The performance index differences between Mississippi school districts with elected and appointed superintendents and selected variables

Gregory Scott Dearman

Abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to determine the difference between school districts with appointed and elected superintendents on the criterion variable of each district's performance index. In addition, this study examined the relationship between the difference and the variables of per pupil expenditure, racial composition of the student population, socioeconomic status of the school district, and school board type. The ultimate goal was to provide information that may help the Legislature make decisions concerning how school superintendent positions should be filled. The subjects in the study were the 149 school districts in Mississippi. There are 82 school districts with appointed superintendents and 67 school districts with elected superintendents. Data collection on the variables of this study came from the Mississippi Report Card 1996 (Mississippi Department of Education, 1996) and the Mississippi School Board Association. Multiple regression was used to test the hypotheses of the study. An Alpha Level of.05 was set for all test. The results of the test of the hypotheses follows: (1) There was no statistically significant relationship between school districts with appointed and elected superintendents on the criterion variable of the district performance index. By itself the method of superintendent selection did not produce a statistically significant relationship in the performance index of school districts. (2) A statistically significant relationship was found between school districts with appointed and elected superintendents on the criterion variable of the districts performance index while holding constant the variables of per pupil expenditure, race, socioeconomic status, and school board type. A school district with an appointed superintendent and an elected board could reasonably expect a predicted performance index two-tenths lower then the method of superintendent selection is removed.