African American Male Superintendents in Urban School Districts: National Stories of Success
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The purpose of this study is to examine and interpret the life experiences and leadership practices of four African American male superintendents leading urban school districts across the nation. The research approach adopted in this dissertation used semi-structured interviews with four African American male superintendents that consisted of three main issues: (1) African American male superintendent identity, (2) African American male superintendent leadership, and (3) acts of equity leadership related to student outcomes. The findings of this study revealed that participants do not allow themselves to be defined by their positions, and they honor their responsibilities as educational leaders who have devoted their lives to providing a quality education for their students. Each participant acknowledged that certain aspects of their jobs may be affected by their race, yet each expressed the importance of focusing on the work and remaining committed to reaching their goals for the districts they lead. The superintendents expressed importance of collaborative leadership that is inclusive of all stakeholders while they embraced the responsibilities carried by the positions they hold. The thoughts, expressions, and sometimes emotions conveyed by the superintendents provide a clear view into who they are, how they lead, and what they are about as urban school district leaders. This study reveals that superintendents’ top priority is to ensure that every student has access to a quality education. This research recommends further study regarding African American male access to the superintendency, expanded access to opportunities for mentorship, professional development focused on community relations and partnerships, and further study specific to African American male leadership in diverse settings.
Diverse School District
Urban Intensive Schools
Urban Emergent Schools
Urban Characteristic Schools
Carrier, Isaac Charles (2017). African American Male Superintendents in Urban School Districts: National Stories of Success. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from
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