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Recruitment and retention of K--12 public school principals in a regional educational collaborative in Rhode Island

Linda A Gifford, Johnson & Wales University


The primary purpose of this descriptive survey research study was to examine the recruitment and retention practices of K–12 public school principals. The perceptions and attitudes of current principals towards recruitment and retention practices were investigated.^ The research questions guiding this study examined (a) principals’ attitudes toward current recruitment and retention policies, (b) the major reasons contributing to principal vacancies, and (c) major components of the principal position as perceived by the principals surveyed. The sample ( N = 84) included current principals in K–12 public schools within one regional educational collaborative of the state.^ The first phase of the study consisted of a pilot test of the instrument, sent through interoffice mail, with N = 15 principals from within the district the researcher is employed, to assess content validity and decrease researcher bias. This district is within the 11 districts in the collaborative being studied. The second phase consisted of the data collection from the remaining N = 69 participants via a web–base survey tool. A Cronbach's alpha of .50 was calculated for the data from the instrument which included open-ended, closed-ended, and Likert response scale items. Further inquiry indicated that reverse scale questions contributed to the low reliability. The data obtained from the respondents were then analyzed utilizing the frequencies and percentages in the program.^ Respondents identified limited retention practices; however this does not seem to have an adverse affect as revealed in the responses and tenure of the current principals responding. Recruitment practices employed by the districts are also perceived to be limited yet do not appear to have a negative influence on the number of applicants as identified.^ Recommendations include both recruitment and retention practices to increase the quality and success of future principals. Recruitment plans and mentoring programs offered creative steps to increase principal successes. Several topics for further research are identified and discussed. ^

Subject Area

Education, Leadership|Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Gifford, Linda A, "Recruitment and retention of K--12 public school principals in a regional educational collaborative in Rhode Island" (2010). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3402115.