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Administrators Fault Training

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Graduate programs in educational administration frequently do not do a very good job in preparing school officials to meet "real world" problems, a recent survey of superintendents and principals indicates.

A slight majority of school administrators polled by The Executive Educator reported that they had received only "fair" or "poor" graduate training in key aspects of their jobs.

Most administrators also indicated that the on-the-job training they had received over the years was more valuable than what they had learned in education-school classrooms. Only 10 percent of respondents cited graduate school as their most valuable source of training.

Education-school professors also received less-than-enthusiastic reviews from their former students.

Although nearly 90 percent of those surveyed recalled that other administrators had served as mentors in their careers, less than one quarter said a professor had had a significant impact on their career development.

Written responses to the survey indicated similar feelings. "Too many professors have never worked in a public school. ...4They have no perspective on the problems, let alone the solutions," said one elementary-school principal quoted in the magazine.

Graduate programs are "not well linked with the real world," said a superintendent.

Although the survey's demographic profile of the nation's school administrators portrays the expected--a group that typically is white, male, and middle-aged--the authors contended that their results showed a pattern of progress for women and minorities in the field. They noted that 15 percent of deputy or assistant superintendents and junior-high/middle-school principals were women, and 10 percent were black--proportions up from previous levels.

The bulk of the superintendents responding to the survey reported annual salaries of between $45,000 and $55,000. The salary of a typical principal was put at between $40,000 and $45,000.

The survey, which appeared in the September issue of the magazine published by the National School Boards Assocation, was conducted by a faculty team from the State University of New York at Buffalo. It was based on the responses of 1,123 administrators, representing 28 percent of those sent questionnaires by mail.--hd

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