ARIZONA SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS AND READING: BACKGROUNDS, OPINIONS, PRACTICES, AND WORKING CONDITIONS.
AuthorPIERSON, CAROL ANNE.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study examines the educational and professional backgrounds, opinions, practices, and working conditions of Arizona school superintendents with respect to their districts' reading programs. The questions investigated for this study were: (1) What are the educational, professional and reading backgrounds of Arizona school superintendents? (2) What professional organizations and publications appear to be most influential for Arizona school superintendents? (3) What are the expressed important tasks of Arizona superintendents? (4) Who advises Arizona school superintendents about reading matters? (5) What criteria do Arizona school superintendents use to select advisors in the area of reading? (6) What methods do Arizona school superintendents use to evaluate their reading programs? (7) What are the opinions of Arizona school superintendents regarding the effectiveness of their district reading programs? (8) What solutions to the reading problems of their districts do Arizona school superintendents propose? (9) What negative factors do Arizona school superintendents believe influence their districts' reading programs? A stratified, randomized sample of (36) Arizona school superintendents was selected to participate in the study. Twenty-nine superintendents actually participated. Superintendents tended to hold advanced degrees, and a majority of them had earned doctorates. Their advanced degrees were usually in education administration, while their undergraduate degrees were very diverse. They tended to have few if any hours in reading courses. They did not read journals devoted to reading, nor did they attend reading conferences. Their reading advisors did not tend to be reading specialists, although superintendents stated that they valued "reading knowledge" and "reading experience" in their advisors. The solutions to superintendents' reading program difficulties tended to be external solutions, rather than solutions which could be implemented by themselves. A variety of other findings are reported in the study.