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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Stephen Davis

First Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Second Committee Member

Rex Fortune

Third Committee Member

Phyllis Hensley


The purpose of this descriptive study was to uncover the reasons why qualified African American administrators in California were not pursuing or ascending to a superintendency. Four questions served as the basis for the research. Using the Superintendent-Level Administrator Review Instrument (SLARI), a three-part questionnaire developed by the researcher, data were gathered from African American superintendent-level administrators in California who held the title of deputy superintendent, associate superintendent, assistant superintendent or executive director. Part I of the questionnaire asked demographic information of each respondent. Part II asked for the respondent's level of interest in the superintendency. Part III asked the respondent to use a Likert scale to indicate how 46 items had impacted his/her decision regarding a superintendency. Qualitative data was also collected by using 17 semistructured interview questions. The SLARI data were analyzed to determine the level of influence of each item. Interview transcripts were analyzed using content analysis and generalized as findings. The findings indicate there are at least 20 variables which have contributed to why more African American superintendent-level administrators are not pursuing or ascending to a superintendency. Some of the variables included lack of mentoring and networking, lack of community support, gender bias towards African American females, racism, lack of bilingual skills, perception of being incompetent, lack of trust, negative media pressure, low salary, headhunters' unfamiliarity with superintendent-level administrators, general lack of experience, negative impact of politics, lack of business skills, poor writing skills, lack of family support, and lack of self-confidence. The findings also indicate that negative actions of boards of education have significantly contributed to the respondents' decision to not pursue a superintendency. Respondents offered several skills, knowledge and strategies they needed to assist them in obtaining a superintendency. The researcher also identified four processes which will help increase the number of African American superintendents including strategic recruitment efforts, ongoing professional development opportunities in school business management and finance, mentoring and networking. Finally, eight recommendations are offered to help increase the number of African American superintendents in California.




0493646221 , 9780493646220

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