Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Dr. Jianping Shen
Dr. Louann Bierlein Palmer
Dr. Mark Rainey
Principal, charter school principal, administration, traditional public school principal
In the context of the charter school movement in the last 25 years, this author analyzed the 2007-2008 Schools and Staff Survey (SASS) data to answer two research questions: (a) after controlling for school level and school size what are the differences between traditional and charter public school principals when examining their personal and professional backgrounds in terms of demographics, experience, and education and (b) after controlling for school level and school size what are the differences between traditional and charter public school principals in decision-making, working conditions, and perceptions of the position?
Analyses for research question 1 revealed that the most significant differences between traditional and charter public school principals were in the areas of race, age, gender, and professional background and preparation. Charter school principals were more likely to be non-White, female, young, and have management experience outside of education. Analyses for research question 2 revealed that the most significant differences between traditional and charter public school principals were in the areas of establishing curriculum at their schools, determining the content of professional development programs for teachers, total number of days required to work, perception of leaving education if they could get a higher paying job, and the perception of transferring to another school. Charter school principals tended to feel that they had more power, worked more days, and had a more positive perception of their positions.
Overall, this study supported previous literature pertaining to charter public school principals regarding who they are and how they function. It also identified significant differences in the demographics, professional background, decision-making responsibilities, working conditions, and principal perceptions between traditional and charter public school principals. After identifying the significant differences between these principals, implications of the findings were discussed and future research recommended.
Vickers, Jared R., "A Comparison of Charter Public and Traditional Public School Principals: Who They Are and How They Function" (2014). Dissertations. 264.