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Leadership Behaviors Exhibited by Superintendents in Urban School Districts That Are Successfully Closing the Achievement Gap

Sat, April 18, 2:45 to 4:15pm, Hyatt, Floor: East Tower - Purple Level, Riverside West


The purpose of this study was to investigate the leadership behaviors of superintendents in school districts where the achievement gap between white and minority students is closing. Four urban school districts in California, Florida, New York, and Texas having high minority populations and designated as high performing districts were studied. Interview responses of superintendents and support personnel were triangulated with the District Strategic Plan and other documents. All of the superintendents exhibited shared behaviors and priorities regardless of local political factors: a heavy reliance on data collection and decision making, steady use of mantras, organizational structuring of district personnel, inclusion of school board in directional control, an emphasis on accountability and evaluation of campus principals, and visibly in the community.