Effective practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining African American administrators in suburban public schools: What practitioners say works

Khalid N Mumin, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to investigate the recruitment and hiring practices of human resource directors responsible for organizing recruitment efforts for staffing in suburban school districts in an effort to attract African American administrators, as well as to examine the spirit of recruitment and hiring through the lenses of African American administrators currently employed in suburban school districts and African American administrators who were members of the Philadelphia Alliance of Black School Educators. The literature review focuses on the historical perspectives of African Americans pursuing administrative positions in education, social barriers that exist when African Americans obtain leadership positions in education, African American administrators who have gravitated to urban environments, the need for diversity in administrative positions in suburban schools, and effective recruitment and hiring practices to attract highly qualified African American administrators. The study required the collection of data from three sources, which were human resource directors who were responsible for recruiting applicants in suburban schools; currently employed African American administrators in Bucks County and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, public schools; and African American administrators currently employed in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Surveys were sent to all of the participants. The items surveyed were framed using the following themes: recruitment strategies, recruitment barriers, administrative involvement in the recruitment process, hiring practices, school district policies and procedures regarding recruitment and hiring, and school district supports and liaisons to support recruitment and hiring. The participants were given the same questions and their responses were compared and contrasted through a triangulation process in an effort to reveal the most effective practices for recruiting and hiring African American administrators in suburban school districts. Chi-square statistical analyses were conducted with the participant responses to assess the differences in the response patterns across African American administrators employed in urban Philadelphia, as compared to human resource directors and administrators from Montgomery and Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Further, the participants' responses were used to gather data measuring the intensity of the aforementioned themes—recruitment strategies, recruitment barriers, administrative involvement in the recruitment process, hiring practices, the prevalence of school district policies and procedures regarding recruitment and hiring, and school district supports and liaisons to supports recruitment and hiring. The findings identified a need for human resource directors in suburban school districts to use nontraditional methods of recruiting. This included directly recruiting at historically Black colleges, explicitly advertising the school district's need to attract diverse candidates, establishing mentoring opportunities for African American administrators, and grooming talent from within suburban school districts to promote African American attainment of administrative positions. The research revealed data that provided a framework for recruiting, hiring and retaining African American administrators in suburban Philadelphia counties. This helped to focus a data set for best practices in an area with a shortage of quality information to increase recruitment of African American administrators to suburban school districts.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Mumin, Khalid N, "Effective practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining African American administrators in suburban public schools: What practitioners say works" (2008). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3322283.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3322283

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