Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Dr. Uldis Smidchens
Dr. David Cowden
Dr. Loren Crane
The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between the types and degrees of state legislative political participation used by superintendents and their degree of education, their district size, their districts' geographic location, and the job they held prior to their superintendency. The instrument used to measure the degree and most effective type of political participation used by superintendents was developed by the investigator. This instrument was mailed to 226 of the 531 Michigan public school superintendents in K-12 districts with 214 responding.
The comparison of superintendents employed in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan districts indicated that metropolitan superintendents had a higher degree of political participation. However, no conclusion could be drawn regarding differences in the most effective types of participation.
Four categories of district size were used to compare superintendents' degrees of political participation. The data indicated that as the number of principals in a district increased, the superintendents' participation increased. Although a majority of the smaller districts' superintendents indicated "particularized participation" as their most effective method of participation, when compared to larger districts' superintendents they indicated a more pronounced use of "voting." Larger districts' superintendents indicated a more pronounced use of "particularized participation."
Three categories of superintendents' prior positions were used in comparing superintendents' degrees of political participation. Only the comparison between superintendents whose prior jobs were nonsuperintendent central office positions and those whose prior jobs were principals showed a difference. No conclusion could be drawn regarding the groups' most effective type of participation.
Three categories of education were used to compare the superintendents' degrees of political participation. As the superintendents' education increased the degrees of participation increased. Although a majority of superintendents with master's indicated "particularized participation" as most effective, when compared to superintendents with specialists and doctorates, they indicated a more pronounced use of "voting." Even though a majority of superintendents with specialists and doctorates indicated "particularized participation" as most effective when compared to superintendents with master's, they showed a more pronounced use of "campaign participation."
Allen, Gary, "A Study of the Relationship of Selected Characteristics of Michigan School Superintendents and the Superintendents' Types and Degrees of Political Participation with the State Legislature" (1985). Dissertations. 2331.