The prioritization of selected tasks of leadership as stated by elected versus appointed superintendents in Tennessee

David Arlie Chester, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the prioritization of selected tasks of leadership as stated by elected versus appointed superintendents in Tennessee. It attempted to ascertain if differences existed between popularly elected superintendents and superintendents appointed either by the school board or county commission in the level of importance placed upon selected leadership tasks, as well as a self-assessment of their level of expertise. Additionally, the study sought to determine if differences occurred in various biographic and demographic variables.^ A questionnaire was sent to each superintendent in Tennessee. Data gathered from the questionnaire were analyzed to provide information reported by those who presently serve as superintendents in Tennessee. The study was meant to contribute to the current literature to determine if differences exist between elected and appointed superintendents because of the following biographic and demographic characteristics: age, sex, years in present position, professional education, evaluation frequency, self-perceptions of the level of importance of selected leadership tasks, self-assessment of level of expertise of selected leadership tasks, and perceptions of which tasks superintendents consider themselves to be most proficient and least proficient in accomplishing.^ The findings of this study revealed that the superintendent of schools in the Tennessee districts where the superintendent was appointed had obtained a greater amount of administrative experience than those superintendents coming from districts where the superintendent was elected. The appointed superintendent tends to serve longer periods of time in office. The appointed superintendent had obtained a higher educational degree and is generally older than the elected superintendent. The appointed superintendent is evaluated through formal evaluations, more often than the elected superintendent. Little difference existed between elected and appointed superintendents in their prioritization of levels of importance of the leadership tasks measured. Also, there was little difference between the elected and appointed superintendents in their self-assessment of expertise of the same leadership tasks.^ The appointed superintendents rated themselves much higher than the elected superintendent in their ability to establish superintendent-school board relationships, whereas the elected superintendents rated their expertise in public relations to be greater than the appointed superintendent. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

David Arlie Chester, "The prioritization of selected tasks of leadership as stated by elected versus appointed superintendents in Tennessee" (1987). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9017207.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI9017207

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