The assistant school superintendent in New York State: Sense of job satisfaction, job efficacy, and career aspirations

David Fred Leach, Fordham University


Little attention has been devoted in the extant body of research to public school assistant superintendents. This study sought to determine the job satisfaction, efficacy, and career aspirations of assistant superintendents employed in public school districts throughout New York State. Using data from an original survey instrument ASPIRE (Assistant Superintendents' Professional Incentives, Roles, and Efficacy©), the researcher measured the respondents' demographic, professional, and school district profiles, along with their sense of job satisfaction, efficacy, career aspirations, work conditions, role involvement, as well as relationships with the superintendent, board of education, and community. All 330 known assistant superintendents from throughout New York State were extended an invitation to participate. Data from 159 individuals (48.2% return rate) were analyzed in this study. Assistant superintendents have an equal chance of being male or female, are predominantly white, and 50 years of age or older. They express great satisfaction with their job, perceive a strong sense of efficacy and hold a very positive perception of their relationship with their superintendent, board of education and community. Less than one-third indicate that they plan to assume the role of superintendent, with about one-third remaining undecided. Family sacrifices and local politics were the strongest disincentives for those who indicated that they were not planning on becoming a superintendent. Respondents' sense of job satisfaction, job efficacy, and career aspirations were significantly different between those who were 50 years or older and those 49 and younger. The older cohort perceived their roles as being more satisfying and efficacious; the younger cohort expressed more interest in pursuing a superintendency. Those respondents serving in the generalist role (i.e., Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent) hold higher levels of job satisfaction and career aspiration than the more specialized roles of business, personnel and curriculum. Multivariate correlation analysis found several relationships among the variables. Regression analyses predicted assistant superintendents' job satisfaction, efficacy and career aspirations. Underlying implications of this research provide a foundation for future studies. Recommendations made by the researcher include giving more attention to the assistant superintendency in the professional literature and shortening the career steps to the assistant superintendency.

Subject Area

School administration|Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

Leach, David Fred, "The assistant school superintendent in New York State: Sense of job satisfaction, job efficacy, and career aspirations" (2009). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3361469.