Central office supervisor contributions within exemplary Texas school districts

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2002-05

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The purpose of the study was to examine what central office supervisors of curriculum and instruction do within exemplary Texas school districts. For the purpose of this study, central office supervisors of curriculum and instruction is used in a generic sense. A total of 168 Texas exemplary school districts were surveyed. This study was conducted following qualitative and quantitative research guidelines. For the quantitative portion of the study, a survey consisting of 12 dimensions of emerging supervisory practices (Pajak, 1992) was used. For the qualitative portion of the study, interviews were conducted with a superintendent, central office supervisors, principals, and teachers in a selected high performing/high poverty school district. Data were analyzed following qualitative and quantitative guidelines. Survey results indicated that respondents agreed that the 12 dimensions of emerging supervisory practices reflect current practices to some extent. The survey results supported Pajak’s assertion that emerging practices reflect a more decentralized paradigm. Results also suggest that superintendents and central office supervisors agree that communication is the highest emerging supervisory practice. There was no significant difference in perceptions between central office supervisors and superintendents regarding current supervisory practices by position type. There was a significant difference in perception between male and female respondents. Results also suggest that restructuring efforts in exemplary school districts tended to respond to district- and campus-specific needs as reflected in the innovation goals. Four major areas of innovations included curriculum and instruction, technology, scheduling, and reading. However, descriptions of goals for restructuring and related features of innovation efforts do not necessarily reflect systemic restructuring. Central office supervisors of curriculum and instruction contributed to restructuring by acting as facilitators, curriculum planners, organizers of groups, staff developers, identifier and selector of resources, supporter, coach, data gatherer, data interpreter, service provider, planner, communicator, coordinator, and mentor. Additionally, central office supervisors made specific campus-related contributions in the areas of curriculum, assessment, staff development, planning and change, problem solving and decision making. The work of central office supervisors with principals reflects a service mode and as support provider. Central office supervisors with teachers included providing instructional support, being a cheerleader, a problem solver, a coach, a planner, and a staff developer for teachers at the campus level.

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