Master's Theses


Advanced Education Programs

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)


The primary intention of this study was to investigate and determine the concepts of the presidents of the boards in one hundred selected school districts in Nebraska regarding their priorities of competencies that they seek in their evaluation and selection of a superintendent of schools. The secondary intention was to research the relationship between these concepts and the characteristics of the presidents of the board who hold them. Characteristics such as age, sex, education, and board experience were weighed. A related problem was to make a comparison of this study with a study by Dorrell George titled "A Study of the Priority of Selecting and Evaluating a Superintendent as Perceived by Presidents of Unified School Districts in Kansas". A set of sixty administrative behavioral statements was administered to a random sample of presidents of boards of school districts in Nebraska in the form of the Q-Methodology survey. Rank order value judgments were required by the participants; there were no right or wrong answers. The perceptions of seventy-three presidents of boards of education, 19.78% of the total population of school districts of class II-VI in Nebraska, were utilized in this study. The mean score for each statement, the rank order of the statements, and the frequency of the value weightings of the participants for each statement were determined for the total sample and for each set of subgroups-- age, years of experience as a board member, education of each board member, and sex of each member. A relative worth of high importance, average importance, or low importance was attached to each behavioral statement on the basis of mean score rank. Analysis was made of the most important behaviors and the least important behaviors as perceived by the total sample and by each set of sub-groups. Analysis of the responses to the high priority behaviors and the low priority behaviors as perceived by the total sample revealed that s high percentage of the respondents were in quite close agreement. In the analysis of the sub-group perceptions, noticeable variations within the sub-groups were observed in the perceptions to certain statements. From the computed values of the seventy- three responses to the sixty behavioral statements, a difference of 1.00 to 2.00 means in mean score occurred in the perceptions of twelve statements within the age sub-group, to eleven statement within the experience sub-group, to only two within the education sub-group, and to eight within the sex of the board members sub-group. The results of this study revealed that the following behaviors were considered to be high priority in selecting and evaluating a superintendent of schools: 37. Understands how to plan, organize, and evaluate the total school program. 9. Has an understanding of the board of education's role and understands how to work with the board of education. 10. Has acquired tact, insight, understanding, and skills in the ability to work with other people. 2. Has an understanding of his administrative role and his legal responsibilities. 27. Understands how to prepare and implement a school budget. 12. Understands how to utilize staff members and how to assign responsibility and authority. 4. is sensitive to the importance of school community relations and understands how to establish and maintain an operational program. 38. Has an understanding of the purpose and function of supervision and how to implement a supervisory program. 50. Understands the nature and place of "authority" in school administration. 44. Understands the principles and procedures of accounting and the keeping of appropriate school records. 54. Has a functional knowledge of federal, state, and local school finance. 21. Has an understanding of the nature and place of policy formulation and policy determination in the school district. Behaviors perceived by the respondents to be of high importance in the functions of a superintendent of schools included those traits and attitudes pertaining to the understanding, organizing and implementing of school policy. Among these vital elements is found a broad spectrum of components, all of which in turn test the abilities of a superintendent and each of which is essential to the successful functioning of the school. The range of these elements include understanding and formulating school policy as determined by community and school board desires. From this springs the superintendent's ability to work in community relationship areas. A thorough knowledge of federal, state, and local tax laws and a thorough knowledge and understanding of legal responsibilities is imperative for a school superintendent to be successful and effective. The superintendent must have a high degree of tact and insight to work in harmony with the school board in planning and preparing the school budget and policy. Once the budget and policy matters are clear, the superintendent must have the ability to organize, evaluate, and utilize his staff and faculty to the fullest extent. It is in this final step that the superintendent must bring to bear all the attributes at his command to communicate successfully, through speaking, writing, and listening to educational concepts from the planning forces to the implementing forces in the school. Based on the perceptions of the participants included in this study and the study of Dorrell George in "A Study of the Priority of Selecting and Evaluating a Superintendent as Perceived by Presidents of Unified School Districts in Kansas", identification of certain administrative behaviors can be broadly defined as being of relatively high importance, of relatively average importance and of relatively low importance. A priority of competencies in educational administration as perceived by a sample of presidents of school districts in Nebraska and presidents of school districts in Kansas has been provided. The concept that certain administrative behaviors are more important or less important than others has been established.


Dr. LaVier L. Staven

Date of Award

Fall 1973

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


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