Electing or Appointing School District Superintendents in the State of Florida: A Comparison of Characteristics and Performance of Districts Led by Elected Superintendents Versus Districts Led by Appointed Superintendents
Florida and Alabama are the only two states in the United States of America with school districts led by either elected superintendents or appointed superintendents. The other 48 states only have appointed superintendent-led school districts. The current study was conducted to examine the impact of the superintendent governance structure on student learning by analyzing differences in student achievement between Florida school districts led by elected superintendents and Florida school districts led by appointed superintendents. The conceptual framework of the study was the tension between democratic localism and professionalism. Dynamics associated with the conceptual framework are relevant to the current debate. This quantitative study included cross-tabulations of the superintendent governance structure by regions and by locale codes. Descriptive statistics were used to define differences between school districts with elected or appointed superintendents in the areas of enrollment, free/reduced lunch, ELL populations, test scores, and graduation rates. An independent samples t-test was used to further analyze the demographic variables. A one-way ANCOVA was employed to determine if the superintendent governance structure or the demographic variables were associated with variances in student achievement. Research findings indicated that appointed superintendent-led school districts performed slightly higher than elected superintendent-led school districts. However, the superintendent governance structure did not have a statistically significant relationship with student achievement. Instead, poverty, as measured by free/reduced lunch rates, had a statistically significant relationship with student achievement.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Educational Leadership and Higher Education
Educational Leadership; Executive
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Smith, Timothy, "Electing or Appointing School District Superintendents in the State of Florida: A Comparison of Characteristics and Performance of Districts Led by Elected Superintendents Versus Districts Led by Appointed Superintendents" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6579.