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The Education Doctorate (Ed.D.)

Issues of Access, Diversity, Social Justice, and Community Leadership


Edited By Virginia Stead

This first-of-its-kind text explores the Ed.D. program as a crucible for equitable higher education and community leadership. It was inspired in part by the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate (CPED) and, more broadly, by widespread international interest in the power of the Ed.D. as a force for positive social change. The book’s range of cultural contexts and educational perspectives promises new insights and solutions for policy analysts, policy makers, executive administrators, faculty researchers, philanthropists, and policy beneficiaries.
In contrast to the traditional Ph.D., the Ed.D. typically attracts educational practitioners within school boards, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as standalone or internationally linked community associations. The greatest attraction of the Ed.D. is an assessment strategy that encourages graduate students to incorporate their own cultural and professional contexts into a capstone project instead of producing a classic dissertation.
This book features inclusive language, highlights everyday expressions from minoritized cultures, and clarifies new concepts to accommodate new scholars and English Language Learners. Readers will discover representative research on Ed.D. policy and practice from the United States, Canada, and a sprinkling of other countries. Renowned and emergent researchers represent multiple roles within the Ed.D. education process. Individual chapters contrast historical and contemporary issues, and raise awareness about many complexities and strategies that make the Ed.D. an ideal engine of professional empowerment and social justice leadership.
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Chapter Twenty-Nine: Issues of Superintendent Preparation in Disadvantaged Areas: Considering the Usefulness of the Educational Doctorate (Ed.D.)



Could equity emerge without excellent leadership? This ever-vexing question persists in American public education without reason. We know that disadvantaged populations have historically suffered from lack of access to resources that bring about academic success. It logically follows, then, that excellent leadership is a resource that matters. The extent to which quality school superintendent leadership matters still has not been empirically examined well enough over time to offer direct quantitative links between the quality of superintendent and student academic performance. Still, literature proliferates in the field, with enough evidence to determine that the more that excellent leadership is accessible, the better the probability for excellent academic outcomes for students, teachers, and school communities (Murphy, Moorman, & McCarthy, 2008; Waters & Marzano, 2006; Young & Creighton, 2002). Further, recent work by the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) shows that educational leaders with an Ed.D. are better prepared to be stewards of their schools and communities (Zambo, 2011).

For the past 25 years, American public schools have been scrutinized by communities and the government in an attempt to improve operations and student outcomes (Elmore, 1996; Gross, 1978; National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1996; National Commission on Excellence in Education, ← 389 | 390 → 1983; Newmann & Wehlage, 1995; No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 2002). More recently, that pressure has been focused on the improvement of student test scores. Researchers have demonstrated that when demographic differences and teacher impacts are factored out of the academic performance equation, quality...

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