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Examining the characteristics of school leaders and of local schools where Indiana educational leadership preparation programs place their graduates

Dissertation
Author: Justin M. Bathon
Abstract:
This study built on the burgeoning state data based research agenda to investigate educational leadership preparation programs and characteristics of schools where school leaders are placed. The study examined the characteristics of school administrators in the 2007-08 school year and looked specifically at their locational distribution and mobility across their careers. Additionally, this study examined the characteristics of schools disaggregated by the educational leadership preparation institution of their principals. The study found that Indiana is below the national average in representation of women and minorities in school administrative positions, there is mobility among principals toward suburban and more resourced schools, and significant differences in school characteristics exist among the schools led by principals licensed by different preparation institutions. These findings have implications for the preparation of school leaders and the recruitment, retention and placement of future school leaders from twenty-first century preparation programs.

Table of Contents Table of Contents Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................................................iv

Abstract ..........................................................................................................................................................vi

Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................................... vii

List of Tables ..................................................................................................................................................ix

List of Figures ................................................................................................................................................. x

Chapter 1: Overview of the Study ................................................................................................................... 1

1.1 Purpose of the Study ...................................................................................................................... 6

1.2 Research Questions ........................................................................................................................ 7

1.3 Significance of the Study ............................................................................................................... 8

1.4 Limitations of the Study .............................................................................................................. 13

1.5 Conceptual Frameworks .............................................................................................................. 16

Chapter 2: Learning about Leadership .......................................................................................................... 26

2.1 Origins of Discontent ................................................................................................................... 26

2.2 Movements toward Evaluation .................................................................................................... 30

2.3 Targeting Indiana ......................................................................................................................... 32

2.4 Uncovering State Data ................................................................................................................. 35

2.5 Linking Leadership Preparation and School Characteristics ....................................................... 39

2.6 Summary ...................................................................................................................................... 42

Chapter 3: Research Methods ........................................................................................................................ 44

3.1 Data Sources ................................................................................................................................ 44

3.2 Variables ...................................................................................................................................... 47

3.3 Merging the Datasets ................................................................................................................... 52

3.4 Data Analysis Overview .............................................................................................................. 55

3.5 Data Analysis Procedures ............................................................................................................ 58

3.6 Graphical Representations of Data .............................................................................................. 63

Chapter 4: Population Description of Indiana School Administrators .......................................................... 65

4.1 Position Description ..................................................................................................................... 66

4.2 Gender Representation ................................................................................................................. 69

4.3 Minority Representation .............................................................................................................. 72

4.4 Licensure Institution .................................................................................................................... 74

4.5 Locational Characteristics ............................................................................................................ 84

4.6 Analysis ..................................................................................................................................... 102

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Chapter 5: School Characteristic Differences by Preparation Program ....................................................... 107

5.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 107

5.2 Teacher Characteristic Differences ............................................................................................ 108

5.3 Differences in Discipline Characteristics ................................................................................... 117

5.4 Demographic Characteristic Differences ................................................................................... 125

5.5 School Achievement Characteristic Differences ....................................................................... 132

5.6 Graduation and College Enrollment Characteristic Differences ................................................ 139

5.7 Analysis ..................................................................................................................................... 144

Chapter 6: Conclusions & Implications....................................................................................................... 153

6.1 Summary .................................................................................................................................... 153

6.2 Conclusions ................................................................................................................................ 155

6.3 Implications ............................................................................................................................... 160

6.3.1 Informing our Programs about Leadership and School Characteristics ............................ 162

6.3.2 Celebrating What’s Different ............................................................................................ 163

6.3.3 Accountability v. Evaluation ............................................................................................. 165

6.3.4 Building a Profession ........................................................................................................ 168

6.3.5 Down the Rabbit Hole ....................................................................................................... 170

6.3.6 The Transitional Effects of the Information Revolution ................................................... 175

6.3.7 Summary of Implications .................................................................................................. 181

6.4 Future Research Directions ........................................................................................................ 182

6.5 Closing Thoughts ....................................................................................................................... 185

References ................................................................................................................................................... 188

Appendix A: Used Position Codes in Primary Dataset ............................................................................... 199

Appendix B: Institution or State of Principal Licensure ............................................................................. 201

Appendix C: All Principals by Institution and ZCTA of School ................................................................ 203

Appendix D: Teacher Characteristics .......................................................................................................... 206

Appendix E: Discipline Characteristics ....................................................................................................... 208

Appendix F: Demographic Characteristics.................................................................................................. 211

Appendix G: School Achievement Characteristics ..................................................................................... 216

Appendix H: Graduation and College Enrollment Characteristics .............................................................. 220

Curriculum Vitae

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List of Tables

Table 3.1 – Indiana Department of Education School Characteristic Databases Used in Study ................................................................................................................................. 46 Table 3.2 – Indiana Department of Education, Division of Professional Standards Provided to the Author ................................................................................................... 47 Table 3.3 – Description of School Characteristic Datapoints ........................................................................ 48 Table 3.4 – Description of District Characteristic Datapoints ....................................................................... 51 Table 4.1 – Count of Indiana School Administrators by Position, 2007-08 .................................................. 68 Table 4.2 – Gender Representation Percentage by Indiana Administrative Position, 2007-08 by Position, 2007-08 .......................................................................................... 70 Table 4.3 – Racial Representation Percentage by Indiana Administrative Position, 2007-08 ............................................................................................................................ 73 Table 4.4 – Indiana Practicing Principals (2007-08) Minority and Gender Representation by Preparation Program ......................................................................................... 81 Table 4.5 – Indiana Practicing Principals (2007-08) Distribution Across Positions .......................................................................................................................................... 82 Table 4.6 – Indiana Practicing Principals (2007-08) Percent Distribution across Aggregated Locale Code ................................................................................................................. 92 Table 4.7 – Indiana Practicing Principals (2007-08) Preparation Program Percent Distribution across Zip Code Tabulation Areas ............................................................................ 100 Table 5.1 – Percentage Racial Distribution of Schools Where Preparation Program’s Principals are Placed .................................................................................................... 127

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List of Figures

Figure 3.1 – Dataset Merger Procedures used in Study ................................................................................... 53 Figure 4.1 - 2007-08 Indiana Administrative Positions .................................................................................. 66 Figure 4.2 - 2007-08 Indiana Superintendent Positions .................................................................................. 67 Figure 4.3 - 2007-08 Indiana Principalship Positions ..................................................................................... 67 Figure 4.4 - 2007-08 Indiana Principals by Level of Education .................................................................... 68 Figure 4.5 - Gender Representation of Indiana Practicing Principals by Level of Education, 2007-08 ......................................................................................................................... 70 Figure 4.6 - Percentage of Practicing Indiana Male and Female Principals by Licensure Year, 1979-2007 .............................................................................................................................. 71 Figure 4.7 - Minority Representation among All Indiana School Administrators, 2007- 08 .................................................................................................................................................... 72 Figure 4.8 - Practicing Principals by Indiana Licensure Preparation Program, 2007-08 .............................. 76 Figure 4.9 - Practicing Principals (2007-08) by Preparation Program Licensed between 1998 and 2007 ................................................................................................................................. 77 Figure 4.10 - Practicing Principals (2007-08) by Preparation Program Licensed between 2005 and 2007 .................................................................................................................................. 77 Figure 4.11 - Indiana Practicing Principals (2007-08) by Preparation Program Licensed Since 1979-2007 .............................................................................................................................. 78 Figure 4.12 - Practicing Principals (2007-08) by Indiana Preparation Program and Gender Representation .................................................................................................................... 79 Figure 4.13 - Practicing Principals (2007-08) by Preparation Program Minority Representation Percentage ............................................................................................................... 80 Figure 4.14 - Indiana Practicing Principals (2007-08) Percentage Distribution Across Educational Levels by Preparation Program ................................................................................... 83 Figure 4.15 – Number of Out-of State Licensed Practicing Principals (2007-08) Working in Indiana ......................................................................................................................... 84 Figure 4.16 - Indiana Superintendent Locations by Urbanity (2007-08) ...................................................... 86 Figure 4.17 – Number of All Superintendents by Locale Code .................................................................... 88 Figure 4.18 - Practicing Principals (2007-08) by Locale Code .................................................................... 90

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Figure 4.19 - Practicing Principals Locale Code Percentage ......................................................................... 90 Figure 4.20 - Practicing Principals Locale Code Percentages, 2003-2007 ................................................... 91 Figure 4.21 - Practicing Principals Locale Code Percentages, 1978-1982 ................................................... 92 Figure 4.22 – Maps of Preparation Program Practicing Principals (2007-08) by Zip Code Tabulation Area .............................................................................................................................. 95 Figure 5.1 - Average Number of Teachers per School Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed .................................................................................................................... 109 Figure 5.2 - Average Age of Teacher Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ...................................................................................................................................................... 111 Figure 5.3 - Average Experience of Teachers Where Preparation Program's Graduates are Placed ..................................................................................................................................... 113 Figure 5.4 - Average Salary of Teachers Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ............................................................................................................................................ 115 Figure 5.5 - Average Percentage of Expulsions per Student Enrollment Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ................................................................................ 119 Figure 5.6 - Average Percentage of Total Suspensions per Student Enrollment Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ................................................................................ 121 Figure 5.7 - Percentage of Suspensions for Weapons per Student Enrollment Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ................................................................................ 122 Figure 5.8 - Average Percentage of Out of School Suspensions per Student Enrollment Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed .................................................................... 124 Figure 5.9 - Average Percentage of In School Suspensions per Student Enrollment Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ..................................................................... 125 Figure 5.10 - Average Percent Minority Students per School Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ................................................................................................... 128 Figure 5.11 - Average Percentage Free and Reduced Lunch Per School Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ................................................................................ 130 Figure 5.12 - Average Percentage Language Minority Students per School Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ................................................................................ 132 Figure 5.13 - Average Grade 5 Percentage of Students Passing Math and English per School Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ........................................................ 135 Figure 5.14 - Average Grade 8 Percentage of Students Passing Math and English per School Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ........................................................ 136 Figure 5.15 - Average Grade 10 Percentage of Students Passing Math and English per School Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ......................................................... 137

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Figure 5.16 - Average Attendance Per School Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ..................................................................................................................................... 139 Figure 5.17 - Average College/Military Enrollment Percentage per School Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed ................................................................................ 142 Figure 5.18 - Average Graduation Rate per School Where Preparation Program's Principals are Placed .................................................................................................................... 144 Figure 6.1 – Indiana Department of Education Data Distribution Example ................................................ 173

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Chapter 1: Overview of the Study

Educational leadership preparation has come under increased scrutiny in the recent past as research has begun to show the promising effects of educational leadership on school achievement (Educational Research Service, 2000; Farkas, Johnson & Duffet, 2003; Hallinger & Heck, 1998; Waters, Marzano, & McNulty, 2003). Meanwhile, there has been an increase in external criticism of the way educational leaders are prepared in university based educational leadership preparation programs (Hess & Kelly, 2005; Levine, 2005). 1 Educational leadership preparation finds itself increasingly at the center of the debate about building leadership capacity aimed at improving schools (Davis, Darling-Hammond, LaPointe, & Meyerson, 2005; Leithwood, Lewis, Anderson, Wahlstrom, 2004; Orr & Pounder, 2006). This convergence of outside criticism and the heightened research focus on the importance of leadership has led to an additional interest in self-reflections and investigations of educational leadership preparation by educational leadership scholars themselves (Orr & Pounder, 2006). This new internal scholarly push has led to research into several veins of the educational leadership preparation experience across many states and across multiple educational leadership organizations. First, for many years educational leadership preparation has been a focus of educators, with some organizations even forming meta- associations such as the National Policy Board for Educational Administration, a

1 Such criticism of educational leadership is certainly not new. Peterson and Finn (1985) found that educational administration programs were nothing but “Mickey Mouse

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collection of ten organizations focused on the improvement of educational administration in the United States (Young, 2004). In more recent years, some organizations such as the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) and the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA) have made concerted efforts to become self-reflective and begin to measure program successes and find ways to strengthen program weaknesses (Black & Murtadha, 2006; Cambron-McCabe, 2002; Creighton & Jones, 2001; Murphy, 2002, 2006; Orr, 2006; Pounder &Crow, 2005; Pounder, Reitzug, & Young, 2002; Young & Peterson, 2002). Also, in recent years funding entities such as the Wallace Foundation have contributed millions of dollars to fund various investigations of educational leadership preparation. In 2006 alone the Wallace Foundation spent over 30 million dollars in grants aimed at improving educational leadership (Wallace Foundation, 2006). The work of these multiple organizations in education has driven a new era of research on educational leadership preparation and spurred research across topics and across states. Some of the different veins of research that have been conducted recently include the characteristics of exemplary leadership programs (Darling-Hammond, LaPointe, Meyerson, Orr, & Cohen, 2007), leadership preparation admissions structures (Browne- Ferrigno & Shoho, 2003), leadership preparation faculty (McCarthy & Kuh, 1997), the leadership characteristics necessary to succeed in schools (Southern Regional Education Board, 2007), principal socialization and identity formation (Browne-Ferrigno, 2003) among others. This research has also begun to manifest itself in multiple state-level studies. In addition to the previous Indiana studies (Balch, 2003; Black, Bathon & Poindexter, 2007) that will be discussed later in more detail, research on multiple aspects

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of educational leadership preparation has been completed in Utah (Pounder & Hafner, 2006) and Missouri (Friend, Watson & Waddle, 2006; Waddle & Watson, 2005). Studies of educational leadership graduates and their career paths have been completed in New York (Papa, Lankford & Wyckoff, 2002), North Carolina (Gates et al., 2004), Illinois (Ringel et al., 2004), and Texas (Fuller, Young & Orr, 2007). Indiana has played a leading role in the discussion of leadership preparation. Indiana was one of fifteen states chosen by the Wallace Foundation to be a State Action for Educational Leadership Project (SAELP) location. This investment has led not only to the development of innovative programs in the state in Fort Wayne and incipient efforts in Indianapolis, but it also funded additional studies. Two previous studies in Indiana are of particular note. First, a study headed by Bradley Balch looked closely at Indiana’s recruitment, retention and professional development needs (Balch, 2003). Although this study will be examined in more detail in subsequent sections, it is worth noting some survey questions posed to administrators concerned the conditions in their schools and their likelihood of remaining in the school or district. Although these were only a few questions in a much broader study, it does show an interest in examining the conditions of schools that educational leaders are facing. This study did not, however, examine those conditions disaggregated by educational leadership preparation program as the current study does. The second significant study of educational leadership preparation was entitled Looking in the Mirror to Improve Practice: A Study of Administrative Licensure and Master’s Degree Programs in the State of Indiana and was completed in 2007 (Black, Bathon & Poindexter, 2007). This study consisted largely of two elements, both focusing

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on educational leadership preparation programs. First, building-level licensure data from the Indiana Division of Professional Standards was obtained for the years between 2001- 2005. This licensure data presented a broad picture of the market and detailed analysis of preparation program graduates entering the administrative field. The second major aspect of the study consisted of a program narrative that asked building-level leadership preparation programs to report on various aspects of their preparation program, from admissions to faculty and everything in-between. Although more information on this study is presented in the review of literature, one by-product of this study was to place Indiana at the forefront of the national effort to gain a deeper understanding of educational leadership preparation. This burgeoning research agenda has led to some positive advances in educational leadership (Orr & Pounder, 2006). However, even amidst these new inquiries, the concerns over leadership preparation and the calls for further research persist (Murphy, 2006a; Young, 2004). Fry, Bottoms and O’Neill (2006) concluded we are at a time for action in the redesign of principal preparation programs and suggested strategies for improvement that recommended a greater relationship between preparation programs and local schools: It is time for departments of educational leadership to awaken from their complacency, reject the status quo and respond to appeals and criticisms from the field by identifying new content that addresses what principals need to know in order to do their jobs and by devising instructional processes that ensure principals master the essential knowledge and skills.

It is time for local school districts to become proactive in accepting co-ownership of principal preparation, identify what principals need to know and be able to do on the job and take the

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necessary steps to ensure universities provide programs that address their needs for improved schools and student achievement (p. 11-12).

Similarly¸ Young (2004) called for greater collaboration between leadership preparation programs and local schools, “the lack of collaboration in our field for decades has undermined efforts to identify, prepare, place, induct and develop leaders for our nation’s schools” (p.48). Additionally, there have been increased calls for the field to begin to focus squarely on the outcomes of school leadership preparation programs, particularly in regard to looking at all types of leadership preparation programs, not just UCEA oriented institutions. Murphy (2006) has said the following concerning the focus on outcomes of school leadership: For the past sixty years, analysts have pointed out that the profession is characterized by a dearth of research on the outcomes of preparation programs. Worse yet, until quite recently, the field has appeared to be genetically incapable of gaining traction on this matter (p.70). McCarthy (1999) also called for the field to turn its attention to documenting effectiveness, “there is insufficient research documenting the merits of program components in relation to administrator performance” (p. 133). Even the few studies that have sought to look at outcomes typically focus not on the school-based outcomes of the individuals graduating from these preparation programs, but rather self-reported satisfaction surveys on program elements (Murphy 2006, Orr, 2008). This squares with the self-reported satisfaction survey in Indiana previously undertaken by Balch (2003). Overall, this intersection, between schools and preparation programs, has seen only a limited amount of research.

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Some studies have provided glancing visions of this intersection such as the career path studies mentioned above (Fuller & Reyes, 2006; Gates et al., 2004; Papa, Lankford & Wyckoff, 2002), and this type of career path investigation will be replicated by this study to the extent allowed by the dataset. However, none of these previous studies has attempted to make the intersection between leadership preparation graduates and school characteristics the direct focus of their investigation. This intersection, between preparation program graduates and the characteristics of local schools and districts, is the central focus of this investigation, although the first research question will also provide population data on Indiana’s educational leaders and some information on their career paths. This study of school-level characteristics is a first, albeit inadequate in itself, step along the path of making the regular connection in data between educational leadership preparation and local schools. Although this study does not purport to provide any link between preparation programs and student learning, the methods used in this study do represent a first step in making the necessary connection between educational leadership preparation programs and school level data. Making this relatively new connection and disaggregating the results by preparation program is meant to (1) provide more information to preparation programs in the design of their programs and (2) provide a pathway in which subsequent studies may more closely examine some of the school- level characteristics investigated in this study. 1.1 Purpose of the Study

This study is intended to both provide a description of current educational leaders in Indiana, including information on career paths disaggregated by preparation program, and to examine the characteristics of schools presently affected by educational leadership

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preparation programs through their graduates. It is meant to begin to fill the void in the literature regarding the school-level characteristics of employed school administrators, disaggregated by educational leadership preparation program. This disaggregation should begin to inform preparation programs in Indiana, and the broader educational leadership field, of differences in the school-level demands of future administrators within their program. Also, these characteristics of schools represent a picture of the employment market for graduates of educational leadership preparation programs. Finally, it is also the purpose of this study to provide a population description of educational leaders in Indiana. One aspect of this population investigation will be to provide a description of the career paths of individuals graduating from different leadership preparation programs early in their careers, at mid-career, and near the end of their careers as school leaders. Such a comprehensive picture of the population of educational leaders is a rare commodity in educational leadership and is meant to provide baseline data for future population inquiries. Basically, at the core, this is a straightforward study intended to inform educational leadership preparation programs and other educationally interested parties about our current school leaders and the school characteristics of the places where they work. As such, it is one of the few studies conducted that expressly looks at the outcomes of educational leadership preparation in terms of graduate employment. 1.2 Research Questions

To achieve the multiple purposes of this study, multiple research questions are necessary. This study will focus on three major research questions with a particular focus on the subquestions provided.

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1. What are the demographic, locational, licensure, and positional characteristics of current school administrators in Indiana?

2. Are there differences in the characteristics of schools and districts that employ school administrators who are licensed at different educational leadership preparation programs? a. Are there school level differences, disaggregated by initial licensure preparation program of the school administrator(s), in the characteristics of teachers (number of teachers, salary, years of experience)? b. Are there school level differences, disaggregated by initial licensure preparation program of the school administrator(s), in student discipline characteristics (frequencies expulsions and suspensions)? c. Are there school level differences, disaggregated by initial licensure preparation program of the school administrator(s), in demographic characteristics of students (racial composition, socio-economic status composition, Limited English composition)? d. Are there school level differences, disaggregated by initial licensure preparation program of the school administrator(s), in school achievement data as measured by the I-STEP test in Indiana and attendance (percent passing math and English in grades 5, 8 & 10, attendance rate). e. Are there school (high school only) level differences, disaggregated by initial licensure preparation program of the school administrator, in graduation and college enrollment rates?

3. What is the implication of the increasing availability of large state datasets and the increasing sophistication of analysis and distribution tools to the professional infrastructure of the educational leadership field?

1.3 Significance of the Study

The core significance of this study lies in the data it provides educational leadership preparation programs on their graduates and how the data used in this study can move forward the discussion within educational leadership preparation about the use of state-level data to inform preparation program decisions. It expands on the existing research base on educational leadership preparation both nationally and in Indiana by

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beginning to look at the schools and districts where the educational leaders are working. Although it does not address the outcome measure of student learning directly, it provides baseline data on employment outcomes on which educational leadership preparation programs can base decisions in crafting their programs. Institutions that more closely craft their leadership program to meet the needs of their graduates should, in turn, make for better and more prepared leaders for Indiana’s schools. More effective school leaders then may lead to increased student learning (Davis, Darling-Hammond, LaPointe, & Meyerson, 2005; Leithwood, Lewis, Anderson, Wahlstrom, 2004). In addition, this study is significant because it attempts to gather precise data on the population of all principals and superintendents in Indiana. Whereas previous Indiana studies relied on a survey of a sample of educational leaders (Balch, 2003) or a population subset (Black, Bathon & Poindexter, 2007), this study uses state data to account for all educational leaders at the superintendent and principal level in the year 2007-08. This study provides an intimate look at Indiana’s school leaders in terms of their demographics, their leadership positions and level of schooling, their year of licensure, their licensure institution and, finally, information concerning the schools in which they work such as their locations as measured by Metropolitan statistical areas and zip codes. All of these school leader characteristics will be broken down into early and late career school leaders, as well as the overall average, to examine the differences that occur over time and provide insight into the career paths of Indiana’s school leaders, not just by location, but by school characteristics as well. This information is relevant to particular programs because of the use of increasingly fine subgroups within the larger population of school leaders that led to

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extremely detailed classifications of administrators. Given the over 3,500 administrators in the state, it is possible not only to break down a characteristic by a single subgroup (say the number of men in elementary positions), but also to make additional subgroupings (the number of men in elementary positions with initial licensure from Butler University licensed between the years 1978-1987). By simply sampling from the larger administrator population, a researcher would never be able to achieve the level of detail offered in this study. The population nature of this dataset, however, makes considerations of statistical significance irrelevant as this study can make definitive statements even on extremely small subgroups. In this way, this study can serve as a model for future data-driven analysis studies across the educational leadership profession. As mentioned later in the conceptual model, the regular calculation and dissemination of datasets are a mark of a profession. Particularly, the most esteemed professions regularly make extremely detailed information on student employment outcomes available through their respective professional organizations. No such model exists in educational leadership and this study provides a baseline set of data from which some school-level characteristics might be included in a professional reporting of educational leadership outcome data. Such a broad based professional reporting of data has already been informed by previous studies in Indiana (Black, Bathon & Poindexter, 2007) and across the United States (Fuller & Reyes, 2006; Papa, Lankford and Wyckoff, 2002; Orr, 2008; Ringel, Gates, Chung, Brown & Ghosh-Dastidar, 2004). Compiling these multiple educational leadership preparation program specific data points can achieve the goals stated by McCarthy (1999) in her call for a database of characteristics of educational leadership graduates. Such datasets can also answer Browne-Ferrigno,

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Barnett & Muth (2003, p. 283) in their call for a larger database of educational leadership information to “publicize the performance of school leaders” and “build the reputation of the educational leadership profession.” Finally, such program specific data building can answer the criticism of the U.S. Department of Education: traditional preparation programs are unlikely to customize or personalize coursework to prepare potential principals to effectively lead schools with the particular characteristics of those in which they will work (e.g., high poverty, low- achieving urban schools; schools with a majority of English learners; isolated rural schools). (IES, 2004, p. 3).

Returning to a point mentioned earlier, that this study does not seek to link licensure programs to student achievement, it is important to note the novel nature of this study. In addition to answering the valuable and worthwhile research questions posed previously, this study can serve as a bridge to future examinations of educational leadership’s impact on student learning. The dataset constructed for this study is a model not only for datasets for professionally reporting data on school characteristics, but it is also a model for the types of datasets that would be necessary to examine student outcomes, at least at the school and district level. 2 The construction of this dataset, detailed more fully later, can be a starting point for future researchers interested in linking the educational leadership preparation program of administrators to school effectiveness. Future inquiries would need to expand upon the snapshot that this study offers and consider trend analysis (this trend option was not available in Indiana as the disparate datasets could not be linked for previous years). Such a trend analysis of

Full document contains 243 pages
Abstract: This study built on the burgeoning state data based research agenda to investigate educational leadership preparation programs and characteristics of schools where school leaders are placed. The study examined the characteristics of school administrators in the 2007-08 school year and looked specifically at their locational distribution and mobility across their careers. Additionally, this study examined the characteristics of schools disaggregated by the educational leadership preparation institution of their principals. The study found that Indiana is below the national average in representation of women and minorities in school administrative positions, there is mobility among principals toward suburban and more resourced schools, and significant differences in school characteristics exist among the schools led by principals licensed by different preparation institutions. These findings have implications for the preparation of school leaders and the recruitment, retention and placement of future school leaders from twenty-first century preparation programs.