Accountability in Leadership Training for School Administrators Acquiring Competency in Decision Making Pattern Use

Article excerpt

Accountability Basis

The Leadership Ability Evaluation (LAE) by R.N. Cassel, and E.J. Stancik (1981) was used as the means for assessing leadership ability, and as the means for determining accountability in relation to leadership training. The notion of accountability dictates that each individual involved first be apprised of his/her present leadership training status, and second be apprised of how such leadership notions should change for further enhancement or improvement. The standard or goal set for achievement was based on a norm on the LAE test for outstanding Air Force colonels presently in attendance at the Air War College (Cassel, 1993). It reflected the type and degree of use for four different leadership patterns using 50 social, community, family related situations (Cassel, 1996a, 1996b, 1996c, 1996d). The four leadership patterns were described as follows:

1. Laissez Faire - each individual is free to do as he/she desires, and only contributes advice when specifically asked by member no praise or punishment is provided.

2. Democratic Cooperative - goals are determined largely by group using the parliamentary procedure leader imposes group decision, and praise is impersonal in nature.

3. Autocratic Submissive - leader insists that group goals be sought that have been demonstrated to be successful praise and blame is impersonal in nature.

4. Autocratic Aggressive - leader makes all decisions and releases plans bits at a time- to individuals on a need to know basis, and only when need is actually present-praise and blame are largely personal in nature.

Individual Assessment

Each and every individual involved in the training program was administered the LAE test and a profile was provided to the individual showing frequency use of the four leadership patterns. The profile was superimposed on normative data for the outstanding colonels at the Air War College (DeMoulin, 1996).

Accountability

The accountability concept involved comparing the leadership patterns used by the individual with corresponding patterns of the Air War College Colonels. Typically, the DC pattern is prescribed for the building of a team while the AS is used to insure that group and individual goals have mandates based on real objective evidence (usually research) that have worked effectively.

Leadership Enhancement by Grade

[TABULAR DATA FOR TABLE 1 OMITTED]

There were 51 students in grade 1 (possessing 8 or fewer graduate credits). They ranged in age from 23 to 56 years with a mean age of 32.33 years and with a standard deviation of 7.44 years. Sixty-eight graduate students were included in grade 2 (from 9 to 25 graduate credits). They ranged in age from 21 to 51 years with a mean age of 30.66 years, and with a standard deviation of 7.08 years. Fifty-two of them were in grade 3 (25 or more graduate credits). They ranged in age from 24 to 51 years of age, with a mean age of 33.04 years, and with a standard deviation of 7.30 years. The data contained in Table 1 show a comparison of change as students progress through the graduate program:

1. There was no significant age difference in the three graduate grades or levels.

2. There were no significant gender differences in three different groups.

3. The single LAE score that was statistically different was AS (Autocratic Submissive) and the difference was toward improved leadership (selection of goals that had been tested).

4. Group 3 showed favorable difference in the DC (Democratic Cooperative) pattern but the difference was not statistically significant.

Table 2

Comparing LAE Mean Scores by Gender

Scores   Female     Male   Difference   t-Statistic   Probability

1. AGE (nearest six months):

M         31.53    32.14      0.61          0.543         n.s.
SD         6.83     7.62

2. MRST (1 = single; 2 = married):

M          1.67     1.60     -0. …