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

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

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

Career Paths of School Administrators in North Carolina: 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 showing that qualified people are indeed in short supply. 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 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction were used to assess the careers of school administrators in the state of North Carolina. 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 Illinois (Ringel, Gates, and GhoshDastidar, 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. These three states—Illinois, North Carolina, and New York—represent fairly broad variation in market conditions and population trends.

This report should be of interest primarily to educational researchers and some education policymakers at the national, state, and local levels, not only because it conveys information about the current state of the market for school administrators in these states, but also because it demonstrates ways in which state-level administrative data . . .

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