Citation
Leadership density in Colorado school districts

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Title:
Leadership density in Colorado school districts
Creator:
Vise, Robert Lee
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
viii, 133 leaves : ; 28 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
School districts -- Administration -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Educational leadership -- Colorado ( lcsh )
School management and organization -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Educational leadership ( fast )
School districts -- Administration ( fast )
School management and organization ( fast )
Colorado ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 127-133).
Thesis:
Educational leadership and innovation
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Robert Lee Vise, Jr.

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Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
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|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
66387796 ( OCLC )
ocm66387796
Classification:
LD1193.E3 1999d V57 ( lcc )

Full Text
LEADERSHIP DENSITY
IN COLORADO SCHOOL DISTRICTS
by
Robert Lee Vise, Jr.
B.S., Union College, 1975
M.A., Northern Illinois University, 1979
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Innovation
1999


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree, by
Robert Lee Vise, Jr.
has been approved
t>y
April 20, 1999


Vise, Jr. Robert Lee (Ph.D., Educational Leadership and
Innovation)
Leadership Density in Colorado School Districts
Thesis directed by Associate #f6£essor L.A. Napier
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study is to examine the use of
leadership density in Colorado school districts to achieve
organizational goals. Leadership density is when many
different people outside of the normal leadership are given
the opportunity to lead. Research questions addressed are:
1. Do Colorado school districts have a clear mission
and vision?
2. How is leadership shared?
3. Are their evaluation designs in place to measure
outcomes of decisions made at all levels?
4. How much attention is placed on leaders' improving
the curriculum and delivery of instruction?
Research methodology included telephone interviews and
document analysis. Data were collected by recording and
transcribing interviews. The data were then analyzed
following qualitative research techniques.
This study used Murphy and Hallinger's (1988) research
of effective school districts and Sergiovani's (1990) nine
in


different dimensions of effective leadership. Findings
support the use of Sergiovani's nine dimensions of
leadership.
Conclusions of the study are:
1. The districts studied delineate a clear
mission statement and a vision for the direction of
the district.
2. District goals are established at the district
level by professional and community input. These
goals filter down to the building level and weave
into site-specific goals.
3. Leadership roles, for different decision making
issues, vary from individual to individual.
Community members are allowed to lead out at
times. The key is that the individual who is
leading at the time has the expertise to
provide direction.
4. Skills that are used by the leadership include
being a good communicator, being a good listener,
and being collegial and caring.
5. Communication is established with all the different
community and school groups within the school
district whenever a new curricular item is
adopted. Procedures are established and used
to inservice all interested groups of individuals.
IV


Evaluation procedures are used to monitor
individual and group progress towards the
established goals. Communication to the community
is somewhat unclear about the evaluation procedure
for individual employees of the district.
6. The leadership in the districts studied provide for
an atmosphere of security in which staff members
could embrace and support district.goals. Wide
involvement with community members allows for buy-
in to the district goals.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the
candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication.
L.A. Napier/1

Signed


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION....................................1
The Problem..................................1
Leadership Density...........................2
Purpose of the Study.........................5
Importance of Study..........................5
Methodology..................................7
Limitations of the Study....................11
Organization of the Study...................12
Definition of Terms.........................13
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE.......................16
Development of Leadership Theory.........17
Development of Educational Leadership.......19
Participatory Management....................23
Defining Leadership Density and the Concepts
of Leadership...............................26
History of Leadership Density...............28
Summary of the Literature Reviewed........29
3. METHODOLOGY....................................31
vi


Sampling Procedures.........................31
Identification..............................31
Pilot Study.................................35
Telephone Interviews........................37
Instrument..................................38
Collection of Data..........................45
Analysis of Data............................46
Verification of Data........................48
4. ANALYSIS OF DATA...............................53
Introduction................................53
Methodological Process......................54
Sample Selection..........................54
Structured Interviews.....................55
Development of Interview Schedule.........55
Data Analysis.............................58
Presentation of Findings..................59
Findings ...................................59
Do Schools Have a Clear Mission and Vision
Statement? ...............................59
How is Leadership Shared?.................66
Is There an Evaluation design in place to
measure outcomes of decisions made at all
levels? ..................................78
How Much Attention is Placed on Improving
the Curriculum and the Delivery of
Instruction by Those in Positions of
Leadership?...............................88
VI1


Document Review
101
Overall Summary of the Findings.............101
5. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSIONS ....................103
Summary of the Study........................103
Findings....................................107
Implications of Findings for School
Districts ................................109
Implications of Findings for the
Literature................................113
Conclusion..................................115
Recomendations for Further Study ...........117
Personal Reflections........................118
APPENDIX
A. INTERVIEW SCHEDULE ............................120
B. INTERVIEW REQUEST LETTER.......................125
C. RESPONSE CARD..................................127
D. INDIVIDUAL REQUEST LETTER......................128
REFERENCES ............................................129
viii


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
This study examines leadership density in school
districts and examines the correlation between high
leadership density and effective school districts. In the
process, several questions were posed: Do Colorado school
districts have a clear mission and vision? How is
leadership shared? Are their evaluation designs in place
to measure outcomes of decisions made at all levels?
Finally, how much attention is placed on leaders' improving
the curriculum and the delivery of instruction?
The Problem
Restructuring of schools has been studied greatly in
the past and is the current avenue used for school
improvement. In 1987, a policy forum on new roles and
responsibilities in public schools was sponsored by the
Center for Policy Resources in Education. As a result of
the policy forum, Elmore (1990) listed these new roles and
responsibilities as "(1) teaching and learning in schools,
(2) conditions of teacher's work in schools, and (3) the
governance and incentive structures under which schools
operate" (p.5).
1


In examining the area of restructuring through
governance and incentive structure, Sergiovanni (1990)
defined "leadership density" as the extent to which
leadership roles are shared among different individuals and
broadly exercised to accomplish goals. Little research has
been conducted to examine the effects of district level
endeavors to utilize leadership density. Does the use of
leadership density in a school district produce effective
leadership? This study focused on the measurement of
leadership density in school districts. The measurement of
leadership density is the methods used by leaders in the
school district to allow other individuals with a vested
interest to perform in leadership roles for specific tasks.
Leadership Density
To understand what leadership density is, one must
return to the source of what leadership density represents.
Such synonyms as "participatory management", "site-based
management", "shared decision-making", and "transforming
leadership" have been used to describe similar processes
that leaders employ in organizations (Burns, 1978). House
(1976) described leadership density as charismatic.
Despite the differences in terminology, the meanings all
suggest that people are empowered to help make decisions
that affect them.
2


The outgrowth of leadership density can be traced to
Burn's (1978) definition and the understanding of
"transforming leadership". The concept of transforming
leadership facilitates the redefinition of a people's
mission and vision, a renewal of their commitment, and the
restructuring of their systems for goal accomplishments.
Leadership density is high in a school district when
the individuals in leadership roles have a common mission
and work together to complete the district's goals.
Leadership within an organization can move from individual
to individual depending upon the situation and the goals of
the group at the current time. Leadership is not limited
to one person at one time working on one particular goal or
set of goals. Leadership can also be a partnership between
two or more individuals (Sergiovanni, 1990).
A school district with high leadership density
involves many different individuals in the decision-making
process, whose decisions affect others outside the
decision-making group. A district with low leadership
density limits those involved in the decision-making
process to one person or a small inner circle of
individuals. Yet, the decisions made through this form of
leadership can affect the entire district (Sergiovanni,
1989).
Nine dimensions that lead to extraordinary leadership
3


density as identified by Sergiovanni are the following:
"(1) leadership, (2) extraordinary performance investment,
(3) providing symbols and enhancing meaning, (4) purposing,
(5) enabling teachers and the school, (6) building an
accountability system, (7) intrinsic motivation, (8)
collegiability, and (9) leadership by outrage" (1990,
p. 15).
Effective leadership comprises several different
components. Sergiovanni (1990), Murphy, and Hallinger
(1988) considered accountability important. According to
their conclusions, accountability must be measurable, and
the accountability process must be ongoing. The outcomes
of instruction and curriculum must also be closely
monitored. There must be a correlation between goal
setting, curriculum planning, standardized test scores, and
the monitoring of the progress on the building goals by the
central office. District leaders may accomplish this by
taking an active role in measuring what is being
accomplished and then analyzing and sharing the information
with all interested individuals of the school district
community. This evaluation process must be completed
yearly so that the information can be used to redefine and
restructure the activities occurring within the district.
4


Purpose of the Study
Leadership density is the extent to which leadership
roles are shared and broadly exercised (Sergiovanni, 1990).
This study' measures leadership density in school districts
and examines the correlation between leadership density and
effective school districts. More specifically, the study
seeks to examine how leadership affects achieving
organizational goals.
Questions addressed included the following: Do
Colorado school districts have a clear mission and vision?
How is leadership shared? Is there an evaluation design in
place to measure outcomes of decisions made at all levels?
Finally, how much attention do leaders place on improving
the curriculum and the delivery of instruction?
Importance of the Study
There has been little research conducted to determine
the educational effects produced by district-level
leadership activities (Herriot and Muse, 1972). Murphy and
Hallinger (1988) studied the factors and processes that
characterized the role of the superintendent and the
methods used by the district offices to coordinate and
control the work activities of school-level personnel. In
their examination, they found several common themes. These
themes were interwoven throughout the school's daily
5


operations. The themes include the following:
(1) District-level control of principal behavior and
site-level activities is high.
(2) There is significant district-level attention to
technical core issues. This refers to
coordination and control of instruction and
curriculum.
(3) A wide range of control mechanisms, both direct
and indirect, shape administrative activity at
the school level.
(4) Control functions are not limited or
concentrated in a single phase but are found in
the input stage and all the way through the
output phases of school operations. An example
would be the alignment of building-level goals
with the district-level goals.
(5) The extent to which the various control
functions are interwoven.
(6) Patterns of control found in effective school
districts are different from those found in
districts that were not effective.
(7) Superintendents play a key role in connecting
schools and district offices, (pp.179-181)
Two questions emerged from the findings of Murphy and
Hallinger (1988) that contributed to the need for
conducting this study. First, how does leadership control
or substantially contribute to organizational success?
Secondly, to what extent can high leadership density be
found in effective school districts?
Several school districts were examined to determine if
they demonstrate Sergiovanni's nine dimensions of
leadership density. The findings from this study broaden
the understanding of leadership density in effective school
districts and will prove valuable in the continual
restructuring of schools.
6


Methodology
A descriptive, qualitative approach was used to gather
data from school districts to determine the level of
leadership density present in each. VanManen (1979)
maintained that this type of search (for the significance
of the leadership of a school district) is best conducted
by the qualitative research approach.
Data collection consisted of in-depth key informant
interviews of individuals from each of the selected school
districts. Content analysis of school district documents
containing the district's beliefs, attitudes, structures,
and/or processes were reviewed for the purpose of examining
the district's leadership density.
The school districts studied were identified from a
list of school districts obtained from the Colorado
Department of Education's District Report Card 1993. For a
school district to be considered for the target population,
it had to meet the following criteria:
(1) Student population reported for the October,
1992 count had to be between 1,900 31,000.
This range of student population was used to
limit variables involved in a large and small
school district. A large district has a complex
structure of leadership while a small district's
leadership responsibilities overlap
7


considerably.
(2) A Colorado school district must have an increase
in graduation rate between 1990-1992.
(3) 'A Colorado school district must have increased
their attendance rate between 1990-1992.
(4) Performance-based or criteria referenced
assessments must be used to measure student
achievement.
Ten school districts met this criteria for the target
population (Table I). An initial sample of seven school
districts were randomly selected for this study. Six
districts agreed to participate.
Initial contact with the selected school districts was
with the superintendent. The researcher made telephone
contact with the superintendent to explain the study, and
an invitation to participate in the study was extended. A
follow-up written request was mailed to the superintendent
and a response was received back to verify the district's
involvement in the study. Permission was requested to
allow the researcher to conduct telephone interviews with
members of the district accountability committee. These
individuals served as the key informants.
Interviewing the key informants is important because
they can provide different perspectives from other district
stakeholders. When using key informants, caution was used
8


to kept confidential the informants responses and to avoid
the informants encountering any potential negative
consequences from their employer or the community for
participating in the study. (Burgess, 1985).
The researcher interviewed members of the school
district accountability committee. From each of the seven
randomly selected school districts, interviews were
conducted with a central office administrator, building
administrator, classified employee, teacher, and two
members of the community. One community member must have a
student(s) attending school in the district.
The telephone interview process was selected as it
provided a basis for asking open-ended questions and
offered the opportunity for the researcher to interact with
the respondent. This method had an advantage over written
surveys in that the researcher had quality control over the
entire data collection process.
Since the 1970s, the telephone interview process has
gained value as a means of gathering data. Telephone
interviewing has developed into a positive approach because
of the increase in technology of telephones and the number
of telephones available to all people. Information can be
retrieved and analyzed faster through the use of
telephones. This is critical in the age where fast analysis
of information is needed.
9


Along with these ideas for usage of the telephone is
the continual development of telephone interviewing for
conducting research which can offset the higher costs of
doing face-to-face interviews (Frey, 1989).
The interview schedule used in this study (See
Appendix A) utilized open-ended questions. Blair (et al.f
1977) found the use of open-ended questions provides the
respondents the opportunity to expand on their answers as
long as the questions were presented in familiar wording
and non-threatening questions.
Groves (1979) found that there are few problems using
open-ended questions through telephone interviewing
surveys. However, some of his evidence showed that
respondents tended to answer the questions with shorter
answers.
The questions for the interview schedule were
developed from the results that Murphy and Hallinger (1988)
found in their study of effective school districts and from
the nine dimensions that Sergiovanni (1990) established for
leadership density. Ideas were taken from the sources
cited above and were developed into questions by the
researcher and his advisor.
Telephone interviews were scheduled with individuals
from each of the seven randomly selected effective school
districts. The seven individuals interviewed from each
10


district were randomly selected from a list supplied by the
superintendent. Interviews were conducted during the
spring.
Respondents were informed that the interviews were to
be audio tape recorded to enable the researcher to maintain
a more accurate record of responses. Handwritten notes
were also used for recording of responses. The tapes were
used to complete and correct the researcher's handwritten
notes.
Pilot interviews were conducted by the interviewer
with administrators in the interviewer's school district.
One interview was conducted with a school administrator and
one with a member of the school district's accountability
committee. The pilot interviews provided the interviewer
with experience in conducting telephone interviews and
further develop the interviewer's skills. These practice
interviews were useful for testing the interview schedule.
The length of each interview ranged from 15 minutes to 90
minutes. Further in-depth details of the proposed
methodology are discussed in Chapter Three.
Limitations of the Study
Murphy and Hallinger (1988) maintained in their study
that the sampling of twelve districts was insufficient and
that additional research of other school districts is
11


needed. This study further contributes to the findings of
their research. It is important to note that there is a
possibility that not all of the districts selected for the
sample utilize the nine dimensions of leadership density to
the same level of magnitude.
Organization of the Study
The reporting of this research is arranged into five
chapters. Chapter one includes the introduction,
theoretical framework, statement of the problem, purpose of
the study, need for the study, methodology, limitation of
the study, the organization of the study, and definition of
terms.
Chapter two is a review of the pertinent literature
surrounding leadership density. Effective schools research
and the components that make up an effective school
district are also discussed.
Chapter three describes the qualitative case study
procedures to be used in conducting this research. Tools
which support the qualitative procedures with be placed in
the appendices.
Chapter four is a presentation of the findings. Data
analysis, conclusions, and recommendations for further
research are found in chapter five.
12


Definition of Terms
Accountability: "Leadership in monitoring the
progress that is being made toward the school district
goals" (Murphy & Hallinger, 1988, p.178).
Collegiality; "Principals and teachers sharing,
helping, learning and working together in response to
strong supporting norms that emerge from professional
standards and school purposes" (Sergiovanni, 1990, p.118).
District Accountability Committee: Colorado Revised
Statue 22-7-102 specifies that, "the general assembly
declares that the purpose of this part 1 is to institute an
accountability program to define and measure quality in
education and thus to help the public schools of Colorado"
(pg 96).A local school district committee that consists of
at least one parent, one teacher, one school administrator,
and one taxpayer from the local school district for the
purpose of reviewing the district's various programs.
Drop-out Rate; District record of students who left
the school district and did not transfer to another school
district.
Goal oriented: "District goals drive the development
of school objectives" (Murphy & Hallinger, 1988, p.177).
High expectations: Leadership sets high goals and
monitors that its followers reach these goals
(Sergiovanni, 1990).
13


Influence: "A power indirectly or intangibly
affecting a person or course of events through a change in
the character, thoughts, or actions, of a person" (American
Heritage Dictionary, 1982, p.219).
Leadership: "An influence relationship among leader
and followers who intend real changes that reflect their
mutual purposes" (Rost, 1991, p.187).
Leadership Density: "Nine dimensions that lead to
extraordinary leadership performance. (1) leadership: The
ability to lead versus managing, (2) extraordinary
performance investment: Teachers and principals give more
than one can reasonably expect, (3) providing symbols and
enhancing meaning: Leaders address the cultural and
symbolic meanings of the district, (4) purposing: Beliefs
that bond people together around common themes and that
provide them with a sense of what is important,
(5) enabling teachers and the school: Empowerment of
teachers, administrators, and schools to create change, (6)
building an accountability system: Holding teachers and
administrators responsible for the results produced in the
schools, (7) intrinsic motivation: When something is
rewarding to an individual, they will accomplish the task
better than when the task is not rewarding, (8)
collegiality: The extent that teachers and administrators
share common work values, engage in specific conversation
14


about their work, and help each other engage in the work of
the school, (9) leadership by outrage: Communication with
others that something that is worth believing in is worth
showing passion over it" (Sergiovanni, 1990, p.15).
Restructuring: Changes or modifications within the
technical, political/social, and occupational structures.
School district effectiveness: Attention to
curriculum and instruction, the consistency of technical
core factors, the strong instructional leadership role of
the superintendent, the emphasis on inspection of processes
and outcomes, and the higher degree of coordination between
district, school, and classroom.
Socio-economic status: Number or rate of students
participating in the free and reduced breakfast and lunch
program.
Student Achievement: Basic composite scores on the
Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
15


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
A leader is best
When people barely know he exists
Not so good when people obey and acclaim him,
Worse when they despise him.
But of a good leader, who talks little,
When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
They will say:
We did it ourselves.
--- Lao-Tzu
Lao-Tzu's statement about leaders reflects the overall
theme of this study. Leadership has been debated and
studied throughout time. It is helpful to understand the
role leadership theories play in the scheme of education
and, moreover, how leadership density is used. From the
discussions and debating by humankind through the
centuries, there have emerged various leadership concepts
concerning what is effective leadership.
These discussions of leadership have been carried into
public schools. Many ideas about leadership from the
business sector have been utilized and applied towards the
school setting. For example, the student and parent is a
consumer who's needs should be met and line item budgeting.
Sergiovanni's (1990) work on leadership has developed
into nine dimensions called leadership density. His
premise is that the role of leader can be held by more than
16


one individual at any given time. The purpose of the
research is to measure leadership density in school
districts and examine the correlation of high leadership
density arid effective school districts.
Development of Leadership Theory
Leadership has been debated for centuries by
philosophers from many different countries. Three major
issues continue to be the focus of the debate. This review
will be structured around three basic themes. (1) What is
leadership? (2) How is it recognized in an individual? (3)
And how does one decide if an individual can lead?
In the early 1800s, Horace Mann, the "Father of
Education," championed the moral education of the student.
He believed schools were the remedy for all sorts of evil
that were occurring in his society. He verbally attacked
the Boston schools for their methods of discipline and
teaching (Tyack, 1974).
The good school leader concept was giving way to the
scientific management movement. Taylor (1911) was a
proponent of scientific management. He believed that there
was one efficient method to accomplish organizational
objectives.
In 1916, Franklin Bobbit conducted a survey in Denver,
Colorado, in which he compared the principles of good
17


manufacturing practices of a company of fifteen hundred
employees with a school district of the same number of
employees. The superintendent divided the functions of the
organization and chose the staff, and all the employees did
the work of the organization according to the plans of the
school board. Bobbit found, because of the division, the
citizens of the school district became stockholders of
their schools. He surmised that all organizations,
business or governmental, are under the same general laws
of management (Tyack, 1974).
Bogardus (1918) also suggested four types of leaders:
(1) the autocratic type, who rises to office in a
power organization, (2) the democratic type, who
represents the interests of a group, (3) the executive
type, who is granted leadership because he or she is able
to get things done, and (4) the reflective intellectual
type, who may find it difficult to recruit a large
following, (cited in Bass, 1990, p.26)
University presidents and professors at this time
wanted to create organizational experts on urban schools.
They viewed their roles as change agents in a similar way
to superintendents of larger urban school districts.
Because of this view, job movement occurred frequently
between university presidents and urban superintendents
(Tyack, 1974).
18


Bird (1940) and others found that the selection of
leaders by their traits was not successful because many
traits pointed towards leaders versus followers. This
approach of looking for leadership traits did not account
for any interaction between a leader and a group of
followers. Also, difficult leadership traits had to be
utilized depending upon the given moment or situation for
the leader (Tyack, 1982).
Development of Educational Leadership
Researchers were steadfast in their theories of
educational leadership and were sure there was one best way
to lead. They limited their focus on student learning as
the best way to teach students.
In 1967, Fiedler merged the ideas of leadership traits
and situational approaches to leadership into Contingency
Leadership Theory. His research indicates
Task-oriented leaders perform best in group situations
that are either very favorable or very unfavorable to
the leaders. Relationship-oriented leaders perform
best in group situations that are intermediate in
favorableness, which is defined by the degree to which
the situation enables the leader to exert his
influence over the group. (Sergiovanni, 1977, p.145)
Rowan (1983) determined that the directional flow of
educational leadership was from the building principal to
the teachers in the classroom. Thus when looking at
19


effective teaching, it was viewed that the principal's
authority was always correct. The principal's decisions
were never challenged, and teachers were simply expected to
comply.
Cuban (1984) proposed that a single leader cannot
individually improve a school district because of the very
nature of his/her position. There is the potential for
constant conflict. The position requires many roles and
expectations to be fulfilled for various interest groups.
A leader's most important role is to cause social
change within his or her organization which reflects on the
leader's ideological leadership. The leader's image
appeal, as viewed by followers, can be that of an idol or
hero which can serve his/her purposes and also the purposes
of his/her followers (Sergiovanni, 1989).
Sergiovanni (1984) determined that schools are tightly
connected organizations, but around cultural, not
managerial themes. Teachers operate under informal
management traditions and accepted norms in a building and
school district. What teachers teach in their classroom is
difficult for tightly-controlled management to monitor.
Yet, there is little sustained connection between what
teachers do and the management systems of which they are
members. As a result, the debate of the theory of
transactional and transformative leadership emerged.
20


Tramsactional leadership was identified by Burns
(1978) as a method for leaders to motivate people in
organizations. This form of leadership focuses on the
intrinsic needs of the individuals in the organization.
People pursue high level goals that are common to all in
the organization. Personal interest is set aside for the
common good of the organization. From this type of
leadership, expectations are raised for both leaders and
followers through greater levels of communication and
performance. In the school setting, transactional
leadership is the exchanging of needs and services between
administrators and teachers accomplishing independent
objectives.
The objectives established by administrators and
teachers had few commonalities and were separated in their
outcomes. These outcomes could be directed toward the good
of the school and the instruction of students, or the
objectives could have another hidden agenda outcome.
Sergiovanni (1990) referred to this process as "leadership
by bartering;" in other words, providing a service to get a
service or reward in return.
Sergiovanni's early research on motivation and
performance concluded that transactional leadership
philosophy led only to expected performance established by
the leader (1984). Transactional leadership provided for
21


goals to be established for the individual, but they were
limited in their scope. This reduced or held back the
individual's talent in progressing beyond an established
goal.
In comparison with transactional leadership, the
transforming leadership philosophy advances beyond the
expectations required by an organization. Burns (1978) was
the first to identify transforming leadership. He defines
a transforming leader as one who "recognizes and exploits
an existing need or demand of a potential follower"(p.4).
A leader who uses transformational leadership strives
to meet more complex needs of the followers and includes
the followers in making decisions. Burns further states
that using this form of leadership can develop followers
into leaders.
Bass (1978) found four components which comprise
transformational leadership. The first concept conveys the
idea of blind following of the leader. Next, the image
produced is one of the leader having high expectations for
the followers. Third is the concept of looking at current
ideas in new ways. The final concept is the personal
attention a leader can give to the individual followers.
Individuals involved in this style of leadership have
a personal performance investment in the daily activities
and outcomes of the organization. Burns continues to
22


maintain that transforming leadership works because it
reaches the higher levels of human potential, beyond the
normal expectations in a successful organization.
Participatory Management
Douglas McGregor (1966) proposed that human nature and
human behavior influences managerial strategy. According
to Theory X,
1. Management is responsible for organizing the
elements of productive enterprise money,
materials, equipment, people in the interest
of economic ends.
2. With respect to people, this is a process of
directing their efforts, motivating them,
controlling their actions, modifying their
behavior to fit the needs of the organization.
3. Without this active intervention by management,
people would be passive, even resistant, to
organizational needs. They must therefore be
persuaded, rewarded, punished, controlled and
their activities must be directed.
4. The average person is by nature indolent -
he/she works as little as possible.
5. He/she lacks ambition, dislikes responsibility,
prefers to be led.
6. He/she is inherently self-centered, indifferent
to organizational needs.
7. He/she by nature is resistent to change.
8. He/she is gullible, not very bright, the ready
dupe of the charlatan and the demagogue, (p.7)
McGregor did not purport that implementing Theory X
23


philosophy was always successful. He proposed a different
set of theories about human behavior through research
studies of social scientists. His Theory Y implies that
success of failure of the leadership revolves around the
methods used by management instead of the human nature
which each person brings to work. Social scientists found
that the expenditure of energy at work is similar to when
an individual is at rest or play.
Theory Y emphasizes that the worker is committed to
work objectives and thus being committed is positive to the
worker. From this, people will seek out additional
responsibility. This theory is successful because workers
have a high amount of imagination and creativity to utilize
in solving organizational problems.
Theory Z developed out of a need for looking at
participative management. Theory Z accentuates the concept
that organizations develop a culture around a central
organizational philosophy (Ouchi, 1981). The assumption
made is that the culture developed will increase
individuals' commitment to participative management at all
levels without the use of rewards for individuals.
Rost (1991) concurred with Bass in his statement,
"Leadership is an influence relationship among leader and
followers who intend real changes that reflect their mutual
purposes" (p.102). The key, according to Rost, is that the
24


"individuals intend real changes that reflect their mutual
purposes" (p.102).
Site-Based Management is another form of participatory
management. This style of management involves
representatives for committees which may make final
decisions or be merely advisory. Members of Site Based
Management may include administrators, teachers, classified
personnel, parents, community members, businesses, and
students.
The rationale for using Site-Based Management is
varied. Some districts use it as a form of administrative
reform to provide a more efficient management. Others use
it for enhancing student achievement by letting those
closest to the issues make the professional decisions
(David, 1994). This research is disappointing in terms of
this occurring.
Site-Based Management provides all vested stakeholders
greater control over the educational process for students
by giving stakeholders responsibility for decisions
concerning budget, personnel, and curriculum. It may allow
competent individuals within a school district to make
decisions that will improve learning for students, give the
school community a voice in key decisions, focus on
accountability, and redirect resources to support the goals
developed by the school district. The number of decisions
25


transferred depends upon the goals of Site-Based Management
and the comfort of those in the process. Where this style
is practiced, intrinsic rewards are found in improved
morale of 'teachers, and in the nurturing of new leadership
at all levels (Myers and Stonehill, 1993).
A key to the success of Site-Based Management is the
responsibility of the superintendent and others in the
central office to provide technical assistance in
translating the district's vision and mission into the
programs at the building level, developing staff
performance standards, and evaluating progress towards the
district goals (Myers and Stonehill, 1993). David (1994)
found that Site-Based Management councils have a tendency
to deal with limited topics such as discipline, facilities,
and extracurricular activities. Instead, Site-Based
Management should focus on student learning from a school
and community wide perspective.
Defining Leadership Density
and the Concept of Leadership
Sergiovanni (1989) agreed with Rost (1991) in that
more than one individual can lead at any given time.
Sergiovanni described this concept as leadership density.
His definition for leadership is "the extent to which
leadership roles are shared and leadership is broadly
26


exercised" (p.221). Sergiovanni further breaks down the
theory of leadership density into the following nine
dimensions:
"(1) leadership, (2) extraordinary performance
investment, (3) providing symbols and enhancing
meaning, (4) purposing, (5) enabling teachers and the
school, (6) building an accountability system,
(7) intrinsic motivation, (8) collegiability, and
(9) leadership by outrage" (1990, p. 15).
Throughout history, over 350 definitions of leadership
have been identified in literature. There is no clear and
unequivocal understanding about what distinguishes leaders
from non-leaders. The definitions also do not distinguish
effective leaders from ineffective leaders or effective
organizations from ineffective organizations (Bennis,
1985).
Rost's (1991) definition of leadership will be used as
the framework for this study because of its link to
Sergiovanni's nine dimensions of leadership density. The
two are similar in that Rost's definition states leadership
can change among members of a group working towards making
real changes for mutual purposes. Sergiovanni's definition
states that leadership roles are shared and broadly
exercised.
27


History of Leadership Density
This is not the first time that the educational arena
has attempted to utilize some form of leadership density.
Schools in the 1800s were mostly rural and were operated by
the local people. The school was the focal point of
interest outside the home environment. It provided the
social stimulation for children outside the influence of
parents (Tyack, 1974).
More recently, in the 1960s and 1970s, leadership
density as Site-Based Management resurfaced in New York
City and Detroit. The purpose was to give political power
to local communities, increase administrative efficiency,
or affect state authority (David, 1989).
Leadership and the distribution of decision making is
a basic tenet of modern organizational effects of methods
and practical development (Bass, 1965). It has a base
structure which stresses the importance of dependence on
informal trusting relationships rather than on a formal
structure where relations depend upon authority of position
and role requirements. Educational growth relies on the
continual efforts to examine effects of methods and
practices that increase instructional effectiveness.
Currently, the authority held by the school board for
district leadership serves to provide the mission and goals
for the school district that are conducive to student
28


learning. The school board is also charged with providing
the direction by which to accomplish these goals. Yet, how
the leadership accomplishes the goals of the district and
utilizes the powers of the position can influence the
direction and the extent of success of the school district
(Colorado School Laws, 1994).
Gardner (1986) supports the philosophy of
interconnecting functions needed of a leader. He states
that the leader must think beyond the day-to-day crises and
beyond the school district to the broader community and
long term societal needs. The leader must also reach
beyond the influence of constituents and bring various
factions together to jointly address school problems.
Summary of the Literature Reviewed
Leadership, what it is and how it is accomplished,
will continue to be debated. The debates of leadership
continued in the United States after governmental freedom
from England was established. Due to this new-found
freedom, the debates centralized around issues of
government power.
As cities in this country increased in size, so did
the complexity of individual lives. There was
specialization of services for people and businesses.
Education for children expanded and was centralized in the
29


early 1900s.
As schools joined to form school districts, there were
no blue-prints of how to operate such organizations.
Therefore, educators drew from the business world ideas of
how to run a corporation. The financial and political
influence of business leaders motivated educators to listen
to their expertise on operations.
After the Great Depression of the 1930s, many saw a
need for social reconstruction. Educators were ready to be
progressive in what was best for schools and social change,
but, again, the influence and the power of the business
world inhibited faster development of the new social order.
Over 350 definitions of leadership exist. This
research will use Rost's (1991) definition of leadership -
"Leadership is an influence relationship among leader and
followers who intend real changes that reflect their mutual
purposes" (p.120). This definition reflects the variables
of leadership density and the effective school districts
which comprise this study.
Leadership density has been practiced throughout the
twentieth century. It is labeled under such theories as
Theory Z, Site Base Management, Shared Decision-making, and
others. As research continues, theories of leadership
density will become more defined and useable to educators.
30


CHAPTER 3
METHODOLGY
A descriptive qualitative approach was used to examine
the extent leadership density is found in the school
district. The sample was taken from school districts in
the state of Colorado that met the criteria for being
effective. The following district personnel informants
were also selected randomly: accountability members,
central office personnel, and building administrators.
Data were collected through semi-structured telephone
interviews. A prepared interview schedule of open-ended
questions was used to gather information on how leadership
density is used in effective school districts.
The study utilized a descriptive qualitative approach
of telephone interviewing for the collection of data. In
addition, content analysis of school district documents was
conducted for the purpose of examining the beliefs,
attitudes, structures, and/or processes that occur
ineffective school districts that use leadership density.
Sampling Procedures
Identification
The target population was selected by developing a
31


sample pool of school districts as identified by the
Colorado Department of Education and published in the
District Report Card 1993. This report compiled by the
state of Colorado was used because the Colorado Department
of Education established state goals in the areas of
attendance, graduation rate, and student achievement.
Because school districts vary greatly in size, the
researcher developed the following guidelines in selecting
the school districts to be included in the sample pool.
These guidelines helped in limiting outside variables due
to size. For a school district to be considered for the
target population, it had to meet the following criteria:
(1) student population reported for October, 1993,
count must be between 1,900 31,000;
(2) a Colorado school district with an increased
graduation rate between 1992-1993;
(3) a Colorado school district with an increased
attendance between 1992 1993; and
(4) performance based or criteria referenced
assessments must be used for student achievement
at the fourth and eighth grade level.
Ten school districts met these criteria for the target
population (see Table I). A sample of seven school
districts were randomly selected. Permission to contact
school district personnel was obtained from the
32


superintendent. A list of participants needed from the
district accountability committee for the study was also
shared with the superintendent. If a school district chose
not to participate in the study, another district was
randomly selected from the remaining districts that met the
criteria for the study. The names of the school districts
were not used in the report to protect the confidentiality
of those districts involved in the study. Six districts
accepted to participate in the study. Two districts
declined to participate in the study. A letter describing
the study was mailed to the superintendents representing
the seven districts that were randomly selected from the
initial pool. A request card was enclosed for the purpose
of informing the researcher of the district's decision to
participate or not to participate in the study.
Column one of Table One lists the school district
name. The second column shows the student population as of
the 1993 report followed in the next two columns the 1991
and 1992 graduation rates. Column five indicates the
attendance rate for 1991 and 1992 and column six provides
the student achievement rate for 1991 and 1992.
33


TABLE I
SELECTION OF TARGET POPULATION
District Student Pop. Grad Rate 1991 Grad Rate 1992 At- tend Rate 1991 At- tend Rate 1992 Crit- Ref. Test
Denver/Metro:
Ml 4,369 76.3 75.5 92.1 92.1 Yes
M2 14,720 88.4 89.8 95.0 95.8 Yes
Urban/ Suburban:
SI 15,651 84.9 86.7 94.6 94.9 Yes
S2 2,543 95.1 98.4 95.8 96.3 Yes
S3 30,602 76.3 78.8 - 94.2 Yes
S4 2,609 86.5 95.6 95.5 96.0 Yes
S5 18,339 77.0 81.0 92.9 93.0 Yes
S6 4,239 80.3 92.4 96.5 95.6 Yes
Outlying City:
01 1,935 71.3 81.6 94.1 94.9 Yes
02 2,675 81.9 84.7 94.0 94.0 Yes
The district's personnel from each district selected
consisted of one central office administrator, one building
administrator, one classified employee, one teacher, one
member from the community, and one tax member from the
community with a student(s) in a district school. These
individuals were members of the school districts'
34


were reversed in the order on the schedule. This order was
reversed because questions one, two, three and five
involved information about the district level, while
question four asked for information strictly about the
building level.
The researcher learned during the pilot study to be
prepared on question six for respondents to give specific
names of individuals from their district. Similar
responses were also given during the pilot study for
question seven about the contact specific leaders had in
the district. This occurred during the gathering of data
from two individuals from two different districts. The
researcher requested the respondents to only provide
information by position title only. Each individual
complied with the request.
The community member participating in the pilot study
answered question eight about leadership abilities in vague
terms. It was evident that she was not aware of the
leadership abilities of the individuals she mentioned.
This did occur from one community member from one district.
The limited answers did not affect the total results from
the school district.
District documents were analyzed to practice looking
for reoccurring patterns and themes similar to those
developed from the interviews. Several patterns were noted
36


in administrator meeting minutes and newsletters stressing
the importance'of academics.
Data obtained were imputed into a computer software
program titled QualPro computer software program for
analysis. QualPro is a software program that allows for
dictation to be entered and then codes established based
upon criteria established. The coding of the data is by
poolean searches and thus creates indexes where the
information can be compared and cross referenced. The
software also allows for comparison of text passages
looking for key components. Results were given to the
chair of this study as a second rater of the information
gathered.
The information learned from the pilot study in the
use of QualPro was helpful in learning how to input data
into the software and to create indexes for use with
testing different hypotheses.
Telephone Interviews
The telephone interview process has advantages over
written surveys. It allows the researcher an opportunity
to interact with respondents, reduce costs of conducting
the research, and gather information volunteered by the
respondent that otherwise might not have been learned
(Lavrakas, 1987).
37


Frey (1989) listed five factors that have contributed
to the increased use of the telephone for gathering
research: (1) the widespread distribution of telephones,
(2) the development of a wide array of research on all
aspects of conducting telephone surveys, (3) lowered
acceptance of the traditional household face-to-face
interview, (4) developments in telephone technology and
telephone interview technology, and (5) a complex world
that requires immediate data retrieval.
The informal interviews' agenda was aimed at
identifying shared values about leadership density among
those interviewed. Individual time constraints and
distance between the sample districts prevented personal
face-to-face interviews for the sample size needed.
These semi-structured telephone interviews identified
shared values about leadership density from among those
interviewed. The telephone survey method was used
successfully in this study as well as in two other
dissertations of similar methodology (Sible, 1993; Napier,
1989).
Instrument
The descriptive questions developed for the interview
schedule are open-ended. They do not contain any
predetermined choices from which the respondents had to
38


choose. Questions that were developed addressed the
following research questions. (1) Do school districts have
a clear mission and vision statement? (2) How is
leadership shared? (3) Is there an evaluation design in
place to measure outcomes of decision made at all levels?
(4) How much attention is placed on improving the
curriculum and the delivery of instruction by those in
position of leadership?
In preparing for the interview, the researcher kept in
mind several things. (1) The individual interviewed must
have prior experience about the situation being studied
(i.e., the leadership within their school district); (2)
the researcher must review necessary information prior to
the study in order to arrive at an experimental analysis;
(3) based upon the results of the pilot study, the
interview schedule might need to be revised; and (4) the
data obtained from the interviews is to be used to define
the situation being explored (i.e., leadership density in
an effective school district); (Chu, 1993). Respondents
were probed to clarify the answers to the questions
contained in the interview schedule. Moreover, probing
allowed the researcher to obtain in-depth explanations to
each question.
The interview schedule began with an introduction to
the topic under investigation. Clarification about the
39


purpose of the interview, an explanation about the
questions to be asked, and notification that the telephone
interview was to be recorded was also included in the
introduction.
Questions one through five were designed to delve into
the subject's knowledge about goals established for the
school district and individual buildings. The questions
were also formulated to examine the respondent's knowledge
of those involved in developing the district's goals and
the methods of communicating the goals to all interested
community groups. The questions were developed by the
researcher and his advisor and were based on the findings
of Murphy and Hallinger (1988).
In Murphy and Hallinger's research, the school
districts studied were among the most effective in the
state of California for promoting student achievement. It
was determined that the districts were driven by
establishing goals. The following questions were designed
to obtain information about the goals:
1. Identify the goals developed by your district.
Identify what you believe to be the two most
important goals.
2. Identify those individuals or groups who
developed the goals for the district; i.e.,
community, teacher(s), administrator(s),
parent(s).
3. Describe the methods used to communicate the
goals to the various community groups (i.e.,
40


parents, businesses, etc.) of your district.
4. To what extent does the district staff embrace
and support the district's goals?
5. To what degree do the building goals align with
'the district goals?
16. School districts at both the district and
building level maintain data related to goal
progression (i.e., achievement, and/or
instruction improvement). What type of data are
maintained by the district to determine goal
achievement?
The next category of questions was developed to obtain
data about how leadership is shared in the school district.
Those in leadership positions were not limited to
administrative personnel but included others such as
teachers, classified personnel, and community members.
Some of the districts included classified and community
members in leadership positions.
Questions six and seven were theoretically developed
based on the work of Sergiovanni (1990). He explained that
every employee is a manager and that it is a goal among
successful leaders to develop this relationship so that
their organization can strive towards effectiveness. It is
important to establish which individuals are viewed as
leaders and to what extent they have contact with workers
in the district. Two questions clarify this information:
6. Identify those individuals in your district that
you deem to be effective leaders, i.e. community
members, teachers, administrators and/or
parents.
41


7. Of those individuals you have identified as
effective leaders, describe specifically their
amount of contact with all levels of workers
within the district.
Another important area examined was the strong
leadership of the superintendent. Five additional
questions were developed based on Murphy and Hallinger's
1988 findings of the leadership of superintendents. They
concluded that the superintendent must continually work at
keeping different interest groups of the district
communicating with each other to ensure the district's
effectiveness in student achievement. The five questions
in this category were:
8. Of the leaders you have identified, describe any
strong leadership skills they employ when
interacting with district employees to
accomplish the goals of the district.
12. The individuals you have identified as effective
leaders have assumed or taken on specific
leadership roles. To your knowledge, do these
individuals ever alter their roles. For
example, a building principal who is a member of
a committee does not always have to lead. A
teacher, who is part of the committee, can be
the leader at any particular point. If so,
describe the circumstances.
14. Describe any decision-making activities parents
might be involved in at the district level. At
the building level.
15. Describe any decision-making activities
community members and local business might be
involved in at the district level. For example,
the graduation requirements for high school or
areas of curriculum that the school district
42


needs to address. What about the building level?
17. What'personnel practices, rules, or regulations
are in place to deal with poor teaching
practices? How effective are these?
Three questions evolving from Murphy and Hallinger's
(1988) findings and Sergiovanni's (1990) dimension of
extraordinary performance investment were focused on the
high degree of curriculum and instruction coordination and
control over school-level teaching systems. These
questions include:
9. What process is used to make curriculum and
instructional decision for the district?
10. Identify individual(s) who is/are involved in
the curriculum and instructional decision-
making process at the district level. At the
building level.
11. When making a curriculum or instructional
decision, what factors are considered? For
example is cost, personnel, impact, etc.
considered?
13. If a person in your district needs information
or assistance in the area of instruction or
curriculum, is there a process (formal or
informal) that is followed? If so, describe.
Murphy and Hallinger (1988) found that school
districts have a high degree of coordination between goals
and their approaches to instruction and expectations from
student learning. The questions identified below were
developed to learn if this relationship exists.
18. How are staff members encouraged to try out new
ideas ?
43


19.
Describe the personnel evaluation process for
administrators. Describe the evaluation process
for teachers.
20. How is reflective teaching encouraged by the
leaders you have previously identified?
21. How is collegiality among teachers encouraged
and enhanced by the leaders you have identified?
22. How are teachers and administrators who perform
well rewarded or recognized?
Question 23 was an outgrowth from reviewing the
findings of both Sergiovanni's (1989) and Murphy and
Hallinger's (1988) research. The question was designed as
a method of bringing closure to the interview and to
provide the respondent with an outlet for reflection so
that a general overview of his or her perceptions of
leadership in his or her district could be obtained.
23. Choose three words that would describe the
leadership characteristics of your district.
Each interview schedule question was presented to the
respondents in the same order so that the variable of
question order was removed. This type of questioning has
no predetermined answer and allowed the respondent to
answer individually according to his or her knowledge and
perspectives. Open-ended questions provided the
participants freedom to elaborate, thereby, enhancing the
diversity of responses (Fraenkel & Wallen, 1993). One
interview schedule was used for all respondents in this
study (see Appendix A).
44


Collection of Data
Initial telephone contact (followed up with a written
request) was made with each superintendent to secure
agreement '(see Appendix B) for district participation in
the study. A list of potential accountability committee
members, central office personnel, and building
administrators was solicited from the superintendents. One
member from central office, one building administrator, and
two community members volunteered to participate from the
list provided by the superintendents to represent the
school district in the study. A letter was mailed to these
individuals informing them of their superintendent's
approval of their participation in the research project
(see Appendix D). Those individuals selected for the study
were asked if they would be willing to be interviewed by
telephone for the project. A postcard indicating their
willingness to participate in the study was included with
each letter for individuals to return (see Appendix C).
The interviewer then established an interviewing schedule
by district and notified the individuals in each district
as to an approximate time period for the telephone
interview.
Respondents were informed that the interviewer would
be taking hand-written notes and audio taping the
conversation for the purpose of maintaining a more accurate
45


record of responses. The recorder was tested prior to each
interview to ensure that it was working properly.
Recordings were transcribed word-for-word by the researcher
soon after the interview to ensure further accuracy.
Analysis of Data
Interviews were transcribed by the researcher
utilizing Qualpro computer software. QualPro allowed
telephone interviews to be transcribed into text format and
then coded. This allowed establishment of different
indexes to be developed. The software allowed testing
different hypotheses and comparing the different
transcriptions entered. This software was used for
descriptive and interpretive analysis. It allowed the
researcher to establish a two-step coding system. In the
first step, headings were indicated on a paper copy and
codes written next to them. Secondly, the codes and the
line numbers indicating the boundaries were entered into
the computer for analysis. The program supports intercoder
reliability measures of pairs of identical copies of data
files that are coded at different times (Tesch, 1990).
The verbatim interview data collection, through the
telephone interviews, were reduced to phrases that
represent the thoughts of the subject. Further
identification of reoccurring themes were clustered into
46


categories. The clustering of patterns or themes, from the
raw data collected, is a process that is designed to reach
levels of abstractions (Miles and Huberman, 1994). Actual
language used by the respondents during the interview, in
the forms of phrases, was maintained in the clustering of
the raw material.
The second level of data analysis was the development
of subcategories from the primary clustering of the raw
data. The researcher searched for recurring clusters of
similarities between Sergiovanni's (1989) nine dimensions
of leadership density and Murphy and Hallinger's (1988)
variables of effective school districts. Notations of any
patterns and/or themes found from clustering of data
provided the researcher with preliminary conclusions that
appear to be plausible.
Attention was given to the verification of the
conclusions. These conclusions developed from the data
collected served as a reasonable guide for further
understanding the study (Miles & Huberman, 1994).
Tables were developed for each question for the
purpose of visually revealing the number of responses in
each category (Miles & Huberman, 1994). In addition, a
narrative interpretation of the findings was provided. The
method for presenting the findings of the study have been
used successfully in other recent studies (Sible, 1993;
47


Napier, 1989).
The researcher requested from the superintendent
permission to visit his or her school district and to
review school documents on site. This activity was
completed after analyzing the telephone interviews with
each school district's personnel. The researcher was
looking for reoccurring patterns and themes similar to
those developed from the interviews collected from school
personnel of each school district (Miles and Huberman,
1994). Documents analyzed included district and school
goal/mission statements and district and building
newsletters.
The purpose for analyzing district documents is to
check the accuracy of the data collected from school
personnel. By comparing information gathered from the
telephone interviews and the information from the district
written documents, a more accurate analysis can be made
(Eichelberger, 1989).
Verification of Data
The concept of validity in qualitative studies has
been a controversial subject. Kvale (1989) argued that
qualitative methods are appropriate and useful. Guba and
Lincoln (1989) viewed responses from individuals in
qualitative research as authentic, and they create the
48


validity for qualitative research.
It is important to be consistent in drawing
conclusions from the data collected. "Data in themselves
cannot be valid or invalid; what is at issue are the
inferences drawn from them" (Atkinson, 1983, p.191).
Therefore, interrator reliability of the researcher's
judgements of coding and of the interpretation of the data
collected was evaluated by the committee chair as a second
rater (Fraenkel & Wallen, 1993).
The data collected were entered into the computer
software QualPro, and categories were established to
disagragate the information. The chair of this
dissertation reviewed the data and categories.
A coding system was used to label the raw data
collected. Judgements were drawn from the data. The
dissertation chair of this study was used as a second
source for interpreting and coding the data.
Prior to conducting the research, a pilot study was
conducted to allow the researcher the opportunity to use
the telephone as an interview instrument. This was
necessary to insure that the instrument actually would
generate the data that the researcher wanted to
investigate. Minor adjustments were made as previously
mentioned. This adds to the validity of the research
process (Dalida, 1993).
49


Internal validity is the interpretation of the
researcher's data with reality. This was accomplished by
describing the step-by-step process in the research and why
certain school districts and individuals within the
district were selected for the study. The researcher also
described in detail how the data were collected, categories
developed, and how conclusions were made based on the data
collected (Merriman, 1988).
Qualitative research is more problematic in assessing
validity because of relying on the researcher's notes and
tape recordings (Fraenkel & Wallen, 1993). A second rater
verified the categories developed from the raw data to
ensure that what is seen by the researcher is actually
there.
Using the qualitative research approach for this
study, the researcher attempted to control extraneous
variables. Since this study is short in duration, three
variables history, maturation, and experimental mortality
- did not bias the results. Concern for reprisal by the
school district towards those interviewed was controlled by
asking questions of topics that were of a nature related to
their personal experience of the school district's
leadership, not of any specific individual(s) in those
leadership positions. All answers provided were kept
confidential.
50


Maturation or change of subjects did not occur do to
the short length of the research time period. Subjects
selected from school district accountability committees
were interviewed during the course of the school year.
The school districts selected were similar which
reduced size variable associated with comparison of rural
and urban school districts. Similar subjects from the
district accountability committees were interviewed. By
using similar subjects, perspectives from an individual not
familiar with the school district leadership was avoided.
Descriptive validity was controlled through the use of
handwritten notes and audio tape recordings of the
interviews. Thus the researcher avoided the concern for
"did he or she make that statement" and "did the researcher
mis-hear or mis-transcribe the interview" (Maxwell, 1992).
The researcher used generalizability and theoretical
and interpretive validity as the means to explain the data
gathered. Interpretive validity was used because the
researcher was not only concerned about the events and
behaviors that were found in the districts studied but what
these findings meant to other school districts (Maxwell,
1992).
Theoretical validity or interpretation provided two
elements concepts and/or categories (Maxwell, 1992).
Concepts and categories were generated from the data
51


collected by the researcher. Using the research results
from Sergiovanni's (1989) nine dimensions of leadership
density and Murphy and Hallinger's (1988) research findings
of effective school districts, the researcher compared
their findings to his own findings, thus establishing
possible similarities of research findings or generating
new areas of investigation and/or developing new concepts
and hypotheses.
In summary, the methodology for this study was
designed to compare the findings of existing research to
other school districts that demonstrated similar district
leadership and to test to what extent Sergiovanni's nine
dimensions of leadership density were being used in a
school district. This type of qualitative sampling was
purposeful in providing additional research on district
leadership.
52


CHAPTER 4
ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS
Int.roduct.ion
This chapter has been structured to present the
integral components of the analysis of data in relation to
each of the twenty-three questions asked of respondents.
The chapter is organized into the following format:
1. a brief discussion of the methodological
process implemented in this study;
2. a general description of the District
Accountability Committee participants;
3. a brief review of the nine dimensions of
leadership described by Sergiovanni; and
4. the findings of the study as related to each
of the twenty-three questions asked of the
participants.
The analysis of the data was completed by reviewing
and coding transcribed interviews, categorizing codes,
comparing, contrasting, and re-categorizing and re-
examining the information that surfaced. This was an on-
going process throughout the study.
53


Methodological Process
Sample Selection
School districts were selected by reviewing Colorado
Department of Education end of the year reports which
included data in the areas of student achievement,
graduation rates, and attendance rates. Those districts
which demonstrated two consecutive years of improvement,
1991-92, were selected in the initial pool. Ten school
districts met the criteria. Seven districts were randomly
selected to participate in the study. Six of the seven
school districts selected for the study agreed to
participate.
The school district accountability committee (DAC) was
sampled because of its involvement and knowledge of the
programs district wide. Colorado Revised Statutes dictate
the membership of the committee. Representation is needed
from the community, teachers, building administrators,
central office administrators, and classified personnel.
School districts selected for the study were asked to
provide volunteers from the committee of one central office
administrator, one building administrator, one classified,
one teacher and two community members.
54


Structured Interviews
A telephone interview was the data collection method
used with members of the District Accountability Committee
(DAC). The purpose of the interviews was to identify
shared values about the use of leadership density within
the district. Each telephone interview was audio taped for
analysis at a later time. The length of the interviews
ranged between 20 to 90 minutes. A total of 31 interviews
were conducted from six school districts. Some districts
were not able to supply a volunteer in each of the
categories requested.
Development of Interview Schedule
The study sought answers to four questions: (1) Do
school districts have a clear mission and vision? (2) How
is leadership shared? (3) Are there evaluation designs in
place to measure outcomes of decisions made at all levels?
(4) How much attention is placed on improving the
curriculum and the delivery of instruction by those in
positions of leadership?
The nine dimensions of leadership by Sergiovanni
(1989) served as the theoretical framework for designing
the research questions. Under each of Sergiovanni's nine
dimensions of leadership a sub-category was developed in
55


which the 23 interview questions were developed. They are
"(1) leadership, (2) extraordinary performance investment,
(3) providing symbols and enhancing meaning, (4) purposing,
(5) enabling teachers and the school, (6) building an
accountability system, (7) intrinsic motivation,
(8) collegiability, and (9) leadership by outrage"
(1990, p.15).
Sergiovanni describes leadership as a necessity for
school districts to operate successfully. His concern is
whether districts are managed rather than led. As
Sergiovanni explains "this condition leads to undue
emphasis on doing things right rather than doing the right
things" (1989, p.17). The issue for leaders is what quality
of leadership is being provided for the school district.
The second leadership dimension of Sergiovanni is
extraordinary performance investment. Individuals can
expect basal extrinsic rewards. The extraordinary effort
Sergiovanni describes is found in the opportunities which
are offered within the school district for personal
satisfaction with one's work.
Emphasizing symbols and meaning (#3) can be found when
a school district upholds ideals and symbols to the
stakeholders. Without this avenue leadership becomes too
situational and less meaningful.
56


Dimension number four is purposing. A school district
must have purposes and beliefs which bind and guide the
workers and community. A vision with a mission equals
purposing.
Enabling teachers and the school (#5) is a method of
tapping talented teachers in solving problems of the
district. "Principals and teachers are free to do things
that make sense to them, providing that the decisions they
make embody the shared values and requirements for teaching
and learning that comprise the school's covenant"
(Sergiovanni, 1989, p.21). All of our efforts in schools
must be justified through another leadership dimension of
accountability. It is through accountability of the
educational process that teachers and administrators have
control in deciding what is taught to students.
Dimension number seven involves intrinsic motivation
for teachers and administrators. Effective school districts
demonstrate the power of intrinsic motivation by doing
something for the district when there is not an outward
show or physical reward for the action. This involves
personal pride in the job and in the school district.
Each of these dimensions provides the opportunity for
collegiality. Collegiality is defined as "the extent to
which teachers and principals share common work values,
57


engage in specific conversations about their work, and help
each other engage in the work of the school" (Sergiovannir
1989, p.24).
The last dimension is leadership by outrage. This is
a symbolic act by leaders that emphasizes important
concepts and values.
Data Analysis
Leadership density communication, orally and written,
is vital to social interaction. Content-analysis procedures
operate directly on the transcripted interviews of the
respondents. This may be used for coding open-ended
questions in surveys. This method allows for focus on the
individuals' responses (Weber, 1990). According to Weber,
content analysis usually yields unobtrusive measures
in which neither the sender nor the receiver of the
message is aware that it is being analyzed. The act
of measurement itself will not act as a force for
change that could confound the data. (1990, p.6)
As individual interviews were analyzed patterns began
to emerge. They provided focus and assisted in fine-tuning
the emerging data towards the presentation of the findings
of this study. Each question of the telephone interview was
placed in a flowchart starting with the four research
questions under which Sergiovanni's Nine Dimensions of
Leadership were grouped appropriately. Within each
58


question, the responses were grouped by the type of
participant and then collectively as a group.
Presentation of Findings
Following each question is a participant and group
narrative summary of school district responses. A table
displaying each school district's individual responses
follows each question summary. Because of confidentiality,
school districts are identified as metro Ml and M2,
suburban S4, S5 and S6, and outlying district 02.
Individual respondents from each school district are
indicated by CM = community member, CO = central office,
BA = building administrator, and T = teacher. Classified
employee respondents were limited to only one response each
from two different districts. Their responses were not
included in the research or in the tables because of the
limited amount of individuals who responded. In some
situations there were no responses. This is indicated by
NR.
Findings
Do schools districts have a clear
mission and vision statement?
Serqiovanni Dimension of Leadership Number 3 -
Providing Symbols and Enhancing Meaning Question Number 1.
Identify the Goals Developed by Your District. Identify
59


What You Believe to Be the Two Most Important Goals.
By Participant. Each participant of the study was able
to describe at least one goal of the school district.
Responses of the 31 DAC participants varied. Each
participant chose which goals to identify. Yet, there were
some common themes that emerged. Twenty-three respondents
indicated The Colorado Department of Education state goals
of (1) increasing student achievement, (2) increasing
graduation rate and (3) increasing attendance rate as the
most common goals.
Group Summary. All 31 DAC members (community members,
central office personnel, building administrators, and
teachers) stated their district goals differently. The goal
mentioned the most frequently (17) was student achievement.
However, the groups differed on a secondary goal.
Community members mentioned attendance as a second goal
along with central office's (9 responses) and site base
management (4 responses). Building administrators and
teachers were too diversified to establish a trend for
another goal. Administrators indicated additional goals of
productivity, technology, and behavior. Teachers included
goals of technology, site-based management, and production.
One parent summed up the responses by saying, "The goals I
see in the district in some cases are going right along
60


with the state goals of reading, science, attendance,
graduation rate, and reading ability. These are key
items."
Table 1
Question #1. Identify the goals developed by your
district. Identify what you believe to be the two most
important goals.___________________________________________
Goals identified by DACs
1. Increase student achievement (6 of 6 DACs) (17 of 31 DAC
participants)
DAC participants by District identifying this goal;
Ml; 1 CM; 2 CO; 1 BA; IT
M2; 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; T not available for interview
S4; 1 BA
S5; 1 CM; 1 CO; BA not available for interview
S6; 1 CM; 1 BA; 1 T; CO not available for interview
02; 1 CM; 2 CO
2. Increase student attendance (4 of 6 DACs) (9 of 31 DAC
participants)
Districts identifying this goal; Districts Ml, M2,
S4, and S5.
DAC participants by District identifying this goal;
Ml: 1 CO; 1 CM
M2; 1 CM
S4: 1 CM; 1 T; 1 BA
S5: 1 CO; 1 CM; 1 T; BA not available for interview
The school districts in this study have independently
developed goals which are similar when compared to the
mandated state goals. Participants have identified these
goals in their responses. This is in alignment with
Sergiovanni's dimension of enhancing meaning and providing
symbolism for the school district.
61


Question Number 5. To what degree do the building
goals align with the district goals?
By Participant. Based on the telephone interview
results the building goals aligned with the goals of the
school district. Thirty of the 31 respondents stated that
the goals closely align with the district goals. One
parent's response was typical of all the responses. He
said, "I think they align very well, because the building
goals in this district are primarily set by two groups, the
one building accountability committee and the other is the
SIT (School Improvement Council)."
__________________________Table 2_________________________
Question #5. To what degree do the building goals align
with the district goals?__________________________________
1. Very much aligned (6 of 6 DACs) (26 of 31 participants)
DAC participants identified by District:
Ml: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
M2: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
S4: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 2 CM; 1 BA; 1 T; CO not available for interview
02: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; IT
2.Do not know (2 of 6 DACs) (2 of 31 participants)
DAC participants that did not know:
M2: IT
S5: 1 CM
Serqiovanni Dimension of Leadership Number 4-
Purposing. Question Number 9. What process is used to
make curriculum and instructional decisions for the
62


district?
By Participant. The majority of the participants
(19 of 31 participants) agreed that curriculum and
instructional decisions were made through the use of
committees. One respondent did not know and another
respondent stated that it was accomplished through
policies.
Group Summary. Each of the sub-groups of respondents
interviewed agreed that curriculum and instructional
decisions were made through committees.
__________________________Table 3___________________________
Question Number 9. What process is used to make curriculum
and instructional decisions for the district?_______________
1. Committee process (6 of 6 DACs) (19 of 31 participants)
DAC participants identified by Districts
Ml: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA: IT
M2: 2 CM
S4: IT
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 2 CM; 1 BA; 1 T; CO not available for interview
02: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1BA; IT
2. Do not know (1 of 6 DACs) (1 of 31 participants)
DAC participant identified by district:
M2: 1 CO
Question Number 13. If a person in your district
needs information or assistance in the area of instruction
or curriculum/ is there a process, formal or informal, that
is followed? If so, describe.
63


By Participant. Thirteen of the 31 individuals
questioned believed there was a formal process for getting
assistance in the area of instruction. A building
administrator supports this idea:
From my school in terms of curriculum, we have
curriculum committees. If you have a question
you come to the committee and somebody on the
committee, comprised of department heads and other
members of the faculty lots of time may attend a
curriculum council.
Fourteen of 31 participants perceived there was an informal
process used. When individual responses within a district
were analyzed, those within a district were split as to the
procedure being formal or informal.
Group Summary. Five teachers unanimously agreed that
the process is informal. Several comments were received
that teachers would seek out information from their
colleagues as the need arose. For example a central office
response was
People go through the principal first, and then
contact someone at the district level who can offer
some assistance, depending upon what the need is.
Sometimes we get requests straight from teachers, but
we encourage teachers to go through their department
head to the principal, and then the principal makes a
request to the district office or to the
instructional advisory council for the district.
Central office, building administrators, and community
members were split (12 formal and 9 informal) as to whether
the process is informal or formal.
64


Table 4
Question Number 13. If a person in your district needs
information or assistance in the area of instruction or
curriculum, is there a process, formal or informal, that is
followed? If so, describe._________________________________
Districts were split between either formal or informal
1. DAC participants (13 of 31) identifying formal inquiry:
Ml: 2 CM
M2: 1 CO; 1 BA
S4: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
S5: 1 CO; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 CM; BA; CO not available for interview
02: 1 CM; 1 CO
2. DAC participants (15 of 31) identifying informal
inquiry:
Ml: 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
M2: 2 CM
S4: 1 BA; 1 T
S5: 2 CM; 1 T
S6: 1 CM; 1 T
02: 1 CM; 1 BA; 1 T
SUMMARY OF RESEARCH QUESTION: DO SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVE A
CLEAR MISSION AND VISION STATEMENT?
Data collected from the six school districts for
questions #1, #5, #9, and #13 indicate that effective
school districts have delineated a clear mission statement
and vision for the direction of the school districts Goals
were diversified from district to district, but each
district had distinct goals at the district level which
filtered down in alignment with the building goals. The
goals were developed with a wide variety of professional
and community members. In turn, these individuals
disseminated the information to all vested individuals.
65


How is Leadership Shared?
Serqiovanni Dimension of Leadership Number 8 -
Colleqialitv. Question Number 6. Identify those
individuals in your district that you deem to be effective
leaders; i.e., community, teacher(s), administrator^),
parent(s).
By Participant. All respondents varied greatly with
respect to the effective leaders in their school districts.
Effective leaders mentioned included building
administrators, teachers, community members, directors,
assistant superintendents, and superintendents. The most
frequent responses identified the following as effective
leaders: (1) building administrator (20 of 31
participants), (2) superintendent (17 of 31 participants),
(3) assistant superintendent (16 of 31 participants), and
(4) community members (12 of 31 participants).
Five out of five respondents in one district, which
fired the superintendent and two assistant superintendents
during this study, gave few responses when asked to
identify an effective leader. Two parents and a teacher
were the only ones who provided an answer based upon the
previous administration of the district. They indicated
the previous superintendent and the assistant
superintendent were effective. The other three respondents
66


of the district did not identify any current effective
leaders.
Group Summary. Five of the six teachers identified
the building administrator as effective. All five central
office personnel viewed building administrators, community,
directors, and teachers as effective leaders.
Administrators (5 of 5) perceived the superintendent,
building administrators, directors, assistant
superintendent, and community as effective leaders. Nine
community members viewed building administrators,
superintendent, and assistant superintendent as effective.
__________________________Table 5_____________________
Question Number 6. Identify those individuals in your
district that you deem to be effective leaders; i.e.,
community, teacher(s), administrator(s), parent(s).
Effective leaders identified
1. Building Administrators (6 of 6 DACs) (20 of 31
participants)
DAC participants by District identifying these
effective leaders:
Ml: 1 CM 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
M2: 1 CM 1 T
S4: 2 CM 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
S5: 1 CM 1 BA; 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 CM 1 T; CO not available for interview
02: 2 CM 1 CO; 1 T
2. Superintendent (6 of 6 DACs) (17 of 31 participants)
DAC participants by district identifying this effective
leader:
Ml: 1 CO; 1 BA
M2: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
S4: 2 CM; 1 BA; 1 T
S5: 1 CM; 1 BA; IT; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 CM; CO not available for interview
02: 2 CM; 1 BA
67


3. Assistant Superintendent (6 of 6 DACs) (16 of 31
participants)
DAC participants by District identifying this effective
leader:
Ml: 1 CM; 1 CO
M2: 2 CM
S4: *2 CM; '1 BA; 1 T
S5: 1 CM; 1 BA; 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 CM; Co not available for interview
02: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
4. Community leaders (5 of 6 DACs) (12 of 31 participants)
Districts identifying these effective leaders: Ml,
M2,S4,S5, and 02.
DAC participants identifying this goal by district:
Ml: 2 CM
M2: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
S4: 1 CM; 1 CO
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; IT
02: 1 BA
Question Number 7. Of those individuals you have
identified as effective leaders, describe specifically
their amount of contact with all levels of workers within
the district.
By Participant. Overwhelmingly, 22 of 31 respondents
viewed effective leaders as having a great deal of contact
with all levels of workers in the school district. The
quantity of time spent with district workers varied
depending upon the need and the hierarchical distance
between the effective leader and the staff level contacted.
Group Summary. Teachers, central office, building
administrators, and community members (22 of 31) agreed
that the effective leaders had a great deal of contact with
different levels of workers in the school district.
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Table 6
Question Number 7. Of those individuals you have
identified as effective leaders, describe specifically
their amount of contact with all levels of workers within
the district.____________________________________________
Amount of contact
1.
2.
Much (6 of 6 DACs) (22 of 31 participants)
DAC participants by district identifying this level of
contact:
Ml: 2 CM 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
M2: 2 CM 1 CO; 1 BA
S4: 2 CM 1 CO; 1 BA; IT
S5: 1 CM 1 CO; 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 CM 1 T; CO not available for interview
02: 1 CM 1 CO; 1 BA
Some (2 of 6 DACs) (2 of 31 participants)
Districts identifying this: S6 and 02.
DAC participants by district identifying this level of
contact:
S5: 1 BA; CO not available for interview
02: IT
3.Do not know (2 of 6 DACs) (2 of 31 participants)
Districts that did not know: S6 and 02.
DAC participants by District that did not know:
S6: 1 CM; CO not available for interview
02: 1 CM;
Question Number 8. Of the leaders you have
identified, describe any strong leadership skills they
employ when interacting with district employees to
accomplish the goals of the districts.
By Participant. Responses were numerous when
describing leadership skills. Some answers reflected
philosophies of the school district, and other responses
reflected the current climate in the school district.
Twenty-three individuals viewed the effective leaders'
skills as open, communicative, and collegiable.
69


Group Summary. Four of the six teachers perceived
effective leadership skills as active listening, providing
guidance, and being collegiable. Four of the five building
administrators responded that a good leader is a good
listener, approachable, and collegiable. Central office
valued good communication, caring, pro-active, and being
visionary. Ten of the twelve community respondents
behavior believed the leadership skills that are most
effective include good communication, caring, collegiable,
and being responsive.
Table 7
Question Number 8. Of the leaders you have identified,
describe any strong leadership skills they employ when
interacting with district employees to accomplish the goals
of the districts.__________________________________________
Leadership skills
1. Good communicator (4 of 6 DACs) (9 of 31 participants)
Districts identifying this skill: Ml, S4, S5, and 02.
DAC participants by district identifying this skill:
Ml: 2 CM; 1 BA
S4: 1 CO; 1 BA
S5: IT; BA not available for interview
02: 2 CM: 1 CO
2. Good listener (4 of 6 DACs) (8 of 31 participants)
District identifying this skill: M2, S4, S5, and S6.
DAC participants by district identifying this skill:
M2: 1 BA
S4: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
S5: IT; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 BA; IT; CO not available for interview
3. Being collegial (5 of 6 DACs) (6 of 31 participants)
Districts identifying this skill: Ml, S4, S5, S6, and
02.
DAC participants by District identifying this goal:
S5: 1 CO; 1 T; BA not available for interview
70


S6: 1 BA; CO not available for interview
M2 s 1 CO
Ml: 1 CM;
02: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 T;
4. Caring leadership (3 of 6 DACs) (6 of 31 participants)
Districts identifying this skill: Ml, M2, and 02.
DAC participants by district identifying this goal:
Ml: 1 CM; 1 T
M2: 1 CO
02: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 T
Question Number 23. Choose three words that would
describe the leadership characteristics of your district.
By Participant. This was the last question asked of
the participants. It was interesting that many of the
respondents had a difficult time summarizing into three
words what they perceived was reflective of their school
district's leadership. Many words were shared with the
researcher.
The most mentioned word which surfaced from the
respondents was progressive. Ten respondents out of 31
viewed their school district's leadership as responsive to
moving the school district forward through improved
curriculum and instruction.
The second most frequent word (9 out of 31
participants) provided was collaborative. Nine of the 31
respondents perceived their district leadership was using a
collaborative effort to operate the school district.
The third most frequently shared word was
71


understanding. Eight out of 31 participants viewed their
leadership as understanding of the staff and community and
understanding educational issues and trends. Further word
groupings were more scattered.
Group Summary. Teacher responses, in order of
frequency, which emerged from the study were caring (3 of
6), concern, professionalism (2 of 6), and communicating (2
of 6). Two of five central office responses were
aggressive, collaborative, progressive and responsive.
Three of six building administrators stated aggressiveness,
caring and understanding, and being involved. Parents
concluded this survey question with words to describe their
district's leadership as progressive (5 of 12),
collaborative (4 of 12) and innovative (3 of 12).
Among the four groups surveyed there was similarity of
the views. Collectively the groups viewed their district
leadership as caring individuals who are actively involved
in utilizing collaboration with staff and community in
providing an educational program that is current and meets
the needs of students.
Table 8
Question Number 23. Choose three words that would describe
the leadership characteristics of your district.___________
1. Progressive (5 of 6 DACs) (10 of 31 participants)
72


Districts identifying this characteristic: Ml, M2,
S5,S6, and 02.
DAC participants by District identifying this
characteristic:
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 CM; CO not available for interview
M2: 1 CM; 1 CO
Ml: 1 CM; 1 BA
02: 1 CM; 1 BA
2. Collaborative (5 of 6 DACs) (9 of 31 participants)
Districts identifying this characteristic: Ml, M2, S4,
S6, and 02
DAC participants by district identifying this
characteristic:
Ml: 1 CM; 1 CO
M2: 1 CM
S4: 2 CM; 1 CO
S6: 1 BA; CO not available for interview
02: 1 BA; 1 T
3. Understanding (5 of 6 DACs) (8 of 31 participants)
Districts identifying this characteristic: S5, M2, Ml,
S4, and 02.
DAC participants by District identifying this
characteristic:
Ml: 1 BA; 1 T
M2: 1 CM; 1 BA
S4: 1 T
S5: 1 T
02: 1 CM; 1 CO
Serqiovanni Dimension of Leadership Number 1 -
Leadership. Question Number 21. How is collegiality among
teachers encouraged and enhanced by the leaders you have
identified?
By Participant. The perception and understanding of
what collegiality meant varied among individuals. Some
observed it in the professional workplace, while others
observed it as social events staff members were involved in
together. One teacher communicated that "We have
73


breakfasts or brunches hosted by various departments once
per month. We go to ball games together. We do a lot of
stuff together."
Nineteen of 31 individuals responded to collegiality
as an event with those nearest them in the workplace. It
was too much of a leap to view collegiality between teacher
and superintendent. It was much easier to have
collegiality from teacher to teacher. One teacher noticed
I think there is real team spirit in each of the buildings.
For instance, when we opened school) and we applied to go
and work at the new school we were all interviewed and they
would come over there once the staff was selected. There
were five meetings we were invited to during the summer to
help set the new things that we wanted to do and divide up
the work responsibilities so that not one or two people had
to have the whole thing.
Group Summary. Four of five teachers definitely
viewed collegiality from teacher to teacher. Central
office responded the same as teachers (3 of 5), but also
believed that from the central office to teacher
collegiality occurred (3 of 6). Building administrators (4
of 5) and community members (8 of 12) also agreed that it
occurred between teacher to teacher. From the parent
responses one indicated that
74


Collegiality occurred by leadership of the principal
in meetings talking about goals, those kind of things.
There are visits to the schools by administrators.
There is an adopt-a-school program by central office
administrators where they take some responsibility for
a school and visit it 4-5 times per year and talk to
the folks at those schools and listen to their
concerns they may be having and give them personal
contact from central administration. There is also an
appropriate number of in-service days where faculty
get together and address district wide problems. The
number is around nine days. Some are done at the
local level and others may be done at a quadrant
level and still others are district wide level.
Table 9
Question Number 21. How is collegiality among teachers
encouraged and enhanced bv the leaders you have identified?
Methods used by leaders
1. From teacher to teacher (6 of 6 DACs) (19 of 31
participants)
DAC participants by district identifying this method:
Ml: 1 CM 1 CO; 1 T
M2: 1 CM 1 CO; 1 BA
S4: 2 CM 1 BA; 1 T
S5: 1 CM 1 CO; 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 2 CM 1 BA; CO not available for interview
02: 1 CM 1 BA; 1 T
2. From principal to teacher (5 of 6 DACs) (9 of 31
participants)
Districts that identified this method: Ml, M2, S4, S5,
and 02.
75


DAC participants by district identifying this goal:
Ml: 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
M2: 1 CM-
S4: 1 CM; 1 BA; IT
S5: 1 T; BA not available for interview
02: 1 CO
3. No collegiaiity (3 of 6 DACs) (3 of 31 participants)
Districts identifying no collegiaiity: Ml, S6, and 02.
DAC participants by district identifying no
collegiaiity:
S6: IT; CO not available for interview
Ml: 1 CM
02: 1 CM
Serqiovanni Dimension of Leadership Number 1 -
Leadership Question Number 18. How are staff members
encouraged to try out new ideas?
By Participant. Twenty-five of 31 respondents
indicated that they are encouraged by district and building
level administrators and district activities to try out new
ideas. They are encouraged through either building or
district wide in-services and suggestions of being creative
in the classroom. A teacher supported this summary by
saying, "We have had experience that the district offers
such as Math Your Way, conference reimbursement, in-
services on research which is very helpful. Our
administrators give us latitude to try new things in the
classroom without penalty for failure."
Group Summary. Five of five teachers perceived they
are encouraged to try new ideas through in-services and
being allowed to be creative. Central office (5 of 5),
76


building administrators (3 of 5), and community members (6
of 12) believe teachers are encouraged to be creative in
the classroom. Another teacher shared
If I choose not to use the basil, as long as I have
down the goals and objectives that need to be taught
for 5th grade, I can write those out of literature
books or magazines or periodicals or encyclopedias of
research projects. My responsibility is to make sure
to cover the goals and objectives of the curriculum
that I am responsible for my grade level but I can
adapt it to the needs of my children.
Table 10
Question Number 18. How are staff members encouraged to
try out new ideas?__________________________________________
1. Being creative (6 of 6 DACs) (16 of 31 participants)
DAC participants by district identifying this idea:
Ml: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
M2: 2 CM; 1 CO
S4: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 CM; 1 BA; 1 T; CO not available for interview
02: 1 CO
2. Through inservices (4 of 6 DACs) (6 of 31 participants)
Districts identifying this method: Ml, S4, S5, and 02.
DAC participants by district identifying this idea:
Ml: 1 CM; 1 T
S4: 1 CO; 1 BA
S5: 1 T; BA not available for interview
02: IT
Summary of research question: How is leadership shared?
Leadership roles are viewed as being shared by many
77


different individuals at different times depending on the
need and expertise desired at the moment. Leaders were
identified within the teaching profession along with
community members. Contact by these identified leaders
with all levels of workers in the district was seen as
extensive.
The skills they used in the leadership position
included being a good communicator, good listener, being
collegial and caring. These skills provided an overall
picture of the district leaders as being progressive,
collaborative and understanding. This modeling by the
leaders in the district filtered down to the building level
to the teachers. This allowed security for teachers to try
out new ideas without the fear of reprisal.
Is there an evaluation design in place to
measure outcomes of decisions made
at all levels?
Sergiovanni Dimension of Leadership Number 6 -
Building an Accountability System. Question Number 3.
Describe the methods used to communicate the goals to the
various community groups (i.e., parents, businesses, etc.)
of your district.
By Participant. Twenty-five of 31 participants agreed
that communication is provided by three major methods:
78


membership on school and district committees (9 of 31),
district newsletters (12 of 31), and school newsletters (14
of 31). Teachers (3 of 5) and building administrators (5
of 5) agreed that communication occurred through school and
district committees and through school and district
newsletters. A parent supported this finding by sharing:
One way is to include them (parents) on the committee.
For example, the president of the teachers' union was
a member of that committee and several business
representatives. The district can be divided into
four quadrants and there are representatives from each
quadrant.
Group Summary. The overall perception of the central
office and parent groups also included communication which
occurred through the local newspaper.
Table 11
Question Number 3. Describe the methods used to communicate
the goals to the various community groups (i.e. parents,
businesses, etc.l of vour district.________________________
Forms of communication identified
1. Communication through district/school newsletters (6 of
6 DACS) (20 of 31 participants)
DAC participants by district identifying this
communication:
Ml: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
M2: 2 CM
S4: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
S5: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T; BA not available for
interview
S6: 1 CM; 1 BA; CO not available for interview
02: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
2. Communication through local newspaper (5 of 6 DACs) (8
of 31 participants)
Districts identifying this method: Ml, M2, S4, S5,
and 02.
79


DAC pearticipants by district identifying this
communication:
Ml: 1 BA'
M2: 2 CM
S4: 1 CO
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO; BA not available for interview
02: '2 CM
Question Number 11. When making a curriculum or
instructional decision, what factors are considered? For
example, is cost, personnel, impact, etc. considered?
By Participant. Sixteen of 31 individuals surveyed
indicated that the number one factor they considered, when
making curriculum or instructional decisions, was the
impact that the decision would make on students. The
number two factor was the cost of the implementation of the
decision (15 of 31). The third factor, which was not as
strong as the first two, was the impact on personnel (10 of
31). The following teacher's response reflects these
results:
School population varies across the district. My
building, we have lower socio-economic status
(students). What we wanted to do as a faculty, we
wanted to offer a wide experience that children do not
get, because they do not have the money or the time or
the information to take their children to activities
that would increase their foundation of their
knowledge. Such as the art classes, the ballet we
chose to put some of our funding or resources into an
after school academy so kids can experience.
Group Summary. The four respondent groups questioned
were in agreement on the two most important factors in
80


making a curriculum or instructional change. The factors
that emerged fbr making a curriculum or instructional
decision were "impact" and "the cost of implementing the
change".
Table 12
Question Number 11. When making a curriculum or
instructional decision, what factors are considered? For
example, is cost, personnel, impact, etc, considered?_____
Factors
1. Impact on students (6 of 6 DACs) (16 of 31
participants)
DAC participants by district identifying this factor:
Ml: 1 CM; 1 T
M2: 1 CM; 1 BA; 1 T
S4: 1 CO; 1 BA
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 T; CO not available for interview
02: 2 CM; 1 CO; IT
2. Cost of implementation (6 of 6 DACs) (15 of 31
participants)
DAC participants by district identifying
implementation:
Ml: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
M2: 2 CM; 1 BA
S4: 1 CO; 1 BA
S5: 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 CM; 1 BA; CO not available for interview
02: 2 CM; 1 BA; 1 T
3. Personnel impact (5 of 6 DACs) (10 of 31 participants)
DAC participants by district identifying personnel:
Ml: 1 CM
M2: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
S4: 1 CM; 1 BA
S6: 1 BA; CO not available for interview
02: 2 CM; 1 BA
4. Do not know (1 of 6 DACs) (1 of 31 participants)
M2: 1 CO
81


Question Number 16. School districts at both the
district and building level maintain data related to goal
progression (i.e.f achievement, and/or instructional
improvement). fahat type of data are maintained by the
district to determine goal achievements?
By Participant. All individuals were diversified in
their responses. Eleven different answers were provided.
Fourteen of 31 respondents indicated that standardized test
scores were the main data maintained by the school district
to determine goal achievement. This emphasis could be the
result of the goals established by Colorado Legislature.
Many respondents referred to the Colorado Department of
Education Year End Report. One parent shared
At the end of each year each parent advisory committee
discusses if they met the goals they set for the year.
And if they have or have not they write out a report,
and we turn it into the district office, and they
evaluate it for each building. They usually put
together a report and each building does a report that
shows what every building did in achieving goals for
the year.
One of the goals addressed student achievement. Many
school districts reported their results through the
evaluation of standardized tests.
Other responses included graduation rate and
attendance rate. Again, these surfaced as areas of data
collection for school districts, due to the state goals
that have been established in those areas.
82


Group Summary. Central office (3 of 5), parents (5
of 12) and administrators (4 of 5) agreed in the collection
of data for standardized tests. Central office responses
(4 of 5) also indicated they collected data for the state
goals of attendance rate and graduation rate. One of the
two parents' responses from four of the six school
districts in this study indicated they did not know what
data were collected to insure goal attainment.
Table 13
Question Number 16. School districts at both the district
and building level maintain data related to goal
progression (i.e. achievement, and/or instructional
improvement). What type of data are maintained by the
district to determine goal achievements?__________________
Data maintained
1. Standardized test scores (6 of 6 DACs) (14 of 31
participants)
DAC participants by district identifying this goal:
Ml: 1 CM; 1 BA
M2: 1 CO
S4: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 CM; 1 BA; 1 T; CO not available for interview
02: 1 CM; 1 BA
2. Graduation rates (3 of 6 DACs) (7 of 31 participants)
Districts identifying this as a goal: S4, S5, and 02.
DAC participants by district identifying this data:
S4: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO; BA not available for interview
02: 1 BA; IT
3. Attendance rates (3 of 6 DACs) (6 of 31 participants)
Districts identifying this as a goal: S5, S4, and 02.
DAC participants by district identifying this data:
S4: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
S5: 1 CO; BA not available for interview
02: 1 BA; 1 T
4. Do not know. (4 of 6 DACs) (5 of 31 participants)
83


Districts identifying this: Ml, M2, S6, and 02.
DAC participants by district that did not know:
Ml: 1 CM-
M2: 1 CM
S6: 1 CM; CO not available for interview
02: 1 CM; 1 CO
Question Number 17. What personnel practices, rules,
or regulations are in place to deal with poor teaching
practices? How effective are these?
By Participant. Respondents who work for the school
districts were able to explain the procedures used for
dealing with poor teaching. The processes mentioned
revolved around the evaluation tool established by each of
the school districts.
Group Summary. Ten of twelve parents were not as
knowledgeable of processes used to deal with poor teaching.
Districts that are very community-based shared with their
District Accountability Committee processes that are used
within the district. This was evident in one district that
has very high parent involvement on committees. A parent
explained
The evaluation process is established by the Board of
Education. I believe teachers are visited in the
classroom, and the administrator meets with the
teacher. A written evaluation is done in the spring,
and recommendations are made to the central office to
either continue employment or fire the teacher.
84


Table 14
Question Number 17. What personnel practices, rules, or
regulations are in place to deal with poor teaching
practices? How effective are these?_________________________
1. Knowledge of.evaluation process (6 of 6 DACs) (19 of 31
participants j
DAC participants by district identifying knowledge of
process:
M2: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
S4: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
S5: 1 CO; 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 BA; IT; CO not available for interview
02: 1 CO; 1 BA; IT
2. Do not know (6 of 6 DACs) (8 of 31 participants)
DAC participants by district that did not know:
Ml: 2 CM
M2: 1 CM
S4: 1 CM
S5: 2 CM; BA not available for interview
S6: 2 CM; CO not available for interview
02: 2 CM
Question Number 19. Describe the personnel evaluation
process for administrators. Describe the evaluation
process for teachers.
By Participant. Responses to this question were
similar to the previous question regarding poor teaching.
Thirteen of sixteen staff members within the school
district are familiar with the process of evaluation for
their own level of workers. Outside their level they are
not as familiar with the process, i.e., teachers were
unaware of the process for administrators.
Group Summary. Parents (10 of 12) were unable to
provide any knowledge of the process used for
administrators.
85


Table 15
Question Number 19. Describe the personnel evaluation
process for administrators. Describe the evaluation
process for teachers._______________________________________
Same responses identified in question #18.
Question Number 20. How is reflective teaching
encouraged and enhanced by the leaders you have identified?
By Participant. Nine of 31 respondents were
unfamiliar with the term and requested a definition of what
is reflective teaching. The definition provided was that
reflective teaching is allowing the opportunity for
teachers to review with another person a lesson recently
presented to students. The teacher would highlight the
positive things that occurred and the items that could be
improved upon. Their responses varied greatly as to their
interpretation of the definition provided. Responses were
so varied that it was difficult to determine any valuable
information. For example, responses included the
principal, other teachers, in-services, and college
courses.
Group Summary. Parents (9 of 12) were not familiar
with the terminology and were not aware of any methods used
to enhance reflective teaching. Teachers, administrators,
and central office were scattered widely as groups in their
understanding and responses on reflective teaching.
86


Table 16
Question Number 20. How is reflective teaching encouraged
and enhanced bv the leaders you have identified?__________
1. Principal (6 of 6 DACs) (19 of 31 participants)
DAC participants by district identifying the principal:
Ml: 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
M2: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
S4: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 BA; 1 T; CO not available for interview
02: 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
2. Do not know (6 of 6 DACs) (9 of 31 participants)
DAC participants by district that did not know:
Ml: 2 CM
M2: 1 CM
S4: 1 CM
S5: 1 CM; BA not available for interview
S6: 2 CM; CO not available for interview
02: 2 CM
Summary of research question: Is there an evaluation design
in place to measure outcomes of decisions made at all
levels?
Collectively school districts have several evaluation
instruments and processes established to measure outcomes
of decisions made at all levels. Processes begin when
making curricular decisions as to the impact on students,
cost, and the impact on personnel. Once designs are made,
the information is shared with the patrons of the district.
Hard data are compiled in areas of student achievement,
graduation rates, and attendance rates to evaluate the
success of the overall program.
Staffs are in-serviced, and expectations are given to
ensure the success of the goals established for the
87


district and buildings. Evaluation procedures are in place
for both teachers and administration to provide feedback
and to provide remediation, if needed, to accomplish the
goals established for the district. This area is widely
understood by the employees, but the process is not as
clear to the community members.
How Much Attention is Placed on
Improving the Curriculum and the Delivery
of Instruction by Those in Position
of Leadership?
Serqiovanni Dimension of Leadership Number 7 -
Intrinsic Motivation. Question Number 4. To what extent
does the district's staff embrace and support the
district's goals?
By Participant. Eighteen of 31 respondents believe
that the staff embraced the school district's goals very
much. Five out of 31 respondents said it varied per staff
grouping such as teachers, custodians, clerical, etc. In
response to a staff embracing the school district's goals,
a parent answered
Somewhat on a scale of 1-10, probably 5, probably
more than that. The staff embraces the goals on a
high level, 8 or 9, but their input is not very strong
except in the classroom where it is taking place.
Group Summary. All four groups of respondents agreed
that there was a great deal of support for the school
88


district's goals. This is reflected by one parent who said
"Very closely. There is a lot of support. The
administrators meet weekly to have good communication, and
then the school groups meet on a monthly basis and then
there is the weekly school newsletter at each school."
Table 17
Question Number 4. To what extent does the district's
staff embrace and support the district's goals?l. Very
much (6 of 6 DACsl (18 of 31 participants)__________________
DAC participants by district identifying this level of
support:
Ml: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 T
M2: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
S4: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; IT
S5: 1 CO; 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: IT; CO not available for interview
02: 2 CM; 1 T
2. Do not know (3 of 6 DACs) (5 of 31 participants)
DAC participants by district who did not know:
M2: 1 CO
S5: 1 CM; BA not available for interview
S6: 2 CM; 1 BA; CO not available for interview
Serqiovanni Dimension of Leadership Number 5 -
Enabling Teachers and the School. Question Number 2.
Identify those individuals or groups who developed the
goals of the district; i.e., community, teacher(s),
administrator(s), parent(s).
By Participant. Twenty-seven out of 31 respondents
indicated administrators, community, and teachers were
involved in developing the goals of the school district.
89


Two of the four school districts had a large number of
responses in the area of the board of education. This
occurred because of the tight control exhibited in one
district, and the other school district released the
superintendent during the spring of the school year,
causing the school board of education to micro-manage the
remainder of the school year.
Group Summary. The teachers viewed goals developed
were accomplished by teachers and administrators. Central
office personnel, community members, and administrators
agreed with the teachers that teachers and administrators
developed the district goals, but also believed that the
community played an integral part in the development. A
central office employee put it this way:
A set of goals and then it goes to the superintendent.
Then over the summer, he pulls it all together and
makes recommendations to the board of education for
the following year. After that we start at a school
level to develop school improvement plans and set each
school's goals. They modify and set goals and set
their annual objective, and that involves the SAC
(School Accountability Committee) and then those
come into here and are reviewed by the DAC (District
Accountability Committee). The DAC recommends
district goals based upon previous achievement.
Table 18
Question Number 2. Identify those individuals or groups
who developed the goals of the district; i.e., community,
teacher(s). administrator Groups identified
1. Administration (6 of 6 DACs) (24 of 31 participants)
90


2
3
4
DAC participants by district identifying this group by
district:
Ml: 2 CM? 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
M2: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
S4: 2 CM; 1 CO? 1 BA; 1 T
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO? 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 2 CM; 'l BA; 1 T? CO not available for interview
02: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
Community members (6 of 6 DACs) (21 of 31 participants)
DAC participants by district identifying this group:
Ml: 2 CM? 1 CO 1 T
M2: 2 CM; 1 CO 1 BA
S4: 2 CM; 1 CO 1 BA
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO BA not available for interview
S6: 2 CM? 1 BA CO not available for interview
02: 2 CM? 1 CO 1 BA
Teachers (6 of 6 DACs) (19 of 31 participants)
DAC participants by district identifying this group:
Ml
M2
54
55
56
02
1 CM
1 CM
2 CM
1 CM
2 CM
1 CM
1 T
1 CO; 1 BA
1 CO; 1 BA? 1 T
1 T; BA not available for interview
1 BA? CO not available for interview
1 CO? 1 BA; 1 T
Board of Education (6 of 6 DACs) (13 of 31
participants)
DAC participants identifying this goal by district:
Ml: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
M2: 1 CO
S4: 1 CM
S5: 1 CO; BA not available for interview
S6: IT; CO not available for interview
02: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 T
Question Number 10. Identify individual(s) who is/are
involved in the curriculum and instructional decision-
making process at the district level. At the building
level.
By Participant. Twenty-four out of 31 responses were
mostly the same for the decisions at the district and
building. Individuals responded in three main categories:
91


central office, community members, and teachers. One
additional category of building administrators (8 of 31)
being involved in the curriculum decision process is worth
noting.
Group Summary. All four groups agreed that teachers
were the main individuals involved in making curriculum and
instructional decisions at the district and building
levels. Teachers, central office personnel, and community
members also perceived the community had a significant
input into the goals. The building administrators did not
agree. They perceived that curriculum and instruction
decisions were made by central office personnel and
teachers. Central office, building administrators, and
community members viewed the central office as having a
large impact on the development of the school district's
goals. A central office person responded
We have teacher representatives from each school
from across the district, and they will go through a
process of evaluating the current program. Once the
evaluations are done, they make recommendations or
suggestions for textbook adoption, and then those
recommendations are in draft, go to the DAC (District
Accountability Committee) and SAC (School
Accountability Committee), and they make their
comments or suggestions and send it back to the DAC.
Then it happens to go to the board of education for
information, and then the Board of Education makes
changes or adjustments. Then it goes to public
hearing. Two or three public hearings and then back
to the Board of Education for adoption. They have the
public input and then make changes or not. We take the
comments back to the program at that time.
92


_____________________Table 19_____________________
Question Number 10. Identify individual(s) who is/are
involved in the curriculum and instructional decision-
making process at the district level. At the building
level.________________________________ ________________
Individuals involved
1
2
3
Teachers (6 of 6 DACs) (18 of 31 participants)
DAC participants by district identifying these
individuals:
Ml: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 T
M2: 2 CM; 1 CO
S4: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; 1 T
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 2 CM; 1 T; CO not available for interview
02: 1 BA
Central office (5 of 6 DACs) (15 of 31 participants)
Districts identifying these individuals: S5, M2, Ml,
S4, and 02.
DAC participants by district identifying these
individuals:
Ml: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA; 1
M2: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
S4: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
S5: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 T; BA
02: 1 CM; 1 BA
T
not available for interview
Community (6 of 6 DACs) (14 of 31 participants)
DAC participants by district identifying these
individuals:
S5: 1 CO; 1 T; BA not available for interview
S6: 1 CM; 1 T; CO not available for interview
M2: 2 CM
Ml: 2 CM; 1 CO; 1 T
S4: 1 CM; 1 CO; 1 BA
02 1 CM
Question Number 12. The individuals you have
identified as effective leaders have assumed or taken on
specific leadership roles. To your knowledge, do these
individuals ever alter their roles? For example, a
building principal who is a member of a committee does not
always lead. A teacher, who is part of a committee, can be
93