Skip to Content

Peabody Journal of Education, Volume 84, Issue 3, 2009

Special Issue on the New Politics of Educational Leadership

 

Since 2003, the Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations has been fortunate to work closely with the Politics of Education Association (PEA) in publishing a biannual issue on political functions and outcomes related to education. This summer, the Peabody Journal of Education is pleased to present the PEA's latest contribution, this "Special Issue on the New Politics of Educational Leadership." Guest editors Dorothy Shipps and Judith Kafka have assembled a collection of research and policy analysis about various organizational and political changes that have revolutionized school leadership. Educational leadership has evolved over the past decade, in many ways becoming more centralized and more privatized. This dense issue brings ten articles together to begin a conversation about these changing dynamics in school and district leadership.

While principals remain at the center of school leadership, school decision-making has expanded to include business-minded district superintendents, mayors and governors, and private consultants. The first set of articles collectively examines these new roles and changing institutional dynamics. Henig begins the issue with his conclusion that general government is taking a heightened interest in education and more specifically, executive office holders are taking education into their own hands. Useem presents a case study of Paul Vallas, former CEO of The School District of Philadelphia, and the increased "positional power" given to new district leaders who are hired to turn around failing districts under NCLB. Kafka outlines the history of the principalship, noting that the position has always been challenging, but that the changed political context in which principals operate has added to the complexity of the job today. Flessa presents a look at literature on distributed leadership and educational micropolitics, two issues that are related in the context of school leadership and yet rarely overlap in the literature. Wrapping up this first section, Shipps and White consider how principals have adjusted their actions to respond to a more external, bureaucratic accountability structure.

The second half of this issue addresses the privatization of political action and influence, and yet not always accountability, that has occurred in education. The first piece, written by Susan Moore Johnson and colleagues, showcases how local union presidents work to balance national agenda items within the local context. Second, Honig investigates how external organizations affect the leadership and decision-making that determine district-level reform. Addressing charter schools, Huerta and Zuckerman take on the opposing institutional and school-level definitions of legitimacy that these schools encounter. Scott and DiMartino offer a typology of educational privatization, describing the effects that increasing privatization will have on policy. Finally, Cibulka discusses the political effects on the accreditation of postsecondary education programs.

On behalf of the Peabody Journal of Education, we would like to recognize the Politics of Education Association, guest editors Dorothy Shipps and Judith Kafka, and all those authors that contributed to this riveting, influential issue. It is our hope that the collection of research presented here will be highly regarded and of value to educational researchers and policymakers.

CONTENTS
Journal abstracts are linked to titles.

Introduction to the Special Issue on the New Politics of Educational Leadership
Dorothy Shipps and Judith Kafka
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 3: pages 279-282.

Mayors, Governors, and Presidents: The New Education Executives and the End of Educational Exceptionalism
Jeffrey R. Henig
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 3: pages 283-299.

Big City Superintendent as Powerful CEO: Paul Vallas in Philadelphia
Elizabeth Useem
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 3: pages 300-317.

The Principalship in Historical Perspective
Judith Kafka
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 3: pages 318-330.

Educational Micropolitcs and Distributed Leadership
Joseph Flessa
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 3: pages 331-349.

A New Politics of the Principalship? Accountability-Driven Change in New York City
Dorothy Shipps and Monica White
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 3: pages 350-373.

Leading the Local: Teachers Union Presidents Chart Their Own Course
Susan Moore Johnson, Morgaen L. Donaldson, Mindy Sick Munger, John P. Papay, and Emily K. Qazilbash
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 3: pages 374-393.

"External" Organizations and the Politics of Urban Educational Leadership: The Case of New Small Autonomous Schools Initiatives
Meredith I. Honig
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 3: pages 394-413.

An Institutional Theory Analysis of Charter Schools: Addressing Institutional Challenges to Scale
Luis A. Huerta and Andrew Zuckermann
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 3: pages 414-431.

Public Education Under New Management: A Typology of Educational Privatization Applied to New York City's Restructuring
Janelle Scott and Catherine DiMartino
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 3: pages 432-452.

Declining Support for Higher-Education Leadership Preparation Programs: An Analysis
James G. Cibulka
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 84, No. 3: pages 453-466.


Quick Links