Title

AN ANALYSIS OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS IN CONNECTICUT SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Date of Completion

January 1985

Keywords

Education, Administration

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The superintendency is an important and difficult leadership position. The Educational Policies Commission (1965) described the superintendency as: "...one of the most crucial and perhaps most difficult public positions in American life today. The occupant of this position, more than any other single person in the community, influences the shape of public education. Thus he/she has a basic role in determining what will become of the young people in his/her community, and through them what his/her community and the nation will become."^ In spite of the importance of the superintendent's position, very little data had been generated regarding the characteristics of Connecticut superintendents of schools. Therefore, such an analysis was justified in order to expand our knowledge about one of the key leadership positions in our local communities.^ The major purpose of this study was to analyze the personal characteristics, the educational preparation, and the career patterns of superintendents of schools in Connecticut public school districts.^ This study also determined the relationships found when comparing the findings of the Connecticut study with that of the (AASA, 1982) national study.^ Superintendents in all 146 Connecticut school districts were invited to participate in this study by completing a 76 item questionnaire. One-hundred twenty-seven (87%) participated.^ The findings of this study have resulted in establishing a profile of superintendents of schools in Connecticut school districts. The profile considered the superintendents personal characteristics, their career patterns and their professional preparation. The study also determined the differences between the Connecticut superintendency and those in the national sample. Findings suggest significant differences in the characteristics between Connecticut superintendents of schools and those in the (AASA, 1982) national sample.^ The findings of this study should assist those institutions and other organizations which provide programs and services for educational administrators in Connecticut school districts since these findings have a relationship to research, planning and policy.^ This study should be replicated within the next five years in order to determine commonalities or differences in the trends. ^