A Comparison of the Profile of Iowa Superintendents With That of The AASA National Study
Engler, Thomas D.
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The problem. The problem of this study was to compare a profile of Iowa school superintendents with a study done by the American Association of School Administrators nationwide in 1982. This comparison/profile was measured in the spring of 1983. Procedure. The data were gathered by means of a survey instrument modeled after that used in previous studies conducted by the American Association of School Administrators. The survey was mailed to the superintendents of all 441 public school systems in the state of Iowa and a rate of return realized at 92.1 percent. Findings. The typical Iowa superintendent is male, forty-nine years of age and holds a Specialist degree from an Iowa university. He began his teaching career at the secondary level (grades 7-12) and moved into an administrative position at age twenty-nine, most likely to a principalship. The average Iowa superintendent felt his graduate training was positive, accepted his first superintendency at age thirty-six, and served in two different districts in 1.3 different states over a period of 13.4 years as a superintendent. He has a one-year contract and feels the "ability to see the whole picture" and a knowledge of public relations are important areas of preparation for the job. He is a Republican, makes between $36,000 and $40,999 per year, sees the job as stressful but is planning to stay on as a superintendent until retirement. In general, the Iowa superintendency reflects a strong similarity to that of its counterpart nationwide in personal and professional characteristics according to the comparisons found between this study and the current 1982 AASA survey. The similarities are especially strong in the areas of age, sex, background/experience and personal/professional concerns. The close similarities suggest that the profession itself is becoming a recognizable force in education and that superintendents nationwide are quite similar, professionally and personally to Iowa's superintendents. Recommendations. This study should be repeated on a regular basis with the interval not greater than five years. Only through this approach can trends and changes in Iowa's public school superintendency and those who occupy it be discerned.
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