Who Holds the Power?

March 2014
Journal of School Public Relations;Spring2014, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p242
Academic Journal
In the school reform process, much research has been conducted on the role of the principal. Almost all the leadership research concludes that the principal is an important policy actor in setting the tone for reform and in providing support. Many authors argue that, without such strong leadership, there can be no lasting reforms. The results presented in this article look at the role of principals, although the study is situated in a broader context of making sense of how teachers prioritize reform using the new Common Core State Standards in mathematics. Such reform, according to Coburn (2001) and other researchers, requires a collective sense-making process, and most of that process occurs among teachers. Building on this, we explore how the teacher perceives or makes sense of the principal in the school reform process. Using a mixed methods approach that encompasses three Midwestern states that are current implementers of the Common Core State Standards movement, we conclude that teachers do not perceive the principal as playing a major role in this curricular policy implementation and reform--a view contrary to that presented in the literature.


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