Degree Granting Department
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Arthur Shapiro, Ph.D.
Education, Leadership, Secondary, MSQ, Principalship
This study replicated the study by Mary E. Neal, Job Satisfaction of Florida's High School Assistant Principals as a Factor in the Maintenance of an Administrative Workforce (2002) and extended the research by examining the job satisfaction of high school assistant principals in seven Florida county school districts. The present study utilized quantitative and qualitative data. Respondents (n = 128) were surveyed using the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ short form), Individual Demographic Questionnaire, and Telephone Interview Questionnaire. One assistant principal from each of seven counties volunteered to complete the Telephone Interview Questionnaire. The 128 respondents represented 60% of 214 assistant principals contacted. The majority (74.18%) of Florida high school assistant principals participating in this study expressed satisfaction with their jobs. The greatest dissatisfaction area (52%) was compensation.
More assistant principals were dissatisfied with their salary than any other area. Thirty-five percent of the participants were 31-40 years old, 79% had a Master's degree, 33% had been a high school assistant principal 1-3 years, 60% worked 51-60 hours per week, 57% were at suburban schools, 48% were at schools with 26%-50% of students on free and/or reduced lunch, and 32% were at schools with student enrollments between 1601-2400. The majority of participants (42%) in this study were at schools which received a school grade of "C" on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. None of the four independent variables (school size, tenure, age, or gender) was statistically significant to the dependent variables of general satisfaction, intrinsic satisfaction, or extrinsic satisfaction.
Four additional independent variables (salary, free/reduced lunch, school grade, and principalship interest) were analyzed with the dependent variables (general satisfaction, intrinsic satisfaction, or extrinsic satisfaction). A multiple regression revealed significance between general satisfaction and school grade (p<.05) and intrinsic satisfaction and school grade (p<.05). High school assistant principals in lower performing schools were less satisfied than assistant principals in higher performing schools. The relationship between extrinsic satisfaction and free/reduced lunch (p=.07) is worthy of notice. Telephone interviews provided qualitative data suggesting respondents lack desire to pursue the high school principalship. This supports the growing concern regarding high school principal shortages.
The correlation (r = .35, p<.0001) between age and principalship (no-interest) indicated that as high school assistant principals got older they lost interest in becoming high school principals. As administrators spend time in their role as assistant principals they need to be mentored, trained, and encouraged to pursue their personal development of becoming a principal as soon as they are able. If assistant principals are not persuaded to move into principalships as soon as they are ready, their interest in that pursuit may quickly wane. It is important that school districts identify and maintain current job satisfaction data if they plan to persuade assistant principals into becoming principals. School districts must assess what satisfies and dissatisfies assistant principals if they want to be successful in recruiting positive, capable leadership for the role of high school principal.
Scholar Commons Citation
Taylor, John R.,, "Job satisfaction among high school assistant principals in seven Florida counties" (2007). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.