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I Got Your Back: The Effect of Environmental Support for the Public Manager
Unformatted Document Text:  Melton 8 Controls No matter the level of support, there are factors that cause levels of performance to fluctuate in spite of support for the superintendent. In other words, superintendents face daily challenges in their ability to effectively manage. These challenges come in the form of environmental constraints, as well as opportunities (Meier and O’Toole 2001). In past research, levels of support were part of such constraints or opportunities; however, their effect on performance is analyzed here. {Table 1 About Here} According to Meier and O’Toole (2001) and Goerdel (2005) environmental variables can potentially affect managerial ability and are characterized as task difficulties or program resources. Racial inequalities and income disparities are negatively correlated with educational performance, particularly when focusing on standardized testing (Goerdel 2005). Given this, I include percentages of African American, Latino, and poor students in a school district. I expect these measures will be negatively correlated with student performance. In terms of program resources, the literature suggests that schools with greater resources generally fare better (Goerdel 2005). I include teacher salary and instructional expenditures per student. I hypothesize that both measures of program resources will be positively correlated with student performance. To account for potential time trends, yearly dichotomous measures are included in the models as well. Findings I estimate a model predicting the effects of environmental support on overall TAAS pass rate. The finding for parental support is intuitive; parents that support superintendent efforts are likely to do so by becoming involved in their children’s academic careers. This might include conducting TAAS practice and instruction at home. Parents are likely to openly support initiatives related to increased student performance and also do their part in the home as well. 8

Authors: Melton, Erin.
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Melton 8
Controls
No matter the level of support, there are factors that cause levels of performance to fluctuate in spite of
support for the superintendent. In other words, superintendents face daily challenges in their ability to
effectively manage. These challenges come in the form of environmental constraints, as well as
opportunities (Meier and O’Toole 2001). In past research, levels of support were part of such
constraints or opportunities; however, their effect on performance is analyzed here.
{Table 1 About Here}
According to Meier and O’Toole (2001) and Goerdel (2005) environmental variables can
potentially affect managerial ability and are characterized as task difficulties or program resources.
Racial inequalities and income disparities are negatively correlated with educational performance,
particularly when focusing on standardized testing (Goerdel 2005). Given this, I include percentages of
African American, Latino, and poor students in a school district. I expect these measures will be
negatively correlated with student performance. In terms of program resources, the literature suggests
that schools with greater resources generally fare better (Goerdel 2005). I include teacher salary and
instructional expenditures per student. I hypothesize that both measures of program resources will be
positively correlated with student performance. To account for potential time trends, yearly
dichotomous measures are included in the models as well.
Findings
I estimate a model predicting the effects of environmental support on overall TAAS pass rate. The
finding for parental support is intuitive; parents that support superintendent efforts are likely to do so by
becoming involved in their children’s academic careers. This might include conducting TAAS practice
and instruction at home. Parents are likely to openly support initiatives related to increased student
performance and also do their part in the home as well.
8


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