Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Joseph C. Rost, PhD, Director; Mary W. Scherr, PhD; Robert L. Infantino, EdD


California school reform movement, children & youth, education, Leadership studies, qualitative, school administration, school district, Senate Bill 813, superintendents, teachers


Public education has been engulfed in a dramatic and turbulent time. In California, the drive for improvement in public education was codified in Senate Bill 813, passed in 1983. Each school district wrestled with the intent and the mandates of this massive reform document. During the implementation stage of this legislation, the organizational climate in school districts was ripe for leaders and followers to engage each other in dialogue and debate about the direction and form the legislation would take. This dialogue and debate rendered policies in response to the legislative mandates. Senate Bill 813 provided opportunities to promote and secure change in California's public schools. There are lessons about leadership to be learned through analysis and reflection of this particular change effort. This research centers on the leadership behaviors of one superintendent during the implementation of Senate Bill 813. The superintendent's leadership behaviors are presented in the context of interacting with followers which include school site administrators, governing board members, and teachers' association members. The study includes observations on how crisis and conflict came into play, as well as the presence or absence of moral and ethical considerations. The development of policies addressing four components of Senate Bill 813 are discussed extensively. The four components are the mentor teacher program, the evaluation of certificated personnel, grade level expectancies, and minimum proficiencies. Qualitative methodologies were used in this study. The case study involved the review of documents, interviews with district employees, and governing board members, and direct observation of various district meetings. The resulting narrative describes the value-laden interactions of stakeholders as the superintendent engaged followers in a leadership relationship. The research findings verify the presence of the superintendent's behaviors as a leader as well as validate the presence of the leadership relationship.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access