Problems confronting contemporary public schools as perceived by Black school superintendents

No Thumbnail Available
Lavender, Ernest Patrick
Patton, Don C.
Issue Date
Thesis (D. Ed.)
Other Identifiers

The purpose of the study was to: 1) obtain rankings by black school superintendents of seventeen problems culled from the 1982 Gallup Poll, 2) ascertain commonality of agreement among respondents, 3) compare rankings of respondents with rankings of the public as identified in the 1982 Gallup Poll, and 4) develop a profile of the contemporary black school superintendent.Data collected by questionnaire from 65 of the 107 identified black school superintendents were analyzed using the Spearman rho to determine rank order correlation, Kendall's tau to determine agreement among respondents, and Hollander's statistic to test a null hypothesis. The .05 level of significance was established as the critical probability level for the hypothesis decision.Findings1. The foremost problem confronting schools as perceived by black school superintendents was lack of proper financial support. In rank order, parents' lack of interest, pupils' lack of interest, difficulty getting good teachers, and teachers' lack of interest were among the top five.2. Commonality of agreement between respondent superintendents regarding major problems confronting schools was observed.3. Black school superintendents and the public differ in perceptions of the major problems confronting schools.4. Respondents were overwhelmingly male, averaged 49 years of age, and most were married.5. Seventy percent held specialist or doctoral degrees from public institutions, located in the Northeast, with undergraduate and graduate majors in education and educational administration respectively.6. Tenure in education was 23 years, 17 in administration, 5.6 as superintendents. Respondents were appointed largely from within the district currently served, and length of contract averaged 3.1 years.7. Districts administered were located in communities with populations of 10,000 or more, sixty percent or more of the civil populations were comprised of blacks.8. Nearly 80 percent of black school superintendents served in districts with 60 to 100 percent black student bodies and professional staffs.Conclusions1. Lack of proper financial support poses a major problem for black school superintendents.2. Commonality of agreement regarding major problems confronting public schools exist among black school superintendents.3. Different views are held by black school superintendents and the public responding to the 1982 Gallup Poll regarding major problems confronting public schools.