Career Paths of School Administrators in Illinois: Insights from an Analysis of State Data

Career Paths of School Administrators in Illinois: Insights from an Analysis of State Data

Career Paths of School Administrators in Illinois: Insights from an Analysis of State Data

Career Paths of School Administrators in Illinois: Insights from an Analysis of State Data

Excerpt

Despite concern on the part of some policymakers that schools and districts are having difficulty attracting and retaining people to serve as school and district administrators just when state and federal governments are increasing accountability requirements for these administrators and relying on them to promote improvement, there has been no real evidence to support this concern. Anecdotal reports about a shortage of effective administrators abound, but studies based on national data have offered little support for the idea.

The RAND Corporation undertook a study, as part of the Wallace Foundation's school leadership initiative, to examine the careers of school administrators by taking advantage of rich information available from state administrative data sets.

This report documents the study's methodological approach and presents results from an analysis in which detailed administrative data obtained from the Illinois State Board of Education were used to assess the careers of school administrators in the state of Illinois. The report provides a comprehensive, descriptive overview of school administrators in the state and models the individual based on school characteristics associated with various career transitions. A companion RAND report presents a similar analysis of school administrators in North Carolina (Gates et al., 2004); and two other reports (Papa, Lankford, and Wyckoff, 2002, and Lankford, O'Connell, and Wyckoff, 2003) provide similar analyses using data from New York. Illinois, North Carolina, and New York represent a fairly broad variation in market conditions and population trends.

The primary audience for these three related reports is most likely educational researchers and some education policymakers at the national, state, and local levels. These reports not only convey information about the current state of the market for school administrators in North Carolina, New York, and Ohio, they also demonstrate the ways in which state-level administrative data might be . . .

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