Structured-interview questions for superintendent hiring process

Date

2004-05

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Publisher

Texas Tech University

Abstract

This study contains two distinct parts. The first part of the study is an original study dealing with the development of interview questions that school board members can ask in the superintendent/school board members candidate interview. There is continual superintendent turnover, and school board members choose superintendents based on personal characteristics rather than on a candidate's abilities to lead a district to exemplary status on the Texas Education Agency's accountability system. Therefore, there is a need for interview questions to be used by school board members to help them select a superintendent who will help lead the district to exemplary status on the Texas Education Agency's accountability system. Action Research using the Delphi Method for data collection is used to guide experts in the creation of interview questions to be used by school board members in the superintendent/school board members candidate interview. This part of the study is qualitative in nature.

The second part of this study is a replication for generalizability of the characteristics and career paths of national superintendents (Glass et al., 2000) and state superintendents (Largent, 2001; Zemlicka, 2001) as compared to superintendents whose districts reached exemplary status on the Texas Education Agency's accountability system Spring, 2002. This part of the stijdy is both quantitative and qualitative in nature. A survey approach is used to collect data from the 149 superintendents whose districts reached exemplary status on the Texas Education Agency's accountability system Spring, 2002. Open-ended survey questions are presented in a qualitative manner, and closed survey questions are presented in a quantitative manner. The purpose of replicating these prior studies is to emphasize, first, that school board members across all three groups of superintendents hire superintendents based on their personalities, and second, that superintendents in all three groups have some generalizable personal characteristics and career paths.

This researcher attempts to fill the gap between the reality of the way superintendents are currently hired and how they might be hired if, first, school board members have a reliable, valid, and legal set of interview questions to ask superintendent candidates and, second, if school board members apply the abundant research available in the area of structured-panel interviews.

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