THE ROLE AND FUNCTION OF BOARDS OF EDUCATION AND SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS AS REFLECTED IN THE PERCEPTIONS OF MEMBERS OF BOTH GROUPS IN SELECTED SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN ARIZONA
AuthorBart, Mary Johannah Shaffer
KeywordsSchool boards -- Arizona -- Attitudes.
School administrators -- Arizona -- Attitudes.
School board-superintendent relationships -- Arizona.
MetadataShow full item record
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.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to ascertain how school board members and superintendents in Arizona view their own and each other's role and function in the organization and operation of school systems. A second objective was to determine whether the demographic factor of school district locale (urban or rural) contributes to school boards' and superintendents' perceptions. In Arizona, the rights, responsibilities and discretionary powers to act are all given to local school boards. There is no mention of local superintendents' powers or duties in the Arizona State Statutes. This failure to grant statutory power to the superintendents or to formulate district-level policies for the delineation of duties and responsibilities between the school board and the superintendent has frequently led to conflict in district operation. Sixty-five districts were chosen using stratified random sampling from among all the urban and rural districts in Arizona. The Administrative Role Perception Questionnaire was sent to one board member and to the superintendent in each of the 65 districts. The questionnaire contained 22 items representing seven Task Areas: Curriculum Development, Pupil Services, Teaching Materials, Personnel Administration, School Plant Management, Finance and Budget, and Public Relations. The data were analyzed using a series of t-tests. There was substantial disagreement between board members and superintendents on their role and function in the school system. Board members and superintendents differed significantly on Personnel Administration (p<.01), Curriculum Development (p<.03), Teaching Materials (p<.008), Finance and Budget (p<.05), and Public Relations (p<.002). The widest disagreement in perception of the role and function of school boards and superintendents was found between rural board members and rural superintendents. The widest agreement in perception was found between urban and rural board members and between urban and rural superintendents. This would indicate that board members from both urban and rural areas tend to agree more with each other than they do with superintendents. Superintendents from urban and rural areas also tend to agree more with each other than they do with board members. This study has shown that there is still substantial disagreement between boards of education and superintendents. The disagreement indicates an absence of district policies delineating the duties and responsibilities between boards of education and superintendents. Where such policies do exist, they are apparently widely disregarded. The result is the inability of board members and superintendents either to fully understand or to be allowed to discharge their respective roles and functions within the school system. This study recommends that boards of education and superintendents work to define their respective roles in written policy statements which are as broad as possible and cover every major aspect of school district governance and operation. Boards of education and superintendents should work to enact state laws which delineate the duties of the board of education and those of the superintendent. Boards of education should provide adequate funds annually for school board member and superintendent in-service training designed to facilitate understanding and agreement between board members and superintendents. It is also recommended that boards of education offer their superintendents contracts containing policy statements defining respective roles and allowing for redress if a violation occurs. It is hoped that the findings of this study will encourage school districts to formulate policies for the delineation of duties and responsibilities between the board of education and the superintendent.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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