Superintendents' perspectives of their relationships with their principals as they implement the "A Plus Reform Act of 2000" in two mid-size school districts in Georgia
Busbee, Ronald Jeffrey
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The relationship between superintendents and their principals is a topic of very little scholarly research. This is especially true when taking into account the pressures of accountability throughout America’s public schools. The purpose of this study was to examine the perspectives of two superintendents from mid-sized counties in Georgia as they worked with site-level principals in light of the legislation mandated through the Georgia A Plus Reform Act of 2000. Data for this qualitative case study were collected through a series of interviews with the two selected superintendents during the 2001-2002 school year. The constant comparative method of data analysis was used. The two participants in this study described the impact of new Georgia reform laws on their relationships with their principals. The research revealed four perspectives: 1) One primary function of the superintendent is to be a communicator, 2) High expectations set by the superintendent provide the mechanism for formal and informal evaluation of principals, 3) Regardless of state mandated reform, relationships between the superintendent and their principals are neither made nor broken as a result of legislated mandates, and 4) Central Office administrators play a key role in implementing the A Plus Reform Act of 2000. This study described the participants’ methods for communicating expectations to their principals as well as their process for formal as well as informal evaluations. Relationships between themselves and their principals were discussed. Effective and clear communication was the guiding theme of this study. Communication was found to be the greatest component in building relationships between the superintendents and their principals.