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Electing or Appointing School District Superintendents in the State of Florida: A Comparison of Characteristics and Performance of Districts Led by Elected Superintendents Versus Districts Led by Appointed Superintendents

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Date Issued:
2019
Abstract/Description:
Florida and Alabama are the only two states in the United States of America with school districts led by either elected superintendents or appointed superintendents. The other 48 states only have appointed superintendent-led school districts. The current study was conducted to examine the impact of the superintendent governance structure on student learning by analyzing differences in student achievement between Florida school districts led by elected superintendents and Florida school districts led by appointed superintendents. The conceptual framework of the study was the tension between democratic localism and professionalism. Dynamics associated with the conceptual framework are relevant to the current debate.This quantitative study included cross-tabulations of the superintendent governance structure by regions and by locale codes. Descriptive statistics were used to define differences between school districts with elected or appointed superintendents in the areas of enrollment, free/reduced lunch, ELL populations, test scores, and graduation rates. An independent samples t-test was used to further analyze the demographic variables. A one-way ANCOVA was employed to determine if the superintendent governance structure or the demographic variables were associated with variances in student achievement.Research findings indicated that appointed superintendent-led school districts performed slightly higher than elected superintendent-led school districts. However, the superintendent governance structure did not have a statistically significant relationship with student achievement. Instead, poverty, as measured by free/reduced lunch rates, had a statistically significant relationship with student achievement.
Title: Electing or Appointing School District Superintendents in the State of Florida: A Comparison of Characteristics and Performance of Districts Led by Elected Superintendents Versus Districts Led by Appointed Superintendents.
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Name(s): Smith, Timothy, Author
Johnson, Jerry, Committee Chair
Doherty, Walter, Committee Member
Vitale, Thomas, Committee Member
Fritz, Ronald, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2019
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Florida and Alabama are the only two states in the United States of America with school districts led by either elected superintendents or appointed superintendents. The other 48 states only have appointed superintendent-led school districts. The current study was conducted to examine the impact of the superintendent governance structure on student learning by analyzing differences in student achievement between Florida school districts led by elected superintendents and Florida school districts led by appointed superintendents. The conceptual framework of the study was the tension between democratic localism and professionalism. Dynamics associated with the conceptual framework are relevant to the current debate.This quantitative study included cross-tabulations of the superintendent governance structure by regions and by locale codes. Descriptive statistics were used to define differences between school districts with elected or appointed superintendents in the areas of enrollment, free/reduced lunch, ELL populations, test scores, and graduation rates. An independent samples t-test was used to further analyze the demographic variables. A one-way ANCOVA was employed to determine if the superintendent governance structure or the demographic variables were associated with variances in student achievement.Research findings indicated that appointed superintendent-led school districts performed slightly higher than elected superintendent-led school districts. However, the superintendent governance structure did not have a statistically significant relationship with student achievement. Instead, poverty, as measured by free/reduced lunch rates, had a statistically significant relationship with student achievement.
Identifier: CFE0007727 (IID), ucf:52416 (fedora)
Note(s): 2019-08-01
Ed.D.
Community Innovation and Education, Educational Leadership and Higher Education
Doctoral
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Florida elected superintendents and appointed superintendents -- student achievement -- poverty -- free/reduced lunch rates -- democratic localism -- professionalism -- Florida superintendent governance structure
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0007727
Restrictions on Access: public 2019-08-15
Host Institution: UCF

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