An examination of Iowa's elementary school principals' strategies for managing reading programs

Nwaogu, Peter
Major Professor
James Edward Sweeney
Committee Member
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The major purposes of this study were (a) to examine selected reading management practices used by Iowa elementary principals, (b) to determine the impediments to managing reading programs as perceived by Iowa's elementary principals, and (c) to examine the relationships between selected practices and factors such as principal experience and role and size of school and district, as well as how these factors influence Iowa elementary principals' perceptions of perceived impediments;This research used data collected from a survey instrument developed and administered by Dr. Charles Railsback of Iowa State University. The questions pertaining to instructional managment of the reading program were part of a larger study which included instructional management of the mathematics program. The questionnaire was sent to 478 randomly selected elementary school principals from Iowa's 436 local school districts. A total of 295 elementary principals (62%) responded to the survey;The results of the study showed that (a) most Iowa elementary principals reported using sound practices for assigning students to teachers for reading instruction and determining students' reading level; (b) those who serve in the dual role of superintendent-elementary principal perceived other district administrative tasks as an impediment to managing the reading program more than did full-time principals; (c) principals in larger schools perceived student discipline as an impediment to managing the reading program more than did principals in smaller or medium size schools; (d) principals in medium size school districts perceived student discipline as an impediment to managing the reading program more than the principals from smaller and larger school districts; (e) principals in medium size districts reported that non-instructional building tasks were impediments to managing the reading programs more than did principals in larger and smaller districts; and (f) years of experience of the principal and years of teaching experience were not related to better instructional management practices or did not influence principals' perceptions of the impediments to managing reading programs.