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The Effective School Principal

Dr. Richard A. NeSmith


We live in a society that is not only experiencing a continuous flux of change, but rapid change. As a result, it is becoming nearly impossible to keep up with the rapid pace of "reform." Because of change and its intense rate, the catchphrase for the nineties is, and has become, paradigm shift (Kuhn, 1970). The New Webster Dictionary defines paradigm as, "an example serving as a pattern," and refers to our habitual way of analyzing and dealing with situations, usually problematic ones. The shift, of course, refers to a change, or more specifically, a modification or alteration in one's view, approach, perception, model, assumption, frame of reference, or simply, the way one views the world. Change promotes paradigm shifts, although many people never make the shift. They remain fixed in old paradigms that may no longer function or even apply to the situation at present. Shifts only occur when one breaks from traditional patterns of thinking (i.e., previous ways of thinking; old paradigms).

Change is becoming such a normal path in our society that one needs only to do nothing to become "outdated, "out-moded," or "obsolete." This is true in business, industry, and is certainly true in education. The position of school administrator, or principal, is one that has evolved from the single-room school house to institutions that now house two and three thousand students. To make matters even worse, it often appears that the office of principal is rather ambiguous, with somewhat dubious duties, with the tremendous responsibility of meeting vague expectations. Therefore, the purpose of this handbook is to attempt to enlighten upcoming principals and provide principles for effective leadership, as well as practical helps.

Numerous theories of leadership and supervision have emerged during this period of rapid change. For example, "differentiated" supervision suggests that teachers choose, to some degree, the type of supervision they receive. Clinical supervision is a personal form of supervision in which evaluation is based upon analysis, diagnosis, and remediation, and is used to improve teacher classroom performance (Oliva, 1989). May & Zimpher identified three theoretical perspectives on supervision: positivist, the phenomenological, and the critical (Short, 1995). Pajak proposes a supervision model of psychoanalysis, whereas Sergiovanni makes a contrast between leadership theory based on the physical sciences, as opposed to that based on cultural science (Short, 1995). There are also many other theories of leadership, such as the hermeneutic approach, the neo-traditionalist, neo-progressive, collaborative supervision, managerial-control model, and the emancipatory form of leadership, just to name a few. Each of these have common factors, but vary in many ways. McCoy (1986) notes that "the mechanics of management is far more important than the espousing of a preferred management theory."

One theory of leadership, growing in use and popularity, is referred to as proactive confrontation, as opposed to reactive avoidance (Blumberg & Greenfield, 1986). This is also referred to as proactive coping strategy. Blumberg and Greenfield note that, "The data suggests that principals who cope in a proactive manner will be perceived as more effective than those employing an avoidance strategy." Covey (1989) explains "proactive" to mean to "take the initiative." One should not allow external stimulus to control you; choose your actions. The opposite of proactive is reactive or passivity. The former is a reflexive response, while the latter is no response at all. Neither are proactive. Proactive principals are still influenced by external stimuli, but their response to the stimuli, conscious or unconscious, is a value-based choice or response (Covey). Such principals are considered value driven.

During recent "shadowing" of a principal, as well as interviewing several middle school and high school principals, this writer was quite surprised to find that many, if not most, of the school administrators provided answers that strongly indicated that they were reactive rather than proactive. Proactive is more than just taking the lead. It is determining one's actions to situations before the situation occurs. Only one principal, the one this writer actually shadowed, was clear and precise, both verbally and in action, in being proactive, value-driven, or as he stated, "principle-driven."1

Most people are afraid of change, especially changes that involves their occupation. Change causes people to feel inadequate and ill-prepared. Change, however, will occur, whether we initiate it or not. In a sense there is a natural change (usually entropy) that occurs in organizations over time. Occasionally these natural changes are positive, generally they are not. Natural change is normally unproductive or inefficient, which explains why we generally need to initiate positive changes. Most people shy away from change because their routine provides a comfortable predictability, and such comfort easily become complacency. As society, technology, and needs change, we must be able to adapt ourselves via paradigm shifts, in a way that will allow us to learn from change, and to become even more adequate and prepared than before the change occurred. Due to this innate desire to remain constant, the initiation of any type of reform becomes a personal issue. To remain the same is to become stagnant, therefore, the school administrator will be placed in positions, either by the district office or by his/her own intrinsic drive, to initiate change.

Several educators have reminded us that change is, in itself, not bad. Change can be a healthy indicator of growth. In order to be able to change, one needs to change his or her paradigms. Fullan and Miles (Lunenburg, 1995), suggests seven basic themes to bring about successful change. These themes resemble attitudes, mindsets, or, simply paradigms. The seven themes are as follows:

change is learning

change is a journey, not a blueprint

problems are our friends

change is resource-hungry

change requires the power to manage it

change is systematic

all large-scale change is implemented locally

Those who bring about change are labeled change agents. This involves the initiating, as well as the "management" of change. In the school setting, anyone can be the change agent. The most strategic individual, however, is the school principal. The principal often has the status, the resources, and the needed influence with teachers and the district office. There are believed to be several phases, or activities, that take place in successful change (Lunenburg, 1995). These are: pressure and arousal

intervention and reorientation

diagnosis and recognition

invention and commitment

experimentation and search

reinforcement and acceptance

Probably more important than the actual steps presented here is the fact that change is presumed in a planned and orderly fashion. Pressure on top management brings arousal to the lower management, who intervene and reorient to the internal problem. This brings about diagnosis of the problem area(s), recognition of specific problems, leading to the invention of new solutions and commitment to the success of the solution. This causes experimentation with new solutions/suggestions, a search or research for answers, etc.

Possin (1992) suggests seven important behaviors in school change.

build a vision

create a positive climate

mobilize (i.e., share responsibility)

engage community support


provide resources

remove barriers

The principal and his or her actions are vital in successfully leading a school through change. The attitudes and behavior of people, according to Lunenburg, are assumed to be strongly influenced by the leadership style and climate of higher-level administration (1995). Effectiveness, as a school administrator, will be discussed in more detail in chapter five.

A Brief Introduction to Educational Reform

There has probably been no idea more typically "American" than the idea that education can cure society's ills (Ravitch, 1983; Seidman, 1996). In the history of American education, the demands have been for more schooling in hopes of preserving democracy, reducing the unemployment and crime rates, as well as assimilating immigrants to our nation. Schools were being pressured to reform, even in the infant stages of education. With such high expectations, enrollments grew, instructional time increased, and from 1870 to 1940 school attendance tripled; with secondary schools increasing by a multiple of almost 90, from eighty thousand in 1870 to seven million in 1940 (Ravitch). Compulsory education laws were passed in the 1930s, and schooling became a means of socialization, as well as a way of removing teenage workers from a depressed job market (Ravitch).

Almost from the conception, schools were placed under pressure to "reform." School reformers were usually locals who, according to Reese, "fought for tax-supported, centralized, uniform system of mass education" (1986). The scenario is, and was, that diverse community groups struggle to make local schools responsive institutions in times of dramatic change. Most reformers have argued that schools forget that they are a part of the community and should meet the needs of the community.

To reform is to change. Change is not just lurking around the corner, change is ever upon us. This definitely includes change in reform, which is, and was, a dominant feature, both past and present. The only thing that does not change is change! The future school administrators will have to be a unique breed that can "flow with the punches." Successful principals will be people who are continuously seeking how to improve the practice of education and learning.

Schools are a part of the community they serve. Frequently, it is the community that initiates reform in a school or school district. It is quite clear, also, that schools need the wholehearted support of their community in order to bring about true reform (Shield, 1994). Supportive parents are needed to increase the effectiveness and success of a school. Local businesses are needed to participate in the educating of the students in their communities, who will soon become a part of the work force. The principal must be able to cause these sectors to not only feel needed, but to desire to become involved in the educational process.

Schools also make up a unique and distinct community of their very own; a community that produces its own school climate. David (1996) proposes that site-based management, in which most decisions are made by the building principal, is "...basically an attempt to transform schools into communities where appropriate people participate constructively in major decisions that affect them." Support networks, as well as encouragement, assistance, and resources provide a school atmosphere or school climate. In Education Reforms and Students at Risk: A Review of the Current State of the Art (1994), Bronfenbrener, in referring to teachers and administrators in the school, is quoted as stating that "...young people need to have adults who are 'crazy' about them." This government study proposes that in order to provide a warm school climate, school administration and support services must be especially sensitive to the needs of students, especially those with outside problems. This study also recommends that instruction can assists in creating a positive school climate, if it involves engaging and challenging students. Students are more likely to learn material that stimulate their interest. The implications of this study suggests that the school principal will need to train his or her teachers how to become "need-fillers." If teachers, administrators, and support staff seek to fill needs, including concerns regarding the students' para-school needs, then a warm, beneficial, and friendly school climate will prevail.

Education and the Deming Principles

During the post World War II era, the United States of America set out to attempt to assist in the building and rebuilding of the much devastated Japan. In 1942, W. Edwards Deming began teaching his principles of management to the Japanese. He quickly became a national folk hero due to the spectacular rise of Japanese industry (American Society). Deming commented on the Japanese progress by stating, "They beat my prediction. I had said it would need five years. It took four" (1964). Today in Japan, the highest honor a corporation can get for quality is called the "Deming" award (Gingrich, 1995).

The uniqueness of Deming's work is that he was probably the first to make application of statistical quality control principles to a non-manufacturing problem.2 He believed that research, however, was not enough and that one must apply the statistical results that are generated by research. From research, and years of experience, Deming developed fourteen principles that he believed would result in quality and effectiveness. Deming taught these principles to the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) just after World War II, and then was amazed to watch the Japanese take the given principles and blend them with their culture. We must recognize that for before such success could occur, the Japanese had to change their managerial philosophy tremendously. It was a radical change. According to Yoshida, it was the observation of "...this process of how the Japanese blended his teachings on quality control with Japanese culture..." that guided Deming in formulating and developing his management philosophy (1995).

With research in-hand, and under the influence of his own personal observations and experience, Deming began to develop what he believed to be a holistic approach to quality management. There have been several printed revisions and variations of Deming's fourteen principles. Many leadership theorists have adopted Deming's work and built upon it. The closest label in associating Deming's work is the phrase total quality management (TQM) (Willis, 1992; Achilles, Keedy & High, 1993). Deming's fourteen principles and their implications will be examined in the next section.

Deming's Fourteen Points and Their Implications for Education

Deming's fourteen principles, a concept of "continuous improvements" (Willis, 1992) helped Japan become a world-wide industrial competitor. Ironically, it was not until Japan had rebuilt in lightning speed that the United States took serious note of Deming's principles of management. Education, in America, has been even slower to consider Deming's principles, and "quality" concept. One might speculate that education has been slow in accepting Deming's principles because of the enormous amount of change it would have to undergo. Japan had to make radical changes to incorporate the principles, the United States would have to do likewise. TQM and Deming's Fourteen Principles are now being used all across this country and is believed to be quite apropos to "knowledge work" (Achilles, Keedy & High, 1993), not only in business and industry, but the movement is growing in education as well. Some school districts have experienced a great deal of success in implementing the principles (Peak, 1995). Willis states that according to Deming, 80 to 90% of problems in an organization can be traced to systemic causes--practices, rules, expectations, and traditions--over which individuals have little control" (1992).

With schools and education in mind, we will briefly examine Deming's Fourteen Principles, questions that it demands educators to face, and Holt's (1993) remarks regarding the educational implications of Deming's principles.


1. Create constancy of purpose for improvement of product and service.

  Principle number one requires the administration and faculty to honestly answer several questions, such as, "What are we doing?" and "Why are we doing it? This, in essences, mandates the school "team" to establish the moral purpose of its existence.

IMPLICATIONS: The school needs to express its moral purpose in some fashion. Often a 'mission statement' fails to provide a simple and clear vision of what the school seeks to do. Its vision will represent an idea, and ideals, are by their nature, unattainable: that is what gives them their strength (Holt).

2. Adopt the new philosophy that all staff members can contribute to the development and implemen-tation to the plan.

  Principle number two makes two statements. First, everybody wins when they cooperate, and second, everybody must "transform" to the new philosophy. Covey teaches this principle under the term "win/win" (1989). Effectiveness is not a game of win-lose, but rather a game of win-win. If everyone can win, then everyone can succeed.

IMPLICATIONS: This transformation is discontinuous. It comes from understanding of the system of profound knowledge. The individual, transformed, will perceive new meaning to his life, to events, to numbers, to interactions between people (Holt).

 Holt explains that this "transformation" is a new, intrinsic motivation and sense of satisfaction, that even though the task is difficult and the participant is discouraged, something inside "clicks," bringing "new meaning" and vitality to the task involved in achieving the mission at hand.

3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.

  Deming was very careful how he used the word "quality." Yoshida points out that Deming's view of quality was to reduce the "variation" (1995). Deming considered checking quality at the end of production to be an insult to the laborer. He believed that in order to truly produce quality, one must design quality in each step. Education is often guilty of trying to rate the end product. In fact, much of the present school reform is trying to mix Deming's principles, while simultaneously holding on to the old system of grading/evaluation/assessment, among other contradictions to the principles. Deming did not have agreed with such practice.

This principle implies that we should focus, not on outputs but, on the activity of teaching and learning. Only the staff can improve the quality of service. The staff must perceive that they are valued members of the school district and must perceive that they are appreciated for that which they are responsible.

IMPLICATIONS: Focusing on the process of education means recognizing that 'seat time' is what really matters. The fact that classroom time may not always be used properly is not a reason for disparaging classroom process and advocating instead an outcome-driven view of schooling. On the contrary, the traditional form of school-based graduation respects, indeed honors, process and is therefore consonant with a Deming approach. The proper task is not to replace the valuable concept of graduation with new 'standards' and similar externals forms of accountability, but to refine what we already have in place (Holt).

4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag.

Do not buy on price tag alone. What is "cheapest," may be just that, cheap! Examine proposed innovations carefully. Also, provide public recognition and rewards for outstanding performance. Seek to minimize total cost, especially in areas that do not affect the product.

IMPLICATIONS: Schools and school districts frequently "buy into" some new nostrum without considering its real merits and its implications. Deliberative inquiry requires that proposed changes be subjected to close scrutiny, an examination that begins with current practice. What is the evidence? What do we know about the process? The variations we observe may merely be the result of normal system response. Schools too readily tamper with the process and end up making matters worse. Total quality gurus sometimes advocate that a school adopt 'benchmarking' --that is, identify practices that work in other schools and transplant them. But how can a practice be lifted from one context and imposed upon another without disregarding Deming's concept of a system? Moreover, the apparent success of a practice may depend on a chance combination of circumstances rather than on profound knowledge. It may collapse when someone goes on maternity leave (Holt).

5. Improve constantly the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity.

  Improvement is to be a continuous, ongoing process. Evaluation must be a component in every dimension of personnel management. Communicate to staff that self-improvement is expected. Identify and solve curriculum problems in the context of the school system. Deming warned of increased accountability demands.

IMPLICATIONS: The curriculum is at the heart of education, and solving curriculum problems is at the heart of educational improvement. Improvement is not a matter of new technology or increased accountability, as American automobile manufacturers discovered before turning to Deming. Improvement is a matter of analyzing the process in the light of profound knowledge (Holt).

6. Institute training on the job.

Provide training for skills. Arrange staff development for employees with up-to-date training in technology and behavioral sciences. Invest in teachers. Provide teachers with continuing education opportunities. Help to enrich their lives. Do not use the "old model of staff development," which "...survives in a world where everything else has changed" (Miller, 1995).

IMPLICATIONS: Teachers are both the school district's greatest expense and its most important investment. It makes sound economic sense to allow them time during the school week to plan curriculum together and share professional experience with other schools. The condition for joyful work also include appropriate salaries and pleasant staff lounges. A school needs support and advice for its own service programs, which should stem from its continual improvement program and not from decontextualized offerings imposed by the district (Holt).

 7. Institute Leadership.

  This applies to all staff with responsibilities. Continually search for more effective ways of performing better. Establish collegiality and improve the system. Encourage teachers to be leaders, then give them room to lead. Do not solve all your teachers' problems, but help them to solve their own problems (Morris, 1996). The same goes for leadership. Give them room to be leaders, which means you must trust them as having the ability to solve problems. The administrative leadership of the school is responsible when the organization is not optimized, not the teachers. In other words, if the educational process is not successful, the problem lies in the leadership. This is one principle that public education has missed and that the school reform movement appears to be very weak, laissez-faire, or non-committal.

IMPLICATIONS: Deming is emphatic that optimizing the system is the task of its leaders and not a matter of appeals to workers to increase their efforts. Cooperation is vital; traditional lines of separation between teachers and administrators only isolate both parties to the detriment of the system. Within schools, principals who isolate themselves from teaching and curriculum problems only hinder the development of a collegial environment and joy in work (Holt).

 8. Drive out fear.

  Staff members cannot be driven like sheep. They need to feel secure in their jobs. Job security is important if teachers are going to buy into the mission, feel a part of the team, and experience the "transformation" and "win/win" spirit that frees up the organization so that it can excel. Quality performance occurs when staff members can take a stand about ideas, without feeling in jeopardy.

IMPLICATIONS: Fear characterizes many Western institutions. This point was not necessary when Deming addressed Japanese companies, which traditionally retain their workers even when times are hard. Fear is generated in educational institutions by remote and high-handed administrators, by unnecessarily specific regulations and procedures, and by the lack of trust implied by a relentless emphasis on testing and accountability. Fear results in lowered performance by everyone (Holt).

9. Break down barriers between departments.

 Collaboration and the perceived image of "team" almost always results in providing higher quality service. Encourage teachers to develop projects and activities that will engage other teachers. Do not have "pet" departments, but seek to treat all as favorites. If you, as a principal, have favorites...everybody knows! Partiality builds walls.

IMPLICATIONS: Cooperation is directly promoted by working in teams. Cooperative learning, a valuable strategy that originated in the United States, is now being rediscovered. Unfortunately, it is often combined with competitions between teams, a practice that undermines the value of the approach and restricts its implementation. This practice derives from the behaviorism embedded in many aspects of American schooling. Furthermore, the natural corollary of cooperative learning is cooperative teaching, which frees teachers from their rigid confinement in egg-crate classrooms and vastly enriches the learning environment, since a group of teachers can devise so much more working together than they can in isolation. Cooperation also enhances collegiality and helps drive out fear. It should be encouraged not only by providing time for curriculum planning, but also by remodeling schools to facilitate interdisciplinary approaches and a variety of teaching strategies (Holt).

10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, targets, and request for new levels of productivity.

  Personnel functions should be driven by goals. Effective change takes place internally. When production is not efficient or quality is lacking, interrogate the system, not the teachers. Teacher do not improve the educational process when the only motivation provided is collective and/or individual scolding.

IMPLICATIONS: Slogans have a deadening effect, as one can see from photographs of Eastern bloc countries before the collapse of Communism. American schools seem strangely attracted to slogans, methods of exhortation that have more in common with mass brainwashing than with the democratic autonomy of the individual. Essentially, the slogan approach is symptomatic of a failure of leadership. Quality stems from attention to process, not from coy mottoes in corridors. And attention to process starts with principals (Holt).

  If you expect teachers to be professional you have to treat them like professionals.

11. Eliminate management by numerical quotas.

  Methods matter. Minimize objectives and outcomes; focus on educational encounters. Stop problems before they start, and take time to hire the right people...instead of filling slots.

IMPLICATIONS: American education is mesmerized by the notion that unless teachers have an established, preferably behavioral, objective with assessment to match, they cannot teach. Certainly a curriculum program needs to have ends in view, and it needs to reflect the school's aim in interpreting those ends. But animating the program in the classroom need not depend upon a catechism of objectives. It may proceed instead by constructing educational encounters and enabling learning to acquire an organic dimension. This view does not mean that organization has no rightful place. On the contrary, careful planning of resources and learning strategies is essential. But it does mean that we can move away from instruction (a term akin to training and one that we can well do without) and instead toward education through the practice of curriculum (Holt).

12. Remove barriers that prevent job managers (i.e., principals) and workers (i.e., teachers and students) from taking pride in their workmanship.

Encourage your staff to be creative and resourceful. Administrators need to encourage teachers to have fun at what they are doing. Seek joy in work. Abolish merit systems as they promote competition rather than cooperation. Cancel merit pay, teacher assessment, and student grades. Deming believed that grades were counter-productive and discouraged learning and quality. According to Bonstingl, Deming stated that schools should foster students innate "yearning for learning" (Willis, 1992). These are rather revolutionary and unique suggestions, and maybe even radical, but we must examine why such suggestions bother us, can we improve upon what we are presently doing as administrators, and finally, how can we improve.

IMPLICATIONS: It should be noted that Deming does not assume, because of his rejection of grading, that everyone is to be treated identically. On the contrary.

People are different fro one another. A manager of people must be aware of these differences, and use them for optimization of everybody's abilities and inclinations. This is not ranking people.

Deming is careful to distinguish between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and recognizes the dangers in overemphasizing the latter. This concurs with his view that a part of profound knowledge is a knowledge of psychology, of how to treat people, how to recognize their qualities and place them in the organization in order to give them the greatest satisfaction in their work. His suggestion that leaders 'make physical arrangements for informal dialogue between people in the various components of the company' provides an invaluable way for school principals to get involved in discussions, indicate their approval of some action or event, and avoid excessive formality (Holt).

13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.

  Provide a variety of in-service training. This principle is very much like principle six, except that this goes a step further. Provide education, in-services, and other types of self-improvement enrichments. These should go beyond just job training. Seek to help your employees to grow mentally and emotionally with stimulating courses to enrich their own personal lives.

IMPLICATIONS: Deming here seeks to stress the value of education as a good in itself. Well-read, cultivated teachers enlighten and transform each of their students. Teachers' professional studies should be encouraged, because one must engage in teaching before one can understand its idiom and see how to extend one's knowledge of it. Hence the need t separate preservice teacher education from in service education. Unfortunately some recent proposals seek to conflate the two. An as enhancement of in-service education, districts should subsidize teachers' participation in master's degree programs (Holt).

14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation.

  To make changes, all levels within the organization must effect the change. When the goal or aim is determined, do it. Support the program at all levels. Teachers will seek quality once they reach the stage of "transformation," then they must be allowed to be a part of the team making the changes.

IMPLICATIONS: A school adopting a Deming approach may need the district to pay more than "lip service" to its commitment. The district may need to relax funding policies, for example. The school might wish to forego an extra teacher and instead hire technical assistants to help with resource-based learning. Or the money might be better spent on materials to promote school-based curriculum development. Or the school faculty might decide to appoint its own teachers--a basic requirement in a collegiate institution. Such departures from set procedures should be seen not as concessions to a particular school, but as an indication that the district is willing to relax its grip and allow schools to find their own place in the sun (Holt).

  The Taylor factory model, that was adopted by the American educational system in the early years of the century, can no longer respond to the demands for quality...educated students and educated graduates (Holt, 1993). The standardized scope and sequence treatment is no longer able to keep up with current changes. The present generation of principals are experiencing an entirely different set of challenges, and the next generation of administrators will probably encounter their own unique formidable task. No one would suggests throwing the baby out with the bath water, however, we must draw lines. As one philosopher once stated, "When the horse is dead, dismount." American education needs to decide whether we are riding a dead horse, and if so then we need to confidently secure a new one. American education is experiencing many diverse demands. The school principal must know what these demands are, and seek to meet the challenge of educating the next generation of leaders. This requires high caliber individuals, principals who are effective and efficient.


Twelve major principles for becoming an effective school administrator

Three important concepts must be addressed when attempting to assess whether a school administrator is effective. First, we must seek to agree upon a definition of what being effective means. Second, we must determine whose perceptions is being examined: the principal's, teachers', the district's, or state school officials? Third, we must consider what leadership principles are being identified from the study of effective school principals.

The terms effective and successful are often equated as one and the same. It is possible, however, to be an effective school principal but not be considered successful, or it is just as possible to be considered a successful school administrator, but not necessarily effective. From this writers personal interviews, most principals consider themselves to be successful, but only a few strongly considered themselves to be truly effective. Luthans, as cited in Lunenburg (1995), makes a distinction between the two words: "An administrator's effectiveness was measured by subordinates' evaluation of their satisfaction, commitment, and unit performance. Administrative success was determined by how fast the administrator had been promoted up the administrative hierarchy."

According to Luthans, less than 10% of the 248 administrators he observed were considered both effective and successful. His study revealed that effective administrators spent most of their time on task-related communication. Successful administrators spent relatively little time on human resource management activities, but rather proved to be good at socializing, interacting with outsiders and politicking (Luthans). Luthans believes this reveals why we are facing many of the performance problems we have today in education. He suggests that his finding show that successful administrators, the politically savvy ones who are being promoted into top-level positions, may not be the effective administrators who have satisfied, committed, and high performing units. Strangely, most effective principals did not intend to become principals, and most intended to teach, but were encouraged to become principals by their superiors (Sergiovanni, 1991).

This leads us to the second question addressing whose perception are we to take in determining whether one is effective as an administrator? Sergiovanni suggests that effective means "the ability to produce a desired effect" (1991). Kowalski et al., found that effectiveness is perceived differently by different positions, by different schools, and even according to variation in the size of schools (1992). Smaller schools can have great expectations, but may expect different characteristics from its administrator (Sergiovanni, 1995). It appears that effectiveness is determined by each group's own perception of what effective means. For example, elementary teachers placed the greatest emphasis on human skills, followed by middle school teachers, and then high school teachers (Kowalski et al., 1992). Technical skills were perceived as the least important of all three teacher groups. Conceptual skills fell between human and technical skills in importance for all three groups but was rated as more important by the high school teachers, followed by the middle school and elementary, respectively (Kowalski et al., 1992). In other words, if one asked teachers what makes an effective administrator, their answers will depend on their perceptions, which depends on where they are serving. The district office may even advertise a principal's opening one way, using "leadership" language, but in fact, reward in a totally different priority level (Drake & Roe, 1994).

At present there is a great deal of activity and research being done on the art and science of school administration. The following is a synthesis of characteristics of effective school principals, as gleamed from recent studies on the subject (Frederick, Hoke & Joekel, 1993; Schmieder & Cairns, 1996; Ross, 1995; Anton, 1994; Sergiovanni, 1991; Drake & Roe, 1994; Blumberg & Greenfield, 1986; and Cordeiro, 1994; Tice, 1991; Hickman, 1995-1996; Parks & Worner, 1992 ). This writer has attempted to synthesize effective characteristics under twelve major principles.

An effective administrator...

1. builds group cohesiveness and pride (encourages synergy).

-attribute success to your faculty

-stress changing paradigms/mindsets

-help your staff network with other successful people

-is a motivator

-teamwork means everything

-collaborative, collegial leadership style

-consider restructuring some faculty meetings into team training sessions, but make it fun

-knowing how to conduct/facilitate group meetings (large and small)

-portraying a sense of self-confidence on the job

-encourage collaborative leadership

-nurturing teacher efficacy

-train your teacher to be leaders

-apply effective human relations skill

-involve others in setting short- and long-term goals

-understand how to resolve difficult situation by use of conflict-resolution methods

-gears strategy and style to the audience; able to adapt/adjust strategy when a particular approach is not successful

-conscious effort at building staff morale

-not dogmatic in articulation of vision or ruthless in its pursuit

2. knows what he/her believes, why he/her believes it and is value-driven.

-determines his or her values and how to be proactive

-use principles to guide decision making, they are consistent

-if you do not know what to do, then find out and act upon it

-being aware of one's own biases, strengths, and weaknesses

-apply facts and data to determine priorities

-decisiveness; exhibits a readiness to make decisions and can recognize when a decision is required

-personal sense of security with a tolerance for ambiguity

-holds a vision for the school

-understands and can defend the school budget

-able to articulate values

-provides arguments in support of priorities

-keeps abreast on educational issues and research

3. lives by the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

-as a school administrator you are a public figurehead

-whether you like it or not you are a leader in and to the community

-as a leader, you are the example to the faculty, staff, and community

-accept the fact that you cannot do what everyone else may be doing

-knows ethical limits

-knows school board policies

-avoids not just flagrant violations, but subtle violations of ethical behavior, as well possesses moral imagination; the capacity to see the discrepancy between how things are and how they might be and to act on those imagined possibilities

-keeps his/her promises (broken promise are bricks that pave the way to the loss of trust from your followers).

 4. coaches and nurtures to improve performance.

-facilitate and catalyze

-provide opportunities for improvement to your faculty

-use a variety of methods to assess teachers

-encourage mentoring and provide time for sessions involving yourself

-demonstrating a desire to make a significant difference in the lives of staff and students

-knowing how to evaluate staff and what standards really mean

-set high expectations for students, staff, parents, and self

-primarily a generalist, when it comes to the individual aspects of the educational program

-if your teachers succeed, you succeed

-hire only good teachers, then back them up (giving in to parents whims stifles growth and creativity!)

 5. make every minute count.

-recognizes that doing more does not equal better

-realize that your position will nearly always require more than 40 hours per week (possibly 60 hours!)

-accept responsibilities as a mission rather than as a job

-work hard but with a clear purpose

-hire a first-class secretary, and train her to do whatever she can to free up your time (a good secretary may be worth two assistants!)

-prioritize everything

-aim at completing high priority matters

-schedule weekly meetings with those over specific areas, in order to facilitate your job and theirs (combine meetings whenever possible…but DON'T "meeting" your staff to death! It's counter-productive.

-use the available high technology to do as much of your work as you can

-scan teacher lesson plans while touring the classroom

-foster your ability to organize and delegate

-knows how to be in "charge" of the job and not let the job be in charge of them

-knows how to delegate, then leave them alone to do the job

-is resourceful, but does not become consumed by the organizational maintenance requirements of the position

-takes the initiative; initiate activity; proactive

 6. earns the loyalty of employees.

-be above board in all that you do

-do not show favoritism; it destroys team effort and morale

-keep your word when you make a promise

-listens to subordinates (they are your thermometer for how well you are doing)

-never, ever takes a parents side publicly...back your teachers up, they are the backbone of your success

-take care of your concern, gratitude, thoughtfulness, have coffee with them, tell them how much you appreciate their hard work and sacrifice

 7. is employee-centered (win/win) but makes decisions on what is best for the students.

-students are the reason we are here (take care of your teachers and they will take care of your students)

-build positive staff relationships

-learn to give in a little if it means assisting a teacher

-never lose control or appear that you have

-has a more deliberate model for problem solving (your job is that of solving problems, no challenges, no job)

 8. takes risks.

-do not be afraid to voice an opinion, even if the opinion is not shared by all

-always take responsibility for your actions; never blame others

-be willing to try new methods, and permit your teachers to try new things

-stay abreast on new research and technology

-consider yourself a visionary and have times you consider "what could be"

-see challenges instead of problems

-have a vision, along with an understanding of the steps needed to achieve relevant goals

-recognises that change is ongoing and requires a continual upgrading of the principal's vision

-test the limits of both the interpersonal and organizational systems

-careful information collectors

-confident, but realistic about inevitability of making some mistakes

-monitor, evaluate, and adjust

 9. is available and visible to his or her staff.

-intentionally schedule time to walk the halls and to visit with teachers (you are not the leader if you sit in your office all day)

-visibility means everything

-have an open door policy

-learn to have mini-conferences in the hall between classes with teachers

-occasionally visit the teachers' lounge and chat during different times

-be available to all at designated times and let those times be known

-have two message boxes near your door, with one labeled "regular" and the other "urgent,"

-strive for one-minute conferences and focus directly on the issue

10. is one who can reach out into the community, builds rapport, and enlists them to assist in educating students.

-understand public relations

-knowing how to encourage involvement by all parties in the educational community

-inspire others to join in accomplishing the school's mission

-understand the community's values and goals and what is it wants the curriculum to achieve

-understand the dynamics of local, state, and national politics

-promotes and involves parents in the school activities

 11. who always aims at excellence, not perfection.

-everything worth doing is worth doing right

-be first class or no class; stress excellence

-praise people publicly and privately for jobs well done

-capable of intellectual flexibility; uses a variety of concepts and perspectives when solving problems

-abled strategists

-provide training for those who are seeking to lead

 12. always backs up his/her teachers, even at great cost.

-if you do not back up your staff, do not expect them to back you up

  To try to compress all the attributes of an effective school administration into nicely selected slots is difficult, if not impossible, for little consideration has been made for personalities. There does seem to be a distinct personality "type" for administrators (Wendel, Kilgore & Spurzem, 1991). Just as administrators have personalities, schools and institutions have personalities. Because no two schools are alike, the administrator would do well to acknowledge that different structures require different policies, different strategies, and even different behaviors.

Deming noted that it took the Japanese nation only five years to reconstruct their industry. It was the beginning of 1981 when Deming told General Motors that it would take fifteen years to transform their company (Holt, 1993). One wonders how long it would take to revamp American education, if all took on the personal mission to strive for excellence.

If an administrator desires for a school to become "effective," then that administrator must be effective. Valentine and Bowman (1991) randomly selected and evaluated 116 schools that were recognized by the prestigious National School Recognition Program. The purpose of their study was to determine relationships between principal effectiveness and school excellence. They found that it was significant that "...the principals of schools that have received national recognition are perceived by their teachers as more effective than principals from a random sample of schools" (Bowman & Valentine, 1991). They believe these results are more than just some "halo effect," for Bowman and Valentine state that "...the differences are so consistently evident they must represent some degree of reality" (1991).

A brief comment distinguishing principles and methods seems to be in order here. Methods and principles are not one and the same. Principle are foundational and, having tried the test of time, generally do not change. Methods are action-based, and may change with the times or situations. Methods are, however, vitally important. We must keep in mind that, as with any endeavor involving humans, no one method works for all. Therefore, one must take the principles expounded here and recognize the relevancy of the school you serve. Some people benefit more than others from one method and others may be unaffected---this does not mean it is an unworkable method. What it does means is that any educator has to have a multitude of approaches and chose the one most suited for the audience. Sometimes that will means more than one approach for the same audience, if great difference exists. One educator worded this relationship between effective principals and schools of excellence in the following cliché, " the principal goes, so goes the school...." (Blumberg & Greenfield, 1986).

Site visitations, Assessments, and Administrative Interviews

This writer "shadowed" one middle school principal and interviewed nine other secondary school principals in person, one via telephone, as well as other consultants via the Internet. Of these professionals, two were high school principals, three were middle school principals, and two were middle school assistant principals. According to gender, two were female and eight were male. Two sites visited were middle schools and two were high schools.

The primary principal followed and consulted was a middle school principal, approximately 40-44 years of age, who has been a school administrator for over ten years. This individual was very cooperative, and even submitted to allowing this writer to use a small tape recorder to record one interview, with the agreement that it was only for the purpose of this project. The more time spent with this individual the greater appreciation this writer had of him and his "mission" as middle school principal. An evaluation (both pre- and post-) are included in the Appendix. Summaries of several of the interviews are included below. Not every interview was pleasant, but every interview provided insight into the principalship. Some principals were very open and enjoyed the company, while a few were very concise and formal, but always professional. Several ideas continuously surfaced among the interviewees, while some were insightful about their personal philosophy of administration.

One of the main suggestions that this principal made is that there needs to be a change in the principalship course. He saw the advantage of shadowing a principal, and even believed it was necessary, however, he believed that the program would be far more helpful if conducted during the school year. This, he stated, would allow upcoming principals to actually experience the position of principal far more than simply making visits to an empty schoolhouse during the summer.

One concept that stood out with the selected principal was the philosophy that he attempts to make all of his decisions on what he values. He called it "principle-driven." It was apparent that this was very important to him. He believed that by being principle-driven, that he would be much more consistent at being fair, and at always staying in line with his own personal convictions and beliefs. He conjectured that if a person was going to do the very best they could do as an administrator, it would require them to 1) know what they believe, 2) know why they believe what they do, and 3) make decisions based upon such values. To go against one's on values, according to this principal, is to ask for trouble. He carefully emphasized that if we discover that a believed value is improper, then we must consciously make the adjustment or it was eventually affect our efficiency in decision making. This information seems to be very much in line with the research available on leadership and management.

Among other topics discussed, most principals were concerned about school policy, litigation, and how to avoid being "caught in the wrong." In other words, knowing the law, knowing school policy, and carefully thinking through decisions and actions were of primary importance to nearly every principal interviewed. With the number of court cases regarding schools, teachers, and administrators, on the rise, these principals made certain that their actions are not only logical, but in no way negligent or contrary to school policy. See the Appendix for the principal and school assessment conducted by this writer on a local middle school.

Shadowing and Interviewing School Administrators

The writer developed a list of fifteen questions to be used in the general interviewing of principals. General questions regarding school policy, school atmosphere, and school law were included. Several of the interviewees were given the questions in advance, whereas the others were not. These questions and other extemporaneous questions were asked. Due to space, only 4 of the 10 administrators interviewed are included. A summary of selected interviews are given below. The final interview is more of a summary of interviews/shadowing done with the primary principal.

Interviewee: Mr. C., Assistant-Principal

Riverside Middle School

Evans, GA

  Mr. C. was very helpful during the times I spoke with him. He discussed school policy, particularly discipline, since he is responsible for student discipline. He spoke of the absolute essential of knowing what to do (within the boundaries of the law and 'good sense') before acting. This reflected the value or principle-driven concept already discussed. He shared that if some situation arrives he does not hesitate to seek his boss's opinion about a matter, or even to call the district office. He cautioned that one cannot take a chance. Mr. C. stated that the greatest adjustment he had to make going from the classroom to administration was getting over the emotional, overwhelming awesomeness that one must know everything going on in the school. He shared that as a classroom teacher, he only needed to know what was going on in his room. As an administrator, however, he was at first overwhelmed that he needed to be actively cognizant of every aspect of the school. He believes that he had adjusted to this over-stimulation feeling.

Interviewee: Mrs. D., Assistant-Principal

Lakeside Middle School

Evans, GA

Mrs. D. has just completed her first year as a assistant principal. We first talked about policy and she shared her concern that we live in a litigation-crazed society. She shared that here ever move had to be evaluated before it transpired. She also suggested the importance of knowing the school board policy and laws. She said that she wishes she followed educational related-libation cases, but that she did not do so like she desired. Mrs. D. said that as a new assistant principal, she was overwhelmed with the fact that she was responsible for so many things that were taking place. She said that one has to keep on top of every area or responsibility, and that in the beginning that can be difficult.

During a second session, we discussed discipline. She explained how discipline is just one of her responsibilities. We talked of the county policy and the school's policy. We discussed the teacher's responsibility and how some teachers are great disciplinarians and some are lousy. From speaking with some of Lakeside teachers, it appears that many believe Mrs. D. to be "too easy" on misbehaving students sent to the office, but most of them recognized that this was her first year in the position. Overall they stated that she has done a good job.

Interviewee: Mr. M., Principal

Lakeside Middle School

Evans, GA

Mr. M.'s interview was a bit different from the others previously completed, in at least two ways. First, this writer spent quite a bit more time with him than I did the other principals (nearly 8 hours of interview). Second, Mr. M. talked a great deal about decision making, but not in the context of just "staying out of trouble," or even litigation, as the case appeared in several other school administrators interviewed. Mr. M. made it clear that he wanted to know the laws and policies of the school board in order to develop a "principle-based philosophy" of administration. In other words, Rather than just learning the law for the sake of avoiding law suits, this administrator wanted to develop a consistent philosophy that would allow him to act and react in like manner, based on principles, not just reason or impulse. This, he stated, would allow him to be more predicable, fair, and also keep him out of law suits. This made an impression upon for, for I believe that consistency and fairness are vital ingredients for leaders. From Mr. M. I saw many of Deming's Principles being put into practice. Mr. M. appears to seek the "facts," and tries not to base his decision on feeling, one of Deming's principles.

In one session, Mr. M. and I talked about teacher certification, teacher-training, and principal-training. I was somewhat ignorant about the funding, in regards to teaching hiring. Appears that schools have limitations on hiring folks outside their teaching field. Apparently there is a "reward" or financial grant available to those schools who keep such hiring below a given percentage. We discussed the pros and cons about this. From my observation, this is counter-productive and discourages principals from taking risk. There are many people who are or would be excellent as educators, but our certification process stifles such scouting. One knowledge-able educator told me of a physician who wanted to teach health and science in a local school district part-time, but could not do so because the state said he was not qualified! This may seem extreme, but it happens in more often than one might think.

Mr. M. had much to share about his opinions regarding principal training. He said that he fully believed there needed to be much more done in the area of mentoring, shadowing, and other events that cause a graduate student to get in the school. Mr. M. did not believe this could be done satisfactorily during summer sessions, since "school" is empty.

Mr. M. was quite open during one visit, in which he shared the burden of carrying the leadership torch. He stated that he had been an administrator (I think it was nearly 10 years) and did not know if he could keep up the pace the job requires. He share that the job was far more than forty hours per week, and that it was becoming too much. He said that he would eventually like to get back in the classroom and teach social studies. After many questions, Mr. M. did share that he felt that a previous position as principal of an elementary school was probably the most enjoyable of his career. From this discussion, I gathered that each level progresses in difficulty, from elementary, to middle school, on up to high school. From Mr. M. evaluation, those high school principal are "married" to the job and are nearly always on the educational firing line. Mr. M. did not share a desire to return to an elementary base, however he did mention his desire to work on a doctorate, possibly when he re-enters the classroom.

I enjoyed my time with Mr. M. and found him to be a very knowledgeable administrator. Some of the criticisms that I received from those under him is that he is too passive and therefore some teachers take advantage of it, and get away with "murder." I did not see or experience this complaint. Others have murmured of the man's religious beliefs, but I found nothing in his character or personality that would limit him in his present capacity. I left Lakeside Middle School with the highest regards for this man and his mission. I hope to learning more from him in the future.

In most cases, the characteristics assessed on the post-evaluation were higher than those on the pre-evaluation.


Other school administrators and professors were interviewed or consulted: They are: Mr. S., Principal, Thomson High School, Thomson, Georgia; Mr. G., Principal, South Aiken High School, Aiken, South Carolina; Dr. Alan R. Shoho, Professor of Education, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas; and Dr. Robert E. Sudlow, an Educational Consultant in New York.

Closing Remarks

From this writer's personal experience, administrators are not very comfortable discussing their weaknesses. Fifty-percent of those interviewees appeared to generalize weaknesses, and only two administrators pin-pointed what appeared to be honest answers. Most administrators were widely-read, or at least saw the importance of being up to date on professional matters. Though only a few discussed it, the idea of raising test scores seemed to be on everyone's mind. In fact, one administrator stated clearly that the classes of new teachers were evaluated (tested) at the end of the year to determine whether the new teacher would be re-signed.

Several principals indicated that they missed the classroom, whereas a few insinuated they did not. Seventy-five percent of those questioned strongly believed that in order for a school to be effective, it requires a strong teaching staff. None hinted that the lack of effectiveness was a managerial problem, as Deming suggested.

Readings in Administration

  Barth, R. S. (1995). The leader as learner: Then and now. Harvard Graduate School of Education, December, 21-23.

  The author present a dilemma, or even paradox, that routinely is found among school administrators. In the past, principals were expected to have all the answers. This of course, was unrealistic. However, the dilemma is that school principals of the past seldom attended formal classes to upgrade their abilities and knowledge, because to do so was a sign of weakness; a sign that you did not already know the answers. According to Barth (1996), "School leaders found it difficult to admit, 'I don't know how,' or even 'I am learning how." To engage in public learning was to admit imperfection. Principals were to be "all knowing."

Today the paradox is twisted in another direction. To illustrate this, Barth shares the personal experience of inviting 1500 principals, assistant principals, and housemasters to attend a workshop at the Principal's Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Of the 1500 invitations, two showed up. There appears to be several "impediments" observed. First was time. Second, was that, "People who run things don't like to be run." Third, many principals believe that colleges and state programs are not relevant or helpful for school administrators. The paradox is that most principals state that their greatest need is knowledge, but do not take the time to secure it. It appears, according to Barth, that "the pedagogy of leadership is becoming more adventuresome, more experiential, and less didactic." Principals are now beginning to model the most important activity of education(learning. Some school administrators in the past had difficulty admitting they did not know something The paradox is that most principals now state that their greatest need is knowledge, but do not take the time to secure it (Barth, 1996). This is especially important in the era of change that we find ourselves. One educator from times past wrote, "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."

  Gregorc, A. F. (1989). The principal as a moral leader: A perspective. Instructional Leader, 2, 2, 1, 11-12.

  Principals are generally thought of as administrators, managers, and sometimes even instructional leaders, however, the author strongly suggests that the principal is also the moral leader and provides an example for those under his or her domain. The principal is , in romantic terms, considered the "prince/princess." It is the principal's responsibility, according to Gregorc the see to it that the basic needs for physical, emotional and mental survival be available to his or her staff. In the author's opinion, this moral characteristic is essential to being a good leader.

With the idea of being a moral leader, Gregorc believes this goes hand in hand with being an "elaborator of a vision," a necessity for a holistic vision. He states, "The principal with an articulated vision will emerge as a moral leader." The author sees a "hand in glove" fit between visionary and moral leader. He states, "The visionary cannot escaped being a moral leader. It goes with the territory."

In practical applications, it appears that the author is trying to emphasize that the principal is the prince/princess of the school house, and like a prince or princess, he or she is to have the best interest of others at hand. The students and teachers are his/her subjects and decisions should be based on what is best for them. In order to make those kind of choices, one becomes a moral leader. That is not to be considered a negative concept, because other research indicates that people follow moral visionaries.

Anton, T. A. (1994). Sixty-two ways to save time. The Education Digest, March, 41-45.

  Thirty California principals, chosen by superintendents, met in the spring of 1993 to discuss planning practices. Sixty-two personal and distinctive suggestions were compiled. There following twelve suggestions were significant to this reader, and are summarized and reworded. 1) prioritize everything, 2) aim at completing high priority matters, 3) be visible to your teachers and students, 4) be available to all at designated times and let those times be known, 5) schedule weekly meetings with those over specific areas, in order to facilitate your job and theirs, 6) have two message boxes near your door, with one labeled "regular" and the other "urgent," 7) help teachers solve their own problems, 8) strive for one-minute conferences and focus directly on the issue, 9) have "walking" conferences with teachers on their way to class, 10) use the available high technology to do as much of your work as you can, 11) scan teacher lesson plans while touring the classroom. the twelfth idea is synthesized by this reader from the suggestions, 12) train your teacher to be leaders.

 Parks, D. and W. Worner. (1992). Four essentials of Leadership. Streamlined Seminar, (NAESP), 10, 3, n/a.

  Parks and Worner four ingredients that they believe all leaders need in order to be successful educators. First, the leaders knows what they want to accomplish. One of the primary responsibilities of a leader is to provide the organization with a vision. No vision, no leadership. Followers do not follow people who have no vision. A leader needs to spend time deciding what he or she wants. The more specific the better. Second, leaders know how to get support and assistance. Leaders are people who can rally others around a cause. The leader cannot do all of the work, provide all of the expertise, or make all of the decisions. The leader is a "connection" person. Third, leaders exert the energy need to achieve and sustain their goal. This is spelled out in four letters, t-i-m-e! The research on effective school principals clearly show that being a school administrator is not a forty hour per week job. Some administrators have suggested that the higher one goes in administration the more time one must spend. They described those principals of high schools as being "married" to the job. Most administrators put in sixty hours per week. Fourth, leaders know the limits of what is possible. Having a vision does not mean you make unreachable or unattainable goals. It means the principal recognizes the limitations of power, and seeks worthy attainments. People will rally around a leader who possesses these four essential ingredients.

From my own background I can vouch for these four ingredients. I also found that at least one of these ingredients can be difficult for those who are rather quiet, reserved or introverted. It is possible to allow the job to motivate one to exercise extroversion, but these often come with a price.


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Barth, R. S. (1991). Nine questions we must ask about school restructuring. Education Digest, 57, 21.

__________. (1995). The leader as learner: Then and now. Harvard Graduate School of Education, December, 21-23.

Blumberg, A., & W. Greenfield. (1986). The effective principal: perspectives on school leadership. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc.

Cordeiro, P. A. (1994). The principal's role in curricular leadership and program development. In L. W. Hughes (Ed.), The principal as leader. (pp. 161-179). New York: Macmillan College Publishing Company.

Covey, Stephen R. (1989). The seven habits of highly effective people. New York: Simon & Schuster.

David, J. L. (1996). Site-based management: Making it work. Educational Leadership, 53, 5.

Drake, T. L.. & W. H. Roe. (1994). The principalship. (4th ed.). New York: Macmillan College Publishing Company.

Frederick C. W., F. A. Hoke, and R. G. Joekel. (1993). Project success: Outstanding principals speak out. Clearing House, 67, 52.

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Parks, D. and W. Worner. (1992). Four essentials of Leadership. Streamlined Seminar, (NAESP), 10, 3.

Peak, M. (1995). TQM transforms the classroom. Management Review, 84, 13.

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Short, E. C. (1995). A review of studies in the first 10 volumes of the Journal of Curriculum and Supervision. Journal of Curriculum & Supervision, 10, 87.

Sergiovanni, T. J. (1991). The principalship: a reflective practice perspective. (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

__________. (1995). Small schools, great expectations. Educational Leadership, 53, 48.

Tice, T. N. (1991). Whose vision? Education Digest, 56, 26.

Valentine, J. W., and M. L.. Bowman. Effective principal, effective school: does research support the assumption? National Association of Secondary School Principals Bulletin, December 1991. 1-7.

Wendel, F. C. and A. M. Kilgor, C. W. Spurzem. Are administrators' personalities related to their job skills? National Association of Secondary School Principals Bulletin, December 1991. 14-20.

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For Further Reading

Abbott, J. E. (1995). Managing at the speed of light: Principals lead TQM teams. T H E Journal, 23, 74.

Bobbitt, S. A. (1993). What are the most serious problems in schools? Issue Brief: National Center for Education Statistics, 93-149, [On-line]. Available:

Bonstingl, J. J. (1992). Schools of quality: An introduction to total quality management in education. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Bracy, G. (1994). Transforming America's schools: An Rx for getting past blame. Arlington, VA: American Association of School Administrators.

Buker, E. A.., M. A.. Leiserson, & J. A. Rinehart. (Eds.) (1994). Taking parts: Ingredients for leadership, participation, and empowerment. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

Chalker, D. (1992). Refocusing school leadership for the 21st century across the board. The Education Digest, 58, 3, 4.

Colins, A., A. Harte, & J. Cooper. (1995). Enhancing local involvement in education through quality leadership. Project Partners: University of Newfoundland. [On-line]. Available:

Crockett, M., (1996). Reculturing American education: the emerging task of leadership. Clearing House, 69, 183.

Education reforms and students at risk: A review of the current state of the art. (1994). Education Reform Studies. January. [On-line]. Available:

Deming, W. E. (1982). Quality, productivity, and competitive position. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Advanced Engineering Study.

Elmore, R. F., et al. (1990). Restructuring schools: The next generation of educational reform. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

English, F. W. (Ed.) (1992). Successful schools: Guidebooks to effective educational leadership. (10 volumes). Newbury Park, CA: Corwin Press.

Ewell, P. T. (1992). Feeling the elephant. Change, 24, 44.

Franket, et, al. (1992). Education of educators. Education Digest. 58, 38.

Fullan, M. G. (1993). Change forces: Probing the depths of educational reform. Bristol, PA: Falmer Press.

Glickman, C. D. (1993). Renewing America's schools: A guide for school-based action. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Goldberg, M. F. (1995). Portraits of educators: Reflections on 18 high achievers. Educational Leadership, 52, 72.

__________. (1995). A portrait of John Goodlad. Educational Leadership, 52, 82.

Keefe, J. W., Jenkins, J. M., & Hersey, P. W. (Eds.). (1992). A leader's guide to school restructuring. Reston, VA: National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Kowalski, T. J. (1993). Contemporary school administration: An introduction. White Plains, NY: Longman.

Levesque, K., D. Bardby, K. Rossi. (1996). Using data for program improvement: How do we encourage schools to do it? CenterFocus, 12. [On-line]. Available:

Liontos, L. B. (1993). Transformational leadership: Profile of a high school principal. Eugene, OR: Oregon School Study Council.

Maeroff, G. I. (1993). Team building for school reform. School Administrator, 50, 3, 44-47.

Parks. D. (1991). Three concepts shape the new roles of principals in administrator preparation. National Association of Secondary School Principals Bulletin, December, 8-13.

Picogna, J. L. (1993). Total quality leadership: A training approach. Morrisville, PA: International Information Associates.

Savary, L. M. (date unknown) Creating quality schools. Arlington, VA: American Association of School Administrators.

Seidman, R. H. (1996). National Education 'Goal 2000': Some disastrous unintended consequences. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 4, 11. [On-line]. Available:

Shields, P. M. (1994). Bringing schools and communities together in preparation for the 21st century: Implications of current educational reform movement for family and community involvement policies. System reform: Perspectives on personalizing education, September. [On-line], Available: EdReformStudies/SysReforms/Shields1.html

Smith, W. & Andrews, R. (1989). Instructional Leadership: How principals make a difference. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Weston, M. (1996). Reformers should take a look at home schools. Education Week, 15, 34.

Wilson, J. M. (1994). Leadership trapeze: Strategies for leadership in team-based organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

1See chapter 6, "Site visitations, Assessments, and Administrative Interviews" for more information regarding field experience.

2According to the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC), of which Deming was an honorary member, Deming taught Shewhart's principles, making application of statistics on clerical operations for the 1940 census. Handbook

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