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Aspiring and practicing school administrators' perceptions of factors which inhibit or contribute to job obtainment

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Title:
Aspiring and practicing school administrators' perceptions of factors which inhibit or contribute to job obtainment
Creator:
Sible, Janice A. Hendricks
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
ix, 260 leaves : forms ; 29 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
School administrators -- Selection and appointment -- United States ( lcsh )
School administrators -- Attitudes ( lcsh )
School administrators -- Attitudes ( fast )
School administrators -- Selection and appointment ( fast )
United States ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Doctor of Philosophy, School of Education and Human Development, Administration, Curriculum, and Supervision.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Janice A. Hendricks Sible.

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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:
28863957 ( OCLC )
ocm28863957
Classification:
LD1190.E3 1993d .S54 ( lcc )

Full Text
ASPIRING AND PRACTICING SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS' PERCEPTIONS OF
FACTORS WHICH INHIBIT OR CONTRIBUTE TO JOB OBTAINMENT
by
Janice A. Hendricks Sible
B.A., University of Western New Mexico, 1971
M.A., University of Northern Colorado, 1978
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Administration, Curriculum, and Supervision


Sible, Janice A. Hendricks (Ph.D., Administration, Curriculum, and
Supervision)
Aspiring and Practicing School Administrators' Perceptions of Factors Which
Inhibit and Contribute to Job Obtainment
Dissertation directed by Assistant Professor L. A. Napier
ABSTRACT
This study investigated external barriers which inhibit job obtainment
for public school administrators and was descriptive in nature. Telephone
interviews were conducted with 40 subjects from the ranks of aspiring and
practicing administrators. Interview schedules were used to focus the
respondents' thought processes.
Primary questions addressed were: What factors inhibit administrative
job obtainment? How do they function to hinder job obtainment? What job
search strategies were used by aspiring and practicing administrators? Do
the factors which "inhibit job obtainment and the strategies employed differ
by gender? Additionally, demographic data were collected for the purpose of
obtaining a clearer picture of those who aspire to and practice school
administration.
The data obtained from the respondents were grouped into five sections:
demographics, motivation, barriers, federal hiring mandates, and strategies.
The major findings are: All respondents are highly educated having attained
at least a masters degree and administrative certificate. Seven of the 20
female respondents and four of the 20 males have obtained additional advanced
degrees affirming the research which found that female administrators most
often have more degrees. The females also have more teaching experience
than do their male counterparts. However, the respondents acknowledged that


it's more beneficial to obtain administrative type experience in a variety of
educational positions to increase recognition and enhance skills. Males are
more likely to have a career path charted and a timeline established for
achieving it. Practicing administrators are motivated by the desire to
influence the educational process and aspiring administrators by
opportunities for professional or personal advancement. Female respondents
reported political factors and a lack of mentoring and sponsorship along with
being unable to acquire administrative type experience as the major barriers
they faced. The male respondents believed a lack of available positions and a
lack of administrative experience were the barriers they encountered most
often. Federal hiring mandates have leveled the playing field for minorities
and women, but the representation of both groups remains low. Several male
respondents referred to the existence of a "white male backlash." Building
administrative type experience and recognition along with networking were
the primary strategies employed by all groups.

This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed


ASPIRING AND PRACTICING SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS' PERCEPTIONS OF
FACTORS WHICH INHIBIT OR CONTRIBUTE TO JOB OBTAINMENT
by
Janice A. Hendricks Sible
B.A., University of Western New Mexico, 1971
M.A., University of Northern Colorado, 1978
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Administration, Curriculum, and Supervision
1993


1993 by Janice A. Hendricks Sible
All rights reserved.


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Janice A. Hendricks Sible
has been approved for the
School of Education
by
Paul C. Bauman
Sharon Ford


Sible, Janice A. Hendricks (Ph.D., Administration, Curriculum, and
Supervision)
Aspiring and Practicing School Administrators' Perceptions of Factors Which
Inhibit and Contribute to Job Obtainment
Dissertation directed by Assistant Professor L. A. Napier
ABSTRACT
This study investigated external barriers which inhibit job obtainment
for public school administrators and was descriptive in nature. Telephone
interviews were conducted with 40 subjects from the ranks of aspiring and
practicing administrators. Interview schedules were used to focus the
respondents' thought processes.
Primary questions addressed were: What factors inhibit administrative
job obtainment? How do they function to hinder job obtainment? What job
search strategies were used by aspiring and practicing administrators? Do
the factors which inhibit job obtainment and the strategies employed differ
by gender? Additionally, demographic data were collected for the purpose of
obtaining a clearer picture of those who aspire to and practice school
administration.
The data obtained from the respondents were grouped into five sections:
demographics, motivation, barriers, federal hiring mandates, and strategies.
The major findings are: All respondents are highly educated having attained
at least a masters degree and administrative certificate. Seven of the 20
female respondents and four of the 20 males have obtained additional advanced
degrees affirming the research which found that female administrators most
often have more degrees. The females also have more teaching experience
than do their male counterparts. However, the respondents acknowledged that
i v


it's more beneficial to obtain administrative type experience in a variety of
educational positions to increase recognition and enhance skills. Males are
more likely to have a career path charted and a timeline established for
achieving it. Practicing administrators are motivated by the desire to
influence the educational process and aspiring administrators by
opportunities for professional or personal advancement. Female respondents
reported political factors and a lack of mentoring and sponsorship along with
being unable to acquire administrative type experience as the major barriers
they faced. The male respondents believed a lack of available positions and a
lack of administrative experience were the barriers they encountered most
often. Federal hiring mandates have leveled the playing field for minorities
and women, but the representation of both groups remains low. Several male
respondents referred to the existence of a "white male backlash." Building
administrative type experience and recognition along with networking were
the primary strategies employed by all groups.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I
recommend its publication.
v


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
No study of this nature is possible without the assistance and
encouragement of many individuals. I am especially indebted to Professor L.
A. Napier for her professional direction, thoughtful suggestions,
encouragement and support. With gratitude, I recognize the assistance of
professors Paul Bauman, Joy Berrenberg, Nancy Christie, Sharon Ford, and
the late G. Mike Charleston who willingly reviewed and assisted in the
refinement of this study. Additionally, I acknowledge and appreciate the
willingness of my colleagues to participate as respondents through sharing
personal information which became the heart of this study.
I am grateful to my husband, my family and my friends who, in
numerous ways, provided loving support and encouragement throughout the
process. Most of all, I am indebted to my parents, the late Paul and R. Faye
Hanna, who instilled in me a love of learning, and a desire to achieve and set
worthwhile goals.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION......................................................1
Purpose and Limitations of the Study..........................1
Need and Importance of the Study..............................2
Definitions of Terms..........................................5
2. LITERATURE REVIEW.................................................8
External Barriers............................................12
Organizational Barriers...................................12
Supervisor(s) Barriers....................................14
Family/Support Barriers...................................16
Internal Barriers............................................17
Intrapersonal Barriers....................................17
Strategies................................................. 19
Federal Legislation and Affirmative Action................19
Reverse Discrimination....................................22
Working Within the System.................................23
Conclusion...................................................25
3. METHODOLOGY......................................................27
Sampling Procedures..........................................27
Identification............................................27
Stratification............................................28
Pilot Interviews.............................................28


The Telephone Interview.....................................29
Instrument..................................................29
Collection of Data..........................................34
Analysis of Data............................................34
Validity and Reliability....................................35
4. PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS........................37
Presentation of Data........................................37
Demographic Data...................................... 39
Motivation and Commitment...............................55
Barriers Ecnountered....................................64
Federal Hiring Mandates.................................68
Strategies Employed.....................................78
Conclusion.................................................108
5. SUMMARY AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH..................111
Summary....................................................111
Interview Schedules.................................. 111
Sample.................................................112
Procedures.............................................113
Findings...............................................113
Demographic Data....................................113
Professional Preparation.........................114
Job Searches.....................................116
Personal Characteristics.........................117
Motivation and Commitment...........................118
Barriers Encountered................................119
Federal Hiring Mandates.............................122
Strategies Employed.................................124
Summary of the Findings.............................128
viii


Suggestions for Further Research...................133
Conclusion.........................................136
APPENDIX
A. INTERVIEW SCHEDULE.................................139
B. INTERVIEW REQUEST LETTER.......................... 145
C. RESPONSE POSTCARD..................................146
D. PARTICIPANTS' FULL TEXT RESPONSES..................147
FAA Responses...................................147
FPA Responses...................................174
MAA Responses...................................203
MPA Responses...................................228
REFERENCES................................................256


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
This study explored the external barriers which inhibit job
obtainment for public school administrators. It also examined the strategies
utilized by both aspiring and practicing administrators in their job search.
Questions addressed were: What are the factors which inhibit certified
applicants' first administrative job obtainment at the level for which they
are certified? Why were the factors identified as barriers? Do these
factors differ by gender? How do they function to hinder job obtainment?
Once certified, which gender group has a longer wait for their first position
in which they hold certification? What kind of job search strategies
are/were used by aspiring applicants when seeking that first position? What
kind of job search strategies were used by practicing administrators when
seeking their first position? Finally, personal and professional demographic
data was collected for the purpose of obtaining a clearer picture of those who
aspire to and practice school administration.
Purpose and Limitations of the Study
The purpose of the study was to identify factors which can inhibit job
obtainment of individuals certified in school administration and to explore
strategies employed to neutralize those factors. This study sought to identify
possible gender issues related to job obtainment and ramifications associated
with the identified factors.
Research has documented that both sexes experience barriers to
advancement into the educational administration ranks. But, do women today
experience the same barriers as men? Do aspiring and practicing
administrators view those barriers differently, and do both sexes employ the
1


same strategies to overcome them? Job search strategies of women aspirants
have been surveyed by some researchers, but few have looked at those
utilized by both men and women (Pavan, 1985).
Shakeshaft (1981) states that research and discussion on barriers to
job obtainment in administration may be broken down into three categories:
internal barriers, external barriers, and strategies to overcome those
barriers. This study focused on the external barriers, their identification,
differences in perceptions by gender and position within the educational
organization, and strategies employed by both aspiring and practicing
administrators in their individual job searches. Internal barriers and
contributors to job obtainment were not investigated and were limitations of
this study. Contributors were identified only as they emerged as strategies to
overcome barriers.
Additional limitations are acknowledged: Respondents were selected
from students who received educational administrative endorsements from
the University of Colorado at Denver. No attempt was made to assess the
worthiness of the candidates, i.e. academic performance, professional
recommendations, etc. And, the individuals' responses were based upon their
own personal perceptions. A perception by its nature is a bias, contains
assumptions, value judgements and ideas. A perception is influenced by an
individual's experiences, and in turn, influences an individual's actions
(Charon, 1979).
Need and Importance of the Study
The majority of gender research in school administration that was
reviewed for this study was quantitative in the data analysis. Research was
found on the topic of factors contributing to or hindering aspiring and
practicing administrators' career advancement. To be specific, two studies
were identified that used quantitative analysis for the interpretation of data
(D'Angelo, 1991; Gardner, 1991). However, factors contributing to and
2


impeding career advancement were identified for the respondents, thus
limiting the respondents own input. Both studies recommended a more
indepth study of individual perspectives for the purpose of exploring and
defining the factors that aspiring and practicing school administrators
identify. Specifically, D'Angelo (1991) recommended "An indepth interview
of aspirant and incumbent certificate holders should be conducted to explore
and further refine the career path characteristics that influence
appointments to line positions" (p. 250).
Gardner (1991) stated that most researchers who have investigated
gender bias in educational administration hiring practices use quantitative
methods to sample large, randomly selected populations. They then infer that
the results from that large sample reflect cross sections of an entire
category. Their techniques allow them to make statistically valid statements
about a large group but often lack depth. For that reason, she recommended
indepth interviewing of Colorado's female and male aspiring and practicing
administrators.
In a personal conversation with this researcher, she (M. J. Gardner,
personal communication, March 14, 1992) stated that upon the completion
of her research, she found many questions left unanswered by her use of a
quantitative approach. She realized there was a definite need to follow up her
results with personal interviews to ask for individual perceptions of how and
why the identified barriers functioned as they did.
Qualitative research in this area is scarce if it does exist. Shakeshaft
(1981) has purported that the quantitative approach to studying gender
issues in school administration does not generate meaningful research. This
approach does not allow the researcher to probe for underlying causes which
accordingly does not facilitate the development of theory. Conclusions from
research on women in educational administration need to be taken back to
them to see if they ring true. The oral approach to research is more flexible
3


and allows for the sharing of information and the refining of conclusions.
When this is done, research becomes an interaction for discovering truth.
The recent studies of D'Angelo (1991) and Gardner (1991) would seem
to validate this assumption. Therefore, qualitative research in this area is
essential to the exploring of personal experiences of aspiring and practicing
school administrators and to the development of relevant theory.
This study was a qualitative exploration of the barriers as identified by
the previously mentioned researchers and in particular those identified by
Gardner (1991). In her study, Gardner further divided Shakeshaft's
categories of barriers into three subcategories of external barriers and one
subcategory of internal barriers-Extemal Factors: the organization, the
supervisor(s), and the family/support, and Internal Factors: intrapersonal.
Her dissertation sought to compare perceptions between aspiring and
practicing school administrators, of both genders, as to factors that
contributed to and were barriers to career advancement.
Her results indicated that overall perspectives about factors that
contribute to career advancement were not significantly different between
men and women, nor were those perceptions affected by position held within
the educational organization. However, she did find that responses to the
barriers sections of the survey produced results that indicated that males
perceived the organizational and supervisor(s) factors used in this study as
barriers less often than did women. Practicing administrators perceived
them as barriers less often than did aspiring administrators. She suggested
that additional study is needed to investigate the external barriers with
particular attention paid to the organizational factors and same gender
support networks.
Gardner's study limited identification of barriers to those presented in
the survey she used which was developed by Lillian C. Woo in 1981 for a
study of women in higher level business and educational positions. Its use in
4


this study limited the responses of Gardner's subjects and prevented the
introduction of other barriers which might be unique to their career
advancement efforts in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Other questions left
unanswered are: Why were the factors identified as barriers? How do they
function to hinder job obtainment or advancement? What strategies
were/are used to overcome these barriers? Do the responses to these
question differ by gender?
This study was an attempt to answer these questions as well as the
questions identified on page one. The qualitative approach to this study
allowed the researcher to obtain answers to these questions which will
provide a basis for the development of theory about factors which inhibit
career advancement for individuals of both sexes who hold educational
administration certification and how those barriers can be neutralized or
removed.
Definition of Terms
Androcentric-gender based hierarchy of status where the male perspective
is valued, honored, and reinforced over that of the female perspective
(Shakeshaft, 1989).
Androgvnous-a gender neutral based status where both male and female
perspectives are valued, honored and situation appropriately incorporated
(Pounder, 1990).
Aspiring administrators-individuals who have taken steps to advance their
progress into school administrator positions but who have not yet served as
administrators as defined by this study (Gardner, 1991).
Barriers to career advancement-factors or events, perceived by the
respondent, to have negatively affected their professional progress (Gardner,
1991).
5


External Barriers--sex role stereotyping, sex discrimination, lack of
professional preparation, and family responsibilities.
Internal Barriers-aspects of socialization, personality, aspiration
level, individual beliefs and attitudes, motivation, and self-image
(Shakeshaft, 1981).
Career advancement-opportunities for promotion within a chosen
professional field (Woo, 1981).
Career barrier-an obstacle to promotion within a chosen professional field
(Woo, 1981).
Contributors to career advancement-factors or events, perceived by the
respondent, to have positively affected their professional progress (Gardner,
1991).
Family and support svstem-those very important persons, in the life of the
respondent, such as spouse, parents, children, mentor(s), friends, and
acquaintances whose support of the respondent's career goals and aspirations
is deemed a necessary ingredient for success by the respondent.
Family and support system factors-factors relating to the family and social
life of the respondent such as parenting responsibilities, homemaking
responsibilities, attitude of spouse, friends and other professionals toward
the respondent's career goals and aspirations (Woo, 1981).
Intrapersonal factors-the individual's motivation, preparation, ability to
set and attain goals, ability to communicate and work with people, willingness
to take risks, political acumen, and emotional toughness.
Organization-the institution within which professional progress is made.
For purposes of this study, such an institution would be a school system
(Gardner, 1991).
Organizational factors-factors relating to the organization such as
resistance from male or female colleagues, rigid hours, extensive overtime,
extensive travel, the need to relocate, lack of training and development
6


opportunities, or problems in gaining access to the informal social networks
within the school system (Woo, 1981).
Practicing administrator-a school superintendent, assistant
superintendent, director, high school principal, middle level principal,
elementary principal, and assistant principal at any level.
Supervisorfs)~the individual(s) directly responsible for the evaluation of
the respondent's professional abilities, skills and performance.
Supervisory factors-factors relating to the supervisor(s)' treatment of the
respondent such as giving feedback, recognition, coaching, support, and
career counseling (Woo, 1981).
Type D Administrator Certificate-Certificate issued by the Colorado
Department of Education, as established by law, which authorizes qualified
individuals to perform the professional duties of public school
administrators.
7


CHAPTER 2
UTERATURE REVIEW
Today's developed society...depends for leadership on the
managers of its major institutions.- It depends on their
knowledge, on their vision, and on their responsibility. In this
society, management-its tasks, its responsibilities, its
practices-is central: as a need, as an essential contribution,
and as a subject of study and knowledge. Peter Drucker, 1973
This 1973 Peter Drucker quote is even more appropriate for the
society of the 1990s and the twenty-first century and is particularly
applicable to the field of education. Since the national report "A Nation at
Risk" (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983) was
unleashed on the American public, educators, school boards, and federal and
state commissions have researched and proposed many reforms and
innovative programs, all designed to "fix" education. This has placed, and
will continue to place, extraordinary demands on school leaders. They will
need to increase their knowledge, expand their vision and develop new
attitudes toward shared responsibility. They will have to resolve the unique
administrative and managerial problems that educational reforms, greater
parental involvement in schooling, new legislation, and a continuously
changing society will generate (Campbell, 1991; Murphy, 1991).
The educational reform movement that began in the 1980s is continuing
and has spawned many trends which include site-based management, teacher
empowerment, instructional leadership, and effective school efforts. Site-
based management empowers local schools with greater decision autonomy
while mandating a wider involvement of parents, students and teachers in the
decision making process. The teacher empowerment movement has extended
their influence beyond the classroom and has given them significant power
and an increasingly greater role in the larger educational system.
8


Instructional leadership demands that educational administrators move from
their traditional position of manager and disciplinarian to one where their
primary responsibility is to improve instruction in the classroom. The
effective schools research suggests that high-achieving schools are
characterized by high expectations, clear instructional goals, consistent,
effective monitoring systems and, a dynamic leader who builds a school
climate conducive to learning, empowers both teachers and students, and who
constantly monitors, evaluates and corrects the system. The net effect of
these trends is to build a "learning center partnership" image of de-
centralized school systems (Pounder, 1990).
There are many emerging demographic trends which have and will
continue to have an impact on schools and school leadership. The percent of
pupils enrolled in programs for the handicapped and the number of students
with achievement problems have increased. Many students live in single
parent homes. Most of these households are headed by females and are
financially ranked at or below poverty levels. Increasing numbers of
minority children, especially those with a primary language other than
English, are entering the public schools. Many students are victims of social
problems such as divorce, drug and alcohol abuse, and child abuse of various
forms. These problems of a changing student population strongly suggest a
need for a different type of administrator (Pounder, 1990).
Educational and demographic trends may influence school
administration roles to become less stereotypically masculine and create a
new image that is more androgynous. The effective administrator will be one
who is a strong instructional program expert, a facilitator of productive
group decision making, and a child advocate who will be sensitive to and
promote the congitive, psychological and social well-being of students. This
9


image is not a difinitively masculine model, but rather incorporates what is
best from both the male and female models (Pounder, 1990).
Historically, managers of our society's major institutions have been
male. And, as recently as 1970, men constituted over 96 percent of all
managers and administrators. While the exact proportion of men and women
in management positions varies from industry to industry, there has been
virtually no room for women (Kanter, 1977).
Educational institutions have exhibited a similar pattern to
organizations in the private sector. In general, women teach and a few men
administer. Teaching has been primarily a women's career with static
career potential while conversely, educational administrators have been
primarily men who enjoyed highly differentiated career possibilities
(Shakeshaft, 1987; Ortiz & Marshall, 1988).
In 1909, when Ella Flagg Young was appointed as the first woman
superintendent of the Chicago public schools, she said;
Women are destined to rule the schools of every city. I look for a
majority of big cities to follow the lead of Chicago in choosing a
woman for superintendent. In the near future we will have more
women than men in executive charge of the vast educational
system. It is woman's natural field, and she is no longer
satisfied to do the greatest part of the work and yet be denied
leadership. As the first woman to be placed in control of the
schools of a big city, it will be my aim to prove that no mistake
has been made and to show critics and friends alike that a woman
is better qualified for this work than a man (cited in Shakeshaft,
1987, p. 18).
While Young was a true pioneer in her field, and did live up to her goal
of becoming an extremely successful school executive, her prophesy of
increased female leadership failed to materialize. In fact in 1985, 83.5% of
elementary teachers were women and only 16.9% were principals. At the
secondary level, women fared even worse as 50.1% of the teachers were
female, and only 3.5% were principals. Additionally, only 3% of the nation's


superintendents were females (Shakeshaft, 1989). Given the large numbers
of women who teach, women who manage represent a trace element in
administration (Ortiz & Marshall, 1988). It would appear that few if any
gains have been made in gender balance in the past eighty years.
As stated before, this underrepresentation of women is not unique to
school management. What is unique, however, is that women dominate the
first step of the career ladder; they are the teachers. In many other
occupational fields, men predominate from the very first stages of
preparation and practice. The scenario of American schooling has
historically portrayed women as being effective managers of students and
men as being more appropriate managers of teachers (Schmuck, 1975).
Clearly many forms of discrimination are difficult to prove. However,
when a profession such as education has a large pool of female employees at
the lower levels, logic would suggest that a representative group of those
qualified and experienced women would move up into the managerial ranks.
The fact that they don't, and that men do, points to a continuing problem in the
field (Jones & Montenegro, 1983; Edson, 1988; Whitaker & Lane, 1990).
Many studies have been conducted to investigate the problem of why women
continue, late into the twentieth century, to be underrepresented in
educational administration (e.g., Schmuck, 1975; Woo, 1981; Shakeshaft,
1987; Ortiz & Marshall, 1988; Mitchell & Winn, 1989; Gardner, 1991).
Researchers in educational administration followed the lead of other
social science disciplines and looked at the female administrator -- her
aspirations, her problems, her life and the barriers that prevent her entry
into management positions. Research and discussion on these barriers may
be grouped into Shakeshaft's (1981) three categories: internal barriers,
external barriers, and strategies to overcome barriers.
Researchers Kanter (1977), Biklen and Brannigan (1980), Woo
(1981) and others state that barrier factors are related to four areas: the


organization, the supervisor(s), and the family and support system(s), and
the intrapersonal (Gardner, 1991). Shakeshaft's external classification
would include the first three areas while the internal classification would
include the individual or intrapersonal barriers.
External Barriers
Organizational Barriers
Organizational factors as barriers include issues dealing with the
structure of the organization such as a lack of support and recognition from
colleagues of both genders, unavailability of networking possibilities, lack of
access to the people within the power structure of the organization and a lack
of opportunities for advancement within the organization (Gardner, 1991).
Additionally, sex-role stereotyping serves to restrict female representation
and is recognized as a major barrier (Edson, 1988; Pigford & Tonnsen,
1990; Campbell, 1991).
A lack of support or encouragement from individuals within the
organization can be viewed as a barrier by anyone, regardless of gender,
seeking to obtain an administrative position. However, it is most often
identified as a barrier by women. Men tend to be encouraged to enter
administration to a greater degree than women despite the positive
perceptions of school officials toward female capabilities (Hein, 1989). In
fact, quite often, even successful women aren't supportive of others in their
own district (Calabrese & Wallich, 1989). While men are supportive of
each other, women tend to be jealous and sabotaging. Now that a few women
have made it to higher levels, they seem to relish the opportunity to "do in"
other women (Edson, 1988). Not only do women suffer from a lack of
support from men, they also experience rejection from their own gender.
Networking has long been recognized by men as a valuable strategy for
career advancement. The "good old boy network" provides men with valuable


contacts and information on how to move within the system. Women most
often view it as a barrier in that it is exclusionary, and few "good old girl
networks" exist mainly due to the limited numbers of women in
administrative positions and to the general lack of support from women for
women (Miklos, 1988; Whitefield, 1990).
Networking provides access to the power brokers within an
organization and opens doors to the few positions which do exist. It provides
one with information on job openings and administrative strategies as well as
visibility and a support group. Occasionally a woman will be aided by a male
dominated network, but most often women are excluded and fail to hear about
administrative openings, and have few people to approach for counsel
(Shakeshaft, 1987).
Of all the organizational barriers, however, sex-role stereotyping may
be the most difficult factor with which to contend (Calabrese & Wallich,
1989). "Studies have indicated that applicants who apply for positions that
are stereotypically incongruent with their sex are often given lower
evaluation ratings" (Pounder, 1990, p. 5).
The stereotypical description of school administrators includes such
terms as "strong", "in control", or "powerful." The female "image" is
incongruent with this typically male image and thus places the female
candidate at a distinct disadvantage. Other candidate characteristics such as
physical attractiveness may exaggerate perceptions of gender-related
attributes. "That is, attractive women may be regarded as more feminine
than unattractive women, and attractive men more masculine than
unattractive men" (Pounder, 1990, p. 5). As a result, attractive individuals
may be given even less consideration for sex-incongruent positions
(Pounder, 1990).
In general, overt and covert sexual discrimination in their various
forms continue to restrict women in their efforts to advance into and upward


in educational administration (Calabrese & Waliich, 1989). Through
affirmative action legislation and programs, much has been accomplished to
remove the most blatant forms of discrimination from organizational hiring
practices, but more remains to be accomplished. Women have little control
over this type of discrimination and continue to find themselves its victims
(Shakeshaft, 1987; Whitaker & Lane, 1990).
Supervisorfs) Barriers
The supervisor(s) category of barriers includes a reluctance on the
part of the supervisor to assign tasks which would foster the participant's
advancement, a lack of constructive feedback, failure of the supervisor to
give recognition, to coach or encourage innovative ideas. A lack of support
through mentoring, formal leadership training programs and career
counseling are also considered barriers which greatly hinder an individual's
progression into educational administration (Schmuck, Charters, & Carlson,
1981).
Generally an individual does not simply announce his or her desire to
pursue a career in educational administration and immediately be offered a
position. School districts use certain processes both informal and formal to
train and groom their future administrators.
Informal processes such as chairing committees, developing reports,
making presentations, and assuming other leadership tasks, are the most
common avenues through which people gain experience and exposure. The
formal process usually involves selection for and participation in an
internship program designed and administered by the individual districts.
However, without access to the power brokers within the district,
appointment to these positions and programs is usually difficult to obtain
(Schmuck, Charters, & Carlson, 1981).


Sponsors have been found to be important in the careers of
professionals in many settings. Those who have the backing of a sponsor seem
to get the most desirable, visible jobs (Kanter, 1977). And, in many cases,
access through sponsorship plays a deciding role in administrative careers.
It also serves to limit the play of open competition. Educational
administration has a well developed history of sponsoring both new entrants
and the further mobility of experienced participants. Unfortunately, women
haven't enjoyed the benefits of the sponsorship process to the degree that men
have (Ortiz & Marshall, 1988).
Mentoring is an extension of sponsorship. Kanter defines mentors as
"teachers or coaches whose functions are primarily to make introductions or
to train a young person to move effectively through the system" (Edson,
1987, p. 72). Mentors provide information on job openings and
administrative strategies as well as promote an individual for those formal
or informal training positions. Additionally they provide guidance, feedback
on performance, find ways to give recognition to their protege, and serve as a
role model (Shakeshaft, 1987).
Role models can be either male or female, however, research has shown
that for women to successfully identify with the models, they should be of the
same sex and race. Women often cannot envision patterning themselves after
men either because the male behavior is inappropriate for them or men's
behavior is incongruent with their "female" self-images (Shakeshaft,
1987).
With the small numbers of women in positions of leadership, the
availability of female role models is limited. For years, men have dominated
the positions of leadership and provided role models for aspiring males.
Women administrators and aspirants, more than their male counterparts, see
the absence of a mentor and same sex role model as barriers to advancement
(Mikios, 1988; Jones & Montenegro, 1983).


Familv/Support Barriers
The family and support system present a variety of barriers to career
advancement. The primary factors as documented through research include:
responsibilities of parenting, household management, and a lack of support
from a spouse, family members and friends (Gardner, 1991).
Probably the greatest career obstacle any woman faces is marriage.
Women want a husband and children and a career, but can only accomplish so
much. So a career has to be a series of trade offs. A participant in a study
conducted by the Center for Women in Educational Leadership at the
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill said, "I don't believe it's possible
for a woman or a man either to give one's all to a career and still be fair
to a family" (Woo, 1985, p. 286).
While men have assumed a more equal role in parenting and household
management, women most often must choose between family and career
(Whitaker & Lane, 1990). On the decision to have children, a participant in
the Chapel Hill study stated:
I have been married but childless for nearly 12 years. I now
wish to have a child but am terrified that, if I get pregnant and
stay away from my job for the first three months, I will be
perceived as not serious about my goals and aspirations, a
perception that will slow down my advancement appreciably.
This is a terrible dilemma. It's difficult for people to believe
that you could want both career and motherhood. (Woo, 1985,
p. 286)
Social scientists such as Parsons and Merton, state that persons experiencing
role conflict i.e. wife/mother versus career woman ultimately choose one
over the other usually wife/mother (Jones & Montenegro, 1983).
Societal norms dictate that the wife's career is subordinate to that of the
husband. Women who want career advancement often suffer from a lack of
mobility (Shakeshaft, 1987; Campbell, 1991). Seldom will a family
"uproot" and move to another local to benefit the wife's career, even if she
1 6


earns more than her husband. Conversely, it is quite common for a
successful woman to give up her position to facilitate a relocation of the
family to a region that is more favorable career wise for the husband
(Whitaker & Lane, 1990).
Internal Barriers
Intrapersonal Barriers
Intrapersonal barriers are characterized by issues of acceptance of
career level, failure to set and actively pursue goals, limited work
experience, political naivete, weak decision making and problem-solving
skills, inadequate communication skills, pressures and stress of leadership
and a lack of emotional toughness (Gardner, 1991).
Intrapersonal factors may apply to any individual whether male or
female. As barriers, however, they are most often attributed to women who
aspire to positions of leadership (Shakeshaft, 1987). In fact, for years
these factors were used as rationale for denying women appointment to
educational administration positions (Calabrese & Wallich, 1989).
Studies such as one conducted by Henning and Jardem in 1977 labeled
women as lacking aggressiveness exemplified by waiting to be chosen,
discovered, invited, persuaded, or asked to accept a promotion, as well as
reluctant to take risks, and lacking self-confidence. When questioned about
career opportunities, their male subjects asked "What's in it for me?", and
their female subjects asked "Can I measure up?" (Jones & Montenegro,
1983, p. 231). This type of research added to the myths, further damaged
the image of the female manager, and has been criticized as victim analysis in
which women are blamed while other factors are ignored (Calabrese &
Wallich, 1989).
In the mid 1980s Raymond L. Calabrese and Lynn Wallich conducted
their own study to determine if male administrators blamed women rather


than organizational and structural factors for the low representation of
women in educational administrative positions and if women accepted social
traditions as justification for discrimination. Their data strongly supported
these hypotheses. Some of the social factors male administrators believed
were a cause of low female administrative representation were: women do not
want to be school administrators; women are frightened by the potential of
success; women will become too emotional in conflict situations; women are
too submissive to be effective administrators; women have lower
expectations for success than males, etc.
Their research suggests that men, who are the power brokers in
educational organizations, incorporate these myths into their hiring
decisions. These factors then become the rationale to legitimatize gender
discrimination. Male administrators may advocate policies of equality, but
they act from a different perspective. In effect, women are blamed for lack of
career success while male administrators make hiring decisions based on
these long held socially reinforced biases.
Caution needs to be taken by researchers not to rely too heavily on
victim analysis. This reliance contributes to systematic discrimination.
Attribution has become one way of explaining the low representation of
females in educational administration in spite of affirmative action, Title IX,
and other initiatives designed to encourage upward mobility among women
(Calabrese & Wallich, 1989).
The Chapel Hill study conducted in the early 1980s, however, indicated
that aspiring and practicing female administrators did not suffer from
intrapersonal factors of fear of success, lack of motivation and lack of faith in
their leadership skills. In fact, they had no mental scenarios of future
disasters or failures in setting and achieving their professional goals (Woo,
1985).
1 8


Strategies
Strategies are often complex and vary depending on what conceptual lens
is used to view the barriers. If the barriers are viewed as internal, then
strategies to change the individual would be appropriate. However, if the
barriers are viewed as primarily organizational, supervisory, or of a
family/support nature, then strategies to change the situation or alter the
organization would be in order.
Change strategies are formulated based both on the barriers that are
perceived and on the causes of those barriers. Researcher, Charol
Shakeshaft, in her book Women in Educational Administration has postulated
that all barriers, perceived or real, as they apply to women in
administration are a result either directly or indirectly of an androcentric
society. Such a society is male-defined. Women and men do things
differently, and what women do is valued less. This assumption produces a
hierarchy based on gender discrimination. Thus, to eliminate the barriers,
the androcentric nature of the culture in which they flourish must be changed
(Shakeshaft, 1989).
Federal Legislation and Affirmative Action
There have been several federal laws passed during the past thirty
years which have had a major impact on educational organizations' hiring
practices and in turn have brought change to those organizations: Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972;
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1968; Equal Pay Act of 1963;
Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978; Vietnam
Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974; Occupational Safety and Health Act
(OSHA) of 1970. In addition, guidelines and policies from such federal
agencies as the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), the
Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), and 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, in


particular, have been applied in claims of employment discrimination
(Lunenburg & Ornstein, 1991).
Most litigation resulting from charges of discrimination in teacher and
administrator employment practices, however, rely on Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964. Title VII is a broad-based federal civil rights statute
that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis
of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
The afore mentioned Acts form the basis for Equal Employment
Opportunity (EEO) and its supporting legal activities. The provisions of
these acts generally apply to all public and private organizations employing
fifteen or more people. The EEOC provides assistance to employers in
developing affirmative action programs and in resolving complaints lodged
against them (Lunenburg & Ornstein, 1991).
Institutions with federal contracts of $50,000 or more and 50 or more
employees are required by Executive Order 11246 to file affirmative action
plans. Institutions with contracts of $10,000 or more are covered by the
provisions of this regulation but are not required to file plans. Even when
not required by law to file such a plan, doing so demonstrates commitment to
eliminate discrimination within the organization. An affirmative action plan
is a written, public commitment of the organization to eliminate
discriminatory employment policies and practices (What Is Affirmative
Action?. 1973).
While EEO legislation prohibits discrimination in recruitment, hiring,
promotion, compensation and discharge, affirmative action programs are
designed to increase employment opportunities for women, other minorities
including the aged, handicapped, and veterans. The program should attempt to
ensure that women and other minorities are represented in the organization
in percentages similar to their percentage in the labor market from which it
draws its personnel (Lunenburg & Ornstein, 1991).
20


While there is no set format for affirmative action plans, they should
address at least the following conditions of employment:
- Recruitment, selection, layoff, discharge, and recall
- Opportunities for promotion
- Opportunities for in-service training
- Wages and salaries Sick leave time and pay
- Vacation time and pay
- Overtime work and pay
- Medical, hospital, life, and accident insurance
- Retirement plans and benefits
- Other benefits. (What Is Affirmative Action?. 1973, p. 1)
Change comes slowly and with much labor. One does not simply wave
the magic wand and instantaneously produce a society that is truly devoid of
all overt and covert forms of discrimination. There is some evidence to
suggest that Affirmative Action has had a positive effect on hiring practices
within organizations (Miklos, 1988). However, the anticipated surge in
numbers of females receiving positions of leadership within educational
organizations has simply not materialized (Edson, 1988).
Research data suggests that the number of women receiving
administrative credentials has increased in greater proportions than the
percentage of women who have actually received administrative positions. A
study of Pennsylvania administrative hiring during a fifteen year period
beginning in 1970 supports this assumption. Even with the spotty reporting
of national data for that same time period, the Pennsylvania experience does
not seem to be atypical (Pavan, 1985).
Basically, the impact of legal strategies is unknown with few studies
actually conducted that follow the relationship between such strategies and
increased employment for female and minority administrators. In fact, there
have been claims, including legal challenges, that affirmative action has
sometimes resulted in reverse discrimination when less qualified candidates
are hired to meet "quotas" (Shakeshaft, 1989).
21


Reverse Discrimination
The term reverse discrimination refers to the use of remedial
legislation as under Titles VI and VII to provide favorable treatment to
disadvantaged groups in their search for jobs, university places, and career
advancement. Historically conventional career structures tended to favor
white males. Programs of affirmative action which are designed to
ameliorate the effects of disadvantage and to remove its causes often result in
a form of reverse discrimination. Such programs seek to insure that
individuals from disadvantaged groups are represented in the work place and
educational institutions by a percentage that matches their proportion in the
population at large, and in doing so may discriminate against the white male
(Wallace, 1991).
Those who oppose affirmative action and reverse discrimination claim
to favor the goals of the movement, but object to the means adopted to achieve
them. They favor EEO, but argue enforcement has gone "too far," that
affirmative action on behalf of underrepresented groups has led to goals and
quotas for hiring, selection and promotion and to widespread discrimination
against white men (Burstein, 1991).
One of the most important legal challenges to reverse discrimination
came from the 1978 case: Regents of the University of California v. Bakke.
The university had two admission programs for its medical school. The first,
the regular admission program with eighty-four slots, considered the
applicant's grade point average, scores on the Medical College Admissions
Test, and other requirements. Under this plan applicants could be either
minority or nonminority, and each year a few minorities were accepted into
the medical school through this regular application process. The second
admissions program with sixteen slots was designated for blacks, Hispanics,
Asians, and American Indians. If a minority student didn't get selected
22


through the regular process, he or she could apply for one of the special
minority slots.
The plaintiff, Bakke, a white applicant, challenged the admission
process charging reverse discrimination based on the Equal Protection Clause
of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He
stated that he could only apply for one of the positions in the regular
admissions program while a minority student could apply for a position
through both programs. Thus, he was discriminated against on the basis of
his race. The Supreme Court decided the case on Title VI grounds and did not
address the Fourteenth Amendment issue of equal protection. The court ruled
that the University of California use of quotas was not allowable and that the
admission system was quota based. It also determined that race may be
considered in admission programs, and it may even be "weighted" more
heavily but cannot be the sole deciding factor (Alexander & Alexander,
1985).
It is a misperception that many reverse discrimination cases reach
court. When they do, plantiffs are not well-organized and usually lose.
Better-organized plaintiffs experience more success, but there are few of
them. The limited number of cases and the even more limited success of
plaintiffs provide little evidence that reverse discrimination is widespread
(Burstein, 1991).
Working Within the System
While societal change is slow and individual candidates usually have
little or no control over it, they do have control over personal and some
professional factors. A "savey" individual who aspires to an administrative
career learns to operate within the system and develops strategies which
maximize their professional chances.
23


In 1985, Barbara Pavan conducted a study of 622 aspiring and
incumbent Pennsylvania school administrators in order to document job
search strategies employed by men and women seeking principal and
superintendent positions. Her data resulted in the following list of strategies
which are ranked from those most often used to those least often employed:
Up-to-date written resume
In district application
Recommendation letters on file
Out of district application
Informal career counseling/friends, colleagues
Administrators informed/job search
Research district before interview
Interviewed for experience
Residence relocation applications
Interview practice stress questions
Letter after interview
Career plan with time targets
Formal career counseling/advisor, agency
Critique of resume, job search plan, etc. (Pavan, 1988, p. 20)
In general, while candidates of both genders used many of the same
strategies, females submitted more applications, had more interviews, and
searched longer than men. Women usually employed an average of thirteen
different job search strategies while men used only seven. Implications are
that gender equity in the hiring of school administrators is, in fact, not a
practiced reality (Pavan, 1988).
This reality need not discourage qualified females from seeking
leadership positions. It simply means that they must try harder and longer
in many cases to obtain their desired position. While women do need quality
job entry skills, they can also improve their chances by developing networks
which encourage and assist them in their efforts (Pigford & Tonnsen, 1990).
The potential of networking as a strategy to overcome the gender gap is
great. Unfortunately, the female network is not as available to aspirants as
the male or "good old boy" network is for males. The sparse number of
24


women currently in administration, the lack of time and information,
socialization factors and undervaluing network utility are some of the
reasons for not utilizing this strategy to its fullest (Johnson, 1991).
No discussion on strategies would be complete without a section dealing
with mentoring. Both males and females benefit from the mentoring
relationship which helps to neutralize barriers. Mentors are needed to open
doors by providing quasi-administrative experiences, by modeling
leadership strategies, by helping plan graduate studies, and by providing
honest feedback (Pigford & Tonnsen, 1990; Polczynski, 1990).
While networking and mentoring are recognized as effective strategies,
Woo's (1985), analysis of the data from the Chapel Hill study, concluded that
the most important success factor for females achieving administrative
positions was their strong motivation to move ahead and persevere in spite of
the barriers they encountered.
Conclusion
As this review of the literature suggests, the best and brightest are
needed to lead our educational institutions into the twenty-first century.
There is no room for discrimination of any type whether intended or simply
an extension of long held stereotypes and myths. Researchers, need to
continue the study of educational administration, its tasks, its
responsibilities and its practices.
Opportunities to enter administration will certainly increase during
the 1990s. Data from a NAESP (National Association of Elementary School
Principals) study of the elementary principalship indicates that "...nearly
one in three principals plan to retire by 1992, nearly 43 percent by 1995,
56 percent by 1998 and 65 percent by the year 2000" (Doud, 1989).
There are most certainly going to be opportunities, but what are the
barriers that both men and women will face as they pursue careers in
25


educational administration? Will they continue to be the same as those
identified by studies in the 1970s and 1980s? Will the strategies of those
eras work for job obtainment in the 1990s? Will the dream of recruiting,
training and placing the best and brightest become a reality?
26


CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY
The major emphasis of this study was to identify barriers to job
obtainment in public school administration (K-12) and strategies to
overcome those barriers. A qualitative, exploratory approach was used. Data
was collected through interviews of male and female aspiring and practicing
administrators in Colorado. The sample consisted of University of Colorado at
Denver (U.C.D.) students who received an endorsement from the
Administration, Supervision and Curriculum Development Division of the
School of Education during the years 1988 through 1991. Those
endorsements include: elementary and secondary principal and the
superintendency.
Data was collected through structured telephone interviews. A prepared
interview schedule was used with questions focused on issues related to
barriers to job obtainment and strategies employed to neutralize those
barriers (see Appendix A).
Sampling Procedures
Identification
Participants for the study were identified by developing a data base of
all persons who received an administrative endorsement from the
Administration, Supervision and Curriculum Development Division of the
School of Education University of Colorado at Denver during the years 1988
through 1991. Approximately 170 individuals received endorsements
during this period. A letter briefly outlining this study, along with a post
card included for their use in indicating a willingness to participate, was sent
to all identified subjects (see Appendices B and C). Practicing
27


administrators, who have endorsements from U.C.D., were identified by the
use of the Colorado Education and Library Directory 1991-92 and their
returned response card.
Stratification
Following receipt of initial responses, subjects were stratified into the
four categories of male and female aspiring administrators, and male and
female practicing administrators. Ten subjects were randomly selected from
each of these categories. If a respondent was not able to participate or did not
match the category from which they were selected, a replacement was
randomly chosen from the appropriate category of the remaining sample pool.
Personal contacts were made to establish a time for the telephone interview.
All data was collected within a four week period. This timeline for data
collection was successfully used in previous studies by Napier (1989) and
Williams (1983).
Pilot Interviews
Two pilot interviews were conducted to test the interview schedule and
the interviewer's technique. This approach was also successfully employed in
the Napier (1989) and Williams (1983) studies. The approximate length of
time for each interview was 30 to 40 minutes. The pilot interviews tested
for compliance with this time limitation as well as for the clarity and
intended response of each question. The data gathered from these two
interviews was transcribed, coded and entered in the appropriate tables
established for display of findings. This provided a test for the data analysis
as well. Following the piloting session, adjustments were made to the
interview schedule, method of data collection and reporting instruments.
28


The Telephone Interviews
Paul Lavrakas (1986) in Telephone Survey Methods, states that during
the past 20 years, the telephone sampling method has gained respectability
and credibility. Telephone survey methods are based on the methodologies of
face-to-face interviewing, and have achieved a respected status as a valid
means of gathering information to aid effective decision making in both the
public and private sectors. They have a definite advantage over the written
questionaire in that the researcher has quality control over the entire data
collection process. The interviewer may prompt, explain, or ask the "why"
question which is so vital to qualitative inquiry. Rogers (1976, cited in
Williams, 1983) reported on a study which showed that "the quality of data
obtained by telephone on complex attitudinal and knowledge items as well as
on personal items is comparable to that collected in person" (p. 57). In
fact, there is no overriding reason that rules against the use of the telephone
interview.
The telephone interview was an appropriate technique for this study.
Time and logistics prevented personal face-to-face interviews for the sample
size desired. Additionally, its format facilitated the collection of qualitative
data. The telephone survey method was used successfully in two recent
dissertations (Napier, 1989; Williams, 1983). Both researchers found it to
be a thorough, efficient process.
Instrument
In an interview, there is direct verbal interaction between the
researcher and the respondent. To facilitate this interaction, an interview
schedule which focused the respondent's thought process while allowing for
unique responses was used. The interview schedule for this study consisted of
semistructured questions. This type of question has no preset choices from
which the respondent selects, and was phrased to allow for individual
29


responses. While this type of open-ended question allowed for elaboration
and more diversified responses, it was fairly specific in its intent (McMillan
& Schumacher* 1989).
The interview schedule is sometimes regarded as discretionary in the
qualitative research interview, but this researcher felt it was necessary to
ensure that all questions were asked in the same order and wording for each
respondent. It also established channels for the direction and scope of the
discourse while allowing the researcher to focus on the respondent's answers
(McCracken, 1988).
Two interview schedules were used in this study, one for the practicing
administrator and another one that is parallel, but slightly different, for the
individual who aspires to a career in educational administration. Questions
for both were developed from relevant literature and the ideas of the
researcher and her advisor. The schedules were divided into two sections: 18
questions-practicing administrator, and 19 questions-aspiring
administrator about perceived barriers to job obtainment and strategies to
neutralize those barriers and 16-practicing administrator, and 13-
aspiring administrator demographic information questions to develop a fuller
understanding of the respondents as individuals and professionals.
Four of the questions were derived from the data and recommendations
of the Gardner (1991) dissertation. Her findings indicate that men and
women perceive significant differences in barriers to career advancement as
they apply to the organization. However, because of the limited responses
permitted by her structured survey, it wasn't possible to determine why they
were considered barriers, how they worked against the individual's job
search or what strategies the respondent used to neutralize those factors. As
a response to this need for clarity, the following three questions were drafted:
3. What barriers, if any, did you encounter when seeking your first
administrative position? Please identify them and rank by severity.
30


4. How did those barriers hinder your job obtainment?
5. What strategies did you employ to overcome those barriers?
Several of Gardner's respondents identified affirmative action as a
possible organizational barrier for white, male aspiring administrators.
Their responses prompted her to recommend that future researchers look for
the presence of a "white male backlash." This question was drafted to assess
if this is indeed an emerging trend:
13. Describe how affirmative action influences the selection of
administrators in your district? Has it had an impact on your
situation? To the best of your knowledge, what are affirmative action
mandates intended to do?
A follow up question to number 13 is the following:
14. Approximately what do you perceive to be the ratio of male/female
administrators employed in your district? Since there is a majority of
fgenderl administrators in your district, do you perceive that that
majority serves to perpetuate itself, or do you think that is changing?
This question was prompted by the findings of a study by Biklen and
Brannigan (1981 cited in Gardner, 1991) which indicated that those in
higher administrative positions, mostly males, tend to offer higher positions
to those like themselves. Does that indeed hold true in the 1990s?
The family and support system is one of the three categories of external
barriers defined by Woo (1981 cited in Gardner, 1991). Her research
suggests that women, more than their male counterparts, are restricted in
their quest for an administrative position by a lack of family support or by
the realities of family responsibilities. Shakeshaft (1987) states that
internal barriers such as lack of aspiration or motivation don't keep women
from aspiring but rather the reality of a world that expects a working women
to continue to do the major portion of work inside the home does. Gardner's
study (1991) indicates that both men and women viewed family support as
31


important to their aspirations, however her female respondents indicated
more often than did the male respondents, that family and home
responsibilities and expectations did inhibit and limit their aspirations. One
of the questions on the interview schedule seeks to explore the validity of this
contention as it applies to aspiring and practicing administrators of both
genders in this study:
15. (16 Aspiring) What was the most significant personal sacrifice
you had to make when seeking to obtain your first administrative
position?
Another question was extracted from a recent study conducted by
Campbell (1991) in which she looked at the perceptions of women and
minorities in the principalship. Her findings indicated that in many cases
women entered the administrative ranks through the urging of a significant
individual in either their personal or professional life. For a few, an event
or opportunity presented itself to interest the individual in seeking an
administrative position. Males, on the other hand, did not consistently cite a
key person or event as being influential to their entry into administration.
The question addressing this issue is:
2. Did a person or critical event influence your decision to become an
administrator? Who was that individual? Describe that individual's
influence or significance of the event.
And yet another set of questions evolved from a 1989 study by Mitchell
and Winn in which they postulate that as a whole, women need a mentor if
they are to advance into educational administration:
7. Did you have a mentor and did this person aid in your job search? If
so, how?
What is the position of that mentor?
Male or female?
Approximate age?
32


What is the nature of that relationship now?
Research suggests that sexual discrimination operates largely outside of
conscious awareness (Porter, Geis & Jennings 1983). To test this
hypothesis Shakeshaft (1987) studied a group of graduate students in her
classes in an administrative training program and found that each individual
denied believing there were differences between males and females. Yet,
when asked if they were to wake up tomorrow as a member of the opposite sex
how would their life be different, all responded in sex-stereotypic ways. The
males wrote about organizing their career and life around family
responsibilities while women responded with an emphasis on career
advancement. The following question will apply this investigation to
strategies employed to obtain a position in educational administration:
16. (17 Aspiring) If you were a member of the opposite sex, would
you conduct your job search differently? How?
Additional questions were designed by the researcher and her advisor
for the purpose of guiding the respondents identification of barriers and
strategies which they employed. Examples of these questions are:
6. (Practicing) What one strategy do you think contributed most to
obtaining your first administrative position?
8. In your job search, how many applications did you submit? How
many positions did you interview for before obtaining your first
position?
9. What leadership positions did you hold prior to obtaining your first
administrative position?
10. How do/did you learn of administrative openings in your district?
Statewide? Nationwide?
11. How did the University assist your search for an administrative
position? Have you had contact with them since your endorsement, and
33


if so, what type and who initiated that contact? What type of assistance
would you have liked?
12. What does your district do to encourage employees to seek
administrative positions?
17. (18 Aspiring) If you could give a person seeking their first
administrative position one piece of advice on job search strategies,
what would it be?
Collection of Data
Appointments for the telephone interviews were scheduled with each
individual. All interviews were conducted during the month of October.
Handwritten notes were made of the responses to the questions. Immediately
following each interview, the notes were transcribed to fill in and complete
abbreviations and shorthand notations while fresh in the researcher's mind.
Analysis of Data
When all the data was collected, the responses were grouped by question
into the actual words of the respondents or the researcher's interpretation of
those responses and checked by one other rater. A tally sheet was used that
matched the interview schedule. Responses were recorded using a code and an
identifying number. The letters (MAA), (FAA), (MPA), and (FPA)
categorize the respondents as male aspiring administrator, female aspiring
administrator, male practicing administrator, and female practicing
administrator. The number next to the code letters identified each
respondent.
Tables were constructed for each question to visibly identify the major
themes from the responses. These themes were analyzed, categories were
developed, and responses counted (Miles & Huberman, 1984). The tables
show the number of responses for each category. A narrative is included to
34


interpret the findings for each question. This method of data analysis has
been proven effective in previous studies (Napier, 1989; Williams, 1983),
and validated as effective for qualitative inquiry (Merriman, 1988).
Validity and Reliability
Internal validity is a strength of qualitative research. It is important
for the researcher to understand the perspectives of the respondents involved
in the study, to uncover the complexity of human behavior in a contextual
framework, and to present an interpretation of what is happening. It is
important to ask the "how" and "why" questions in a manner that evokes
consistently appropriate responses (Merriman, 1988).
Questionaires or interview schedules must be developed by relating
them to the literature and obtaining responses from members of the
population to be studied. A pilot test of the interview schedule with people
from the population to be studied is absolutely necessary to address the
question of validity (Eichelberger, 1989). The participants in the pilot
interviews for this study were members of the population to be studied, and
were asked to critique the interview schedules and comment on the
correlation in the content and design of the questions. They were also asked to
offer suggestions on the interviewer's technique and the structure of the
interview process. The researcher and her advisor independently and
coliaboratively reviewed the pilot process, critiques and results.
Validity was also increased by employing random selection from the
subject data base to assure the representativeness of the respondents. The
use of interview schedules and a second rater reduced researcher bias (Miles
& Huberman, 1984).
Egon G. Guba and Yvonne S. Lincoln (1981) stated that internal validity
is not possible without reliability, and a demonstration of internal validity
amounts to a simultaneous demonstration of reliability. Reliability relates to
35


the consistency of the instrument. It refers to the extent to which one's
findings can be replicated.
Because what is studied in education is assumed to be in flux,
multifaceted, and highly contextual, because information
gathered is a function of who gives it and how skilled the
researcher is at getting it, and because the emergent design of a
qualitative case study precludes a priori controls, achieving
reliability in the traditional sense is not truly possible.
(Merriman, 1988, p. 171)
However, the researcher's data gathering technique can become more
reliable through training and practice. Thus, the pilot interviews served the
function of practical practice for this researcher as well as serving to test
the reliability of the instrument used.
Guba and Lincoln (1981) suggest thinking about the dependability or
consistency of the results obtained from the data. They contend that it is
incumbent upon the researcher to demonstrate that an outsider would obtain
the same results from the collected data. To satisfy this test of reliability, a
second rater was employed to code and interpret the data.
36


CHAPTER 4
PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
This study explored the external barriers which inhibit job obtainment
for public school administrators. It also examined the strategies utilized by
both aspiring and practicing administrators in their job search.
Questions investigated included: What are the factors which inhibit
certified applicants' first administrative job obtainment at the level for
which they are certified? Why were the factors identified as barriers? Do
these factors differ by gender? How do they function to hinder job
obtainment? Once certified, which sex has a longer wait for their first
position in which they hold certification? What kind of job search strategies
are/were used by aspiring applicants when seeking that first position? What
kind of job search strategies were used by practicing administrators when
seeking their first position?
The data were gathered by telephone interviews and categorized in this
chapter according to the researcher's interpretation. Findings are described
in a narrative format and displayed graphically in tables. The data recorded
in each table are identified by respondent codes. The full text of each
interview may be found in Appendix D.
Additionally, the personal and professional demographic data of the
respondents were examined for the purpose of obtaining a clearer picture of
those who aspire to and practice school administration. The chapter concludes
with a discussion of the research findings.
Presentation of Data
The interview schedules used in this study were developed from
relevant literature and the ideas of the researcher and her advisor. Two
37


interview schedules were used in this study, one for aspiring administrators
and one that is parallel, but slightly different for practicing administrators.
A discussion of how the interview schedules were developed can be found in
Chapter 3.
The data are presented in this chapter under the following general
subheadings: 1) "Demographic Data," 2) "Motivation and Commitment,"
3) "Barriers Encountered," 4) "Federal Hiring Mandates," and 5)
"Strategies Employed." Demographic data were obtained from questions 20
through 32 on the aspiring administrator schedule and questions 19 through
34 from the interview schedule for the practicing administrator. Questions
pertaining to motivation and commitment include 1, 2, 12 and 16 for the
aspiring administrator and 1, 2, 12, and 15 for the practicing
administrator. The "Barriers Encountered section addressed questions 3
and 4 on both interview schedules. The data obtained from questions 13 and
14 on both schedules are presented in the section on federal hiring mandates.
A discussion of the data collected for questions 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 17
and 18 for aspiring administrators and questions 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16
and 17 for practicing administrators can be found in the "Strategies
Employed" section. The data are tied together in the conclusion along with the
responses to question 19 for the aspiring administrator and 18 for the
practicing administrator.
The respondents' answers for each question were categorized according
to their commonalities. If there were no comparable responses, answers
were listed separately or grouped under "other." Tables are provided for the
summarized responses to each question. The categories are arranged in the
tables according to the number of responses received for each category. For
example, the first category listed in each table received the most responses
found to be similar and the last category received the least number of similar
responses. For some questions respondents offered more than one response.
38


When this occurred, the tables contain more mentions than the total number
of respondents.
Respondents are identified in the tables by an individual code and
number. The FAA code refers to a female aspiring administrator, MAA to a
male aspiring administrator, FPA to a female practicing administrator, and
MPA indicates a male practicing administrator. The identifying number is
listed under the code for easy reference to Appendix D.
Demographic Data
The demographic questions were designed to obtain a clearer
understanding of the respondents. This section is divided into categories of
female and male aspiring or practicing administrators for comparison as well
as descriptive purposes.
Question 20 AA and Question 19 PA: What degrees do vou hold?
As Table 1 shows, all respondents have obtained bachelor of arts or
sciences degrees, and all have masters of arts or sciences degrees.
Additionally, 2 aspiring female respondents have education specialists
degrees; 2 female practicing administrators have education specialists
degrees, and 3 of them have acquired either a Ph.D. or an Ed.D. One male
aspiring administrator has an education specialist degree and one an Ed.D.
One male practicing administrator has earned an education specialist degree
and one a J.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence).
Question 21 AA and Question 20 PA: At what age did vou receive each degree?
The average age at which the respondents received their undergraduate
degrees was 21.4 for the female aspiring administrator group, 23.1 for the
female practicing administrator group, 24.3 for the male aspiring
administrator group, and 21.4 for the male practicing administrators. The
average age at which the respondents received master's degrees was 33.8 for
aspiring female administrators, 31.3 for female practicing administrators,
39


TABLE 1
What degrees do you hold? (Question 20 AA and Question 19 PA)
Resoonses FAA FPA MAA MPA
B.A. - 2 1 2 2
3 3 7 3
4 4 8 4
5 5 5
6 6 7
7 7 8
8 9 9
10 10
B.S. - 1 2 1 1
g 8 3 6
4 10
5
6
9
10
M.A. - 1 1 2 1
2 2 4 2
3 3 5 3
4 4 6 4
5 5 7 5
6 6 8 6
7 7 9 7
8 8 10 8
9 9 9
10 10 10
M.S. - 1
3
Ed. Specialist - 4 2 3 5
10 10
Ed.D/J.D./Ph.D. - 1 1 8
4
10
40


33.3 for male aspiring administrators and 26.9 for male practicing
administrators. Those who acquired advanced degrees did so at an average age
of 45.5 for female aspiring administrators, 44.5 for female practicing
administrators, 50.5 for male aspiring administrators and 35.5 for male
practicing administrators (Table 2).
Question 23 AA and Question 22 PA: At what aae did vou receive vour
Type D certificate?
Table 2 also displays the respondents' ages at the time they received
their Type D certificates. The male practicing administrators received their
Type D certificates at a much younger age than did those members of the other
groups (31.9). The female practicing administrators received theirs at an
average age of 39.8, female aspiring administrators at 40.8 and the male
aspiring administrators at an average age of 41.3 years.
TABLE 2
Average ages for undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and Type D
certificates
(Questions 21 AA, 20 PA, 23 AA and 22 PA)_________________________
Degrees and certificates FAA FPA MAA MPA
B.A. or B.S. - 21.4 23.1 24.3 21.4
M.A. or M.S. - 33.8 31.3 33.3 26.9
Ed. Specialist - 45.5 48.0 48.0 31.0
Doctorate - 37.0 53.0 40.0
Type D Certificate - 40.8 39.8 41.3 31 .9
41


Question 24 M and Question 23 PA: What aae are vou now?
The data generated by this question established an average age of 44.9
years for female aspiring administrators and 45.5 years for female
practicing administrators. The males averaged 42.7 years for the aspiring
administrators and 44.7 years for the practicing administrator group
(Table 3).
TABLE 3
What age are you now? (Question 24 AA and Question 23 PA)
Responses FAA EEA MM MPA
30 34 years - 7
35 39 years - 2 5 5 3
4 9
7
40 44 years - 1 6 3 5
3 7 4 6
6 10 9 8
9
10
45 49 years - 8 1 1 2
2 6 10
8 10
50 54 years - 5 3 2 1
7 4
8
55 59 years - 4 9
42


Question 25 AA and Question 24 PA: What endorsements do vou have
on vour Type D certificate?
Endorsements on the Type D certificates included elementary, middle
school, secondary and superintendent (Table 4). Six female aspiring
administrators hold secondary endorsements with one of that group having an
additional endorsement in middle school. Of the remaining respondents in this
group, four have elementary endorsements, and one has a middle school
endorsement. Seven of the female practicing administrators have elementary
endorsements, five have secondary endorsements, five have superintendent
endorsements, and two have a middle school endorsement. Of this group, six
have more than one endorsement. The male aspiring administrator group has
six members with secondary, three with middle school, two with
elementary, and two with superintendent endorsements. Four members of
this group have obtained more than one endorsement. The male practicing
administrator respondents have seven secondary, five elementary, three
superintendent and one middle school endorsement. Like the female
practicing administrator group, six of the male practicing administrators
have more than one endorsement.
Question 22 AA and Question 21 PA: Have vou completed additional post
graduate work bevond vour highest degree?
All respondents have completed the educational preparation necessary
for a Type D certificate. However, beyond that, six female aspiring
administrators have completed additional post graduate work. While most of
them have acquired a variety of random hours, two are currently Ph.D.
candidates (Table 5).
Five of the female practicing administrators are enrolled in Ph.D.
programs, but one has indicated she does not intend to finish her degree
program. One of the respondents from this group has not taken additional
classes, but has just recently completed her Ph.D. program. Ninety percent
43


of the members of this group have taken additional work beyond their highest
degrees.
TABLE 4
What endorsement do you have on your Type D certificate? (Question 25 AA and 24 PA)
ResDonses FAA FPA MAA MPA
Elementary - 1 1 7 3
2 2 9 5
6 3 6
8 4 7
5 10
7
8
Middle School - 9 3 5 4
5 9
10
Secondary - 3 5 1 1
4 6 2 2
5 7 3 3
7 9 4 5
9 10 5 6
10 6 8
8 9
9
Superintendent - 9 3 5 4
5 9
10
Only one of the male aspiring administrator group is enrolled in a Ph.D.
program, and an additional one is planning to enter a doctoral program. Three
of the 10 respondents for this group have taken a variety of classes. The
remaining 50% have not taken any advanced classes.
44


TABLE 5
Have you completed additional post graduate work beyond your
highest degree? (Question 22 AA and Question 21 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MAA MPA
Yes - 2 2 2 1
3 3 5 2
5 4 9 3
6 5 4
7 6 5
8 7 6
8 7
9 8
9
10
No - 1 2 1
4 10 3
9 4
10 6
7
8
10
One hundred percent of the male practicing administrators have taken
or are currently taking additional courses beyond their highest degree. Eight
of the 10 respondents currently have Ph.D.s in progress, but one has stated
he will not complete his program. Of those not pursuing a Ph.D., one has 75
additional hours in a variety of subjects and the other one has many hours in
the curriculum area of instruction.
Question 26 AA and Question 25 PA: What is your current position?
When queried about their current position, 70% of the female aspiring
administrators indicated they are classroom teachers. Two are
administrative assistants, one is a counselor and another one is a T.O.S.A.
(teachers on special assignment). Sixty percent of the male aspiring
45


administrators are teachers including one who is a professor in a community
college. Two are T.O.S.A.s, one is an administrative assistant, and one is a
student.
In response to the same question, 4 of the 10 female practicing
administrators indicated they are principals. Three are vice-principals, two
are in central administration staff positions, and one is a superintendent. Six
male practicing administrators are vice-principals, two are principals, one
is in a central administration staff position, and one is a superintendent
(Table 6).
Question 26 PA: Do vou aspire to a different position? What?
As Table 7 shows, only 50% of the female practicing administrators
stated they aspire to a different position. Three of the 10 members of this
group aspire to the superintendency. However, 90% of the male practicing
administrators aspire to a different position with 5 of those 9 respondents
indicating an interest in the superintendency or other high ranking central
administration position.
Question 27 PA: How long have vou been searching for this position?
None of the females who indicated an interest in acquiring a different
position has initiated a search. Only two of the male respondents have done so.
One has been searching for three years and the other for five years (Table 8).
Question 27 AA and Question 28 PA: How many years of teaching
experience do vou have?
The female aspiring administrators had the greatest amount of teaching
experience with an average of 18.7 years. The male aspiring administrator
group had an average of 14.9 years, the female practicing administrators had
an average of 13.8 years, and the male practicing administrators had the
least with an average of 9.5 years of teaching experience (Table 9).
46


TABLE 6
What is your current position? (Question 26 AA and Question 25 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MAA MPA
Teacher - 2 3
4 5
5 6
6 7
7 9
8
10
Administrative assistant 4 10
or Dean - 9
Counselor - 3
T.O.S.A. or classroom 1 4
support teacher - 8
Principal - 4 5
5 7
6
7
Vice Principal - 1 1
2 2
3 3
4
6
8
Central Ad. Staff Position - 9 9
10
Superintendent - 8 10
Other - 1
2


TABLE 7
Do you aspire to a different position? (Question 26 PA)
Responses EEA MPA
Yes:
Principal - 1 1
2 2
3 3
10 4
6
Superintendent - 1 1
5 3
10 7
9
Central Office - 2
5
Other - 1 7
10
Nq: 4 8
6
7
8
9
Question 28 AA and 29 PA: What other educational positions
have vou held?
Respondents were asked what educational positions other than teacher
they had held. Sixty percent of the female aspiring administrators listed
experience as administrative assistants or deans, reading coordinator, staff
development, counselor and director of religious education. One hundred
percent of the female practicing administrators listed additional experience
48


obtained by serving as an administrative assistant or dean, T.O.S.A.,
curriculum coordinator, counselor, reading coordinator or P.T.A. volunteer
coordinator. Only 6 of the 10 male aspiring administrators had educational
experience other than teaching. That experience included: dean of students,
T.O.S.A., curriculum coordinator, director of community corrections
educational program, junior college professor and evening school coordinator.
Sixty percent of the male practicing administrator group had experience as
administrative assistants, alternative or summer school coordinators,
counselor and T.O.S.A. Four female aspiring administrators, four male
aspiring administrators and four male practicing administrators had never
held any educational position other than teacher (Table 10).
TABLE 8
How long have vou been searching for this position?
(Question 27 PA)
Responses FPA MPA
Have not initiated search - 1 1
2 4
3 5
5 6
10 7
9
10
3 years - 2
5 years - 3


TABLE 9
How many years of teaching experience do you have? (Question 27 AA and Question 28 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MAA MPA
0 5 years - 4 2 3
6
10
6-10 years - 3 5 6 4
7 8 5
9 7
10
11-15 years - 5 3 2
9 5 8
10 7 9
10
16-20 years - 6 1 1
7 2
3
6
21 25 years - 1 4
2 9
8
26 30 years - 8
30 35 years - 4 1
50


TABLE 10
What other educational positions have you held? (Question 28 AA and Question 29 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MAA MPA
Adm. assistant/intern 4 3 10 4
or Dean of Students - 5 6 6
9 7
TOSA/Resource Teacher - 4 1 4 2
2
5
Counselor - 3 4 10
6
Curriculum/Reading Coordinator - 5 7 8
8
9
Director of alternative 6 5 1
or nonpublic school education - 6 9
Other - 7 10 1
None 1 2 3
2 3 5
8 7 7
10 9 8
Question 29 AA and Question 30 PA: How long after receiving vour
Type D did vou wait before initiating vour search for vour first
administrative position?
As recorded in Table 11, 20% of the female practicing administrators
and 40% of the male practicing administrators were already in their first
administrative position as they completed the Type D certificate program.


Seventy percent of the male aspiring administrators and 60% of the other
three groups began their searches immediately. Thirty percent of the female
aspiring administrators, 10% of the female practicing administrators, and
20% of the male aspiring administrators began their searches within one
year. One respondent from each of the female aspiring, female practicing and
male aspiring administrator groups stated they began their searches within
two years. Only one male practicing administrator waited six years to begin
his search.
TABLE 11
How long after receiving your Type D did you wait before initiating your search for your first administrative position? (Question 29 AA and Question 30 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MM MEA
Immediately - 1 2 1 4
3 3 2 5
4 4 3 7
6 5 4 9
9 7 6 10
10 10 7
9
Within one year - 5 8 5
7 10
8
Within two years - 2 1 8
Six years later - 2
Already in job - 6 1
9 3
6
8
52


Question 30 fAA): What is the length of time vou have been
searching for an admininstrative position?
One of the female aspiring administrators has just initiated her search
during the past year. However, 4 of the 10 in that group have been searching
for two years, and three are in their third year. Only one of the female
respondents has been seeking a position for as long as five years. Five of the
10 male aspiring administrators have been seeking a position for only one
year. One reports a two year search, another a three year search, and three
have been applying for positions for approximately four years (Table 12).
Question 32 (PA): Did vou change districts to enter vour first
administrative position?
Only 1 of the 10 female practicing administrators said that she changed
districts to enter administration. However, 3 of the 10 male practicing
administrator respondents relocated to obtain their first position (Table 13)
Question 31 AA and Question 33 PA: Marital status: Children; Ages?
As Table 14 shows, 85% of the respondents are married and 82.5%
have children. Seven of the 10 female aspiring administrators are married.
Two are divorced, and one is single. Eight of the 10 female practicing
administrators are married, one widowed and one is single. All 10 of the
male aspiring administrators are married. Only 1 of the 10 male practicing
administrators is not married.
Seventy percent of the female aspiring administrators have an average
of two children with an average age of 17.7 years. Ninety percent of the
female practicing administrators have an average of two children with an
average age of 19 years. Only 80% of the male aspiring administrators have
children and the average number for that group is 2.25 children. The
average age is 13.9 years. All but 1 of the 10 male practicing administrators
is a father, and that group has an average of two children. Their average age
is 15.7 years.
53


TABLE 12
What is the length of time you have been searching for an
administrative position?
(Question 30 AA)
Responses FAA MAA
1 year 7 2
3
4
6
7
2 years 1 2 5 6 10
3 years 3 5
8
9
10
4 years 1
8
9
5 years 4
Question 32 AA and Question 34 PA; What is the ethnic backaround with
which you most closely identify?
The respondents selected for this study represent the overall ethnic
ratio of the complete subject data base. Seventy percent of the female
aspiring administrators, 80% of the female practicing administrators, 80%
of the male aspiring administrators and 90% of the male practicing
administrators are Caucasian (Table 15). One female aspiring administrator
54


TABLE 13
Did you change districts to enter your first administrative position? (Question 32 PA)
Responses FPA MPA
No - 1 1
2 3
3 4
4 5
5 6
6 8
7 9
8
9
Yes - 10 2
7
10
and one male aspiring administrator are African-American. Two of the
female practicing administrators are Hispanic. Two female aspiring and one
male aspiring administrator stated they most closely identify with Italian-
Americans, and one of the respondents, a male practicing administrator, is an
Asian-American.
Motivation and Commitment
The previous section described the characteristics of the individuals
who aspire to and practice educational administration. Questions 1, 2, 12,
16 (AA) and 15 (PA) explored their motivations and commitments, for
example, why seek a career in educational administration, and what
sacrifices are necessary to pursue this goal?
Question 1 (AA and PAL Whv did vou decide to become an administrator?
Out of the 40 respondents questioned for this study, six female and
seven male practicing administrators perceived their primary reason for
55


TABLE 14
Marital status? (Question 31 AA and 33 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MAA MPA
Married - 1 2 1 1
3 3 2 2
4 5 3 3
7 6 4 4
8 7 5 5
9 8 6 7
10 9 7 8
10 8 9
9 10
10
Single - 5 4 6
Divorced - 2
6
Widowed - 1
wanting to enter administration was to have a positive influence on the
educational process (Table 16). Only three female and three male aspiring
administrators indicated it was a primary influence for them. With aspiring
female administrators, the primary motivation was personal or professional
growth. For aspiring male administrators, financial gains and career changes
figured prominently as motivators.
It is interesting to note that a majority of practicing administrators
were motivated by the ability to benefit others while the aspiring
administrators were motivated by the ability to benefit themselves. A
malepracticing administrator indicated he reached a point in his teaching
56


TABLE 15
What is the ethnic background with which you most closely identify? (Question 32 AA and 34 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MAA MPA
Caucasian - 1 1 1 2
3 2 2 3
4 3 4 4
5 6 5 5
6 7 6 6
8 8 7 7
9 9 8 8
10 10 9
10
Italian-American - 7 3
10
African-American - 2 9
Hispanic - 4
5
Asian-American 1
career where his focus changed to teaching teachers,
...I had a belief that if I had direct impact on X number of students as a
teacher, then by helping teachers get better, I would be having a greater
impact on a greater number of students. I could do that through being an
effective administrator.
"I was looking for different challenges," responded one female aspiring
administrator. "I had met most of the challenges in the classroom, and I
wanted to affect a bigger audience. A Type D offered broader opportunities."
57


TABLE 16
Why did you decide to become an administrator? (Question 1 AA and 1 PA)
Responses EM EPA |W\A MPA
To influence the 4 1 5 2
educational process - 6 2 6 4
10 3 10 5
4 6
5 8
7 9
10
Personal/Professional growth - 1 3 1 1
2 6 7 7
3 8
6
7
8
9
Power - 3 7 3
10 4
9
Financial - 3 3
4
8
Encouragement of others - 1 4
9
Career change - 10 2
Question 2 (AA and PA1: Did a person or critical event influence vour
decision to become an administrator?
As Table 17 shows, the group with the most respondents who indicated
that a person was instrumental in their decision to pursue administration
58


was the female aspiring administrators. Of those six, most reported that
their principal saw leadership qualities in them and suggested and supported
their decision.
Female practicing administrators were almost equally divided among the
categories. Three referred to a change in their family status as prompting
their decisions. Another female practicing administrator stated that her
interest and participation in local politics influenced her to pursue
administration as a career. She "saw school systems as political arenas with
administrators as actors in that arena trying to influence for their schools."
Five of the male practicing administrators stated that a person
influenced and sponsored their decision, and 2 of the 3 who listed events as an
influence indicated that when positions opened they were in the right place at
the right time. One reported a negative event as an influence to go into
administration. "Actually, I got RIFFED as a teacher with nine years of
experience in one district. I was ticked! It was a reason to go back to school."
The most diverse responses came from the male aspiring administrator
group. Only 4 out of 10 acknowledged a significant influence from an
individual. Six respondents, however, had a variety of other motivators.
Their responses included: "...I was just looking for a way to improve my
station and salary." "Run-ins with administrators over differences of
philosophy made me want to get into administration to see if I could
understand their mind sets what caused them to think and do as they did."
Question 12 (AA and PA1: What does vour district do to encourage employees
to seek administrative positions?
This inquiry looked at what, if anything, local school districts are doing
to encourage qualified individuals to seek administrative positions. The
respondents indicated that, on the whole, few formal programs were offered
to promote interest in or attainment of administrative posts (Table 18). In
one instance, a female aspiring administrator stated that while her district
59


TABLE 17
Did a person or critical event influence your decision to become an administrator? (Question 2 AA and 2 PA)
.Responses FAA EEA MAA MPA
Person - 1 2 4 1
4 3 5 5
5 9 7 6
7 8 7
8 9
10
Event - 2 1 3
6 4 4
9 6 8
10
Other - 3 5 1 2
7 2 10
8 3
6
9
10
did have a formal program of sorts, "...they're cliquish, racial and gender
oriented. These programs seek those people who follow orders well and aren't
especially creative or make waves. They want them to follow the status quo."
However, one respondent said her district has a highly regarded
program where, "Anyone who currently holds a Type D and wants a
principalship is run through assessments and helped to develop an I.E.P.
growth plan. They are assigned a mentor who will monitor their growth
plan."
Many respondents indicated that aspirants were encouraged
individually, especially by a mentor. "The administrators themselves find
60


teachers who would be good administrators and recruit them...It's in one's
best interest to encourage quality people if we want quality people to work
with," remarked one male practicing administrator.
Four of the male aspiring administrative group reported they are not
employed in a public school district and are unable to take advantage of what
little mentoring or organized programs might be available.
Question 16 AA and Question 15 PA: What was the one most significant
personal sacrifice vou had to make when seeking to obtain vour first
administrative position?
As expected, the responses overwhelmingly indicated that time (e.g.,
time for family and personal interests) was the greatest sacrifice made by all
groups (Table 19). A typical response made by a male practicing
administrator involved family time and interests. "I am a workaholic. I
sometimes felt I was being too demanding of my family as I pursued my
career ambitions." To obtain a position, aspirants expect to put in a great
deal of time as evidenced by this statement from a female practicing
administrator, "To promote myself, I worked many long hours at a variety of
things."
Three respondents indicated that their pursuit of an administrative
career had a direct adverse effect on their family or personal relationships.
"I think my personal relationships and family relationships suffered.
It might have cost me a marriage," remarked one female practicing
administrator.
Additionally 25% of the respondents revealed the significance of their
financial sacrifices. A female practicing administrator reflected, "Actually
getting my Type D...and the...endorsement were expensive. I took a second
mortgage on the house to pay tuition. It's very expensive." Besides the cost of
tuition and other educational expenses, several took leaves of absence, at a
loss of salary, to obtain the necessary education.
61


TABLE 18
What does your district do to encourage employees to seek administrative positions? (Question 12 AA and 12 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MAA MPA
Nothing formal - 1 1 3 1
3 3 4 2
6 6 5 3
7 7 8 4
10 10 10 6
7
8
Encourage individuals - 4 2 4 2
9 3 5 4
6 6
10
Offer pseudo administrative 2 1
positions for aspirants - 4 5
5 9
8
Staff development program - 8 9 7 5
8 9
Internships - 4 2 7 10
9
Other - 2 4 3
5
N.A. - 1
2
6
9
62


TABLE 19
What is the most significant personal sacrifice you have had to
make when seeking to obtain your first administrative position?
(Question 16 AA and 15 PA)
.Responses FAA FPA MAA MPA
Time :
Family - 1 3 4 3
2 7 5 5
6 8 8 9
9 9 10
Personal - 3 2 2 4
5 3 3 6
7 6
8
Education - 2 8 4 2
10 7 9
8
9
Gaining experience 4 7 5 3
& building reputation - 6 10
8
Financial - 4 1 1 9
10 2
3
6
9
Family/personal 4 8
relationships - 5
Other - 1 10 1
7
63


Barriers Encountered
A conscious commitment to and preparation for a career in educational
administration as well as the willingness to sacrifice does not automatically
guarantee the obtainment of a position. Several barriers, both overt and
covert, were encountered by aspirants as they sought that first, foot-in-the-
door position. Questions 3 and 4 were designed to uncover those barriers and
how they functioned to hinder job obtainment.
Question 3 (AA and PAt: What barriers, if anv. have vou encountered in
seeking vour first administrative position?
As Table 20 indicates, 40% of the respondents indicated their lack of
administrative experience was the number one barrier they encountered. To
obtain an administrative position, administrative or comparable experience
was viewed as a necessity. A female aspiring administrator complained,
"They want you to be an experienced administrator before they hire you. How
do you have experience if no one gives you a job?" Another added, "They want
experience, but how can you get experience if you can't get a job? It's the old
Catch 22 deal."
As a group, however, the female practicing administrators believed
most strongly that political factors such as "paying ones dues" and positions
already being designated before the actual application process was even
initiated were the greatest barriers. One respondent warned, "There are lots
of land mines there for women yet."
Thirteen respondents lamented the lack of openings. "There is an
attempt in our district to cut back on administrators and positions are being
combined," stated a male aspiring administrator.
A practicing administrator commenting on his lack of opportunity
reported, "After completing my Type D classes, there was a two year period
when we didn't have an opening. When openings finally did occur, there was a
great deal of competition. There were lots of teachers with Type Ds."
64


A lack of mentoring or sponsorship received 11 mentions. Half of the
female aspiring administrators believed that it was essential for entry into
administration. "It's difficult to get accepted into our district's
administrative pool, and I didnt have anyone pulling for me and paving the
way." Another aspiring respondent elaborated on this need with her
comment, "I had wonderful evaluations, but no support...! couldn't find a
mentor. There's no one who cared enough to give me one shred of support."
A few respondents mentioned that racial and gender discrimination was a
barrier. Of particular interest were the answers of "white male backlash"
mentioned by five male respondents (three aspiring and two practicing).
Both sexes mentioned they lost out in some instances to a candidate of the
opposite sex due to the desired gender preference at the time for that specific
position.
Other barriers identified, but with less frequency, included the
inability to relocate, age, management style not preferred, lack of interview
skills, educational preparation and salary. Two practicing respondents (one
female and one male) revealed they did not encounter any barriers in their
searches.
Question 4 fAA and PA1: How did those barriers hinder your iob obtainment?
While the perceived barriers encountered impacted in different ways on
the respondents' searches, their effects can be categorized into 4 areas:
denied entry into applicant pool; limited or no opportunities to pursue
position; denied interview; interviewed but denied position (Table 21).
Within these categories, the most interesting dealt with the reasons for
rejection after interviewing for a position. Twelve respondents indicated that
at one time or another they were rejected for a position due to political
factors. Of those 12, five were female practicing administrators. "There was
a pre-selected choice. They needed to move someone from one program to
another because he was not performing well where he was," revealed one
65


TABLE 20
What barriers, if any, have you encountered in seeking your first administrative position? (Question 3 AA and Question 3 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MAA MEA
Lack of experience - 1 3 1 2
4 5 3 6
8 8 4 8
9 10 5 10
Political - 4 2 2 9
5 3 7
4 9
5 10
7
8
9
Few positions available - 6 4 2
7 6 3
8 8 4
10 6
7
9
Lack of mentoring/sponsorship- 2 8 2 3
3 10 5
8 9
9
10
Preferred applicant of 1 2 4 5
opposite sex 2 4 10
5
Racial discrimination - 4 4 3 8
4 10
5
66


Responses TABLE.gQ_coQiinu.ecl EAA EEA MM MPA
Other - 1 1 2 4
2 7 5
3 8 8
4 10 9
6
9
None - 6 1
practicing administrator. Another contended, "Positions weren't really
open."
Four male aspiring administrators agreed that political factors had hurt
their candidacies. Three cited the existence of the "good old boy" network as a
factor in selection. Our district has a reputation of being a 'good old boy
district. You have to be an insider to get in." Another stated, "There are
political forces at work in the actual selection of a person for the position.
Our districts very political." One respondent provided a concrete example of
this when he related, "I was the choice of an interview committee, but
someone not on the committee, higher up, took my name off and put in
someone else."
A lack of experience was reported by several persons for their
rejection. For aspiring administrators it is most difficult to convince, in an
interview, that they have the right background and legitimate experience to
handle the job. One female respondent said, "In interviews I did get, they
geared the questions to experiences in administration, and, of course, that
eliminated me right there."
Four male aspiring administrators echoed the same dilemma. "I got
interviews based on related experience, but the lack of any real
67


administration experience kept me from getting the job once interviewed."
Another admitted that not being in a public school district has hurt his
chances. "Working in the corrections department (educational program) has
kept me out of public schools, and my experience is looked at as maybe not
quite as good not related."
Only five respondents believed that not receiving a position for which
they were interviewed was due to a member of the opposite sex being
preferred for the post. It is interesting to note, however, that three female
practicing administrators perceived they had to work harder to prove that
they were capable of successfully holding an administrative position. "I had
to work hard to convince everyone that I was more than window dressing...!
had to be doubly good in the interview..."
Ethnicity, not being the right fit for the position, and poor performance
in the interview were mentioned as other reasons for not receiving a position.
Two respondents, a female practicing administrator and a male practicing
administrator, did not encounter any barriers.
Federal Hiring Mandates
Advocates of change for increasing the representation of women and
minorities in administration agree that whatever the reason for
underrepresentation, affirmative action has offered a means of redress.
Affirmative action legislation has prompted the revision of recruitment and
hiring policies with the intent of reducing barriers for women and minorities
who seek careers in educational administration (Miklos, 1988).
Questions 13 and 14 on both interview schedules were designed to
investigate the effects of gender and ethnicity, in particular, as they relate to
perceived hiring practices for aspiring and practicing administrators in this
study.
68


TABLE 21
How did those barriers hinder your job obtainment? (Question 4 AA and Question 4 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MAA MPA
Interviewed but denied position 4 1 2 6
due to political factors - 6 2 5
5 7
8 9
9
Interviewed but denied position 1 8 1 2
due to lack of experience - 5 6
8 8
9
Limited/no opportunities 7 10 4
to pursue - 9 5
7
8
9
10
Denied interview - 1 6 4
. 10 9
10
Denied entry into 3 3 3 3
applicant pool - 8
Interviewed but denied position 5 2 6
due to gender- 4
7
Other - 4 4 4 8
2 10 7
8
N.A. 6 1


Question 13 (AA and PA1: Describe how affirmative action influences the
selection of administrators in your district. Has it had an impact on vour
situation? To the best of your knowledge, what are the affirmative action
mandates intended to do?
The first section of this three part question dealt with the respondents'
perceptions of how affirmative action impacts the selection of administrators
in their own districts. 61% of the respondents who currently work in public
school districts believed there was a conscious attempt by the administration
to recruit and hire minorities (Table 22a). The male practicing
administrator group overwhelmingly believed this to be the case. The impact
oif this attempt was described by one respondent as influencing the hiring of
diverse talent:
...We have women in roles of greater administrative authority.
We have some minorities in buildings and at the district level.
There's a stronger decision making group due to the diversity in
the administration group.
Not all male practicing administrators agreed that the impact of
affirmative action' was positive as evidenced by this statement from one of
that group, "I think...personally, theres a very unfair advantage for some
people. The feeling in the district is that there are some who got interviews
and jobs just because of affirmative action."
The female practicing administrator group emphasized their districts'
attempts to recruit minorities and women. In the area of recruitment, a
respondent said,
...The district sends people out to different career fairs and parts
of the state to recruit people of color and women. They do a good
job of encouraging and placing women in educational
administration. Our people are committed. If all things are
equal, they attempt to hire to balance ethnicity, gender and
language throughout the district.
70


The female aspiring administrator group was not as enthusiastic in
their belief that affirmative action plays an active part in the selection of
administrators in their districts. Fifty percent believed that just the
opposite was true. However, one respondent from this group did say:
...around 1980 they offered a one-half day meeting for women
who were interested in administration. Universities came and
talked about their administrative programs, and after that, they
hired a lot of women. But other than that, I can't see that it has
been much of a factor.
Three respondents indicated that their districts were under court order
to recruit and hire minorities, and four male aspiring administrators
reported not being employed in public school districts.
Generally, by the responses of female practicing administrators and
male aspiring and practicing administrators, it would seem that affirmative
action is recognized as having an impact on hiring and recruitment practices
in most school districts. This impact may be viewed as limited or enforced
due to court order, but it does exist and does influence the selection of
administrators to some degree. The acknowledged effect, according to one
female practicing administrator is "... it's a given, but it's really not
discussed."
The second part of this question examined respondents' perceptions of
affirmative action and how affirmative action has influenced their own
situations. Their answers showed an approximate split with 19
acknowledging that it had, and 21 responding in the negative (Table 22b).
The female and male aspiring and male practicing administrators indicated
that it had little effect, or that when it did, the effect was negative.
The white male respondents often indicated that reverse discrimination,
resulting from affirmative action, hindered their job obtainment. A male
aspiring administrator said:
71


TABLE 22a
Describe how affirmative action influences the selection of
administrators in your district. (Question 13 AA and Question 13 PA)
Responses EM FPA MAA MEA
Attempt to hire minorities - 1 4 4 1
6 9 5 2
7 8 3
4
5
6
Actively recruit minorities - 4 2 8 4
7 3 6
5 7
6 8
10
It doesn't - 3 1 7
5
8
9
10
Best candidate chosen - 7 10 9
8 1q
Attempt to balance gender and ethnicity - 3 5
Under court order - 2 4 3
N.A. 1
2
6
9
72


Sure, it has had an impact on my situation. Currently white
males predominate in administration, and to equalize, most
places are hiring minorities on a 3 to 1 ratio, especially in
administration. So, being a white male is a handicap most times.
I think it's necessary, and I understand it, but it hurts to be
passed over because of quotas.
Another added, "We are under court order to comply with affirmative action
mandates, so recent hires have been mainly minorities and some women."
All women, however, do not necessarily view affirmative action as an
advantage. A female aspiring administrator stated, "...In my most recent
interview, I found out they wanted a black. When I started, they wanted
women, but now there are so many that they're concentrating on minorities
instead."
On the positive side, however, five female practicing administrators did
perceive it had a bearing on their situation. One said, "Yes, I'm bi-Iingual..."
"I'm the first female administrator in our district," remarked another.
However, one respondent qualified her "yes" answer with, "I think so, but I'm
not sure. I think I'm very good at what I do. Sometimes they're looking for a
specific minority, but that's not all there is to me."
Of the negative responses to this question, one male practicing
administrator seemed confused, "I want to say yes, but it really hasnt I don't
think. In one case, the two finalists for a position were myself and an
affirmative action candidate. And, in the final process, they chose the best
candidate." After qualifying her response of "no" with, "I don't think so,"
one female practicing administrator recalled a situation of being turned down.
"...I felt that people of color were desired, but I'm not sure, maybe."
The majority indicated that it is difficult to be sure of affirmative
action's impact on hiring. When rejected for a position, most did not know
absolutely if their gender or ethnicity was the deciding factor.
The final part of the question asked for the respondents to define
affirmative action. This was an attempt to determine if they had a clear
73


TABLE 22b
Has it had an impact on your situation?
(Question 13 AA and Question 13 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MAA MPA
No - 3 1 2 1
5 6 6 3
6 9 7 4
7 10 8 5
8 9 7
10 10
Yes (Negative effect) - 1 2 1 2
2 3 6
4 4 8
9 5 9
10
Yes (Positive effect) - 3
4
5
7
8
understanding of its intended impact on hiring practices. It is assumed that
most people are unaware of its true, broadest intent.
Upon examining Table 22c, it is clear the respondents acknowledge that
affirmative action attempts to insure equal opportunity and provide an equal
representation that is reflective of diverse populations. However, only five
were clear about the intent of affirmative action and understood it was
established to correct past injustices and meet government standards. From
these responses, it would seem that affirmative action is seen as moving from
the punitive arena into one that is more proactive in maintaining equal
opportunity for all groups. One female practicing administrator summed up


affirmative action by stating it existed "to give fair opportunity to every
viable candidate. We have to be equitable in advertising, interviewing and
hiring minorities, gender and handicapped."
TABLE 22c
To the best of your knowledge, what are affirmative action mandates intended to do? (Question 13 AA and Question 13 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MAA MPA
Insure equal opportunity - 1 6 1 5
3 7 2 8
4 8 4 10
5 9 6
6 7
7 8
9 10
10
Hirings reflect community - 8 3 1
4 6
7
Provide equal representation - 3 2
5 9
6
Provide diversity in 9 10 5 4
role models - 6
Other - 6 1 9 3
2
5
Don't know - 2
75


Question 14 (AA and PA1: Approximately what do vou perceive to be the ratio
of male/female administrators employed in vour district? Since there is a
majority of (aenderl administrators in vour district, do vou perceive that
that majority serves to perpetuate itself, or do vou think that is changing?
This question was prompted by the research of Biklen and Brannigan
(1981, cited in Gardner, 1991) which found that those in higher
administrative positions tend to offer higher positions to those most like
themselves. The respondents in this study were asked if this in fact does hold
true in the early 1990s.
Part one of this question asked respondents to describe the ratio of male
to female administrators in their districts. Table 23a clearly shows that
male administrators still dominate, but only at the 60 to 79% range. Only
three respondents indicated their districts had a majority of female
administrators. However, a female practicing administrator mentioned that
while the ratio was 2 to 1 female, hers was a very small district and not
necessarily representative of the average district.
Most respondents perceived that while males do dominate in
administration, females are often the majority at the elementary level and
are seen as making gains at the secondary level. A female aspiring
administrator said:
At the secondary level, it's probably 65% male to 35% female.
That's not true at the elementary. It's the reverse... I think it's
true that at the secondary level they continue to hire more men,
but perhaps that's because there aren't enough women looking
for secondary jobs.
A little over 25% of the respondents believed their district had a
balanced gender representation in the administrative ranks. Ten percent of
the participants are not currently employed in a public school district.
76


TABLE 23a
Approximately what do you perceive to be the ratio of male/female
administrators employed in (Question 14 AA and 14 PA) your district?
Responses FAA FPA MAA MPA
Predominately male:
80% 100% - 5 3 10
8
60% 79% - 1 1 4 5
7 5 5 6
9 6 7
10 8
9
10
51% 59% 2 7
Predominately female:
60% 79% - 8 7 1
51% -59% - 9
Balanced: 50% 50% - 2 3 10 2
3 4 3
4 4
6 8
N.A. - 1
2
6
9
77


When the respondents (employed in public school districts) were asked
if they believed the usual hiring of one gender over the other was changing,
44% indicated they saw no change toward equalization, 19.5% saw a change,
and 36% were convinced their district was maintaining an achieved balance
(Table 23b). Four of the respondents are currently not employed in public
school districts.
Speaking as one who saw no change, a female practicing administrator
remarked it was the network that played a large role in who got hired, "That
network is what does it every time. Also, the community still has the image
of a male principal to some degree. They don't see a woman as being as strong
and capable."
A male practicing administrator made an interesting observation:
There are one female and six males in our administrative ranks.
Yes, it's remaining that way. It's interesting because the women
on our interview panels want to hire men and not the more
qualified women candidates. In the last case, I thought two
female candidates were more qualified than the man the panel
recommended. The women on the panel wanted the male
candidate.
Approximately 18% of the respondents perceived their district's hiring
pattern was changing. A female aspiring administrator said that while males
were still in the majority, it has been "narrowing in the last five to seven
years. In fact, it has been very dramatic. Lots of women are getting Type Ds
now, so since the applicant pool is larger, more will get positions in the
future."
Strategies Employed
This section will discuss the data collected for questions 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
10, 11, 15, 17 and 18 on the aspiring administrator schedule and questions
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, and 17 on the practicing administrator schedule.
The purpose for asking these questions was to obtain information about the
78


strategies the respondents used for obtaining administrative positions. What
did the respondents feel were the most effective and least effective approaches
employed in their job searches, and lastly, what would they recommend for
individuals initiating their own searches?
TABLE 23b
Do you think that is changing? (Question 14 AA and Question 14 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MAA MPA
No - 3 1 3 6
5 2 5 10
10 5 7
7 8
8
9
10
Remains balanced - 1 3 10 1
2 4 2
4 3
6 4
8
9
Yes - 7 6 4 5
8 7
9
N.A. - 1
2
6
9
79



Question 5 (AA and PA1: What strategies did you employ to overcome those
barriers?
The two strategies utilized by the majority of all the groups include
"build administrative type experience" and "increase interview and
professional presentation skills" (Table 24). However, after examining the
breakdown of aspiring and practicing categories by gender, significant
differences become apparent. Seventy percent of the aspiring female
respondents indicated they employ both strategies, while only 30% of the
practicing female administrators have employed these strategies. Fifty
percent of the male aspiring and 60% of the male practicing administrators
indicated they employed these strategies.
Practicing women administrators cited "building administrative type
experience", "increase visibility/recognition" and "proper
timing/persistence" as being equally important to the success of their job
searches. On proper timing, a female practicing administrator remarked:
I was the only one in the building with a Type D. The principal
was accused of sexual harassment, and it was critical to get
someone in who knew the community. The assistant principal
was in her 60s and was ready to retire. Also, she didn't have a
Type D. She was grandfathered in.
Another increased her visibility and recognition, "On committees I'm
very assertive. I'm not a wall flower and became known. I very quickly let
people know that I'm not just a pretty face, or a brown face, but someone with
lots of strong capabilities."
The group which relied most heavily on a network/mentoring
relationship to further their careers were the male practicing
administrators. Additionally, 4,from this group of 10 acknowledged that
their ability and willingness to relocate was an effective strategy. Along with
the practicing female administrator group, this group also indicated that
80


proper timing and persistence were important factors.
Two successful candidates (one female and one male) created their own
positions, and three aspiring administrators (one female and two males) have
abandoned their searches.
Question 6 (AA1: Have vou changed your job search strategy, and if so. how?
Table 25 shows that 70% of the female aspiring administrators changed
their job search strategy while only 40% of the male aspiring
administrators altered their plan. On the other hand, 50% of the males
indicated they decided to abandon their search, but only 20% of the females
made this decision. One reason cited for giving up the search was related to
finances.
Of the respondents who indicated they have changed their strategies, the
majority reported they intended to gain more quasi-administrative
experience. Four respondents decided to relocate.
Two aspiring respondents (one female and one male) have decided to stay
with their current strategy while two females stated changing strategies is a
possibility. These changes might include a refocusing of career goals,
reassignment to another building (in hopes of finding a mentor) or relocation
to another more promising school district.
Question 6 (PA): What one strategy do vou think contributed most to
obtaining your first administrative position?
Almost 50% of practicing administrators credited building recognition
and networking as the strategy responsible for their successful job searches
(Table 26). "I was known and also knew my field. I was very knowledgeable
and articulate...," remarked one confident female administrator.
Another administrator of the same gender added, "Knowing how to play
the political system in the school district helped. It's very subtle." One of
their male counterparts agreed, "I used lots of communication between the
81


TABLE 24
What strategies are you employing, or have you employed to overcome
those barriers?
(Question 5 AA and Question 5 PA)
ResDonses EM FPA MM MPA
Build administrative type 1 2 1 2
experience - 4 8 5 6
7 10 7
8
9
Increase interview and 4 10 4 1
professional presentation 5 7 4
skills - 6 8 5
8 6
Network/Mentor - 6 5 4 1
10 10 9 3
5
7
Increase visibility/recognition - 1 2 4 3
10 5 5 8
7
Proper timing/persistence - 1 10 4
3 5
9 8
10
Relocated - 9 4 1
2
7
10
Educational preparation - 8 2
9
Other - 2 1 3 9
3 4 6
6
7
82


TABLE 25
Have you changed your job search strategy, and if so, how? (Question 6 AA)
Responses FAA MAA
Yes:
Gain more quasi-administrative 1 5
experience - 6 8
9
Willing to relocate - 1 10
9
10
Refocus career/administrative goals - 2 2
7 5
Other - 8 8
10 9
No: 4 9
Will consider a change of strategy: 7
8
Have abandoned job search: 3 1
5 3
4
6
7
83


administrators in the district. Knowing the politics of the district and how to
use it was an advantage."
Thirty percent of the respondents reported that professional
presentation in their paperwork and interview process was responsible for
their successes. One respondent commented he attended a professional
workshop to hone his interview skills and to improve his resume.
"I took interviews seriously. I created for myself an interview
scenario, questions, and practiced my answers and philosophies," responded a
female administrator.
TABLE 26
What one strategy do you think contributed most to obtaining your first administrative position? (Question 6 PA)
Responses FPA MEA
Built recognition/Networking - 1 1
5 3
7 7
9 8
9
Preparation of professional presentation 3 4
and interviews - 4 5
6 10
Gaining quasi-administrative experience - 2 6
8
Other - 10 2
84


Question 7 tAA and PA): Did/do you have a mentor and did/does this person
aid in vour job search? What is the position of that mentor?
Sixty percent of the practicing and aspiring administrators had a
mentor who assisted with their job searches (Table 27a). Seven of the 10
female practicing administrators worked with a male mentor. Overall 13
respondents had male mentors while 11 respondents had female mentors.
Four respondents reported previously having mentors, but were
without that association and assistance at present. Thirteen of those
questioned indicated they have never had a mentor. Male aspiring
administrators had the most mentions in this category. One commented, "I'm
not in a position to have one. That could be a barrier. Perhaps if I'd had one,
things might be different."
Only one female practicing administrator and four male practicing
administrators responded that they had never had a mentor. One of the
practicing administrators was associated with "...a couple of people I looked
up to and learned from, but no one officially mentored me."
While most respondents acknowledged the advisability of connecting
with a mentor, a male practicing administrator warned:
...You have to be careful. The one who I most respected and
trusted got himself fired and tainted everyone around him...Don't
associate too closely with one person. The political aspect of that
is, if you're on the wrong side of the door when an opportunity
arises, you'll get left out. Don't rely on one person only.
Principals and administrators from the central office most often served
as mentors. Other mentions included: assistant principals, university
professors, a teacher and a state department of education official (Table
27b).
85


TABLE 27a
Do/have you had a mentor that has aided in your job search?
(Question 7 AA and Question 7 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MM MPA
Yes:
Male Mentor - 4 1 8 1
4 2
5 6
7 8
8
9
10
Female Mentor - 1 2 4 4
6 3 5 10
7 5
9
No:
Mentor in past - 2 10
3
5
Never had mentor - 8 6 1 3
10 2 5
3 7
6 9
7
9
86


TABLE 27b
Position of mentor: (Question 7 AA and Question 7 PA)
Responses FAA FPA MAA MEA
Principal- 3 2 5 2
4 3 6
5 7 8
6 9 10
Central Ad. Administrator - 2 2 8 1
7 4 4
5 8
8
Assistant Principal - 1 4
9
College Professor - 5 10 4
Other - 9
10
Question 8 (AA and PA): In vour job search, how many applications did you
submit? In how many interviews have you participated?
As Table 28a shows, 30% of the respondents submitted no more than
one or two applications in their job searches, and 25% submitted three or
four. Fifteen percent of the respondents submitted five to 10 applications.
Some 17.5% submitted 11 to 20, and 7.5% over 20. Two male practicing
administrators did not submit applications as they were appointed to their
first positions. It should be noted, however, that many submitting only one
or two applications did so to district hiring pools which made them eligible
for more than one position.
87


One female practicing administrator topped the list for females with a
total of 35 applications. A male practicing administrator submitted 50 to
60, and an aspiring administrator submitted the most overall for the males
with his 60 to 100 applications over a three year period. In all three cases,
they had unique backgrounds requiring an extensive job search. These
respondents were not in Colorado public school systems.
Overall, practicing administrators submitted fewer applications before
receiving their first position than have the aspiring candidates in their thus
far unsuccessful quest. Male aspiring administrators have submitted the
most applications as evidenced by 60% of their group submitting five or
more each.
Table 28b shows the number of interviews received by the respondents.
One or two interviews were granted to 42.5% of the sample, 22.5% received
three or four, 22.5% received five or more, and 7% did not received an
interview. The correlation between the number of applications submitted and
interviews granted appears to be quite high.
Question 9 fAA and PA); What leadership positions have vou held?
Aspiring candidates were asked what leadership positions they have held
or currently hold, and the practicing administrators were asked about
leadership positions they held prior to receiving their first administrative
position. Their responses are recorded in Table 29.
Seventy percent of all female respondents are or were in positions of
leadership in their teachers' association or other professional organizations
such as state reading councils, regional associations of school counselors or
other curriculum and program oriented associations. Local or district
committees, and curriculum development showed equal representation across
all four groups. However, the male respondents were more active in coaching
and serving as department chair. It is interesting to note that 40% of all
88