Responding to the education reform agenda: A study of school superintendents' instructional leadership.


  • Paul V. Bredeson University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Brad W. Kose University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



education reform, superintendent, instructional leadership, accountability


Education reforms have affected schools and the educators who work in them. Using state-wide survey data from 1993 and 2003, this study examines how the work of school superintendents has been affected over a ten-year period by these reform initiatives, especially increased demands for accountability. The general message from our data is that superintendents are interested in curriculum and instruction and believe these are important tasks, but the daily realities of their work often subvert even the most committed professional. Further, the data indicate that superintendents may be able to use external accountability mechanisms as levers to move the internal accountability systems to support improved teaching and learning.


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Author Biographies

Paul V. Bredeson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Paul V. Bredeson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. His research interests center on professional development and instructional leadership and the impact on the work of school leaders.

Brad W. Kose, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Brad W. Kose is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Organization and Leadership. His research interests include principal leadership for learning and leadership for social justice. He is currently a co-principal investigator of a longitudinal program of research that employs cultural capital frameworks to study secondary organizational practices that impact diverse students’ success in postsecondary education.




How to Cite

Bredeson, P. V. ., & Kose, B. W. . (2007). Responding to the education reform agenda: A study of school superintendents’ instructional leadership. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 15, 5.