Selecting effective teachers for urban elementary charter schools: Effects of decentralization on principals' decisions

Rakeda Antwanece Leaks, Fordham University

Abstract

In the age of No Child Left Behind and accountability, education stakeholders continue to look for ways to improve student achievement outcomes especially in schools in urban communities. Principal autonomy has been linked to successful results in student achievement. The purpose of this study was to understand how principals' perceptions of their autonomy influenced their ability to identify effective teachers who are a good fit for their schools.^ In many states, charter schools laws allow school leaders to exercise greater autonomy compared to traditional district schools. Therefore, charter school principals were selected as the unit of study. Four principals of high performing elementary charter schools that (1) serve a significant population of student low-income families and (2) are located in New York City participated in the study. A qualitative methodological approach–interviews, participant and school demographic questionnaires, and document reviews—was used to understand the study participants' point of view.^ The results of this study show that study participants, (1) viewed their autonomy favorably, (2) attributed their autonomy to their success as school leaders, (3) believed that their autonomy allowed them to identify effective teachers who are a best fit for their schools, (4) weighed a candidate's fit with the their philosophy of education and school's mission in their hiring decisions, and (5) tailored their selection process to ascertain candidates' fit with their school. The results from this study may encourage school districts to give more credence to staffing policies that give principals more control over teacher selection and hiring.^

Subject Area

Education, Leadership|Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Leaks, Rakeda Antwanece, "Selecting effective teachers for urban elementary charter schools: Effects of decentralization on principals' decisions" (2013). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3554171.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3554171

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