Assistant Principal Frustrations,Obstacles, and Recommended Changes
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Martinez, José. Assistant Principal Frustrations, Obstacles, and Recommended Changes. Unpublished Doctor of Education Dissertation, University of Houston, May, 2011. Abstract Educational research suggests that assistant principals encounter frustrations and obstacles which impede them from fulfilling their duties and responsibilities. Furthermore, the research also shows there are changes that can be made which would improve job satisfaction and effectiveness for assistant principals as well as reduce frustrations and obstacles. Considering these ideas, the purpose of the study is to identify frustrations and obstacles assistant principals encounter in their daily work environments and possible changes assistant principals envision and recommend for the profession. A survey was administered to assistant principals in the Gulf Coast Region of Southeast Texas resulted in a comprehensive response from 371 current campus assistant principals. The study will focus on the following four questions: 1) What do practicing assistant principals report as frustrations that prevent them from effectively performing their job responsibilities? 2) What genuine obstacles or restrictions do practicing assistant principals identify as concerns in accomplishing their professional duties?; 3) What issue would practicing assistant principals change to enable them more in their role as assistant principal; and 4) Is there a statistically significant difference among assistant principal years of experience, school state accountability rating, district setting, grade level, and a school’s economically disadvantaged status with regards to their perceived frustrations, obstacles, and recommended changes? The assistant principals’ responses regarding their perceived frustrations, obstacles, and change recommendations will be tallied and analyzed for significant frequencies and trends in the responses using a One-Way Analysis of Variance(ANOVA). For this study, each factor that will be extracted via factor analysis will be examined according to five demographic variables (years of experience as an assistant principal, geographical setting, grade levels of school, socio-economic status, TEA Rating). This study will use the criterion of 95% confidence level (p < .05) to determine statistical significance. The major findings from this study showed the lack of student motivation and lack of parental involvement as the primary frustrations, obstacles, and recommended changes by acting assistant principals. This information will be useful for principals and administration preparation programs in designing coursework that can address these needs. In addition, recommendations from this study are for further research to emphasize how the daily issues faced by an assistant principal are symptomatic of a larger systemic failure in the organizational structure of American schools. Systemic restructuring of schools will be suggested which allows for a transformation of the role of the assistant principal from the present reactive, managerial approach that has resulted from the industrial age to a leadership focused, proactive approach that is needed in the 21st century. Most campus principals are selected, interviewed, and hired from an assistant principal pool. Since assistant principals in most school districts do not have the opportunity to effectively develop as effective instructional leaders, many principals are assigned to lead schools without the necessary preparation of required skills. Considering these factors, it is critically important to begin the process of transforming the role of the assistant principal by identifying the frustrations and obstacles assistant principals face.
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