Organizational Structure Characteristics of Learning Organizational .229a 10.159 .000 .229 Structure Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs Personal Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs .876b 11.980 .000 .124 Perceived Institutional Leaders’ Values, .255a 29.014 .000 .255 Attitudes, and Beliefs ______________________________________________________________________________ Note. a. Pillai’s Trace, b. Wilks’ Λ; α = .0005 after Bonferroni Adjustment

66

η2


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Table 7 Group Means and Standard Deviations of Latent Variables for Chinese and US Educational Leaders ______________________________________________________________________________

Chinese Leaders US Leaders ______________ ________________ Latent Variables M SD M SD ________________________________________________________________________ Transformational Leadership Behaviors 3.44 .439 3.28 .473 Participative Leadership Behaviors 3.38 .424 3.40 .388 Efficient Leadership Behaviors 3.42 .455 3.23 .506 Humane Leadership Behaviors 3.40 .492 3.42 .490 Academic Leadership Behaviors 3.46 .474 3.57 .466 Institutional Culture 3.11 .555 2.92 .558 Context of Work 2.72 .566 2.69 .560 Characteristics of Learning Organizational 3.02 .530 2.79 .455 Structure Personal Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs 3.41 .412 3.45 .440 Perceived Institutional Leaders’ Values, 3.05 .540 3.04 .409 Attitudes, and Beliefs ________________________________________________________________________ Note. nChinese = 226, nUS = 210. Findings from MANOVAs, however, demonstrated no statistically significant group differences in Humane Leadership Behaviors (Wilks’ Λ = .998 F(4, 424) = .337, p = .799, multivariate η2 = .002) between Chinese and US educational leaders. Additionally, no significant gender differences were found in all 10 latent variables tested between male and female educational leaders due to few female respondents. The results of the follow-up univariate ANOVAs tests revealed significant differences between Chinese and US educational leaders in the following 21 variables under nine latent variables (see Table 8): (a) risk takers under the latent variable of Transformational Leadership Behaviors; (b) shares power and democratic under Participative Leadership Behaviors; (c) effective and effective time manager under Efficient Leadership Behaviors; (d) high expectations of self and others and strong academic self-concept under Academic Leadership Behaviors; (e) emphasis on collegiality, emphasis on reflective practice, and promotes community and cooperation under the latent variable of Institutional Culture; (f) the socio-economic levels in the community affect my leadership under the latent variable of Context of Work; (g) utilizes system of rotating leadership, arrives at goals through consensual process, promotes community and cooperation, promotes subordinate empowerment, encourages professional training, and has well-defined goals within the latent variable of Characteristics of Learning Organizational Structure; (h) emphasis on collegiality and emphasis on reflective practice under Personal Values, Attitudes, 67


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 and Beliefs; and (i) openness to change and openness to diversity under the latent variable of Perceived Institutional Leaders’ Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs. Table 8 Analysis of Variance for Variables by Citizenship (Tests of Between-Subjects Effects) ______________________________________________________________________________ Variables df F η2 p ______________________________________________________________________________ Transformational Leadership Behaviorsa 17. Decision maker 1 .808 .002 .369 18. Risk taker 1 40.951 .087 .000* 20. Change agent 1 1.040 .002 .308 21. Influencer 1 1.072 .002 .301 Participative Leadership Behaviorsb 11. Shares power 1 12.458 .028 .000* 15. Delegates 1 4.314 .010 .038 16. Utilizes participatory management 1 .024 .000 .876 31. Cooperative 1 1.716 .004 .191 39. Empowers others 1 .490 .001 .484 45. Inclusive 1 .425 .001 .575 47. Democratic 1 9.083 .021 .003* Efficient Leadership Behaviorsc 13. Efficient 1 17.560 .039 .000* 27. Effective time manager 1 12.017 .027 .001* 28. Organized 1 4.158 .010 .042 30. Effective 1 .661 .002 .417 d Academic Leadership Behaviors 5. High expectations of self and others 1 50.937 .106 .000* Table 8 (continued) ______________________________________________________________________________ Variables df F η2 p ______________________________________________________________________________ 77. Power sharing 1 .038 .000 .846 78. Promotes community and cooperation 1 9.336 .022 .002* 79. Promotes nurturing and caring 1 4.927 .012 .027 80. Promotes subordinate empowerment 1 10.414 .024 .001* 81. Has clear norms and values 1 7.061 .016 .008 82. Encourages professional training 1 8.927 .017 .002* 83. Has well-defined goals 1 9.979 .023 .002* Personal Values, Attitudes, and Beliefsh 84. Emphasis on professional growth for self/others 1 .014 .000 .904 85. Openness to change 1 3.678 .009 .056 86. Emphasis on collegiality 1 25.095 .056 .000* 87. Emphasis on character, ethics, and integrity 1 .005 .000 .941 90. Emphasis on reflective practice 1 9.689 .022 .002* Perceived Institutional Leaders’ Values, Attitudes, and Beliefsi 92. Emphasis on professional growth for self/others 1 .169 .000 .681 93. Emphasis on innovation 1 .041 .000 .840

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 94. Importance of programs for special students 1 4.017 .009 .035 95. Openness to change 1 10.919 .025 .001* 96. Openness to diversity 1 37.963 .082 .000* ______________________________________________________________________________ Note. a. α = .013; b. α = .007; c. α = .013; d. α = .025; e. α = .006; f. α = .025; g. α = .004; h. α = .01; i. α = .01.

Discussion Factor I - Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs Values, attitudes, and beliefs are essential parts of culture. According to Kluckhohn (1951), “the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e., historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values” (p. 5). Hofstede (1980) treated culture as “the collective programming of the mind which distinguished the members of one human group from another . . . . Culture, in this sense, include systems of values; and values are among the building blocks of culture” (p. 28). Researchers have found that cultural values are relatively persistent (Hofstede & Peterson, 2000), stable, and enduring (Irby, Brown, Duffy, & Trautman, 2002). The findings in our study evidenced this persistency and stability. For example, Chinese leaders’ appreciation of reflective practice is congruent with the Confucian-based cultural values and traditions of self-discipline and self-cultivation, through which leaders not only develop their potential to be fully human, but they also influence and elevate the character of the followers (Confucian, n.d./1971).  US leaders’ emphasis on collegiality is closely related to the democracy, freedom, and equality that are highly valued in US culture (Williams, 1960). Collegiality that was built on trust, openness, civility, mutual respect, and shared power and authority guaranteed to all colleagues has been one of the most revered principles in US higher education (Brackney, 2010). Leaders and members in universities and colleges respect and accept the rights and authority that has equally vested in each other and work together towards the common goal. Similarly, US leaders’ emphasis on openness to diversity reflects US values and traditions (Williams, 1960). The US society consists of a diversity of ethnic and cultural groups that help to form US values. In such a society, leaders and followers with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds generally have the awareness of their respective differences in languages, cultures, traditions, values, and beliefs. Thus, they tend to tolerate, respect, and accept the differences. This is consistent with what Williams (1960) described American External Conformity. The external conformity is “a sort of social currency” by which US people with diverse cultural backgrounds survive “the clashes of interests” and “continue to live together in the same society” (Williams, 1960, p. 453). Despite the differences described above, findings in the study indicated Chinese and US educational leaders had some values, attitudes, and beliefs in common. For example, the majority of Chinese and US educational leaders agreed or strongly agreed that they emphasized character, ethics, integrity, innovation, professional growth for faculty and staff, openness to change, and openness to diversity. Additionally, they agreed or strongly agreed that their university leaders emphasized innovation, faculty and staff’s professional growth, and programs for special 69


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 students. These shared values, attitudes, and beliefs are universal across both the Chinese and US high education institutions. Factor II - Leadership Behaviors Values, attitudes, and beliefs are the foundations guiding the leadership behaviors and are manifested in leaders’ leadership behaviors. Researchers have found that cultural values not only have an important influence on the development of leadership ideals and practices, but they are also congruent with leadership practices in a given culture (Erez & Earley, 1993; Gerstner & Day, 1994; Hunt, Boal, & Sorenson, 1990; Scarborough; 1998). Gerstner and Day (1994) compared prototypical leaders in different countries and found that different countries seem to have different prototypes of business leaders. Erez and Earley (1993) suggested that practices that are consistent with a society’s predominant cultural values are evaluated favorably. Further, Scarborough (1998) pointed out that despite the society change and external pressures, leaders in a given society continue to adhere to the cultural values that they have embraced for decades and to lead in ways that reflect societal core values. The congruence of leadership practices with cultural values has been evidenced in the current study of Chinese and US educational leaders’ leadership behaviors. Findings in our study revealed that the majority of the Chinese and US educational leaders agreed or strongly agreed that they are (a) democratic, (b) delegated, (c) implemented participative leadership, and (d) involved followers in decision making. However, the differences are: US educational leaders were more likely than Chinese educational leaders to agree or strongly agree that they share power. Power sharing reflects the US values and traditions of democracy, which encompasses equality among individual human beings, transparency, participative leadership, and empowerment. The study by Dorfman and Howell (1997) presented supporting evidence to suggest that while participative leadership with power being shared by the followers has positive effects in the USA, it demonstrates no effects in the Confucian Taiwan. This is also consistent with the findings by Hofstede (1991) that the USA is low on power distance in which the subordinates’ participating in decision-making is advocated. Different from the US values and traditions of power sharing, the Confucian traditional conception of power emphasizes paternalistic authority and acceptance of hierarchy. In such a culture with a high power distance, leaders generally regard leadership as hierarchical, authoritybased, and power-oriented, while subordinates are not very sensitive of the unequal power distribution (Dong, 2009). Thus, power is mostly reluctantly shared. Both Chinese and US educational leaders agreed or strongly agreed that they are decision makers, change agents, and influencers. However, compared to US educational leaders, Chinese educational leaders were more likely to agree or strongly agree that they are risk takers. Additionally, Chinese educational leaders agreed or strongly agreed that they are effective time mangers and are organized. One explanation for the differences in these leadership behaviors is that most of Chinese deans, associate deans, chairs, and assistant chairs in present positions belong to the younger generation who, at the ages of 38-50, grew up during the Social Reform Era (i.e., 1978 to present). According to Rosen (1990), Chinese youth of this generation and 70


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 beyond are more entrepreneurial, risk-taking, likely to think outside the box, and open to change. In addition, it is noted that Chinese Social Reform and open-door policy encourage individual achievement, materialism, economic efficiency, and entrepreneurship (Egri & Ralston, 2004; Tian, 1998). To a greater extent, these value orientations enhance the Chinese industrialization and modernization which result in unprecedented economic growth and prosperity (Egri & Ralston, 2004; Tian, 1998; Yao, 2000). Taking pride in their personal accomplishments and in the progress achieved by the organizations they lead, Chinese educational leaders of this generation are confident that they are influential, effective in their work, and efficient in their leadership functions. Compared to Chinese educational leaders, US educational leaders are more conservative as they grow up in US cultural settings, which engage with moral conservatism (The Triumph of the Religious Right, 2004) and “embrace religious beliefs and traditional values” (Gao & Newman, 2005, p. 3). The US culture’s conservatism was contended by Inglehart and Baker’s (2000) that “the United States, despite its high degree of industrialization, represents a stronghold of traditional values and beliefs” (As cited in Gao & Newman, 2005, p. 3). Lynne (2009) also pointed out that the US social system, especially the educational system, is a system of conformity, in which great emphasis is placed on conservative values. Regarding Academic Leadership behaviors, there are not many discrepancies between Chinese and US educational leaders. However, findings in our study revealed that Chinese educational leaders were more likely to agree or strongly agree that they have strong academic self-concept, while US educational leaders were more likely to agree or strongly agree that they had high expectations of self and others. Having strong academic self-concept is congruent with Confucian traditions that emphasized education and learning (Confucian, n.d./1971) as well as US cultural values that attach importance to science, knowledge, and skills (Williams, 1960). It also reflects the increased demands for high levels of academic and research achievement in both Chinese and US current higher education settings. The demands can be observed in the following examples: Over the past decades, the USA has been the largest producer of academic research papers in the world. In 2008, China overtook the UK and became the world’s second-largest producer of academic research (Baty, 2009). In addition, in the era of globalization, the success of higher education depends on common efforts of leaders and followers. Both Chinese and US educational leaders held the belief of having high expectations of self and others. This reflects their cultures and traditions. Traditionally, neither Chinese nor US culture lack transformational leadership. More than 2000 years ago, Confucius (n.d./1971) stated, “A benevolent person while wanting to establish him- or herself also establishes others, while wanting to be outstanding him- or herself also makes others outstanding” (p. 194). Burns (1978) also noted that transformational leadership “. . . occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality” (p. 20). Findings in our study indicated that there were no statistically significant differences in Humane Leadership Behaviors (i.e., collegial, empathetic, compassionate, and people-oriented) between Chinese and US educational leaders. Humane leadership behaviors performed by Chinese 71


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 educational leaders are in line with the concepts of Confucian benevolent leadership. In the Confucian benevolent leadership, rén (i.e., love, benevolence, kindness, charity, humanity) is “to love all men” (Confucian, n.d/1971, p. 260). Rén starts in an individual self, extends to the family and others, and ultimately to the whole world (Chan, 2008). In the USA, one of the important cultural values is humanitarian mores, which include kindliness, mutual helpfulness, generosity, sympathy, concern, aid, etc. Humanitarian mores represent the permanent theme of Christianity (Williams, 1960). Leaders who highly value humanitarianism would exhibit humane leadership behaviors. Factor III - External Forces External forces in the study include the influences of institutional culture and the impact of socio-economic factors in the community. Regarding the impact of institutional culture on their leadership, Chinese educational leaders were more likely than their peer US leaders to agree or strongly agree that their university leaders enhance community and cooperation. Promoting community and cooperation conforms to collectivism and harmonious social relationships that are highly valued in Confucian societies and cultures. In Confucianism, one of the greatest goals is to achieve the social harmony. The maintenance of harmonious social relationships ensures the achievement of collectivity and social stability. Since the 1980s, the view of building a harmonious society, promoting development, and seeking cooperation has been upheld by the Chinese central government, indicating a renaissance of Confucianism in Chinese society (Bell, 2008). As for the socio-economic impact on their leadership, Chinese educational leaders were more likely to agree and strongly agree that the socio-economic levels in the community affect their leadership, though a little more than half of the Chinese (64.2%) and US (51.4%) respondents agreed with the impact. Over the past years, Chinese public universities might have faced constant financial challenges and funding pressures due to the large population and economic situation, though most of the US public universities have experienced budget cuts and resources shrinkages in the recent recession. Factor IV - Organizational Structure Organizational structure refers to the characteristics of the organizations and how they operate (Irby et al. 2002). Findings revealed that Chinese educational leaders more strongly agreed that their universities have well-defined goals, while US educational leaders were more likely to agree that their universities encourage professional training. China’s public higher education system is still a state-run system, though universities and colleges have won much autonomy and independence. The goals set by these high-ranking Chinese public universities reflect the Chinese government’s goals and endeavors which mainly include Project 211 and Project 985 as “national priority for the 21st century” (China Education Center[CEC], 2010, p. 1). Project 211 aims at strengthening about 100 institutions of higher education and key disciplinary areas; Project 985 was launched to establish world-class universities in the 21st century. The goal of these projects is to enhance the overall capacity and 72


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 international competitiveness of Chinese higher education by training high-level professional manpower and facilitating the advancement of Chinese universities in social, economics, science, technology, and cultural fields (CEC, 2010). The consistency in set goals reflects collectivist values and orientation toward group goals. Different from Chinese higher education system, US universities are characterized by its decentralization and autonomy and its emphasis on creativity and innovation. That US universities attached importance to the employees’ professional growth reflects the emphasis on creativity and innovation that are highly valued in US cultures. Innovation and creativity depend on the advancement of knowledge and professional development. One of the most important roles of US higher education institutions is to enhance innovation and creativity. Michael M. Crow (2008), the president at Arizona State University, argued in College Board Forum “… perpetual innovation is essential what will be required, both in terms of the advancement of knowledge itself and the advancement of higher education institutions” (p. 8). Driven by the idea of facilitating the values of innovation and creativity, US universities commit to the employees’ professional training and encourage their continued development. Findings revealed that overall, both Chinese and US educational leaders were unlikely to agree that their universities utilize system of rotating leadership (64.6% of agreement for Chinese and 32.3% of agreement for US educational leaders), arrive at goals through consensual process (73.5% of agreement for Chinese and 58.6% of agreement for US respondents), or promote subordinate empowerment (66.3% of agreement for Chinese and 52.9% of agreement for US respondents). Conclusion Findings in our study indicated that Chinese and US educational leaders had numerous values, attitudes, beliefs, leadership behaviors, and characteristics of organizational structures in common. Our study provided the empirical evidence that cultural values are relatively persistent, stable, and enduring and that they are congruent with leadership behaviors due to their influence on the development of leadership practices. Moreover, both Chinese and US educational leaders acknowledged that external forces (e.g., economic situations, governments, institutional culture) had an impact on their leadership behaviors, though external factors varied from country to country. Further, despite Chinese and US public universities’ unique organizational structure characteristics due to different higher education systems, findings in this study revealed some common problems existing in Chinese and US public universities.   In the higher education settings of twenty-first century, globalization has brought about more opportunities for interconnection and communication of educational leaders, faculty, staff, and students in diverse societies and cultures. Such interconnections and communications will enable them to have a better understanding of different educational systems, environments, values, attitudes, beliefs, leadership behaviors, external forces, and organizational structures. Such interconnections and communications will also facilitate mutual learning and cooperation among higher educational institutions and between educational leaders and followers. According to Dimmock and Walker (2005), globalization means “the adoption of the same values, beliefs, 73


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 policies and practices in many societies and states across the world, with an emphasis on convergence” (p.13). In the arena of leadership research, globalization entails not only the export of leadership theories and practices but also the import of leadership theories and practices (Dimmock & Walker, 2005). To put it in another way, “…ideas, policies and practices [related to leadership] flow not just from the Anglo-American and European peoples to other societies, but from a wider range of exporting societies” (Dimmock & Walker, 2005, p.17). Globalization provides a platform for people from different cultures and societies to exchange information and learn from each other (Brooks and Miles 2008). Without a doubt higher educational leaders in China and the USA will eventually share an increasingly extensive range of positive values, attitudes, and beliefs and embrace a broader knowledge base of leadership. At the same time, they will also find validation for their own leadership behaviors and experiences that best fit specific societies, cultures, situations, and dynamics of the world change.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 mediating effects of reciprocity and trust. Frontiers of Business Research in China, 1(40), 574-605 Jung, D. I., & Avolio, B. J. (1999). Effects of leadership style and followers’ cultural orientation on performance in groups and individual task conditions. Academy of Management Journal, 47(2), 208-218. Jung, D. I., Bass, B. M., & Sosik, J. J. (1995). Bridging leadership and culture: A theoretical consideration of transformational leadership and collectivist cultures. The Journal of Leadership Studies, 2, 3-18 Justice, P. P. (2007). Secondary school leaders in western North Carolina: The impact of place and gender on selection and behavior. (Doctoral dissertation, Western Carolina University, 2007). Dissertation Abstracts International, 68(03A). (UMI No. 3255360) Kaspar, K. A. (2006). The relationship of the synergistic leadership theory to the experiences of four elementary principals leading exemplary, low socio-economic campuses (Doctoral dissertation, Sam Houston State University, 2006). Dissertation Abstracts International, 68(02A). (UMI No. 3250648) Kirby, P. C., King, M. I., & Paradise, L.V. (1992). Extraordinary leaders in education: Understanding transformational leadership. Journal of Educational Research, 85(5), 303311. Kluckhohn, C. (1951). The study of cultures. In D. Lerner & H. D. Lasswell (Eds.), The policy of sciences (pp. 86-101). Stanford. CA: Stanford University Press. Kohls, R. (1984). The values Americans live by. Washington, DC: Meridan House International. Lam, K. J. (2003). Confucian business ethics and the economy. Journal of Business Ethics, 43, 153-162. Law, W-W. (2012). Educational leadership and culture in China: Dichotomies between Chinese and Anglo-American leadership traditions. International Journal of Educational Development, 32, 273-282. Lee, S. K. (1987). A Chinese conception of ‘management’: An interpretive approach. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Leithwood, K., & Jantzi, D. (2000). The effects of transformational leadership on organizational conditions and student engagement with school. Journal of Educational Administration, 38(2), 112-129. Leithwood, K., & Jantzi, D. (2008). Linking leadership to student learning: The contributions of leader efficacy. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44, 496-528. Ling, W. Q., Chia, R. C., & Fang, L. L. (2000). Chinese implicit leadership theory. The Journal of Social Psychology, 140(6), 729-739 Lunenburg, F. C., & Ornstein, A, C. (2008). Educational administration: Concepts and practices (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Lynne, J. (2009). Why American children lack the skills to be entrepreneurs. Retrieved from http://www.helium.com/items/1172032-why-american-children-lack-the-skills-to-beentrepreneurs   Martinez, P. G. (2005). Paternalism as a positive form of leadership in the Latin American context. In M. Elvira & A. Davila (Eds.), Managing human resources in Latin America: An agenda for international leaders (pp. 75-93). Oxford, England: Routledge. Meng, H. (2004). Research on perceived transformational leadership in Chinese enterprises (in Chinese). Chinese Journal of Applied Psychology, 10(2), 18-22. 78


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Mertler, C. A. (2003). Patterns of response and nonresponse from teachers to traditional and web surveys. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 8(22). Retrieved from http://PARE Â online.net/getvn.asp?v=8&n=22 Misumi, J., & Peterson, M. F. (1985). The performance-maintenance (PM) theory of leadership: Review of a Japanese research program. Administrative Science Quarterly, 30(2), 198-223. Northouse, P. G. (1997). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Offermann, L. R., Kennedy, J. K., Jr., & Wirtz, P. W. (1994). Implicit leadership theories: Content, structure, and generalizability. Leadership Quarterly, 5, 43-58. Pellegrini, E. K., & Scandura, T. A. (2006). Leader-member exchange (LMX), paternalism and delegation in the Turkish business culture: An empirical investigation. Journal of International Business Studies, 37, 264-279. Pellegrini, E. K., & Scandura, T. A. (2008). Paternalistic leadership: A review and agenda for future research. Journal of Management, 34, 566-593. Pun, K. F., Chin, K. S., & Lau, H. (2000). A review of Chinese cultural influences on Chinese enterprise management. International Journal of Management Reviews, 2(4): 325-38. Resick, C. J., Martin, G. S., Keating, M. A., Dickson, M. W., Kwan, H. K. & Peng, C. (2011). What ethical leadership means to me: Asian, American, and European perspectives. Journal of Business Ethics, 101(3), 435-57. Romar, E. J. (2002). Virtue is good business. Journal of Business Ethics, 38, 119-131. Rosen, S. (1990). The impact of reform policies on youth attitudes. In D. Davis & E.F. Vogel (Eds.), Chinese society on the eve of Tiananmen: The impact of reform (pp. 283-374). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Scarborough, J. (1998). The origins of cultural differences and their impact on management. Westport, CT: Quorum Books. Schlosberg, T. V. (2003). Synergistic leadership: An international case study (Doctoral dissertation, Sam Houston State University, 2003). Dissertation Abstracts International,64(07), 2337. Schlosberg, T.V., Irby, B. J., Brown, G., & Yang, LL. (2010). A case study on Mexican educational leaders viewed through the lens of the synergistic leadership theory. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 5(1). Shapiro, A. (2009). A comprehensive theory and practice of constructivist leadership. In C. Achilles & B. J. Irby (Eds.), Remembering our mission: Making education and schools better for students. The 2009 NCPEA Yearbook (pp. 83-93). Lancaster, PA: ProActive Publications. Thompson, M. (2010). Signals of virtue in Chinese consumerism and business. Journal of International Business Ethics, 3(2), 71-79. Tian, X. (1998). Dynamics of development in an opening economy: China since 1978. Commack, NY: Nova Science Publishers. Trautman, D. (2000). The validation of the synergistic leadership theory: A gender inclusive theory (Doctoral dissertation, Sam Houston State University, 2000). Dissertation Abstracts International, 62(07A), 2598. Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview. Triumph of the religious right - American values. (2004, November, 13). The Economist, 13, 28. Truslow, K. O. (2004). Effects of the synergistic leadership theory: A gender-inclusive 79


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Leadership theory (Doctoral dissertation, Sam Houston State University, 2004). Dissertation Abstracts International, 65(08), 2859. Tu, W-M. (1985). Confucian thought: Selfhood as creative transformation. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Uhl-Bien, M., Tierney, P. S., Graen, G. B., & Wakabayashi, M. (1990). Company paternalism and the hidden investment process. Group & Organization Studies,15, 414-430. Williams, R. M., Jr. (1960). American society: A sociological interpretation (2nd Ed.). NY: Alfred A. Knoph. Wong, K-C. (2001). Chinese culture and leadership. International Journal of Leadership in Education Theory and Practice, 4(4), 309-319. Woods, T. E., Jr. (2000). The colonial origins of American liberty. The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty, 50(9). Retried from http://www.thefreemanonline.org/featured/the-colonial origins-of-american-liberty/ Xu, L.C. (1989). Comparative study of leadership between Chinese and Japanese managers based upon PM theory. In B. J. Fallon, H. P. Pfister & J. Brebner (Eds.), Advances in organizational psychology (pp. 42-49). Amsterdam: Elsevier. Yang, LL. (2010). A validation of the synergistic leadership theory by educational leaders in Chinese and American public universities. Dissertation Abstracts International, A72/03. Yao, S. (2000). Economic development and poverty reduction in China over 20 years of reforms. Economic, Development and Cultural Change, 48, 447-474. Yang, LL., Irby, B. J., & Brown, G., (2008, May). Applicability of the synergistic leadership theory to leaders in East Asian cultures. Paper presented at 2008 Global Leadership Conference, Shanghai, China. Yang, LL., Irby, B. J., & Brown, G. (2012). An emergent leadership model based on Confucian virtues and East Asian leadership practices. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 7(2). Yukl, G. (2002). Leadership in organizations (5th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Dr. LingLing Yang Sam Houston State University Email: lxy004@shsu.edu Dr. Beverly J. Irby Sam Houston State University Email: Edu_bid@shsu.edu Dr. Genevieve Brown Sam Houston State University Email: gbrown1635@att.net 80


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

â&#x20AC;&#x153;School leaders need to share their personal stories with faculty, students, and community members to develop meaningful, personal connections and build trusting relationships.â&#x20AC;? -P. Gray

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 “I Have a Story to Tell:” Professional and Personal Identities of African American Female Secondary Principals Dr. Pamela Gray Abstract Current research regarding women’s school leadership often overlooks the unique experiences of African American female school leaders. The purpose of this multiple case study was to examine the ways African American female secondary principals envision their identities and leadership styles within the social context of urban secondary schools. The study sought to understand how gender and culture impact their work and life path. An Afrocentric Feminist Framework was utilized as the theoretical lens. Three female African American secondary school principals that meet the researcher’s criteria were selected for the study. After analyzing the interview data, common purposes, identities, roles, barriers and motivators were identified. Findings yielded five themes that represent the African American female secondary school principal experience: 1) Fearless Game Changer; 2) Other-mother/Student Centered; 3) Spiritually Grounded and Guided; 4) Survivor; and 5) Transformational Leader. Based on the results, a conceptual model was designed entitled “The Four R’s Leadership Model of African American Female Secondary Principals.” The elements of the model are: 1) resiliency, 2) relationship; 3) redesign and 4) reflection. This study contributes to the emerging yet sparse research on contemporary female principals of color who face the complex yet rewarding task of transforming urban high schools. The study explores how the women became effective school leaders called to serve in high needs schools. Keywords: African American women, Afrocentric Feminist Framework, urban school leadership Introduction African American women are still a small percentage of the school leaders in secondary education. Bureaucracy, politics and professional challenges often hinder the advancement of these women into key leadership positions at the secondary level. Many educational leadership graduate programs continue to transmit traditional male models of leadership that do not serve women well (Grogan, 1996; Beekley, 1999; Johannessen-Schmidt & Van Engen, 2003). Tate (1996) found that many studies of leadership omit the perspectives of “raced people” – individuals who have faced discrimination because of race and/or class and have been oppressed psychologically, physically, educationally, or economically (as cited in Gooden, 2012, p. 135). In addition, research methodologies have not recognized that African American female leaders have unique needs distinctly different from their White counterparts. Black women who aspire to be urban secondary school leaders lack role models who can expose them to the opportunities that exist to be change agents within their school communities. In addition, women and ethnically diverse women do not have access to the informal networks that 82


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 White men use most frequently to transmit the understanding of administrative culture necessary for the successful socialization and induction of aspiring leaders (Sperandio, 2009). Black women also face other issues such as stereotyping and negative understandings of their identities as leaders. Riehl and Firestone (2005) noted that the reality of leadership is “at least partly socially constructed – a product of experience and perceptions and a combination of material and subjective conditions” (p. 159). All urban school administrators must confront complex political, socio-economic, and pedagogical issues regardless of gender and ethnicity (Sperandio, 2009). For female school leaders, these issues are frequently compounded by negative perceptions of female leadership competencies and gendered ethnic stereotypes (Sperandio, 2009). Research is needed to document the experiences of African American female secondary principals from the perspectives of African American women. By hearing their stories and illuminating their leadership styles, other school leaders may develop strategies and approaches that are beneficial in working with culturally diverse student populations and economically disadvantaged communities. The challenge for African American female school leaders to be seen as “assertive” and “strong” often leads to others seeing them as “overbearing” or “with an attitude”. While trying to provide leadership in their roles, they must also balance a cultural role of “mother” to students. African American female principals are still a small percentage of the secondary school leadership. This brings both professional and personal challenges to the position. Women in these roles desire to both grow in their careers while representing and speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. Theoretical Framework The Afrocentric Feminist Framework is essential in understanding the ways in which committed African American female principals create themselves as leaders and recreate community (Dillard, 1995). This framework includes features from both Afrocentric and feminist traditions and draws on the work of several African American feminist scholars (Collins, 1999, 2000; hooks, 1984; Dixon and Dingus, 2008; Dillard, 1995; Jean-Marie, 2007; Normore, 2007). A key aspect of this framework is the focus on the content and context of African American women’s lived experiences. Collins (1999) asserted that Black women’s experiences with work, family, motherhood, political activism and sexual politics have been altered or eliminated in traditional academic discourse in favor of the male dominated perspective. Because Black women have access to both the Afrocentric and feminist standpoints, an alternative epistemology should reflect both traditions and account for a Black women’s point of view. An Afrocentric feminist epistemology is rooted in the everyday experiences of African American women. “feminist” thought demonstrates African American women’s growing empowerment as agents of knowledge. By portraying African American women as self-reliant individuals confronting race, gender and class oppression, Afrocentric feminist thought points to the importance that knowledge plays in empowering oppressed people (Reed-Yeboa, 2007). Hill-Collins believes a distinguishing feature of Black feminist thought is the persistence of an individual’s changed consciousness and the transformation of political and economic institutions that are essential for social change. 83


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Collins (2000) believed that African American women have a “unique angle of vision” (p. 811) that they use to make sense of their lives. This angle of vision can be explained through the four dimensions of the Afrocentric feminist epistemology. The dimensions are: (a) concrete experiences as a criterion of meaning, (b) the use of dialogue in assessing knowledge claims, (c) the ethic of caring, and (d) the ethic of personal accountability (Collins, 2000). The first dimension, concrete experience as a criterion of meaning, focuses on two types of knowing. Collins (2000) posits that the concepts of knowledge and wisdom are understood differently in Black women. She states that, “knowledge without wisdom is adequate for the powerful, but wisdom is essential to the survival of the subordinate.” (Dixon & Dingus, 2008, p. 819). Women who have lived through the experiences about which they claim to be experts are more believable and credible. Because knowledge comes from experience, the best way of understanding another person’s ideas is to develop empathy and share the experiences that led the person to form those ideas. Common sense and intuition are ways of knowing that both White and African American women rely upon. In traditional African American communities, Black women find institutional support for valuing concrete experiences through families, churches and other community organizations. Given that Black churches and families are both woman-centered, Afrocentric institutions, African American women traditionally have found support for their self-expression. These institutions allow Black women to share their concrete knowledge of what is means to be a self-defined woman. The second dimension, the use of dialogue, is talk between two subjects, humanizing speech. Dialogue challenges and resists authority. New knowledge claims are worked out in dialogue with others in a community and not in isolation. Use of dialogue emphasizes connectedness rather than separation as an essential component of the knowledge validation process (Collins, 2000). The use of dialogue has its roots in the traditional African worldview of humanity and harmony. Asanta believes that “people become more human and empowered only in the context of a community, and only when they “become seekers of the type of connections, interactions, and meetings that lead to harmony” (Collins, 2000 p. 59). The use of dialogue has deep roots in an African-based oral and cultural tradition. Black women view the use of dialogue as speaking, listening, and finding their own voice. The third dimension, the ethic of caring, finds that personal expressiveness, emotions, and empathy are central components to the African American woman. Three interrelated components make up the ethic of caring. They are: (a) individual uniqueness; (b) appropriateness of emotions in dialogues; and (c) developing the capacity for empathy (Collins, 2000). Individual uniqueness is defined as the unique expression of a common spirit, power or energy of each person (Collins, 2000). The metaphor of Black women quilters placing strong color and patterns next to one another while seeing the individual pieces enriching the entire quilt is an example of individual uniqueness (Collins, 2000). The appropriateness of dialogue requires the speaker to believe in the validity of their discourse. Emotions should not be viewed in a negative context but accepted as a necessary way to convey personal expressiveness. The third component, developing the capacity for empathy, is based on the willingness to understand a person’s point of view and situation in order to build a relationship with the individual. The emphasis on expressiveness and emotions is common is all women but African American women expand on 84


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 both through the connection to the community through Black churches, community organizations, sorority sisterhoods and families. The fourth dimension of the framework is the ethic of personal accountability. Moral development whereby women are more inclined to link morality to responsibility, relationships, and the ability to maintain social ties (Collins, 2000). African American women experience a convergence of values from Afrocentric and female institutions. Emotions, ethics and reason are interconnected essential components of the Afrocentric feminist framework. Literature Review This literature review situates the study of urban African American female secondary principals within the backdrop of their daily work experiences: advocating for marginalized and disengaged students, addressing student and community obstacles, pressing for academic rigor within a culturally relevant curriculum and implementing current reform efforts in urban secondary schools. Identities of African American Female Administrators Since the mid-nineteenth century, a career as a teacher has been considered acceptable in the United States. In the period from 1830 through 1900, women, both Black and White, became more identified with teaching. While many possessed strong leadership skills, only a few moved into educational leadership positions due to the belief that women were too feminine to lead. Alston (2012) called this gendered hierarchy, a situation that impacts women by race, ethnicity, and class, and explains why Black women of color are not found in the traditional discussion of educational leadership. Alston believes that educators such as Mary McCloud Bethune, Septima P. Clark, Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm embody the history, politics and educational aspirations of an oppressed people. Their lived experiences and leadership roles related to their personal, social and political activism (Alston, 2012). Ladson-Billings and Tate (1995) asserted that despite the salience of race in the United States, African American female school leadership remains an underexplored topic of research in educational leadership. Prior to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, the majority of African American students attended segregated public schools lead by African American administrators. After the Brown decision, many African American principals in formerly segregated school lost their positions (Brown, 2005). By 1982 the percentage of Black principals rose to 7.7% (Brown, 2005). As more women of color assume educational leadership roles in urban settings, some researchers have begun to examine the benefits of Black women serving in administrative roles. Benefits to the role of Black women superintendents include serving as role models for culturally diverse students, providing a more humanistic and relational style of leadership, and a unique understanding and commitment to equity for all students (Dillard, 1999; Grogan, 1999). Grogan noted that female administrators seem willing to share power, create shared visions and serve as change agents with more open communication.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Othermothering African American women principals bring values of motherhood such as nurturing, caretaking and helping develop children to their roles (Loder, 2005). African American women often identify themselves and are identified in their communities by cultural terms such as othermothers, defined as women who work on behalf of the Black community by expressing ethics of caring and personal accountability, which embrace conceptions of transformative power and mutuality (Collins, 2000). James (1993) provided another definition of othermothering. It is described in this way: othermothers can be defined as those who assist blood mothers in the responsibilities of child care for short- to long-term periods, in informal or formal arrangements. They not only serve to relieve some of the stress that can develop in the intimate daily relationships of mothers and daughters but can also provide multiple role models for children (pg. 44). The concept of othermothering has been traced through the institution of slavery and developed in response to the need to share the responsibility for child nurturance (James, 1993). Collins (2000) proposed that community othermothers demonstrate a committed connection to Black communities, attending to a socially responsible ethic. It is seen as a political mission where culturally and familial-based ideas, values and behaviors are demonstrated (Dixon and Dingus, 2008). African American female principals who see themselves as othermothers to their students demonstrate these values on a daily basis. Their actions of advocacy, support and high expectations in a caring environment support Collins’ notion of the committed connection to their school communities. Case (1997) conducted an ethnographic inquiry of two African American elementary school teachers to describe the culture and perceptions of the women as they engaged in othermothering activities in their schools. The study found that the affective domain guided the teachers’ practice. Case found that othermothering is guided by “clear-sighted attachment” and is related to maternal attention by prompting “the responsibility to act” (p. 36). In a qualitative study of African American principals, Loder (2005) sought to describe the othermothering styles of five African American principals who were young adults during the turbulent 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. The findings showed that the principals viewed their roles as community othermothers who were not merely hired to execute a job but rather called to help rebuild their communities through acts of nurturing, teaching and leading (Loder, 2005). Within this review of literature on the identities of African American women, it is important to highlight Harding’s (1991) principles of standpoint theory. Standpoint theory argues that knowledge must be socially located and that social locations are determined in part by gender, race and class (Merrick, 1999). This knowledge comes from life situations that have been deemed other by mainstream perspectives. Standpoint theory focuses on the production of knowledge that is “emancipatory, antioppressive, nonhierarchical, negotiated, and politically focused” (Bloom & Erlandson, 2003, p. 341). African American women principals view the world from discrete perspectives based on their social positions within the larger social structure of race and gender (Bloom & Erlandson, 2003). Knowing how African American women 86


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 principals see themselves and their work helps standpoint theorists understand why the women respond and behave in certain ways within their professional identities. Lived Experiences Created through African American Families Because in this research study, I focused on the lived experiences of African American female principals, it is important to understand how their family backgrounds influenced their life stories and professional identities. In the book “A New Look at Black Families,” Willie and Reddick (2010) discuss how race influences the lives of American families. They hypothesize that Black, Brown and White families in the United States share a common core of values that constitute the macro social structure of the nation’s community. They further state that Black, Brown and White families adapt to society and its value system in different ways, partly due to the social class positions of members of each group. In addition, Black, Brown and White families within the same social class adapt to the society and its social organizations due to the distribution of power resources. Lastly, a symbiotic relationship tends to exist between some racial groups to complement the adaptations of other racial groups in society. While the descriptions of these African American socioeconomic groups are generalizations, they are helpful in providing a broad understanding of the backgrounds African American female secondary principals come from and the values they bring to their work based on their childhood experiences and upbringing. The creation of her professional identity is in part based on her personal identity as an African American and woman independently. Class and social status is also an important determinant in her epistemology and leadership perspective. Method The primary focus of this research study was to understand the ways African American female secondary principals create their identities and leadership styles within the social context of urban secondary schools. The central research question that this study aimed to answer centers on how the role of othermothering impacts the African American female secondary school principal. This study also addresses the following research questions: (a) How do African American female secondary principals report the ways their identities are products of their own cultural milieu? (b) What are the challenges faced by African American female high school principals? (c) Which leadership styles have they incorporated into their daily work? (d) In what ways does “othermothering” impact their leadership styles? This study utilized a qualitative research design. According to Glense and Peshkin (1998), qualitative methods allow the participants to tell their stories while the researcher makes sense of these stories. Qualitative approaches are appropriate when the researcher wants to inquire about the meaning individuals or groups ascribe to a social or human problem (Creswell, 2007). This research approach includes the voices of the participants, the reflexivity of the researcher and signals a call for action to create change or highlight a significant situation. Qualitative research situates the study within the political, social and cultural context of the researcher, the participants and the readers of the study (Creswell, 2007). Because more than one participant will be included in this study, a multiple case study design was utilized. A multiple case study 87


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 enables the researcher to explore differences within and between cases while presenting each participant’s stories. Case studies afford the researcher with the opportunity to explore or describe a phenomenon in context using a variety of data sources (Baxter & Jack, 2008). The case study design allowed me to explore the experiences and leadership styles of African American female secondary school principals through such lenses as administrator, community member, parent, daughter, sibling, and friend. This multiple case study was approached through an interpretivist paradigm. Interpretive studies focus on underrepresented or marginalized groups whether those differences take the form of gender, race, class, religion, sexuality and geography (Ladson-Billings & Donnor, 2005). Horvat (2013) broadly defined the interpretivist tradition as “the understanding and unmasking of the meaning that individuals assign to their actions in a social setting (pg. 4). Research questions from an interpretivist perspective aim to understand specific issues or problems. For this study, the conditions and issues of equality, identity and sexism are explored from the point of view of African American female secondary principals. Using an interpretive lens can also lead to a call for action and transformation – the aims of social justice – in which the qualitative research study ends with distinct steps of reform and change (Creswell, 2007). This premise allows for close collaboration between the researcher and the participants while enabling participants to tell their stories (Crabtree & Miller, 1999). Presenting my participants’ stories in their own words within a case study is supported by an Afrocentric feminist epistemology. Procedure Data were collected through observations, individual interviews and document reviews. As the researcher, I became immersed in the sights, sounds and experiences of the campuses and communities. Observation is a fundamental and critical method in all qualitative inquiry (Marshall & Rossman, 2006). My observations involved noting and recording events, behaviors and artifacts. Body language, affect and choice of words were also recorded during observations. In the interviews, I elicited stories and narratives with particular attention to how the participants position themselves as principals of secondary schools. I also sought to understand how their various personal and professional identities have shaped or been shaped by their current leadership roles. Follow-up contact with the participants provided an opportunity for clarification and elaboration of responses. Observation and interview data were supplemented by a review of documents. Documents can reveal the values and beliefs of the participants within the setting (Marshall & Rossman, 2006). Examples of documents reviewed at each site included meeting minutes, logs, announcements, student and faculty handbooks, websites, newsletters, and campus improvement plans. Participants The selection of the participants occurred through the use of purposive sampling. District personnel were contacted to nominate potential participants in central Texas to participate in the study. District supervisors completed nomination forms which included a rating of the nominees understanding of culturally relevant leadership and information on the nominee’s leadership style and community involvement. Thirteen nominations were received from various urban district supervisors in Central Texas. After analyzing the nomination forms, three participants were 88


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 selected. Two participants in the study are current middle school principals and one participant is a current high school principal. Each administrator has a masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree and principal certification from the state of Texas. Two of the participants started their careers as special education teachers while the third participant entered education as a track and volleyball coach. All three participants had successful experience as teachers and are in their early to mid-fifties. The participants are employed in two central Texas urban school districts. The participants selected matched the characteristics of culturally relevant leaders, and met the criteria outlined in Chapter 3: - be an African American female principal in a middle or high school; - have at least three years of administrative experience at the current campus; - exhibit a concern for marginalized groups; - demonstrate a culturally relevant leadership style; - lead a campus that currently meets the Texas state accountability standard of Acceptable; - serve predominately minority and low socio-economic students; and - work in a public school in Texas. Instrument Data were collected through observations, face-to-face interviews and document reviews. The researcher conducted all data collection. The researcher is an African American woman with a background in urban school leadership. The researcher relates to the term, indigenous-insider, (Tillman, 2006) to describe her role as a researcher who is of the same racial, cultural and professional background as the participants. The researcher was aware of her outsider status and was cognizant of studying the participants and sharing their stories in a safe environment. The interview protocol contained questions within six major categories: (a) Establishing Rapport, (b) Gender and Cultural Impact as a Principal, (c) Challenges, (d) Leadership Styles, (e) Othermothering and Spirituality, and (f) Community and Parental Engagement. Each interview was conducted in the participantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; offices and lasted approximately two hours. Data Analysis For this study, I manually coded the data using the first and second protocols. After labeling the text that was most relevant to the interview questions, I looked for overlapping themes that could be grouped together. One of the most critical outcomes of qualitative data analysis is to interpret how the individual components weave together (Saldana, 2009). After narrowing down the themes, I was able to identify common themes that were discussed most frequently by the participants. Theme identification is one of the most fundamental tasks in qualitative research (Saldana, 2009). I limited the number of themes so that a more detailed description and full picture of the participants could be provided. Five themes were identified for this study.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Limitations Several limitations were noted in the study of African American female secondary principals. First, the study was limited to three participants at urban secondary schools in central Texas. Interviews with a larger sample size from across the United States might have produced more reliable results. In addition, due to the researcher’s background as an African American female school leader, the interpretation of the participants’ responses may have been influenced by the researchers experiences in that role. Findings The results of the participants’ responses were organized into five themes: Fearless Game Changer, Othermother/Student Centered, Survivor, Spiritually Guided and Grounded, and Transformational Leader. Fearless Game Changer Once the principals took over their new campuses, they quickly developed a plan of action and identified community resources to support their visions. Two of the principals indicated the need to establish a presence on campus and initiate change quickly when they took on the secondary principalship role. The high school principal shared how she approached the early challenges at her campus: I’m a leader who is not afraid to address the issues and be proactive about what it is we need to get done and not wait for something to happen but make it happen. In addition, she described how she initiated meetings with all of her stakeholders to gather their opinions and feedback. While doing so, she clearly expressed her desire to transform the campus and provided new systems and procedures to move the high school forward. She expressed positive feedback from the new initiatives: More parents are feeling a bit more relaxed about coming into the building and being a part of it. We have seen a lot of success and a lot of gains this year more so than any other year and we celebrate that with our kids. Instead of keeping ineffective teachers in classrooms, all participants were honest with faculty members who were not meeting the new instructional expectations and motivated them to seek work elsewhere. Real change and real accountability depend on a whole school reform agenda with a systemic plan (Tirozzi, 2001). The principals in this study were able to assess the needs of their campuses early and put strategies and action plans in place to create whole school change within the first year. Their changes resulted in a positive campus environment, caring relationships and an increased academic focus. Principals in today’s schools must rely on their abilities to be decision makers and problem solvers (Giese, 2009). Regardless of the naysayers and negative 90


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 feedback, the participants pushed forward with a vision to produce a thriving campus within a caring and supportive learning environment. The principals exhibited characteristics of a fearless game changer by being highly motivated, committed to their schools, energetic and strong in their work ethic. They also possess effective communication skills and the capacity to turn a challenge into a victory. The women in this study understood that they had to build relationships through recognition, trust, acceptance, and respect before students could achieve academically. Relationships serve as an essential ingredient in improving and developing those positive outcomes. Collectively, the women in this study have worked on campuses in neighborhoods with high rates of violence, little parental involvement, truancy, few community resources and conditions that increase stress and emotional imbalances. They each served as turnaround principals and were able to create positive change on each campus by having a clear vision, paying attention to the unique needs of the students and teachers and using campus and community resources to improve the culture and climate of the school. Othermother/Student Centered Effective leadership in urban secondary schools depends on concern, care and advocacy for the unique needs of students. The participants exhibited caring and nurturing othermothering ways towards their students. Their willingness to interact with and build relationships with students, discipline and support their growth and meet their psychosocial needs demonstrates how the principals took on a motherly role. As an othermother, the principals showed how they are unlike traditional secondary principals. These principals recognized that they must build and sustain trusting relationships with students before addressing their academic deficiencies. Each principal provided various examples of how they demonstrate othermothering to their students. Some examples include being aware of what students are doing on campus and asking friends about a particular student’s struggles, having an open door policy for students, having honest and open conversations with students about their actions , and taking a student to pick out a dress for a recognition program (Angela). One participant shared how she is also an othermother to members of her staff. She shared how she works hard to employ African American males on her campus to serve as role models to her male students. Although a few of her African American male employees had difficult personal histories, she did not hold that against them. She explained: I’m a big proponent of second chances, that is what has happened a lot for our males when they come out of the penal system, people don’t believe in giving them second chances, so that’s where that othermothering comes in, I’m a big believer and I’m an advocate for second chances. Mothering does not necessarily imply the traditional biological relationship. It can be defined as “attentiveness and emotional responsitivity to the other as an intrinsic, ongoing aspect of one’s own experience” (Jordan, 1991, p. 36). The principals’ sense of commitment to, compassion for and understanding of urban students of color are indicative of their affinity for othermothering. In addition, the principals “mothered” their staff members by showing concern and compassion 91


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 during difficult times and exposing new teachers to instructional styles that work best for students of color. Survivor The road to the principalship was not easy for the women in this study. Women and ethnically diverse women do not have access to the informal networks that White men use most frequently to transmit the understanding of administrative culture necessary for the successful socialization and induction of aspiring leaders (Sperandio, 2009). One participant shared her experience with public humiliation after being promoted then demoted after an incident on her campus. Peters (2012) found that the lack of district support in mentoring and time for implementation left African American female principals feeling inadequate, frustrated and burned out. Although the principals experience challenges and setbacks, the personal connections they have with their schools keeps them in their roles. The passion, vision and personal nature of the principals adds to the struggle and discouragement (Theoharis, 2008). The issues and problems feel personal and when the principals cannot change things or cannot change things quickly, they often feel dissatisfied (Theoharis, 2008). Two participants spoke of support systems inside and outside of the school setting that helped them survive. These support systems included family and family in addition to church and sorority sisterhoods. Spiritually Grounded and Guided While the daily leadership in secondary schools is often focused on academic rigor, data analysis, professional development and student achievement, the participants could not exist without the framework of values, beliefs and character. Spirituality was visible in the personal identities and leadership styles of each of the principals. Two participants acknowledged being guided by God in their daily work and expressed their beliefs visually through the decorations, wall hangings and books in each individual offices. Each leader operates from a spiritual center (Dantley, 2010). Dantley explained that “a person’s spirituality is that ethereal part that establishes meaning in one’s life (p. 214). He believes that spirituality is the instrument in our lives through which we connect and create community. He further shared that “it is from one’s spirituality that compassion, a sense of equity, understanding and passion toward others as well as the life’s work to which one has been “called” emanate (Dantley, 2010). The daily issues and decisions of secondary principals often requires them to question their values and principles. By being in touch with their spiritual selves, the principals were better able to make decisions that were best for their students, teachers and communities. Spirituality and social justice are closely related (Witherspoon & Arnold, 2010). The women in this study saw their work as a mission or a calling and believe that they are needed to create equitable educational opportunities for their students so that they can be empowered to make choices in their lives regarding postsecondary opportunities. Lomotey (1989) found that spirituality became a way to examine marginality and take on social justice issues in schools. According to Bloom and Erlandson (2003), leadership styles of African American women are “… grounded in a spiritual ethic that encouraged family support and promoted education as an inalienable right 92


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 for African American children” (p. 362). One participant worked to address social justice issues in her community by collaborating with the district and local community college to provide the Early College Start program at her high school. The second participant created partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club and established a mentoring program for boys on her campus. The third participant established a wellness component to her school’s curriculum to ensure that the girls were not only excelling academically but focused on developing healthy lifestyles. In a study by Witherspoon (2008) on the importance of spirituality in the leadership of Black female principals, findings indicated that much like a pastor, the participants believed in ensuring the academic well-being of their students and provided care to address the students mental, physical and emotional needs. Similar to the principals in the Witherspoon study, the principals in this research study demonstrated their caring through words and actions. They were passionate about their roles and the need to serve their students and communities. God is actively involved in their lives and is seen as an essential component in the work being done to change the school. The participants shared how they call on God to handle their challenges, disappointments and setbacks. One principal described “staying prayed up” and praying daily for the students, adults and entire community. She acknowledged that prayer is a constant source of strength. Another called on God during her struggles and challenges and expressed that “God says be patient and wait on me.” Spirituality is important for the personal and professional development of the principals and is seen as a source of strength and comfort as they lead their campuses on a daily basis. Transformational Leader Transformative educational leadership involves the leader transforming schools by engaging in self-reflection, systematically analyzing schools, and confronting inequities (Cooper, 2009). With the marginalization of many urban students and families of color in schools, transformative leadership supports the ideal of equal access to education for all students. Schools and communities can be transformed by developing inclusive collaborations for students, teachers, staff and families. Cooper (2009) incorporated the work of Cornel West in her discussion of educational leaders as “cultural workers.” West explained that cultural workers “face intellectual, existential and political challenges in their service to others” (Cooper, 2009, p. 717). Cooper converts the term to mean “a transformative educational leader who maintains political clarity, demonstrates courage, and takes risks to advance social justice” (p. 718). All three principals worked to change the broken systems on their campuses on behalf of the students and communities they serve. The principals gained independence and autonomy in their roles by designing effective campus improvements to meet the academic and For example, one participant described how she became an “instructional leader” instead of just a disciplinarian and now has coordinators, teachers and instructional specialists from other campuses visiting her campus to learn from their academic success. Cooper (2009) described transformative leaders as bridge builders, people who create caring environments for students, parents, teachers and their communities. Transformative leaders affirm the cultural experiences and assets of their students. One participant affirms her students 93


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 by allowing music in the cafeteria at lunch, organizing hot dog celebrations and special movie nights. In addition, parents and community members were invited to participate in events such as the No Place for Hate literacy walk. She further transformed the school by publicly celebrating a college-going culture through a hallway display of accepted pennants. Photos of seniors who have been accepted to various colleges and universities are proudly displayed to confirm how the campus has embraced the postsecondary expectation of higher education. In the area of instructional leadership, transformative principals can focus teachers to create transformative student learning (Kose, 2011). The principals in this study worked with teachers to utilize culturally responsive and inclusive instructional practices and provide relevant learning experiences. Teachers can create such learning through critical thinking, social skill development, responsible citizenship, and social justice activism (Kose, 2011). Discussion The five themes that surfaced from the data analysis and the Afrocentric Feminist Framework were merged to conceptualize a theory of African American female secondary school. Anzaldua (1990) posited that it is imperative that people of color create theories based on their own knowledge because that knowledge has been excluded from traditional academic research. In addition to creating theories, researchers of color must seek to apply the theories in practical ways. The conceptualized theory entitled The Four Râ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Leadership Model of African American Female Secondary Principals, seeks to provide a new understanding of the leadership experiences of African American female secondary principals as they advocate for and lead schools in an effort to increase the academic success of their students. Figure 1 is a visual representation of the Four Râ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Leadership Model. The arrows indicate a continuous movement between each component and not a particular starting or stopping point.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 • Overcoming Challenges  &  Barriers   • District  Mandates   • Faculty  &  Community  

• Othermothering • Faculty  Dev.   • Parent/Community   • Sisterhood  

Resiliency

RelaQonships

Redesign

ReflecQon

• Vision • Climate  &  Culture   • Systems  &  Procedures   • TEKS  Focused  InstrucQon   • Culturally  Relevant   InstrucQon  

•          • Moral  Duty   • Personal   Responsibility   • Prayer  

Figure 1: The four R’s leadership model of African American female secondary principals

The theoretical leadership model is divided into four characteristics which represent characteristics of African American female secondary principal leadership. The characteristics are: (a) resiliency; (b) relationships; (c) redesign; and (d) reflection. Resiliency is defined as the ability to bounce back from a stressful or traumatic experience. A study by Sitek-Solatka (2005) identified 10 resiliency attributes of educators in their work settings: communication skills, flexibility, perseverance, perceptiveness, problem solving, competence, inner direction, love of learning, self-motivation and developing relationships. These attributes were displayed through the stories and experiences of the three secondary principals in this study. African American female secondary principals’ awareness of their own resiliency abilities provides the principals with the determination to take on the difficult challenges that are a part of their daily work. Relationships were found to be a central factor is the leadership styles of the principals. Demonstrations of caring, high expectations, concern and understanding are key components of an African American female secondary principal’s relational style. A student-centered approach is naturally exhibited. Care and concern is also extended to teachers as the principals’ model appropriate relational skills that should transfer to positive relationships with students. Parents and community members are also beneficiaries of the relational style through the principals “open door” policies and invitations to participate in campus activities. An additional relationship that is key to African American females is the sisterhood they have with other 95


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 African American females. Whether they are family members, sorority sisters or fellow church members, the women depend on the dialogue and connection that these relationships provide. Redesign occurs during the transformation of the schools as the principals take on their new roles as school leaders. The principals in this study were confronted with daunting challenges when they assumed their leadership roles. Troubled urban secondary schools often lack vision, have dysfunctional systems, negative cultures, and ineffective administrators and teachers (Hemmings, 2012). In order to transform the schools, the principals had to redesign everything from the ground up. This included a redesign of the culture, climate, systems, and procedures all within a new vision that included all of the stakeholders in the school. Reflection is part of the African American female secondary principals’ identity. The multidimensional nature of the secondary principalship requires the school leader to reflect on her practice in order to make effective decisions. The principals in this study used religion as a source of support, rejuvenation and direction. Self-reflection was used as a means for the principals to understand themselves and thus demonstrate their genuine identities to the world. Dantley (2010) believes that self-reflection allows the individual to examine personal assumptions, values and beliefs. The work in secondary schools often places principals at odds with what is “right” and what is “expected.” By having a clear understanding of their purpose or “calling,” the principals are able to advocate for and support their students and communities in ways that increase their social capital. Recommendations All three women were confident and determined to institute the necessary changes to increase the academic success of their students and improve teacher effectiveness by creating a shared vision. Through trials and circumstances, the principals were able to overcome difficult challenges and setbacks. While doing so, they never turned their focus away from their main objective, the development of their students. Othermothering was a natural way to connect to students on their campuses. With a host of decisions to be made and stakeholders to serve, the women used prayer and their faith in God to remain steadfast and true to their “calling.” Lastly, the women incorporated a transformational leadership style to address the inequities found on their campuses. By becoming instructional leaders, they were able to create and sustain the necessary changes to transform their schools. The themes that emerged from the findings were connected to the theoretical lens used in this study, The Afrocentric Feminist Framework. A conceptual framework, The Four R’s Leadership Model for African American Female Secondary Principals, was presented to represent how these school leaders approach their work and see themselves in their leadership roles. The following recommendations for practice are based on the themes, analysis and conceptual framework that evolved from this study. School leaders and districts can benefit from the suggestions as they seek to improve the educational opportunities of urban secondary school students. Educational leadership programs can utilize the recommendations to expand their teaching and research agendas. The recommendations for practice are: 96


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 1) School leaders should find ways to develop a relational campus culture to increase personal engagement, student retention and academic achievement. 2) School leaders need to share their personal stories with faculty, students and community members to develop meaningful personal connections and build trusting relationships. 3) School leaders must provide time and professional development for teachers to develop culturally relevant instructional practices. 4) Districts must balance oversight and mandates with campus leadership autonomy to allow principals to create a vision for the school based on student needs. 5) Districts should recruit effective teachers of color who demonstrate “other mother” and “other father” characteristics to enter principal preparation programs. 6) Districts must be mindful of the current demographics of their schools and work to employ principals who have a “calling” to serve urban secondary school communities. 7) University educational leadership programs should include the experiences of African American female secondary principals in their studies of school leadership including course content, journal articles, panel discussions and field experiences. 8) University educational leadership programs must use theoretical models, pedagogy and experiences of principals from marginalized groups. These individuals are creating new understandings of what school leadership looks like in today’s schools.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 References Ah-Nee Benham., M., & Cooper, J. (1998). Let my spirit soar? Narratives of diverse women in school leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Alston, J. A. (2002). Tempered radicals and servant leaders: Black females persevering in the superintendency. Educational Administration Quarterly, 41(4), 675-688. Alston, J.A. (2012). Standing on the promises: A new generation of Black women scholars in educational leadership and beyond. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 25(1), 127-129. Astone, N., & McLanahan, S. (1991). Family Structure, Parental Practices and High School Completion. American Sociological Review. 56(3), 309-320. Atlas, B. (2002). The role of spirituality in the work of African American female principals in urban schools, unpublished dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Baker-Martinez, D. (2012). Preparing principals for social justice, unpublished dissertation, The University of Texas at San Antonio. Baxter, P., & Jack, S. (2008). Qualitative case study methodology: Study design and implementation for novice researchers. The Qualitative Report, 13(4), p. 544-559. Beachum, F. (2012, November). Realizing they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know: Investigating culturally relevant leadership. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the University Council on Educational Administration, Denver, CO. Bloom, C. M., & Erlandson, D. A. (2003). African American women principals in urban schools: Realities, (re)constructions, and resolution. Educational Administration Quarterly, 39(3), 339-369. Bloomberg, L. D., & Volpe, M. (2008). Completing your qualitative dissertation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Blyth, D. A., Simmons, R. C., & Carlton-Ford, S. (1983). The Adjustment of Early Adolescent to School Transitions. Journal of Early Adolescence, 3, 105-120. Boykin, A.W., & Noguera P. (2011). Creating the opportunity to learn: Moving from research to practice to close the achievement gap. ASCD. Brabeck, M. (1993). Moral judgment: Theory and research on differences between males and females. In Mary Jeanne Larrabee.(Ed.), An Ethic of Care. Canada: University of Victoria. Brooks, J. S., Jean-Marie, G., Normore, A. H., & Hodgins, D.W. (2007) Distributed leadership for social justice. Exploring how influence and equity are stretched over an urban high school. Journal of School Leadership, 17, 378-408. Brown, F. (2005). African Americans and school leadership: An introduction. Educational Administration Quarterly, 41(4), 585-590. Cambrone-McCabe, N. & McCarthy, M. (2005). Educating school leaders for social justice. Educational Policy, 19(1), 201-222. Case, K. I. (1997). African American othermothering in the urban elementary school. The Urban Review, 29, 25-39. Chen, W., & Gregory, A. (2009). Parental Involvement as a Protective Factor During the Transition to High School. The Journal of Educational Research. 103(1), 53-62. Cohen, J., & Smerdon B. (2009). Tightening the Dropout Tourniquet: Easing the Transition From Middle to High School. Preventing School Failure, 53(3), 177 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 184. 98


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Collins, P. H. (1991). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. New York: Routledge. Collins, P. H. (2000). Black feminist thought (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge. Conchas, G., & Vigil, J. D. (2012). Streetsmart schoolsmart: Urban poverty and the education of adolescent boys. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Cooper, C. (2009). Performing cultural work in demographically changing schools: implications for expanding transformative leadership frameworks. Educational Administration Quarterly, 45:694. Cooper, R., & Liou, D. (2007). The Structure and Culture of Information Pathways: Rethinking Opportunity to Learn in Urban High Schools during the Ninth Grade Transition. The High School Journal, October/November, 43 – 56. Creswell, J. (2008). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research, 3rd Ed. Pearson Education In. New Jersey. Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Dantley, M. E. (2005). The power of critical spirituality to act and reform. Journal of School Leadership, 15, 673-685. Dantley, M. E. (2010). Successful leadership in urban schools: principals and critical spirituality, a new approach to reform, The Journal of Negro Education, 79(3), 214-219. Darling-Hammond, L., Ancess J., & Ort, S. (2002). Reinventing high school: Outcomes of the coalition campus schools project. American Educational Research Journal, 39(3), 639673. Dillard, C. (2000). The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen: Examining an endarkened feminist epistemology in educational research and leadership. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 13(6), 661-681. Dillard, C. B. (1995). Leading with her Life: An African American Feminist (Re)Interpretation of Leadership for an Urban High School Principal. Educational Administration Quarterly, 31, 539-563. Dixon, A., & Dingus, J. (2008). In search of our mothers’ gardens: Black women teachers and professional socialization. Teachers College Record, 110(4), 805-837. Firestone, W., & Riehl, C. (2005). A new agenda for research in educational leadership. New York: Teachers College Press Fletcher, E., & Cox, E. (2012). Exploring the meaning African American students ascribe to Their participation in high school career academies and the challenges they experience. The High School Journal, 96 (1), 4-19. Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research and practice. New York: Teachers College Press. Gee, J. P. (2001). Identity as an analytic lens for research in education. In W.G. Secada (Ed.), Review of Research in Education (25), 99-125. Washington DC: American Educational Research Association. Giese, T., Slate, J., Stallone, M., & Tejeda-Delgado, C. (2009). Female high school principals: Leadership practices and individual traits. Advancing Women in Leadership. 29, 1-10. Gilligan, C. (1982). In A Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 99


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Glense, P. (1998) Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction. White Plains, NY: Longman. Gooden, M. (2012). What does racism have to do with leadership? Countering the idea of colorblind leadership: a reflection on race and the growing pressures of the urban principalship. Educational Foundations, Winter/Spring 2012. Grogan, M. (1999). Equity/equality issues of gender, race and class. Educational Administration Quarterly, 35(4), 518-536. Guba, E.G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1981). Effective evaluation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Hemmings, A. (2012). Four Rs for urban high school reform: Re-envisioning, reculturation, restructuring, and remoralization, Improving Schools, 15:198. Hertzog, C. J., & Morgan, P.L. (1999) Transition: A process not an event. Reston, VA: National Association of Secondary School Principals. Hill-Collins, P. (1991). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. New York: Routledge. Hooks, b., (1984). Feminist theory: Margin to center, Cambridge, MA: South End Press. Horsford, S. D., Grosland, T., & Gunn, K. (2011). Pedagogy of the personal and professional: Toward a framework for culturally relevant leadership, Journal of School Leadership, 21, 582-602. Howard, T. (2010). Why race and culture matter in schools: Closing the achievement gap in Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s classrooms. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Hudson, J., Wesson, L., & Marcano, R. (1998). What women of color bring to school leadership. In B. Irby & G. Brown (Eds.), Women leaders: Structuring success (pp. 43-49), Houston, TX: Kendall/Hunt. Jackson, B. (1999). Getting inside history-against all odds: African American women school superintendents. In C.C. Brunner (Ed.), Sacred dreams: Women and the superintendency (pp.141-160), Albany: State University of New York Press. James, S. (1993). Mothering: A possible Black feminist link to social transformation? In S. James and A. Busia (eds.), Theorizing Black Feminisms: The Visionary Pragmatism of Black Women, pp. 44-54. New York: Routledge. Johnson, L. (2007). Rethinking successful school leadership in challenging U.S. schools: Culturally responsive practices in school-community relationships. ISEA, 35, 49-57. Khalifa, M. (2012). A renewed paradigm in successful urban school leadership: Principal as community leader, Educational Administration Quarterly, 48, 424-464. Ladson-Billings, & Donnor, J.K. (2005). The moral activist role of critical race theory scholarship. In N.K. Denzin & Y.S. Lincoln (Eds.) The handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Ladson-Billings, G., & Tate, B. (1995). Toward a critical race theory of education. Teachers College Record, 97, 47-67. Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Loder, T. L. (2005). African American women principalsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; reflections on social change, community othermothering and Chicago public school reform. Urban Education, 40,298320. 100


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Marshall, C., & Rossman, G.(2006). Designing Qualitative Research (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Mauch, J., & Birch, J. (1989). Guide to the successful thesis and dissertation (2nd ed). New York, NY: Marcel Dekker. McCall, G. (2003). The me and the not me: Positive and negative poles of identity. In P.J. Burke, T.J. Owens, R.T. Serpe & P.A. Thoits (Eds.), Advances in identity theory and research (pp.11-26). New York: NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum. McKenzie, K., Christman, D., Hernandez,F., Fierro, E., Capper, C., Dantley, M., Gonzalez, M. L., Cambron-McCabe, N., & Scheurich, J. (2007). From the field: A proposal for educating leaders for social justice, Educational Administration Quarterly, 44, 111-138. Merchant, B., & Shoho, A. (2006). Bridge people: civic and educational leaders for social justice. In Catherine Marshall and Maricela Olivas (Eds.), Leadership for social justice. Boston, MA: Pearson. Merrick, E. (1999). “Like Chewing Gravel”: On the experience of analyzing qualitative research findings using a feminist epistemology. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 23, 47-57. Miles, M.B., & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded source book (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Miller, P., Brown,T., & Hopson, R. (2011). Centering love, hope, and trust in the community: Transformative urban leadership informed by Paulo Freire. Urban Education, 46(5), 1078-1099. Nakagawa, K., Stafford, M., Fisher, T., & Matthews, L. (2002). The “City Migrant” Dilemma: Building Community at High-Mobility Urban Schools. Urban Education, 37(1), 96-125. National Center for Educational Statistics. (2007). Digest of educational statistics. Washington, DC: Government Publications Office. National Research Council (2003). Engaging schools: Fostering high school students’ motivation to learn, Education Week, 22(32), p. 14-17. Nieto, S. (1999). The light in their eyes: Creating multicultural learning communities. New York: Teachers College Press. Noguera, P. (2011). A broader and bolder approach uses education to break the cycle of poverty. Kappan, Nov 2011, 8-14. O’Connor, K.E. (2008). “You choose to care”: Teachers, emotions and professional identity. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24, 117-126. Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Peters, A. (2012). Leading through the challenge of change: African American women principals on small school reform. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 25(1), 23-38. Pollard, D.S. (1997). Race, gender, and educational leadership: Perspectives from African American principals. Educational Policy, 11(3), 353-374. Quint, J. (2006). Meeting five critical challenges of high school reform: Lessons from research on three reform models. MDRC: New York, NY. Ravitch, D. (2010). The death and life of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. New York: Basic Books. 101


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Reed-Yeboa (2007). Same path, different shoes: The challenges of African American principals in predominately African American low-performing high schools, unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Roderick, M., & Camburn, E. (1999). Risk and Recovery From Course Failure in the Early Years of High School. American Educational Research Journal, 36(2), 303-343. Saldana, J. (2009). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Scribner, S. & Crow, G. (2012). Employing professional identities: Case study of a high school principal in a reform setting. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 11(3), 243-274. Silverman, D. (2010). Doing Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Smulyan, L. (2000). Balancing acts: Women principals at work. Albany: State University of New York Press. Sperandio, J. (2009). Confronting issues of gender and ethnicity: Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experiences as aspiring urban principals. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 4(4), 67-95. Stake, R.E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Theoharis, G. (2008). Woven in Deeply: Identity and leadership of urban social justice principals, Education and Urban Society, 41(3). Theoharis. G. (2007). Social justice educational leaders and resistance: Toward a theory of social justice leadership. Educational Administration Quarterly, 43(2), 221-258. Tillman, B. A., & Cochran, L. (2000). Desegregating urban school administration: A pursuit of equity for Black women superintendents. Education and Urban Society, 33(1), 44-59. Tillman, L. C. (2006): Researching and writing from an African-American perspective: reflective notes on three research studies, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 19:3, 265-287. Tillman, L. C. (2004). African American principals and the legacy of Brown. Review of Research in Education, 28, 101-146. Tillman, L. C. (2002). Culturally sensitive research approaches: An African-American perspective, Educational Researcher, 31(9), 3-12. Valenzuela, A. (1999). Subtractive schooling: U.S. Mexican youth and politics of caring. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Walker, A. (1983). In search of out mothersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; gardens: Womanist prose. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Javanovich. Witherspoon, N., & Arnold, B. (2010). Pastoral care: notions of caring and the Black female principal. The Journal of Negro Education, 79(3), 220-232. Wrushen, B., & Sherman,W. (2008). Women secondary school principals: multicultural voices from the field. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 21(5), 457-469. Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Dr. Pamela Gray Assistant Professor Sam Houston State University pamelagray@shsu.edu 102


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“Educational leaders must protect their children’s instructional time; they must ensure that our students are engaged in learning that’s meaningful, relevant and will prepare them for the real future, not just an upcoming test.” -Y. Olivera-Ortiz

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Teacher Effectiveness and Students Achievement on STAAR: Implications for School Leaders Dr. Yanira Olivera-Ortiz Introduction The quality of education and teachers’ effectiveness impact students’ lives beyond their classroom performance and achievement as measured by standardized tests (Chetty, Friedman, & Rockoff, 2012). Regardless of the ample research documenting the impact an effective teacher has on the children’s education and future, there is a prevalent failure to recognize teacher effectiveness, to effectively document poor teacher performance and to provide teachers with the support needed to improve their pedagogical practices (Weisberg, Sexton, Mulhern, & Keeling, 2009). Quite the opposite has taken over our education system since the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act. Teachers are regularly blamed for students’ performance on state tests while little attention is placed on the identification of effective practices, the impact highly effective teachers could have in the learning, and the identification of marginal teachers who need support to improve their practices. A Principal’s Predicament Aware of the importance of the quality of education and teacher effectiveness, I spent countless hours as a principal in the classrooms looking for effective practices and identifying those who needed additional support. As I visited classrooms, I often found myself in classrooms where I would not hesitate to place my own children given the high quality of instruction taking place. Students were engaged in learning at the appropriate cognitive level; they were challenged by activities that were directly aligned to the state’s curriculum while providing students with relevant learning experiences. These observations provided evidence that the level of instruction taking place in many classrooms has significantly improved since I began visiting classrooms 13 years ago. Yet as a principal, I found myself consoling many of those same teachers when the state test scores were released in the spring. I often wondered how to help good teachers understand that they had added value to their students’ education, when they felt they had failed their students. They, as the public, measure their effectiveness based on the state tests and not on the students’ successes they had witnessed throughout the school year. Teachers are constantly blamed for failing to prepare students for standardized tests while they effectively implement research-based, instructional practices and have evidence that students are learning and mastering the state’s standards through authentic learning experiences. The apparent disconnect between good teaching and the students’ performance on the states tests, and the importance placed on these scores, is troublesome. Researchers have been shown that tests do not measure the outcome of the educational system as policymakers assume tests could (Williams, 2010). As an instructional leader, I am amazed at the number of educational leaders that continue to fail to identify the effective teachers who serve 104


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 their students and persistently yield to the pressure of producing high student achievement scores, even when the practices used to produce the high scores may not always address what is right for every child. The pressure of knowing that the public will solely measure the teachers and schools’ success based on the students’ performance on the state’s tests has resulted in “decontextualized test preparation” (Firestone, Schorr, & Monfils, 2004) with no consideration to authentic learning of the subject matter (Firestone et al., 2004; McCollum, 2011). Given the constant pressure principals and teachers have to produce high scores, I found it compelling as a school leader to take a closer look at the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) results of teachers across a North Texas school district and the relationship the scores had to the teachers’ effectiveness as identified by principals through the teacher evaluations. Were teachers who are deemed good teachers by their administrators producing higher student scores on the STAAR tests? An Effort to Find Some Answers In the fall of 2013, I conducted a correlational study at a North Texas Independent School District in an effort to determine the empirical relationship between teacher effectiveness, as identified by principals through teacher evaluations, and the impact teachers had on student achievement. A few of the criteria within each of the two analyzed Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) domains had a positive impact in explaining the difference in students’ STAAR scores; however, the impact was consistently low and was rarely supported by similar criteria within the domains. Furthermore, when the overall STAAR scores and raw teacher evaluation data were analyzed, the disparity between teacher evaluations and student performance on STAAR was startling. The PDAS raw data showed that 96% of reading teachers and up to 99% of all mathematics teachers were rated as proficient or exceeding expectations on their 2013 PDAS evaluations. In contrast, according to the Texas Academic Performance Report (Texas Education Agency, 2013) 70% of the third through fifth grade students in the school district met the reading standards while 68% met the mathematics standards. It is important to point out that the 2013 STAAR reading passing standard ranged from 50 to 57% and the 2013 mathematics STAAR passing standard ranged from 54 to 60% (Texas Education Agency, 2014), anywhere from ten to 20 percentage points below what is popularly considered passing, 70%. Furthermore, only 28% of the district’s third through fifth graders met the recommended final standard in reading, while 41% of Texas third through fifth grade students met the same standard. The recommended final reading passing standards, to be implemented as the passing standard in 2021-2022, range from 75 to 78% as passing. Similarly, 19% of the district’s third through fifth grade students met the recommended final passing level in mathematics, set between 78 to 83% (Texas Education Agency, 2014) while 34% of the State’s students met the same standard. The analysis of the raw data indicate that the PDAS ratings of teachers in the North Texas school district were consistently high while the performance of the students was below the state’s average. Correspondingly, in Pate’s 2010 study, Texas teachers who were rated as highly effective on PDAS were associated with low student scores on the Texas assessments (Pate, 2010). The conclusions drawn from this study also compare to the findings of previous studies 105


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 from across the United States where teachers working at low performing schools received high ratings on their performance evaluations (Weisberg et al., 2009). A Leader’s Perspective The inconsistencies between ratings of teacher effectiveness and student learning as identified by the state assessment system are troubling. If one believes that effective teaching practices should be reflected in tests scores that purport to measure student achievement, the findings concerning the impact of the instructional practices measured by PDAS and students STAAR scores lead to a wide range of potential conclusions and a host of concomitant questions. Some of these questions focus on issues related to teacher evaluation as a tool for identifying effective teaching practices while others relate to issues surrounding the use of standardized tests as the measure of student learning. If one assumes that campus administrators used PDAS as designed; it could be argued that the instrument is measuring instructional practices that have little to no impact on student achievement as measured by high-stakes testing. Conceivably, the criteria valued and rated through PDAS promote good teaching with a focus on student engagement in student-centered, self-directed challenging learning, but fail to value instructional strategies that facilitate the students’ transfer of knowledge and skills to standardized tests. The majority of the teachers might indeed have met the PDAS criteria to be rated as proficient or exceeding expectations, but failed to provide students with the necessary skills to demonstrate mastery of the acquired knowledge and skills on the tests like STAAR. On the other hand, the disconnect between the instructional practices documented through PDAS and the students’ achievement could possibly be a product of the high-stake testing shortfalls. Standardized tests are unable to measure some of the objectives of learning (Koretz, 2008). I would also argue that if the teachers were proficient or highly successful in the implementation of effective instructional strategies, the disparity between instructional practices and student achievement could be the result of factors beyond the educators’ control, which could negatively impact their students’ achievement on the STAAR tests. The study was conducted in a school district where 81 percent of all students are economically disadvantaged, 40 percent are English language learners and 72 percent are Hispanic. The challenges students from these historically underperforming groups face could have had an impact on the students’ STAAR performance. Research has shown that Hispanic students enter kindergarten with lower reading and mathematics skills than White students with wider gaps upon entering kindergarten when the students come from economically disadvantaged homes (Reardon & Galindo, 2009). Therefore, one could make a case that PDAS does not take into account the different research-based practices that have been shown to be effective when working with the challenging population served at the school district where the study was conducted. Furthermore, I would question the effectiveness of the tests like STAAR in measuring these historically underperforming students’ achievement. Another claim, is that standardized tests, such as STAAR, are not accurate measures of what students are in fact learning in classrooms where teachers implement research-based instructional 106


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 practices. “All data do not measure the most important things, and some of it may be trivial, misleading, or unimportant” (English, 2010, p. 113). If the previous argument is accurate, campus administrators must help teachers find a balance between research-based instruction that effectively meets the needs of all students, while preparing for standardized tests that might not measure the most valuable educational experiences. Since the authorization of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, “whatever could not be measured did not count” (Ravitch, 2010, p. 21). School success and effectiveness are measured by the performance of students on standardized tests; testing has become a major concern in schooling (Ravitch, 2010). In order to be considered successful in an era of accountability and high-stakes testing, campus administrators and teachers have the responsibility to find a balance in engaging students in learning that is challenging, student-centered and self-directed while preparing students to transfer the knowledge and skills to the tests. Teachers must master the balance between the “art and the science of teaching” (Marzano, 2007) as they continue to operate in an education system that defines a year’s success on the students’ performance on the day of the state’s test. Implications for School Leaders Although many would argue that high stakes tests are necessary to hold schools and teachers accountable, researchers have shown that the quality of education has weakened after the implementation of higher standards, high-stakes testing and sanctions linked to state testing (Firestone et al., 2004; Gordon & Reese as cited in Haney, 2000). The expectations and the continuous pressure to deliver high test scores as an indication of effectiveness seemed to have changed instructional practices. The increasing pressure teachers feel to improve student achievement as measured by high-stakes testing has resulted in a growing trend in classrooms around the nation; teachers feel compelled to teach to the test. Teaching to the test implies that teachers are altering instructional practices with the sole purpose of helping students do well on the tests, with no consideration to authentic learning of the subject matter (Firestone et al., 2004; McCollum, 2011). Teaching to the test often results in the abandonment of high-yield instructional strategies to focus on the narrow scope of the curriculum that is tested (Marchant, 2004). Firestone et al. (2004) have labeled this practice as decontextualized test preparation; the planning and teaching of lessons that are loosely related to the curriculum and mainly focused on the test (Firestone et al., 2004). Researchers have advised about the danger of using high-stakes testing as a measure of school effectiveness. According to Rapple as cited in William (2010): True accountability in education should not be facilely linked to mechanical examination results, for there is a very distinct danger that the pedagogical methods employed to attain those results will themselves be mechanical and the education of children will be so much worse. (p. 108) If one assumes that the majority of the teacher evaluations included in the study were accurate representations of what was taking place in the observed classrooms, one could argue that the teachers in this school district were not using “decontextualized test preparation” but rather were indeed implementing research-based, effective instructional strategies. Then, the issue school leaders must address is the lack of alignment between effective instructional practices and test readiness. But is that the goal of our school system? Dr. Walter Stroup testified at a House 107


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 education committee meeting and said that the Texas STAAR tests measure test-taking skills rather than mastery of the curriculum. In an interview released by The Dallas Morning News (2014), Stroup refers to the tests as insensitive to instruction. So what should school leaders and teachers do? Should they focus on preparing students for a test that might not measure what they have learned rather how well they can take a test? Should they prepare students for their future learning to increase their success in advanced courses? Do teachers continue to prepare students for the one day in the year when they will have to shine so their teachers are considered effective or should they focus on what educators and educational researchers know is for right for children? If school leaders are hired to advocate for their students, to protect our children’s rights to an excellent education, how can we continue to pressure our teachers to prepare students for tests that might not measure what the students have learned? It is heartbreaking to visit a school in late August and find students working on reading passages and multiple-choice questions, in decontextualized test preparation, because the school principal and the teachers received the message clearly; they must increase student scores on the April exams. But who dares to blame these educators when their jobs might be on the line? I dare say that preparing students for a test was not the reason this principal and her teachers went into education but they find themselves in an impossibly difficult position. Conclusion After spending countless hours analyzing about the results of this study and reflecting on the state of our education system, the questions regarding what has happened to our education system are more rather than fewer. I embarked in this journey hoping to shed some light on the relationship between the classroom practices, as evaluated by Texas teacher evaluations, and students’ performance on the reading and mathematics STAAR tests. My original intent was to identify any instructional practices considered effective under PDAS that are positively impacting achievement of students on the reading and mathematics STAAR tests. However, the students’ scores lead to questions regarding the gap between learning taking place in the classrooms and students’ achievement on the state’s assessments. Furthermore, one must wonder what are the states tests truly measuring. The results show that the issues school administrators face are much deeper than instructional practices and test preparation. The main question remains, can we engage our students in authentic learning while preparing them for standardized tests? Can good teachers do what they know is right for children while working in an educational system that seems to value tests scores over authentic learning? The unanswered questions are many but our students have no time to wait until we find all the answers; our children are our counting on our leadership to protect and provide them with a strong education that prepares them for their future, not just a test. Regardless of how many questions remain unanswered and all the new questions that come to mind, school leaders must find a way to value and promote what’s truly important in education and avoid getting bugged down by what’s valued by outsiders which might not be what truly matters for our children’s future. Educational leaders must protect their children’s instructional time; they must ensure that our students are engaged in learning that’s meaningful, relevant and will prepare them for the real future, not just an upcoming test. 108


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 References Chetty, R., Friedman, J. N., & Rockoff, J. E. (2012). Great teaching. Education Next, 12 (3) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1237826679?accountid=13158 English, F. W. (2010). Deciding what to teach & test: Developing, aligning, and leading the curriculum. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin. Firestone, W., Schorr, R., & Monfils, L. (Eds.). (2004). The ambiguity of teaching to the test: Standards, assessment, and educational reform. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Haney, W. (2000). The myth of the Texas miracle in education. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 8(41). Retrieved from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v8n41/index.html Koretz, D. (2008). Measuring up: What educational testing really tells us. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Marchant, G. (2004). What is at stake with high stakes testing? A discussion of issues and research. Ohio Journal of Science. 104 (2), 2-7. Marzano, R. (2007). The art and science of teaching. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. McCollum, D. (2011). The deficits of standardized tests: Countering the culture of easy numbers. Assessment Update, 23(2), 3-5. Pate, G. (2010). The Texas professional development and appraisal system: Links to student achievement (Doctoral dissertation, Capella University). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/839826028?accountid=13158. (839826028). Ravitch, D. (2010). The death and life of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. New York, NY: Basic Books. Reardon, S. F., & Galindo, C. (2009). The Hispanic-White achievement gap in math and reading in the elementary grade. American educational research journal. 46 (3), 853-891. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40284864 Texas Education Agency. (2013e). 2012-2013 Texas academic performance report. Austin, TX: Retrieved from http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/tapr/2013/srch.html?srch=D Texas Education Agency. (2014). STAAR速 raw score conversion tables for 2012-2013. Austin, TX: Retrieved from http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147510637 Weisberg, D., Sexton, S., Mulhern, J., & Keeling, D. (2009). The widget effect. The Education Digest, 75(2), 31-35. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/218196265?accountid=13158 Weiss, J. (2014). How the Texas testing bubble popped: Part 3. Testing system shaken to its core. Dallas Morning News. Retrieved from http://res.dallasnews.com/interactives/2014_March/standardized_tests/part3/ William, D. (2010). Standardized testing and school accountability. Educational Psychologist, 45(2), 107-122.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

Dr. Yanira Oliveras-Ortiz Assistant Professor The University of Texas at Tyler Educational Leadership

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our research highlights some challenges for district change reforms. The challenges are that the curriculum directors and superintendents must understand a similar focus in order for successful strategic plans to guide the implementation of the changes. Otherwise there will be a fragmented instructional plan surrounding different perceived barriers.â&#x20AC;? -Sampson, Gresham, Roberts & Gautam

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 School Change Reforms and Barriers: Perceptions of Superintendents and Curriculum Directors in Texas Dr. Pauline M. Sampson Dr. Gloria Gresham Dr. Kerry Roberts Chetanath Gautam Abstract School district reform and change have barriers that need to be acknowledged for successful implementation and institutionalized reform. The perceptions of superintendents and curriculum directors were surveyed regarding these barriers: mandates, school board, federal requirements, community, control, budget/funding, calendar, and tenure. Strategies to alleviate the barriers were suggested. 147 superintendents and 67 curriculum directors completed the survey. This study was a quantitative study with descriptive statistics and independent t-test analysis. The findings revealed the following significant differences between the superintendents and curriculum directors for the barriers to reform: districts have structures to implement school reform; districts have ingrained patterns of behavior resistant to change; districts have passive resistance to change; and districts have leadership with the skills to implement change. Keywords: School Change Barriers: Perceptions of Superintendents and Curriculum Directors School Change Reforms and Barriers: Perceptions of Superintendents and Curriculum Directors in Texas Educational leadership change and school reform research set the stage for this study. Michael Fullan (1999; 2001; 2004) bracketed the major elements of school reform at the district level: capacity building of people, productive conflict, a moral purpose, development of the capacity of the organization, expectations and pressures within the organization through the development of respect and trust, and external partners. Additionally, the work of Waters and Marzano (2007) showed that district level leaders, specifically superintendents, have an impact on school improvement. Marzano (2008) continued this work in elaborating that reform must have clear elements that include feedback to students developed at the system level, formative assessments with common approved assessments that have flexibility, and monitoring or effective instructional strategies. Research on school reform grounded the current review of literature. Many school districts engage in reform and educational change because of higher accountability standards and thus, an increased focus on student achievement. Kornhaber and Orfield (2001) revealed that accountability is the center of current educational reform. High-stakes assessment and accountability policy was fueled by federal law, and the state of Texasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s accountability system provided the foundation for the nation when George W. Bush and Rod Paige, then secretary of education, orchestrated the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization of 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act (NLCB) (McNeil, 2005). The Texas accountability system with its â&#x20AC;&#x153;public rewards and sanctionsâ&#x20AC;? formed the basis for national 112


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 education policy where schools are required to implement “accountability systems with highstakes assessments” (Heilig, 2011, p. 1). Accountability measures, with the purpose of raising teacher performance and student achievement, connect serious consequences to standardized test results (Herman & Haertel, 2005; Ryan, 2004; Nichols, Glass, & Berliner, 2012). Shortly after implementation of NLCB’s accountability expectations, it was evident that students from low socio-economic backgrounds and minority students were failing these expectations (Brantlinger, 2014). The NLCB accountability practices often perilously impact student populations such as African American students and English language learners’ progression through school, and accountability failure dramatically affects funding and resources schools receive (Darling-Hammond, 2003). How schools perform on these assessments affects not only students and teachers but school administrators. According to Singh and Al-Fadhli (2011), duties and demands of administrators has drastically changed since NCLB. Superintendents now must understand how to promote student achievement as well as how to facilitate the management of facilities, personnel, finances while promoting schools to stakeholders (Singh & Al-Fadhli, 2011). Therefore, for several years since 2002, school district leaders were faced with the need to implement educational reform efforts to address accountability standards of NLCB. The NLCB accountability expectations triggering school reform require superintendents and leadership team members to agree on the intent of high impact practices. Superintendents and curriculum directors are usually the major decision makers for educational reform in districts. If dissention exists among these leaders, efforts to address district achievement concerns may be negatively impacted. Other factors that may negatively impact reform are the barriers that impede efforts to impact and sustain change. If superintendents’ and their leadership team, especially curriculum directors, perceive the barriers differently, the successful implementation of educational reform efforts may be thwarted. There are minimal studies on the perceptions of barriers to educational reform between superintendents and curriculum directors. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of superintendents and curriculum directors on the barriers for school district level educational reform in Texas school districts. The research question guiding this study was: Is there a significant difference on the perception of barriers for reform between superintendents and curriculum directors? Following is a discussion of the review of literature, methodology, data analysis, results, and finally conclusions. Review of Literature Grounding this study was a review of current literature. First, literature was reviewed concerning leadership and change since an understanding of change implementation so impacts educational reform. Barriers to educational reform were then discussed which included leadership and change, state reform mandates impact on district level change, federal mandates impact on change, financial requirements to support change, tenure and time for lasting change, school board support of change, community relationships, organizational control practices to monitor change, and school calendar impact of change on instructional time. 113


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Leadership and Change Studies indicated the importance leadership plays in the change process. Waters and Marzano (2007) found that superintendents are critical in guiding change with a focused vision, by providing the funds, and by proactively working with community members and parents. Superintendents, along with principals, utilize shared vision to determine results and ways to achieve those results (Ewing, 2008). Superintendents often focus the vision of school reform and remain optimistic when they consider ways to sustain reform (Bagley, 2012). Additionally, strong leaders focus on high standards while establishing a culture of collaboration directed on specific student needs of their school (Eilers & Camacho, 2007). Rey (2009) studied strategies leaders used in implementing large organizational change to support student learning and discovered these emergent themes: leadership, competence in sustaining performance, and leader engagement in the change effort. Skilled superintendents in implementing change efforts in a district must have other leaders, who are honest, exhibit integrity, openness, and transparency for instructional leadership (Karbula, 2009). Strong leadership is proven to implement change efforts, but leaders are faced with barriers and must understand those barriers and how to combat them. The first barrier to review is state reform mandates. State Reform Mandates Impact on District Level Change The roles of the state in mandating reform and the legislative acts passed have increased the need for school reform. Long before NLCB, accountability systems were in place in Texas fueled by a desire of Laura Bush, wife of the former Governor George W. Bush, to promote reading in the state (Heilig, 2011). The state of Texas is currently examining the role of the principal in school reform as well as the role of practitioner preparation programs in the development of instructional leaders. A majority of the reform policies in Texas were and are linked to accountability for student achievement. The state has developed standards and rigorous tests aligned to these standards (McNeil, 2005). Furthermore, sanctions are placed on school districts for failure to increase their student achievement at levels required by the state. So, school leaders are faced not only with rising and ever-changing state requirements, but also federal requirements that impact the need for reform (Achieve, 2012; GAO, 2012). Federal Reform Mandates Impact on Change The federal government has increased their role in education since the early 1980s. Typically, education has been a function of state and local control. Many of the supporters of state and local control cite the 10th Amendment that affirms that any item not specifically given to the Federal government belongs to state control. However, the federal government has placed more accountability standards and increased some funding (Marsh & Wohlstetter, 2013). The majority of funds were historically for Title programs, which focused on improvement in education for disadvantaged students. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 strongly increased the federal role over K-12 education (Hess & Petrilli, 2006). This law held states accountable for studentincreased progress, and requirements included increased testing, clearer reporting of student progress by demographics language learners. The federal regulations also addressed teacher 114


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 quality, criteria for teachers in core content areas to be labeled as highly qualified, and researchbased grants (U.S. Department of Education, 2002). The federal regulations were not without controversy because of the consequences with high-stakes testing. Recently, President Obama in 2012 approved ten states to implement reforms that sparked new ideas while still holding firm to the accountability expectations (Muskal, 2012). Historically, minimal federal funding was available to implement federal requirements. So, funding remains a barrier to superintendents who wished to implement reform efforts. Financial Requirements to Support Change School reform requires funding, and superintendents are oftentimes burdened with how to financially support educational reform efforts. The lack of adequacy and equity in school funding has often led to challenges in state courts (Aleman, 2007; Cataldo-Fisher, 2007; Hanuscheck & Loeb, 2008). Moser and Rubensteih (2002) studied public school funding in the United States and found that funding equality within states improved little during 1992 and 1995. Many school districts assume the load of school funding and depend on local property tax revenues, which cause inequity in funding to exist among districts (Crampton, Thompson, & Vesely, 2004). Payne and Biddle (1999) concur by stating, “funding for public schools in our country varies sharply from wealthy to impoverished communities” (p. 4). The level of funding a district has relates to student achievement. Payne and Biddle (1999) studied the effects of poor school funding and poverty on mathematics achievement. They discovered that both poverty and low funding affect student achievement in the United States and both are mostly independent of one another. Funding is a barrier that contributes to educational reform success and ultimately to superintendent turnover. Tenure and Time for Lasting Change Successful implementation of reform efforts is related to superintendent longevity, and tenure is affected by many factors. The lack of funding impacts superintendents’ tenure in districts. (Freeman, 2011; Wheeler, 2012). Plotts (2011) determined that superintendent longevity was decreased in districts with higher numbers of students who qualified for free and reduced lunch. Other factors for shortened superintendent tenure was the unrealistic expectation for superintendents’ performance and stakeholder conflicts (Freeman, 2011). Conversely, Domene (2012) found that the main reason superintendents left their school district was career advancement. Superintendent tenure was increased in districts where superintendents built relationships, had strong communication skills, developed effective leadership teams, and believed strongly in their role (McCann, 2011; Remland, 2012). Superintendents who stay a long time in a district have a strong sense of commitment to being needed in the district (Talbert, 2011). However, the longevity of a superintendent was not found to be a predictor of student performance (Berlau, 2011). Additionally, superintendent longevity is related to the relationship they build with school board members, and so school board relationships can be a barrier to educational reform.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 School Board Support of Change Literature has consistently shown that poor relationships between the superintendent and school board harms educational reform efforts (Danzberger et al., 1992). The number one reason for superintendents to have their contracts non-extended was conflicts between the superintendent and the board (Remland, 2012; Wheeler, 2012). Individuals entering their first superintendent position often do not realize that in order to sustain reform and their jobs requires a good relationship between the superintendent and the school board (McCann, 2011). Researchers reveal that these interpersonal skills are critical to a positive relationship between the superintendent and board members: communication, empathy, trust, persuasiveness, and role clarity (Berg. 1996: Bratlein & Walters, 1999; Carter & Cunninghan, 1997; Feuerstein & Opfer, 1998: Glass, 1992; Hoyle, English, & Steffy, 1998; Kowalski, 1999; McCurdy, 1992: Tallerico, 1989; Yukl, 1994). As school board relationships are important to a superintendent’s ability to sustain educational reform, so are relationships with the community. Community Support of Change Understanding how to build and sustain community relationships is important to accomplishing educational reform efforts. Community conflict is for certain due to diverse populations and expectations (Bjӧrk & Gurley, 2005). Organizing community members for school reform relates to the actions of parents and other community members to transform schools not performing well to higher performance (Mediratta & Fruchter, 2001). According to Jehl, Blank, and McCloud (2001), building community involves various approaches, which include “community organizing and community economic development” (p. 4). To implement successful reform efforts, superintendents must have the ability to communicate with a broad-range of community stakeholders and know how to work collaboratively with them (Bjӧrk & Gurley, 2005). Community and staff involvement can be enhanced or thwarted with organizational control. Organizational Control Practices to Monitor Change Etzioni (1965) described organizational control as “a distribution of means used by an organization to elicit the performances it needs and to check whether the quantities and qualities of such performances are in accord with organizational specifications” (p. 650). To implement reform efforts adequately, superintendents need formal controls such as rewards, penalties, regulations, and orders (Blau, 1955). According to Peterson (1983), there are six control mechanisms present in organizations: supervision, input, behavior, output, socialization, and environmental. What controls selected by superintendents to direct others in the organization differ based on the type of organization, the occupation, and the hierarchical level (Ouchi, 1977 & 1979). Effective superintendents know how to implement the appropriate level of control, and this control is exhibited in the development of instructional calendars, which can also be a barrier to educational reform.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 School Calendar Impact of Change on Instructional Time As Metzker (2002) espoused, the development of a school calendar usually causes friction and can hinder educational reform. Changes in the length of the school year are often in response to mandated reform (Keller, 2001). Superintendents must consider calculated and deliberate approaches and avoid â&#x20AC;&#x153;top-downâ&#x20AC;? efforts when changing school calendars (Cooper, 2000). Superintendents are wise to consider these issues when thinking of calendar change: school attendance boundaries, bus routes, and community life (Metzker, 2002). Also, Metzker stated that it is important to involve the entire community in calendar development: students, teachers, parents, and other community members. Parents, teachers, and school leaders must work collaboratively when implementing school reform efforts (Fullan, 1999). After a review of current literature, it was discovered that much is available concerning change efforts and barriers to reform, but little was accessible concerning the difference in perceptions of curriculum directors and superintendents. To fill this knowledge gap, the purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of superintendents and curriculum directors on nine barriers for school district level reform in Texas school districts Methodology Survey research was used in this quantitative study to examine the perceptions of superintendents and curriculum directors in the state of Texas. According to Gay (2011), survey research is a vehicle to collect information from members of a population to discover the current state of that population according to one or more variables. A list of superintendents and curriculum directors with their emails was obtained from the Texas Education Agency website. Survey Monkey was used to compile questions and demographic information. Demographic data were collected for location of school districts, student enrollment, years in leadership, highest educational degree, and ethnicity. The survey included eight statements related to change with Likert scale responses of strongly agree, somewhat agree, partly agree, strongly disagree, and does not apply. Additionally, the survey had nine factors related to barriers to change: mandates, federal requirements, funding/budgets, school board relationships, calendar development, tenure, community involvement, and control. Further, open ended responses were elicited with requests to list any internal or external barriers to change evident in their district. Then participants were asked to list their top three school reforms efforts. Data Analysis The data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 21). Descriptive statistics were used for characteristics of superintendents and curriculum directors as well as for the school districts. Independent t-test was used to investigate whether means obtained from dependent samples were significantly different and is an appropriate statistic to use for this survey research (Springer, 2010). The independent t-test was used to compare the respondentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; perceptions of educational change of school reform and barriers to change for differences of superintendents and curriculum Response to statements were assigned the following values: Strongly agree=5, Somewhat agree=4, Partly agree=3, Strongly disagree=2, Does not apply=1. 117


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Results The results are presented in the three sections with the demographics of respondents, responses to eight elements to changes, and responses to barriers to change. This is followed by a general summary of results Demographics Surveys were sent to all Texas superintendents and curriculum directors as identified on the Texas Education Agency website. One hundred forty-seven superintendents (N=1070) and sixty-seven curriculum directors (N=370) completed the survey. Descriptive analysis of the demographic information indicated the respondents had a variety of years of experience. The average years of experience for curriculum directors was 5.1, whereas, the superintendents’ average years of experience was 8.2. The most experienced superintendent had 29 years of experience while the one with the fewest years of experience had less than one month of experience as a superintendent. Likewise, curriculum director’s highest experience was 27 years and the lowest was one year. The leaders’ who responded were primarily from rural districts. Among the respondent curriculum directors, 76% (n=51) were from rural districts; 16.4% (11) were from suburban districts; and 7.5% (n=5) were from urban districts. The respondent superintendents had similar responses with 74.5% (n=105) from rural districts; 14.2% (n=20) from suburban districts, and 11.3% (n=16) from urban districts. The size of the district ranged from 35,000 students to 41 students. The level of education for the respondents showed that the majority had Master’s degrees with several achieving doctorate degrees. Data showed that 31.4% of superintendents and 26.9% of curriculum directors held a doctorate. Further, a few of the respondents held other certifications: 7.1% of the superintendents and 4.5% of the curriculum directors. The ethnic make-up of the leaders showed that the majority of superintendents were white 93.7% (n=133), 2.8% (n=4) were Latino/Hispanic, 2.8% (n=4) African American, and 0.7% (n=1) were Native Hawaiian/Pacific Island. The curriculum directors had similar ethnic make-ups with 88.1% (n=59) white, 9% (n=6) were Latino/Hispanic, and 3% (n=2) were African American. Responses to Eight Statements about Change There were eight change statements about change that were rated by the superintendents and curriculum directors that included: (a) successful strategies, (b) structures to support the implementation strategies, (c) ingrained patterns of behavior that resist change, (d) passive resistance for change, (e) systematic plan for change, (f) sense of urgency to change, (g) articulated vision that embraces change, and (h) leadership with the skills to enact change. Table 1 summarizes the findings of these eight statements.

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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Table. 1 Perceptions about the Eight Change Statements ____________________________________________________________________________________ Responses Successful Strategy

Supt

Cu Dir

Supr.

Support the Resistance to Passive ResistanceSystematic Plan Strategies Change Behaviors for Change for Change Cu.Dr.

33.09% 28.13%30.88%12.50% Strongly n=45 n=18 n=42 n=8 agree 47.79% 46.88%46.32%62.50% Somewhatn=65 n=30 n=63 n=40 agree 17.65% 21.88%19.12%21.88% Partly n=24 14 n=26 n=14 agree 1.47% 3.13% 3.68% 3.13% Strongly n=2 n=2 n=5 n=2 disagree 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Does not n=0 n=0 n=0 n=0 apply t-Test 0.293 0.06

Supr.

Cu.Dr.

Supr.

Cu.Dr.

Supr.

Cu.Dr.

Urgency to Change

Supr.

Articulate Vision Leadership for for Change Change

Cu.Dr. Supr.

Cu.Dr.

Supr.

Cu.Dr.

19.12%25.00% n=26 n=16

9.70% 18.75% n=13 n=12

25.00%23.81% n=34 n=15

20.59%26.23% 31.11%24.19% 46.32% 34.92% n=28 n=16 n=42 n=15 n=63 n=22

30.15%40.63% n=41 n=26

34.33%34.38% n=46 n=22

40.44%36.51% n=55 n=23

33.82%22.95% 38.52%33.87% 41.91% 33.33% n=46 n=14 n=52 n=21 n=57 n=21

35.29%26.56% n=48 n=17

37.31%39.06% n=50 n=25

25.74%25.40% n=35 n=16

25.00%37.70% 21.48%30.65% 9.56% 28.57% n=34 n=23 n=29 n=19 n=13 n=18

13.97%6.25% n=19 n=4

17.16%7.81% n=23 n=5

7.35% 14.29% n=10 n=9

18.38%13.11% 8.15% 11.29% 2.21% 3.17% n=25 n=8 n=11 n=7 n=3 n=2

1.47% 1.56% n=2 n=1

1.49% 0.00% n=2 n=0

1.47% 0.00% n=2 n=0

2.21% 0.00% 0.74% 0.00% n=3 n=0 n=1 n=0

0.00% 0.00% n=0 n=0

0.492

0.530

0.013*

0.043**

0.027**

0.175

____________________________________________________________________________________

Note: Supr.= Superintendent, CuDr.= Curriculum Director, ** =significant difference on the 95% confidence level. The following sections summarize each of the elements for the responses to the eight statements about change. Successful Strategies Varied responses of superintendents and curriculum directors appeared concerning how they rated this statement: my district has the knowledge of successful strategies regarding school reform. Thirty three percent of the superintendents, and 28.1% of the curriculum directors strongly agreed with the statement. Likewise, 47.8% of superintendents and 46.8% of curriculum directors somewhat agreed. Similarly, 17.6% of curriculum directors and 21.9% of curriculum directors partly agreed. A small number of respondents, 1.5% of superintendents, and 3.1% of curriculum directors strongly disagreed with the statement. An independent sample t- test was run to find out whether the view of superintendents and the curriculum directors significantly differed on the statement. A t-score of 0.293 on the 95% confidence level suggested the result remained within the error margin, thus, not significantly different. Structures to Support the Implementation Strategies Rating the statement, my district has the structure to implement strategies regarding school reform, 30.9% of superintendents and 12.5 % of curriculum directors strongly agreed. Likewise, 119


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 46.3% of superintendents and 62.5% of curriculum directors somewhat agreed. A fair number, 19.1 % of superintendents and 21.9% of curriculum directors partly agreed. However 3.7% of superintendents and 3.1% of curriculum directors strongly disagreed on the statement. An independent sample t-test 0.06 showed no significant difference. A notable difference between curriculum directors and superintendents can be seen strongly agreeing and partially agreeing to the statement. Ingrained Patterns of Behaviors that Resist Change Superintendents and curriculum directors significantly varied on the amount of change resistance related behaviors were present in the schools. Rating the statement, my district has ingrained patterns of behavior that are resistant to school reform.(i.e. traditional beliefs, norms, expectations), 19.1% of superintendents and 25.0% of curriculum directors strongly agreed. Likewise, 30.1% of superintendents and 40.6% of curriculum directors somewhat agreed. The majority of superintendents, 35.3% and comparatively smaller 26.6% of curriculum directors partly agreed. However, 14.0% of superintendents strongly disagreed, which was larger than the 6.3% of curriculum directors who strongly disagreed on the statement. An independent sample ttest 0.043 showed significant difference. A notable difference between curriculum directors and superintendents was noted concerning resistance. A relatively small number of superintendents 1.5% and 1.6% of curriculum directors revealed the statement did not apply in their school. Passive Resistance for Change Superintendents and curriculum directors significantly varied on the existence of passive resistance for change. Rating the statement, my district has passive resistance for change, 9.7%% of superintendents and 18.8% of curriculum directors strongly agreed. However, almost an equal percentage, 34.3% of superintendents and 34.4% of curriculum directors somewhat agreed. The majority of superintendents, 37.3%, and curriculum directors, 39.1%, partly agreed. However, 17.2% of superintendents strongly disagreed, which was notably larger than the 7.8% of curriculum directors who strongly disagreed. An independent sample t-test .027 showed significant difference. A notable difference between curriculum directors and superintendents was noted concerning passive resistance. A relatively small number of superintendents 1.5% said that the statement did not apply in their school. Systematic Plan for Change Rating the statement, my district has a systematic plan for change, superintendents and curriculum directors answered similarly: 25.0% of superintendents and 23.8% of curriculum directors strongly agreed. However, slightly different percentage, 40.4%of superintendents and 36.5% of curriculum directors, somewhat agreed. About one fourth of the total superintendents, 25.7% and an almost equal percentage of curriculum directors 25.4% partly agreed. However, 7.4% of superintendents strongly disagreed, which was notably smaller than the 14.3% of curriculum directors who strongly disagreed on the statement. An independent sample t-test 0 .492, showed no significant difference.

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Sense of Urgency to Change Superintendents and curriculum directors did not differ significantly on rating the statement, my district has a sense of urgency to change. Twenty- six percent of superintendents and 26.2% of curriculum directors strongly agreed. However, slightly different percentage, 33.8% of superintendents and 23.0% of curriculum directors somewhat agreed. About one fourth of the total superintendents, 25.0% and a little over one third of curriculum directors, 37.7%, partly agreed. Similarly, 18.4% of superintendents strongly disagreed, which was slightly larger than the 13.1% of curriculum directors who strongly disagreed on the statement. Independent sample t- test value 0.530 indicated no significant difference. A small number of superintendents said that the urgency did not apply to their district. Articulated Vision that Embraces Change Rating the statement, my district has an articulated vision that embraces change, 31.1% of superintendents and 24.2% of curriculum directors strongly agreed. However, slightly different percentage, 38.5% of superintendents and 33.9% of curriculum directors, somewhat agreed. Slightly more than one fifth of the total superintendents, 21.5%, and 30.6% of curriculum directors partly agreed. Additionally, 8.1% of superintendents strongly disagreed, which was slightly smaller than the 11.3% of curriculum directors who strongly disagreed on the statement. Independent sample t-test value 0.175 indicated no significant difference. A small number of superintendents 0.7% said that the statement did not apply for their district. Leadership with the Skills to Enact Change Rating the statement, my district has leadership with the skills to enact change, 46.3% of superintendents and 34.9% of curriculum directors strongly agreed. Similarly, 41.9% of superintendents and 33.3% of curriculum directors somewhat agreed. Slightly less than one tenth the total superintendents, 9.6%, and more than one forth, 28.6%, of curriculum directors partly agreed. In similar ways, 2.2% of superintendents strongly disagreed, which was slightly smaller than the of curriculum directors, 3.2%, who strongly disagreed. Independent sample t-test value 0.013 indicated a significant difference. Superintendents and the curriculum directors had significantly different perceptions about the leadership for change. Responses to Barriers to Change Nine barriers of change well discussed in literature (mandates, school board, federal requirements, community, control, budget/funding, calendar, and tenure) were presented for respondents to rate. Superintendents and curriculum directors were asked to provide any other barriers they perceived. Table 2 shows the responses to different barriers.

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Table 2 Barriers ____________________________________________________________________________________ Responses

Strongly agree Somewhat agree

Mandates

School Boards Federal Community Budget Control Requirements Supr CuDr Supr CuDr Supr CuDr Supr CuDr Supr CuDr 46.09% 31.03%8.59% 16.95% 50.78%43.10%11.02% 15.79%20.31%8.62% n=59 n=18 n=11 n=10 n=65 n=25 n=14 n=9 n=26 n=5

Control over Lack of School Personnel Funding Calendar Supr Cu.Dr Supr CuDr Supr CuDr 10.16%22.03%49.21% 38.98%12.70%8.47% n=13 n=13 n=62 n=23 n=16 n=5

Tenure Supr CuDr 8.73% 12.28% n=11 n=7

34.38% 36.21%17.97%20.34% 31.25%31.03%26.77% 36.84%32.03%37.93% 11.72%30.51%29.37% 20.34%27.78%18.64% 23.81%33.33% n=44 n=21 n=23 n=12 n=40 n=18 n=34 n=21 n=41 n=22 n=15 n=18 n=37 n=12 n=35 n=11 n=30 n=19 13.28% 18.97%24.22%22.03% 13.28%17.24%33.86% 35.09%24.22%17.24% 28.13%23.73%13.49% 15.25%30.16%28.81% 25.40%22.81% n=17 n=11 n=31 n=13 n=17 n=10 n=43 n=20 n=31 n=10 n=36 n=14 n=17 n=9 n=38 n=17 n=32 n=13

Partly agree Strongly disagree Does not apply t-Test

3.13% 13.79%47.66%38.98% 1.56% 8.62% 24.41% 12.28%18.75%34.48% 46.09%22.03%6.35% 20.34%22.22%33.90% 25.40%14.04% n=4 n=8 n=61 n=23 n=2 n=5 n=31 n=7 n=24 n=20 n=59 n=13 n=8 n=12 n=28 n=20 n=32 n=8 3.13% 0.00% 1.56% 1.69% 3.13% 0.00% 3.94% 0.00% 4.69% 1.72% 3.91% 1.69% 1.59% 5.08% 7.14% 10.17% 16.67%17.54% n=4 n=0 n=2 n=1 n=4 n=0 n=5 n=0 n=6 n=1 n=5 n=1 n=2 n=3 n=9 n=6 n=21 n=10 0.125

0.076

0.575

0.004**

0.215

0.001**

0.043**

0.013**

0.106

____________________________________________________________________________________

Note: Supr.= Superintendent, CuDr.= Curriculum Director, ** =significant difference on the 95% confidence level. The following sections summarize each of the elements for the responses to the eight statements about the barriers to change. Mandates as Change Barriers Varied responses of superintendents and curriculum directors appeared on their perceptions about mandates as change barriers. Forty-six percent of the superintendents, and 31.3% of the curriculum directors strongly agreed. Likewise, 34.38% of superintendents and 36.21% of curriculum directors somewhat agreed. Similarly, 13.28% of curriculum directors and 18.97.9% of curriculum directors partly agreed. A small number of respondents, 3.1% of superintendents, compared to a larger group of 13.79% of curriculum directors strongly disagreed with the statement. An independent sample t- test was run to find out whether the view of superintendents and the curriculum directors significantly differed on mandates being change barrier. A t-score of 0.125 on the 95% confidence level suggested the result remained within the error margin, thus, not significantly different. School Boards as Change Barriers Responding to the school boards as change barriers statement, 8.5% of superintendents and 16.9 % of curriculum directors strongly agreed. Likewise, 17.9% of superintendents and 20.34% of curriculum directors somewhat agreed. A fair number, 24.2 % of superintendents and 22.03% of curriculum directors partly agreed. However a large number, 47.66% of superintendents and 37.98% of curriculum directors strongly disagreed to view school board as barrier to change. An 122


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 independent sample t-test 0.07 showed no significant difference. A notable difference between curriculum directors and superintendents can be seen strongly agreeing and strangely disagreeing to see school boards as change barriers. A very small portion of 1.5% of superintendents, and 1.6% of curriculum directors discarded that the concept of school board as change barrier was not applicable to their school. Federal Requirements as Change Barriers Rating the statement, federal requirements as change barriers, 50.78% of superintendents and 43.1% of curriculum directors strongly agreed. Similarly, 31.25% of superintendents and 31.03% of curriculum directors somewhat agreed. Slightly more than one tenth the total superintendents, 13.28%, and more than one sixth, 17.24%, of curriculum directors partly agreed. However, 1.56% of superintendents strongly disagreed, which was notably smaller than the of curriculum directors, 8.62%, who strongly disagreed. Independent sample t-test value 0.575 indicated no significant difference. Superintendents and the curriculum directors did not have significantly different perceptions viewing federal requirements as change barriers. Community Expectations as Change Barriers Rating community expectations as change barriers, 11.02% of superintendents and 15.79% of curriculum directors strongly agreed. Similarly, 26.77% of superintendents and 36.84% of curriculum directors somewhat agreed. Almost one third of the total superintendents, 33.86%, and slightly more than that, 35.09%, of curriculum directors partly agreed. A notable difference was found among the superintendents, and curriculum directors, who dis agreed. Almost one fourth of the total respondents, 24.41% superintendents, strongly disagreed, however only 12.28% of curriculum directors strongly disagreed. Independent sample t-test value 0.004 indicated a significant difference. Superintendents and the curriculum directors had significantly different perceptions about the community as a change barrier for schools. Lack of Control of Budget as a Barrier to Change Rating the statement, I view lack of control of budget as barrier to change, 20.31% of superintendents and 8.62%, which was notable difference. However, slightly different percentage, 32.03% of superintendents and 37.93% of curriculum directors, somewhat agreed. Slightly less than one fourth of the total superintendents, 24.2%, and 17.24% of curriculum directors partly agreed. Additionally, 18.75% of superintendents strongly disagreed, which was notably smaller than the 34.48% of curriculum directors who strongly disagreed on the statement. Independent sample t-test value 0.215 indicated no significant difference. A small number of superintendents 4.69% and much smaller portion of curriculum directors, 1.72% said that the statement did not apply for their district. Insufficient Control over Personnel as Barrier to Change Superintendents and curriculum directors significantly varied on the viewing insufficient control over personnel as barrier. Rating the statement, I view insufficient control over personnel as barrier, 10.16% of superintendents and 22.03% of curriculum directors strongly agreed. 123


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 However, slightly more than one tenth of the superintendents, or 11.72% of somewhat agreed, which was notably smaller than then 30.52% of curriculum directors who somewhat agreed. Twenty eight percent of superintendents, and 23.7% of curriculum directors partly agreed. The majority of, 46.09% of superintendents strongly disagreed, which was notably larger than the 22.03% of curriculum directors who strongly disagreed. An independent sample t-test .0.001 showed significant difference. A notable difference between curriculum directors and superintendents was noted concerning viewing insufficient control over personnel as a barrier to change. A relatively small number of superintendents 3.91% and curriculum directors, 1.69% said that the statement did not apply in their school. Lack of Funding as Barrier to Change Rating the statement, I view lack of funding as barrier to change, 49.21% of superintendents and 38.98% of curriculum directors strongly agreed. Similarly, 29.37% of superintendents and 20.34% of curriculum directors somewhat agreed. Slightly more than one tenth the total superintendents, 13.49%, and 15.25%, of curriculum directors partly agreed. However, a notable smaller number of superintendents, 6.35% superintendents in comparison to 20.34% curriculum directors, strongly disagreed. Independent sample t-test value 0.043 indicated a significant difference. Superintendents and the curriculum directors had significantly different perceptions about the lack of funding as change barrier in their school. Superintendents viewed lack of funding as stronger barrier than curriculum directors. School Calendar as Barrier to Change About 13% of superintendents and 8.47% of curriculum directors strongly agreed that they viewed, school calendar as barrier to change. Similarly, 27.78% of superintendents and 18.64% of curriculum directors somewhat agreed. Slightly less than one third of the total superintendents, 30.16 and almost equal to that percentage, 28.81%, of curriculum directors partly agreed. However, a notable smaller number of superintendents, 22.22% superintendents in comparison to 33.90% curriculum directors, strongly disagreed. Independent sample t-test value 0.013 indicated a significant difference. Superintendents and the curriculum directors had significantly different view about school calendar as a change barrier to change. A relatively large number of superintendents, 7.14% and curriculum directors, 10.17% rated that they did not see any application of calendar as a barrier to change. Tenure as a Barrier to Change Rating the last statement of the survey, I view tenure as barrier to change, 8.7% of superintendents and 12.28 of curriculum directors strongly agreed. However, a notable different percentage, 23.81 of superintendents and 33.33% of curriculum directors, somewhat agreed. Slightly more than one fourth of the total superintendents, 25.4%, and more than one fifth of the curriculum directors, 22.81.24% partly agreed. Additionally, 25.40% of superintendents strongly disagreed, which was notably larger than the 14.04% of curriculum directors who strongly disagreed on the statement. Independent sample t-test value 0.106 indicated no significant 124


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 difference. A notable number of superintendents 16.67%, and curriculum directors, 17.54% said that the statement did not apply for their district. The analysis of the nine barriers of change was also analyzed as an entire group in Table 3. Table 3 Group Analysis of Barriers of Change Statistic Mandates School Board Mean 4.0212 2.9000 Median 4.0000 3.0000 Mode 5.00 2.00 Std. 1.07167 1.09133 Dev. Sig. 0.125 0.076 Not Sig Not Sig

Federal Requirements 4.1481 4.0000 5.00 1.04131

Community Expectation 3.2513 3.0000 3.00 1.05031

Budget

Personnel Control 3.3228 2.9737 3.0000 3.0000 4.00 2.00 1.15619 1.13824

Lack of Funds 3.9577 4.0000 5.00 1.20208

Calendar Tenure 3.0106 3.0000 3.00 1.16230

2.8564 3.0000 4.00 1.26897

0.575 Not Sig

.004 Sig

0.215 0.001 Not Sig Sig

0.043 Sig

0.112 Not Sig

0.106 Not Sig

Note: 5=Strongly agree, 4= Somewhat Agree, 3=Partly Agree, 2= Strongly Disagree, 1= Does not Apply This analysis revealed that mandates and federal requirements, and lack of funds were taken as strongest change barriers, whereas tenure and community expectations were taken as weaker barriers. The combined data indicated that superintendents and curriculum directors both identified the surveyed barriers present in their districts. However, the degree of the nine barriers varied. Open-ended responses also provided some clarification to the respondentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; perceptions of the barriers. Mandates and federal policies were the strongest barriers identified. School board, community, control, and calendars were weaker barriers. A quote from the narrative data supported calendar issues as barriers: Lack of flexibility with the school calendar in regards to the start date of school is a problem. This lack of flexibility prohibits our district from recouping lost instructional days due to the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness and End of Course assessment retests. However, the data also indicated there was a significant difference between superintendents and curriculum directorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; rating concerning these barriers: community, control, and funding. As survey data narrative data revealed, community was viewed as a stronger barrier by the curriculum directors than it was by the superintendents. Whereas, superintendents perceived personnel control a stronger barrier than curriculum directors. Budget, funding, and tenure appeared as moderate barriers. Superintendents perceived lack of funding as a stronger barrier, but curriculum directors rated it low. Survey narrative reiterated how strongly superintendents viewed funding as a barrier: Anti-taxation beliefs of the public hinder the school's ability to build new facilities that compliment differentiated learning. School finance inequity makes it impossible for me to compete with other schools regarding day-to-day operations, I'm at a $1.17 and still 125


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 poor, and for capital improvement projects, I have low property values; therefore, any bond issue will have “tax high” tax rates. In addition, I do not qualify for NIFA, IFA, or EDA from the State so the local tax payer carries the whole burden. Another superintendent responded about the limited funding. Resources are allocated to certain funding and cannot be used strategically as a system. [Funds must be] spent on federal program and in isolation. Funds are spent on inputs that have no effect [such as] textbooks, supplies, single resources that are not well used. Resources are spent on well-intentioned but ineffective practices. Too much energy and resources are used on "second chance efforts" because campuses did not get it right the first time. Principals and campus personnel do not always know how to utilize funds and resources. There is a lack of leadership, understanding of the complexity of learning every standard at rigorous levels for all students, and too many ambitious goals. Lack of advocacy from the top, lack of recognition and celebration for success, punitive interventions, and too much data and energy placed on crunching numbers for "good looking" reports are common. The narrative data also revealed the following as barriers: 1) community involvement; 2) topdown school governance; 3) politics; 4) low expectations; 5) loss of local control; 6) external corporate reform movement; 7) finding quality teachers; 8) lack of awareness and knowledge in all levels including the school board; 9) faculty age and experience; and 10) openness to change. Embracing change was clearly revealed in the narrative data. Comments related to their perceptions on the teachers’ view of the change were: “Teachers are the greatest barriers to change. They may even voice they agree with reform, but when it comes down to it, they would rather perform in a manner that is comfortable.” Another similar statement, “Teachers are resistant to change because they think things are "good enough" and accept the status quo. Then one response showed additional ideas on status quo: The school board are all local graduates who want things to stay the way things always have been in what they perceive to be their little utopia. So they do not want to look at what is really working, what the data is telling us, how demographics have changed, and how the rigor of the curriculum standards has changed. This district has operated in isolation for many years. Staff had not attended any professional development, kept up with research and best practices, or collaborated with other districts and schools. They did not even collaborate with one another within their own grade level or content area. That is the way they want to continue to work. Some responses to change were fear as well as reduced funding that impeded change. As one respondent stated, “There is fear of change with curriculum and with integration of technology.” Another discussed funding, “Unfunded mandates and reduced funding have created larger class sizes as well as a reduction in personnel. Because of this, it has limited our personnel in working more one to one and creatively with struggling students, our ESL students, our ECD students, etc. “ 126


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 Conclusions The perceptions of district level leaders for school change barriers showed some differences not identified in other research. Superintendents and curriculum directors do view some barriers to educational form significantly differently. Four significant differences between superintendents and curriculum directors were revealed through the survey data. The four differences revealed through the survey data were: 1. The district has a structure to implement school reform strategies. 2. The district has ingrained patterns of behavior resistant to change. 3. The district has passive resistance to change. 4. The district has leadership with the skills to implement the change. These barriers could be combatted by implementing Fullanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (2004) work on change. According to Fullan, barriers could be lessened or eliminated if superintendents and curriculum directors considered capacity building, productive conflict resolution, creating a moral purpose, developing trust and collaborating with faculty, leadership, community, and external partners. Superintendents and curriculum directors would benefit from a shared vision in how to achieve reform efforts (Ewing, 2008). Focusing as a team on the required high standards and establishing a culture to implement change would enhance reform success (Eilers & Comacho, 2007). Our research highlights some challenges for district change reforms. The challenges are that the curriculum directors and superintendents must understand a similar focus in order for successful strategic plans to guide the implementation of the changes. Otherwise there will be a fragmented instructional plan surrounding different perceived barriers. The superintendent and curriculum directors need to understand the importance of a common vision for the change and this takes the building of relationships between themselves and others (Barth, 2003). When considering the nine barriers to reform, superintendents and curriculum directors viewed mandates and federal policies as the strongest barriers. This finding supported current research in that lack of adequacy and equity in funding often leads to reform implementation challenges (Aleman, 2007; Hanuscheck & Loeb, 2008; Levin, 2009), and this current research is supported by the findings of Hess and Petrilli (2006) which indicated there is an increased federal role over K-12 education. Our research showed that superintendents viewed the lack of funding as a stronger barrier than did curriculum directors. This may be due to the direct involvement and overall responsibility of the superintendent for school finance. Additionally, superintendents and curriculum directions viewed school board relationships, community relationships, control, and school calendars as weaker barriers. There was a significant difference between superintendent and curriculum directors concerning community, and control while community relationships were viewed as a stronger barrier by the curriculum directors than it was by superintendents. This difference could relate to the impact of communication on school change. There needs to be clear two-way communication between district leadership as well as between the school board and the community. Any reform efforts must address the challenges as perceived by the community therefore; the superintendent and curriculum directors need to communicate the same message to support the change. Pink (2011) emphasizes that people must believe in a change in order to become partners in that change. 127


Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume IV, Issue 1 2015 This requires a shared understanding of the purpose of the change. Hargreaves and Fink (2005) found a similar connection that communication is the necessary component for public engagement in a shared responsibility for the change. Change will not be able to be sustained unless there is teamwork and that also requires good communication (Fullan, 2011). The value of this research adds to the knowledge base of change barriers and the roles of the superintendent and curriculum director for leading the change effort. Our data clearly indicates that superintendents and curriculum directors viewed the barriers differently and this could impact the success of the implementation efforts. This research enables other district personnel to reexamine their district leadersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; perceptions. In order to address school wide change efforts, it is beneficial to look at all potential barriers and then develop appropriate strategies to counteract the barriers. Further research targeting how districts are affected when curriculum directors and superintendents view barriers significantly differently is warranted. One could consider, if indeed, educational reforms efforts are impacted by these significant differences. Additionally, research could continue to discover how superintendents and curriculum directors implement change efforts; what processes, structures, strategies, professional development, and leadership structures are in place.

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Dr. Pauline M. Sampson Professor Stephen F. Austin State University sampsonp@sfasu.edu Dr. Gloria Gresham Professor Stephen F. Austin State University greshamglori@sfasu.edu Dr. Kerry Roberts Associate Professor Stephen F. Austin State University robertsk@sfasu.edu Chetanath Gautam Graduate Assistant Stephen F. Austin State University

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